You are currently viewing Wed 29 Nov to Fri 1 Dec 2023: Cowra Ride

Wed 29 Nov to Fri 1 Dec 2023: Cowra Ride

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Dennis and Pirate, the Twins
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Dennis and Pirate, the Twins

Day 1

A few days out from the ride departure and a few riders were contacting me to see what was happening as the weather forecast looked pretty grim. On Tuesday Greg Melville called to say he would not be joining us on day one as the forecast was for upwards of 30mm of rain and the last time it rained this heavy he lost his pontoon and it cost him $$$$. If it worked out OK, he would meet us on day 2.

For the rest the message went out on Facebook, all systems go with an 8.00 am departure from Heathcote.

So our intended riding group looked like:

First Name Last Name Aka
Keith Moyle Gorilla
Chris Potter
Roger Rieger Pirate
Craig Carfoot Trucktoe
Chris Dungate
Greg Melville Lucky
Brian Van der Kly Dutchy
Dennis Killeen Smokey Bear
Keith Ryan Shrek
Col Purnell Colonel
Mark Price Pricey
Les Chandler
Brad Button Red
Sam Thoma Casper
Paul and Max Noppen Slopie
John Foley TT
Rob Lord Seagull
Steve Stiles
Mark Ansell


Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Brad and Les
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Brad and Les

With Greg a no show for day one and four riders due to meet us at Wingello a very hardy group of 14 bikes and two pillions (Vicki and Max) were all decked out in wet weather gear and ready to go. Just before we were ready to go ex prez Craig called and said they had over 250 mm of rain in the night and some of his back yard had washed away. As a result, he and Chris would not be able to join the ride.

Right on 8.00 we sent off in light drizzle for a straight run down the OPH to Fowler Road, through Marshall Mount crossing over to Macquarie Pass and up to Roberston Pie Shop for our morning break. Just before we were ready to head off the sky came over jet black and the skies opened up so we enjoyed a longer break than usual.

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 TT Smiling
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 TT Smiling

The heavy rain passed so we headed off down Pearsons Lane and onto the Illawarra highway where we picked up Mark and Sam. We roads through Fitzroy Falls, Exeter, Bundanoon Penrose etc. to join the freeway for a short distance to the Bungonia exit. We took Jerrara Road onto Mountain Ash Road to our lunch stop at Goulburn Soldiers Club. Normally we use the Workers Club but as it turned out the Soldiers Club was a good alternative, easy parking and a very choice of food from the bistro or café.

When we came out of the Club the western sky was black and threatening but there was only a light drizzle as we headed to the Mobil servo for a refuel. As were refueling up Greg Melville pulled in. There was no damage for the rain so he headed off to meet and the timing was spot on! While in the servo the weather deteriorated with thunder and lightning occurring and then the skies opened up again just as we were heading out. Nothing could be done but keep going onto to Taralga. The heavy rain didn’t last that long and we took the Laggan Taralga Road to head towards Crookwell to link up with Boorowa Road.

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Robinson
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Robinson

This is a good riding road but parts remained damaged from previous floods and heavy rain and there are sections having been patched potholes on potholes. Some local wag must have finally had enough of this section and erected his or her own warning sign….’Drive Carefully, this section of the road is F****D!

A few k’s past Rugby we turned onto Frogmore Road on the home stretch to Cowra. As we were passing through Frogmore word came over the radio the Dennis was losing air pressure and we needed to find a spot to pull over and check it out. Lucking just on the outskirts of the village there was a community hall with plenty of parking and some cover to work on Dennis’s bike.

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Flat ...
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1 Flat …

With several mechanics offering advice and repair kits coming out of several top boxes it didn’t take long and we were back on the road. Herde is some trivia for the buffs, the hall was built with assistance from the Lee Kernigan ‘Pass the Hat fund’ to the tune (get the pun!) of $65,000 and Lee officially opened the hall in 2001 (I think).

Once the tyre was plugged, we headed off with dry weather all the way to Cowra. Most of us were at the Cowra Crest Motel (in fact we booked it out) and after we checked in put our gear out to dry out and tidied ourselves up it was off to the Bowling Club for a few drinks, a feed and a few laughs.

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Cowra Ride 2023: Day 1

Day 2

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 2 Ready
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 2 Ready

Lots of discussions at the motel about the weather with the BOM forecast for wet conditions mainly in the south and almost zero (1%) elsewhere. However, looking up it didn’t look good but looking to the east which was the direction we would be going things looked OK. So, at the designated time we headed off towards Darby Falls. Not long out of Cowra we got our first shower. Heading through Wyangala we got another and riding along the ridgetop towards Woodstock we had low clouds and heavy rain. Once we got down lower it eased off and for a while we were headed towards blue skies.

From Woodstock we crossed the Mid-Western Highway onto George Russell Drive to Canowindra and then into Eugowra for our morning stop. I had intended for us to have brunch at the Fat Parcel food caravan but unfortunately it was closed for two weeks for some well-earned maintenance or so the sign said. As it turned out on the opposite corner there was a new café bakery (Escort Rock Café) so we headed over and a nice place it was too.

During the break we were deciding where to go from here. The original intention was to head to Forbes the Grenfell, Gooloogong and back into Cowra. Two things were against this the skies around us and we had made such good time we would be back in Cowra well before lunch. The skies towards Forbes and Molong/Orange were black so it was decided to head back the way we came and back into Cowra for lunch and then we could head out again from there. It looked like that was the least likely way to get rain but the cheeky buggers said it didn’t matter because my internal compass just took us to rain!!!

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 2 Dinner
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 2 Dinner

While we were riding back looking at the ridge top towards Woodstock it was not good so a change of plan by the Ride Leader. We head back into Cowra but instead of staying we headed to The Lachlan Valley Way and into Boorowa for lunch. Turned out to be a good decision, some of the group enjoyed a cold beer and delicious burgers at the Courthouse Hotel and the rest of enjoyed tasty fresh sandwiches and pies from Shauns Fresh Café.

After our break we eventually rejoined Boorowa Road the Frogmore Road and back into Cowra. This was an excellent run without any rain, some sun on roads that were drying out so it was a welcome change.

Back at the motel we again put the bikes away, our gear was spread out to dry out and we cleaned ourselves up to once again head off to the Bowling Club for some fun and a feed. When we were lining up to order dinner who should join the queue by Halfway Dave. He had ridden down that down to join us for the ride home, a great effort.

Mark Ansell was heading off to Parkes in the morning to spend a few days visiting some relatives so we bade our farewell and headed back to our rooms.

Click here for all the Photos from:
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 2

Day 3

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Motel
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Motel

What a difference a day makes! We awoke to clear blue skies and little chance of rain out west and only a slight chance of showers on the coast according to the BOM forecast. Just as we were gathering to depart Mark came around the corner on his Wing with the radio appropriately blaring out Geroge Harrison singing ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and we all had a good chuckle. After a few group photos we were off into the sunshine towards Crookwell for breakfast and a coffee via Darby Falls, Frogmore and Rugby. The road still had its potholes but it was dryer which made for good riding and we made decent time into Crookwell.

After the break Roger, Mark and Sam all headed of separately as they had to get back early. For the rest of us we went into Goulburn for a refuel, then to Wingello for lunch via Windellama, Bungonia, Marulan where Chris Potter headed home via the freeway and the rest of us exited onto Highland Way.

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Ready
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Ready

While we were enjoying our lunch Craig and Chris rocked up having decided to take a ride and chance meeting up with us. After chatting we headed off leaving them to enjoy their lunch. We continued on through Bundanoon Exeter (where Halfway Dave headed off to go home via Bowral) etc. to head down Macquarie Pass behind a car that didn’t’ go over 50 (except in the only area where you could legally pass) and dropped to at least 15 ks below the recommended speed signs all the way down. We went through Marshall Mount then Dapto and onto the freeway and OPH to Heathcote for our goodbyes.

Notwithstanding all the rain personally I didn’t find the wet weather riding unpleasant and as a motorcyclist it just adds another dimension to the riding experience. As long as you have the right gear you can still be comfortable or at least as comfortable as possible. For some they decided it was essential to have wet weather mittens and booties and these are reasonably priced from MCAS: Mittens $28.45 and Booties $33.20.

Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Finish
Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3 Finish

Personally, I learnt that my topbox is not waterproof as when I got home the sloppy joe I had been relying on as a stopgap if I got to cold or wet was very wet. I will have to replace the Woolies shopping bag with a dry bag!

As always,s a trip away is great fun and it was especially good to have so many riders turn up for the trip given the weather conditions and it was also god to have Max and Vick come along as pillions.
Many thanks to TT for a great effort and support as my TEC, much appreciated.

Cheers, Keith

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Cowra Ride 2023: Day 3