18 July, 2021

It was surprising chilly on the ride to the meeting point at Tamborine.  This was my first ride with the East Coast Adventure Riders Australia Meetup Group.  On arrival I introduced myself to some of the other riders.  Seemed like a welcoming and friendly group with a mixture of off road experience.

The ride was titled “Helpful Hints Day”. The Concept was that Experienced Adv Riders (ER) offer helpful hints or advice to Novice Adv Riders (NR), from bike setup and off road riding techniques to roadside repairs, packing options and navigation info. Some during the ride but most at lunch (ride end) where an open group discussion will be held on all things Adv Riding.

As planned there were 7 NR and 7 ER who paired up for the ride.  The rider organiser/host was Greg who led the ride with John, the 9th ER performing Tail End Charlie (TEC) duties. The NR rode at their own pace, ahead of their paired ER. The Cornerman system was used to mark corners with pair stopping to mark corners in turn.  The ride was advertised as a mix of tar and dirt road with a fuel range of 250km required and suitable for all sized Adventure or Dual Sport bikes.  Turned out my Massey Ferguson was the largest bike of the group although there were a couple of Africa Twins also.  Seeing so many smaller adventure bikes made me wonder if I’d be up to the day ahead.

Starting at Tamborine, the ride skirted around Beaudesert on minor roads.  We stopped for fuel at Tamrookum Fill & Feast where I tried unsuccessfully to have my usual double shot espresso.  When I was asked if I wanted milk in that I feared the worst and the result has more like a strong long black which was discarded after one sip.

After taking the scenic route to Rathdowney we stopped at Rathlogan Olive Grove & Shed Café where I had an excellent double espresso with a side of raisin toast.  The 40 minute morning tea break gave us the chance to discuss our bikes and experiences and it was apparent I probably had some better off road training and skills than some of the other NR.

Back on the bikes we turned on to Newman Road at Maroon and then a left on Burnett Creek Road around Lake Maroon until we took a right into Fletcher Road until the Carney Creek Road intersection.  These roads were great with nothing technical to trouble me.  I’d passed several of the group pairings when all of a sudden my supervising ER sped past me on his DRZ 400E like I was riding a mobility scooter.  Steve later explained this was one of his favourite roads and couldn’t hold back any more.

We backtracked towards Rathdowney, this time taking Burnett Creek Road all the way through to Boonah Rathdowney Road.  Heading east we passed through Maroon and shortly after took a left onto Cannon Creek Road.  The group paused at the intersection with Bunburra Road.  Keen to keep pressing on I took Bunburra Road and shortly after was pulling into Dugandan Hotel our lunch stop and the end of the ride.

After a delicious Steak Sandwich in the beer garden on a glorious winters day while listening to stories of injuries sustained by other riders over the years I thanked the organiser/host and TEC and said my farewells.  About 70 minutes later I was home.

Overall a very well organised and led ride and my sense was that the day was enjoyed by all.  I will definitely be looking out for more rides with the East Coast Adventure Riders Australia Meetup Group, especially those that aren’t overly technical.  I finished the day with more confidence being able to maintain a better overall speed with less hesitancy in the corners.  Plus I know of some more gravel roads that I will definite revisit on my solo adventure rides in the future.

Check out my Relive video of the ride, including the journey from BrisVegas to and from the meeting and ending locations.

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