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With the promise of great weather and three days of enjoyable riding, thirteen riders (Mark, Bruce, Alan F, Keith, John B, Ray S, Tony & Sally, Ray “Gump”, Darryl, Graham, Carolyn and I  met at Ginger's Roadhouse in the Swan Valley for the start of our Dongara Ride.

With little breeze and plenty of sunshine it was very pleasant as we worked our way along the highway to Bindoon before turning north for Moora. Recent rains had certainly helped with both the feed and crops in the paddocks and the Canola was also starting to flower. We had a leg stretch at Mucumber before coming into Moora for our morning tea stop. It must have been a very relaxed morning tea because on leaving Moora we failed to corner mark the first corner which saw three riders head back towards Perth. Fortunately the Triton VStrom (with the big top box) was on the job and rounded up the riders and got them going in the right direction.

 

We were soon on the Brandt Highway and looking at the great views as we rode down into Jurien Bay. After fuelling the bikes and the riders at the pub where we met up with Norm and Lois from Dongara, we headed off to see Ian’s Vincent collection.

 

While some of us had seen the bike collection before I don’t think any of us were prepared for what Ian had produced to house his Vincents. The display area for the motorcycles has been designed as an integral part of the house with a long raised passage way separating the two areas. However the right hand side has no wall, only pillars which gives an almost uninterrupted view of the collection as you walk through the house. One can only imagine the feeling of waking up in the morning, exiting your bedroom and then trying to decide, “which bike will I ride today” Ian also took the covers off his new coffee machine which was on the kitchen bench! The “Vincentccino” is a recently rebuilt 1200cc Vincent engine and Ian was trying to convince the ladies he was turning it into a coffee machine!

After thanking Ian for his time and making a small presentation of a club hat and taking some photo’s we headed off to Dongara. This turned out to be a brisk ride with the breeze picking up as we got closer to Dongara. After booking in to the caravan park we headed for our digs and some R&R. Dinner was at the pub with the Triton VStrom acting as the shuttle bus, amazing how many large people can fit in the top box! Food was great at the pub and after the normal chit chat it was back to our digs.

 

Saturday was a very casual start with people having breakfast at various venues then meeting back at the caravan park for our 10.00am departure. Ray “Gump” however had to make a dash into Geraldton to replace a rear tyre that had gone off but made it back to Dongara for the start of the ride. The day’s ride was being led by our Dongara friends Norm and Lois on their Goldwing. We headed east out of town towards Mingenew for a leg stretch and fuel. Then we proceeded north and east on the Allan////// road which brought us around to the wind farm where we stopped for photos. Then onto Walkabout and Greenough Hamlet for lunch. We had our only table out the back that Norm and Lois had organised and along with the good food we had a very enjoyable couple of hours just talking, enjoying the sunshine, the gentle breeze and great company. We made a small presentation to Lois and Norm to help celebrate Lois’ recent 70th birthday and for organising Saturday’s ride. After lunch we were lead on a loop of approximately  85km’s including the Narngallu and Narra Tarra Rd’s and the picturesque Chapman Valley before coming back onto the highway just north of Geraldton. It was a very enjoyable and scenic ride showcasing country we don’t see too much of on our usual rides down south.

Afternoon tea was at the Macca’s on the outskirts of Geraldton, here we also bid farewell to Norm and Lois who were heading into Geraldton to see the family. The weather continued to please as we worked our way back to Dongara and the caravan park.

 

Only in Dongara- We pulled into the drive through at the pub and in front of us was a guy on a horse buying a can of Rum & Coke! Later that evening as we sat in the restaurant the same guy on the horse rode past and out of town!

 

Dinner that night was at the local Vietnamese restaurant which turned out to be a good choice. A couple of Fremantle supporters stayed back to watch the football (Keith and Alan) but considering the outcome they would have had more fun with us! The Triton VStrom was again pressed into bus duty and we all made it home at a reasonable hour.

 

 Sunday morning was again almost perfect with blue skies and very little breeze. Breakfast was at the BP Roadhouse Cafe and Bruce got us off to a rousing start when he found out that the girl in the servo was having a birthday. He got us all into the servo and we sang “Happy Birthday”! A few riders had left early to get back to Perth with a smaller core leaving Dongara at 8.00am for the trip home. Morning tea was at Jurien Bay with a quick early lunch stop at Lancelin before the group dispersed and headed for home.

 

Many thanks to the ride leaders Tony and Sally, Norm and Lois and John B for their efforts and all participants on the ride for being such good company over the three days.   

 

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