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It was a dark and moonless night, the brigands sat around the fire. Said one,“Mario, tell us a tale”. So Mario began. “It was a dark and moonless night, the brigands sat arouWe apologise. The person who wrote this has been sacked! Here is the real report, written and edited by Larry theLlama.

It was a bright and cloudless day, the riders stood around their bikes talking crap as usual. Said one, “Who’s the bloody Ride Leader and where are we going?” So Louise began. ……..

“I’m leading today because Ian can’t make it. We’re stopping in Laidley for smoko at the Eagle Rock Café and going to Toogoolawah for lunch. Blip is Tail-end Charlie. Follow me and you won’t get into any trouble”.

How spooky it is to write those words knowing how the day actually panned out.

Things started out well enough with only a couple of detours to negotiate, but just as everything had settled into a smooth routine the eagle-eyed Blip spotted a bike turning opposite to our ride direction. Blip being Blip he rocketed off after it like a New Zealand farmer who’s just seen his favourite sheep! (Twiggy our resident Kiwi-o-phile is a confirmed paddock-basher who says he knows the feeling well).

Sadly, by the time Blip realised the rider was not one of ours a shirt-load of corner-markers were sweltering in the sun, waiting for a Tail-end Charlie who was by then half-way back to Brisbane. Ever helpful, Spicky donned a yellowvest but even so confusion reigned as we headed into Laidley and linked up with Steve and Rosie.

The next bit of misfortune happened after we parked up in the town. Remember the Eagle Rock Café with its Elvis and other period memorabilia, its menus on old records and its 1950s “milk-bar” look? Sadly, the floods have reduced it to an empty shell. Hopefully the owners can recover but on this Sunday the hot bread shop a few doors up did a roaring trade for fifteen minutes.

A few words must be said here about Rob (Eighty-Six) and Lyn, who took “Drums” on the ride in the form of a large photo on the wing-screen. As a final tribute and in accordance with “Drum’s” wishes Rob also took him on the March 27 mid-week ride, something “Drums” had expressed a desire to do but could not. Very nice work folks.

Back to the ride. It was getting really warm as we kitted up and left Laidley but only moments later we were getting our gear off again as the ride-leader took us to view the beauty of a nearby artificial lake. One outspoken member’s opinion of this surprise stop was not clearly heard but it sounded something like, “Clucking Bell”, a view which earned him amild rebuke from the ride-leader who had expected him to be overwhelmed by the serenity and tranquillity of the place.

Not much could go wrong between Esk and Toogoolawah could it? According to Blip the road was good and, “there are no coppers on it, you can go for your life”. A word of caution here!  If Blip says a road is good it may be, but it may also be dirt, mud, loose gravel or a mix of all three. If Blip says there are no coppers for miles he may be correct but there may also be police at five-hundred metre intervals. Bottom line? Take Blip’s advice with a massive dose of salt.

Long story short, the sight of flashing blue/redlights coming up behind them caused a heap of guilt-ridden riders to back off the throttle but only yours truly and a ride leader who shall remain nameless were pinged at a tiny fraction over the posted speed limit. Happily the police officer could see that we were upstanding, law-abiding members of the community who had simply fallen in with a rough crowd, so having satisfied himself that our BAC was ok he suggested we ‘slowdown’ then went on his way.

But what this delay meant was that the Ride-Leader effectively became the Tail-end Charlie, arriving at the Toogoolawah Hotel behind Blip! Has this ever happened before or did we just establish a Ulysses “first”?

Anyone who’s eaten at the Hotel knows the meals are huge and Sunday’s feed was no exception - tables and stomach’s groaning. After allowing an interval for discussion, digestion and rehydration the ride re-fuelled before separating for the return trip. Some chose the highway others the ride over Mount Glorious where several stopped for coffee while the rest pressed on. The big storm broke that night but by then we were all safe and sound at home.

In summary it was a great ride well-led and very well supported by sixteen riders(almost half on “Wings”), several two-ups and just enough things going wonky to make the day a memorable one.


Car54 Larry the Llama

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