SR500 Club Ride ’round Tasmania, 9-18 March, 2007
By Karen Cuthbert
The inaugural SR500 Club tour of Tassie attracted a great group of participants. Special mention must be made of Catherine and Lisa who rode fully loaded from Canberra to Melbourne, and Kerry and Carol, and Mark who travelled from Newcastle and Sydney to meet the ferry to Tassie.
Day 1: Everyone arrived in Devonport to travel to Picnic Point (north of Launceston) for a welcome BBQ put on by the local SR500 Club members, and tour of the local sights. Overall the fleet of SRs proved very reliable. Catherine broke a throttle cable on the trip down to Launceston, but this was easily fixed by the ever-resourceful Charlie, who had a spare back at his place. On arrival at Jill’s in Launceston, a puncture repair was required on Andrea’s SR250. Col and Gaz got to work and we were soon set for the next day’s adventure.
Day 2: We charged off for Weldsborough via Scottsdale. 60 km into the ride and Jeff flagged us down at a bakery for a scallop pie fix. On to Weldsborough and a great night’s camping next to the pub.
Day 3: Up and into it as far as St Helens, until Jeff calls a halt at St Helens for another pie. All the bikers except Charlie headed off to Bicheno via Elephant Pass. This road is bike heaven. Unfortunately, Charlie chose a short cut down the coast and collected a stray flock of sheep, killing two in the process and trowelling his SR big-time. Tough bastard that he is, he survived with a bit of a limp and completed the trip with Jill in ‘Bertha’, the backup campervan. Grief counselling for Craig, our Kiwi Vice President, was held at the bakery in Bicheno. Eventually, we all ended up in Ross for our designated camping spot. Andrea had copped another flat on the SR250, so Col and Gaz dutifully went to work to fix it. A few beers later, one thing led to another and we lost some crucial parts of the back wheel in the Ross River while testing for leaks. After cannibalizing Charlie’s bike for parts, we got the SR250 back together and we were off to Richmond.
Day 4: Left Richmond for a fairly long trip to Strahan. Highlight of the day for us was at Ouze where Col, Andrea, Jeff, Kaz and Gaz met our long lost relos Daryl, Daryl, Daryl and his brother Daryl in the pub at lunchtime. We had stumbled upon the real Tasmania! The 2nd breakdown of the mighty fleet of SRs occurred just before Derwent Bridge when Gaz’s and Kaz’s SR snapped an aftermarket oil feed line. A quick fix with a bit of fuel line and they were off again. Rain occurred for the first time of the trip and made life interesting on the glorious trip from Queenstown to Strahan. Tassie is bike riding heaven on a stick! Breakdown #3 occurred when Craig’s SR would not start in the main street of Strahan, after a day in the rain. A quick tow behind Andrea’s 250 and we were back at the campground safe and sound. It kept raining.
Day 5: Craig’s bike was quickly fixed by a bit of WD40 sprayed into the kill switch, and we headed off into the pissing rain to Wynyard. After lunch the rain eased off and a pleasant afternoon was had by all.
Day 6: Leaving Wynyard for a bit of a tour back to Devonport, Andrea had a big get-off on the mighty SR250. With a couple of smashed ribs, she showed tremendous fortitude to ride 30 km to get to the ferry on time. After a bit of sweet-talking, she was given a cabin for four for the boat ride back to Melbourne.
Day 7: After breakfast and fond farewells, Kerry, Mark, Lisa and Catherine head off for the ride home to ACT/NSW. Everyone makes it home without incident.
A fantastic trip was had by all. Special thanks to Jill Stewart and Charlie Elmslie (SR500 rally regulars and instigators of the trip) for all their support and opening up their homes to us all.
Vice President Craig Lemon and Gaz and Kaz are in the planning stages for a similar trip to New Zealand, so stay tuned for details.
|Charlie Elmslie & Jill Stewart||SR500|
|Gary & Karen Cuthbert||SR500|
|Andrea Cameron & Colin Warner||SR250|
|Mark O’Neill & Michelle Taylor||Kawasaki ER6-n|
|Matthew Vellere||Suzuki GSXR600|
|Jeff Gillman||Suzuki RF600|
|Kerrigan & Carol O’Neill||Suzuki 1100|
|Lisa Reeding||Yamaha 600|
|Kim Pitman||Virago 250|
|Glenn Pitman||Harley Davidson Heritage|