WITH THE forecast of rain, the number of bikes on the Poker Run was considerably lower than expected. We waited a bit longer than usual at the start in case any stragglers showed up. Many people should’ve gotten out of bed early instead of listening to the pervious night’s weather forecast; many of whom needed to go to Bunnings to buy a bag of concrete. We all waited patiently in the carpark of the Narrigon Inn in Armidale.
The next problem, two police cars arrived advising that they had a complaint about us being in the beer garden and requesting that we move on. After a discussion with them, confirming that we had permission from the Hotel Manager, and also that the East Metropolitan Police Department had been advised of the route, times and rough numbers attending our ride, they left us in peace to continue with the registering.
Surprisingly we had 90 register, plus a few who dropped by to donate their $15. A few regular riders registered but did not do the ride with us.
We departed the Narrigon Inn late but the weather had cleared and it was quite pleasant.
We rode over Wungong Dam, then though Canning Dam stopping at the Rock Inne Tavern, Karragullen, where they had a free breakfast organised for us, plus a bottle of sprints donated to raffle; 77 bikes arrived to draw their second card.
We then rode though Pickering Brook, Mundaring Weir, Mount Helena, Chidlow, and Wooroloo stopping at Bakers Hill Tavern where we drew the third card.
The Tavern also donated a bottle of spirits to raffle. Luckily we had advised them in advance that we were coming so we were well catered for. They even donated $100 to our cause.
The next leg was to Grass Valley Tavern where they had a BBQ organised. We were well looked after and another bottle of spirits donated to raffle; we drew the fourth card at this point.
Then final leg took us to York’s Saint’s Diner. Simon always looks after bike riders and appreciates the business. He also donated two $50 vouchers to raffle. The final card was drawn and Bugs won the $500 for the Best Hand.
People started to drift off, from about 1600 hrs. It started to rain soon after, consequently, we rode home in the rain, but after such an enjoyable, successful day, I don’t think anyone minded. It was an unpleasant 120 km ride home in the rain but it didn’t dampen anybody’s spirits.
I’d like to thank Gonzo for stopping in his 4WD to help me fix the charging system on my Ozbike bagger. Gonzo was driving because he had a small accident on the UMC Poker Run and his bike was off the road—good on ya, mate, that’s what these rides are about—MATESHIP.
Words by Patriots & Gazza; pics by Gazza