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Ride to Bulga via Putty Road

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

One of the great things about being involved in a HOG® Chapter other than riding a Harley-Davidson® with mates is having the the opportunity to pitch in and help out to make riding fun for other riders.  As a very regular Harley-Davidson rider, who fortunately only shows bad sense in smaller groups, I recently had the opportunity to become a Road Captain and today I officially led my first ride.  Funnily enough with my favourite Iron Butt riding mate @officerhardass taking up the rear (ouch) RC position.

The final destination for the ride today was the Cockfighters Tavern, Bulga and we were to leave the regular meeting place at 9.30am.  How we got to Bulga or spent our time in between was pretty much up to me. To prepare for the ride last Monday I rode some possible routes one of which included Paynes Crossing between Wollombi and Broke that I dissmissed quick smart.  I couldn't decide between two routes, one a dead easy foray down the freeway before turning back at Freeman's Waterhole towards Cessnock (104k's). The other, a clear winner for JP and I, the back way to Cessnock, through Mulbring, the vineyards and out to the Putty to head south for a quick stop a the Half Way House to admire the metal sculptures and back throught the bends to Bulga. I decided to let the group decide based on numbers, experience and preference.

The weather was perfect and after after a quick look thorugh the 12-15 members that turned up, the decision was a resounding "Putty Ride".  So off we went.  Once we grouped up after the busy roundabout at John Renshaw Drive we actually managed to stay as one group all the way to the Putty Road, even managing to negotiate the main street of Cessnock and the quick left and right contolled by lights onto Allandale Road.

A scenic trip through the vineyards, up Milbrodale Road and then left towards the in/famous bends.  I've ridden this road many times on my Harley-Davidson and other bikes, acknowledging and accepting the dangers it can present from oncoming traffic, lunatics on Jap bikes overtaking on double yellows on the wrong side of the road around blind corners etc. So out front I kept a steady, very legal pace and the group as you'd expect started to spread out behind with the riders keeping within their limits.  I arrived at the Wo Man at the Halfway House with six or so bikes right behind me and the rest trickled in with trusty JP bringing up the rear.  I kept an eye on the faces as the helmets came off and was pleased that everyone was smiling, even the pillion whose only complaint was a sore butt after the 140 or so k's to there! I laughed at that, having reminded her that one of the last times I saw her being a pillion was between My Isa and Hughenden in Queensland after about 10 days on the road. She's tougher than that!

We chatted, as you do, and I was actually quite surprised to find out that some of the group, even one's I've ridden long distances with, had never done this part of the Putty before. There was some sensible discussion about changing the order of riders for the trip back through the to the Cockfighters Tavern and after a quick drink and break we were heading north to the end of the official ride.

Lunch a the Cockfighters was really good, albeit a touch slow, and most of the group weren't in a hurry to get away which was nice.  Some decided to return via Mt Thorley and the New England, @officerhardass and I were heading back the way we came to Cessnock and then the boring but more direct route back to the Freeway.  We were followed by a couple of the others who turned off along the way.

All in all a great day out and I was particularly pleased it was incident free and the day followed the number 1 HOG rule. Ride and have fun.  As the Road Captain, the ride went like clockwork. A great group, no incidents (mechanical or otherwise) perfect weather, great roads. I'm looking forward to another one in a couple of months.


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October 2022