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Metal Migration

Date:
By Wom Battle

At 6am the morning in Port Macquarie was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and a brisk 8k walk to Flynns Beach and back was on the cards to get the legs ready for today's ride to "The pub with no beer". 8am walking back in rain and thunder dampened the "let's ride" spirit significantly.  Luckily, as quickly as the rain came, it went and after a slow breakfast the Road King, my son and I made it to the gathering place just as the HOG's were firing up their steeds.  The hundred strong metal migration to Taylors Arm had begun!

The road was still damp (love my screen) but we all got away quite nicely and we headed north through Kempsey towards Macksville.  North of Kempsey there was amply evidence of the recent flooding, in some areas it was quite startling to look up from the highway and see grass hanging off fencing wire and washed away levees.  

At Macksville we turned left and hit some scenic, but fairly crappy, country road leading to the hamlet of Taylors Arm, home to the Pub with No Beer immortalised by country and western legend Slim Dusty. The pub was expecting us and put on a soup, curry and roast buffet.  Live music of both kinds, country and western, was provided and the theme tune of the pub was given a fitting round of applause.

Lots of chapter photos were taken, my son and I keen to be included in ours.  It was interesting watching the mix of people in the three or four chapters represented in the photo shoot and my light hearted suggestion for a new TV Show, The Biggest Loser: HOG Chapter Challenge was met with general disapproval :-d

It really was a nice day, sun, good food, good music and a fun atmosphere but the time came to leave.  Roy P and I decided to make our own way back and take it nice and easy rather than ride in a group. That worked well for us until a few k's south of Kempsey where one of the returning Chapters loomed upon us from behind.  At the time Roy was in front of me not one bit enjoying being ad hoc "Road Captain Roy" to the roaring mob behind.  My son turned and took some photos of them while we were caught in a single lane.

Roy wasn't in a yielding mood and neither of us particularly wanted to allow ourselves to get stuck behind traffic to let the chapter past so when an overtaking lane presented itself out we went to pass some slower vehicles and then ducked back into the left lane to see what happened.  The first time there wasn't enough room for the head of the snaking line of riders to pass. The second similar opportunity saw the Road Captain and another pass Roy before merging was a must and we found ourselves swallowed up by the group, uncomfortably close to the front, with Roy two or three bikes ahead of me.

The group didn't fill around us, not sure why, but we knew what we were doing so we were pretty care factor zero at that stage.  Clearly though, there were a few behind Roy that didn't want to be there and they pushed past at the first opportunity.  A line on the right in front slid forward then filled in around Roy. I am aware that some Chapters fill by changing sides, some slide forward to fill a gap.  Our chapter switches, but given I just saw sliding in front I waved through the bike behind on my right and was passed with an acknowledging wave.

We remained impregnated into the "foreign" chapter all the way back to Port Macquarie.  It was quite fun, the group had a different feel to our local chapter, almost more "aggressive", but disciplined and safe.

Roy and I later had a few laughs and agreed it was close to a "shitting oneself" feeling being run down and swallowed up by a HOG Chapter, but also elements of "quite a laugh" being a no choice Road Captain for a moment at least.

See the Ride Map for the whole weekend.

K's travelled: 257

 

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December 2017
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