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Motorcycles Crash

By Wom Battle

Fortunately though, today it wasn't mine. And more fortunately no-one was seriously injured.

I learnt only a couple of weeks ago while leafing through a Harley magazine, about the concept of "Iron Butts" which essentially means riding long distances and getting a sore arse (or not) as the case may be. As a  result the local HOG chapter's Iron Butt ride that was on today now made sense. Given we rode about 440k's per day last weekend, I was up for the challenge and decided to go.  My son was also very keen to test the hardness of his will as well.

An 8am start at the meeting point, the destination, a big loop through Denman, Ryleston, Lithgow, Bells Liner Road, back through Windsor, Sydney and down the freeway home.  OK, probably a little further than I expected, but we we up for it!  A cloudy, coolish start for the day, a bit of wind about but pleasant enough.  Six of us left, one left the group before the first stop at Denman so five of us stopped for a refuel and quick chat before heading off to Ryleston/Kandos for the next stop.  The smaller group worked well for me at that point.  It gave me the opportunity to properly meet and chat to some of the HOG's that I had seen but never really got the opportunity to meet.

The Road Captain WC clearly been a long way on his Herigate Softail, E on his street glide, relatively new to Harley's but no to motorcycles, C on his Deluxe, a rleative newcomer to motorcycling on his first Harley a Deluxe and S a veteran Harley rider 100,000 miles plus on his Electra Glide. A good bunch of "blokes".

The ride from Denman to Kandos through Ryleston was extremely pretty with a mixture of open road and sweeping bends with a smattering of tight mountain corners.  The bends weren't very well signposted and the first 25k corner caught me by surprise, a huge amount of space on the road to get larger vehicles around, my line followed it but I found myself on the dirt shoulder on the exit of the corner when the extra space just disappeared.  How embarrassing, that wasn't happening again today.

We stopped at the Mountain View Bakery in Kandos for a bit to eat and then headed off towards Lithgow, keeping the same order we'd used to that time, The Road Captain, me, E, C and S.  We wound our way up Bylong Valley Way, which seems a popular biking road because of the number of motorcycles heading the other way.  We got a bit ahead of the last two in the group heading up the hill, that wasn't unusual for the day but after a little while without them in the mirrors, WC slowed us down and then we stopped to wait, with the obvious fears going through our minds. A few minutes later we headed back down the hill and rounded a bend to see the Deluxe and the Electra Glide on their sides in a ditch with C laying behind his bike and S standing nearby talking to a kind motorist who had stopped to help. S was walking, but obviously had a painful right leg, C was holding his ribs, was clearly in pain but seemd OK. The damage to the bikes was also not too serious.

An ambulance took the bruised bikers to the local hospital at Ryleston and with the assistance of an extremely helpful local boy in blue WC and I were able to ride the damaged machines back to a nearby service station for storage and got a lift back to our bikes and the other members of the party.  We went to the hospital and it became apparent that the boys were most likely not being admitted but were going to spend the night locally. WC had organised a recovery mission the next day to pick up both riders and their bikes to bring them home tomorrow. 

Because of the time involved in getting things organised we decided to head home the way we came rather than continue the loop. We knew we were going to end the ride back in the dark so we decided that with a full tank of fuel on board already we were going to do the trip back non stop.

Riding back I noticed that corners were taken more gingerly, I guess being close to the occasional realities of motorcycling gives you the opportunity to evaluate your riding style and the risks involved in riding.  The risks are certainly worth it, and my son, who saw his first accident up close,  agreed.

So despite the unfortunate events of the day, the ride back was actually very pretty and quite fun. WC led a sedate but firm pace back and in all the 270 or so kilometres we covered in the one stint straight home turned out to be the longest ride without a stop to date.


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May 2023