Our July ride was shaping up to be one reminiscent to a couple of years ago at Congelin Dam - very cold. With an estimated forecast of minus 1 degree for Sunday morning and a very chilly start, eight riders and one pillion headed of like ships in the desert towards our ‘Midnight in the Oasis” - being The Oasis Hotel in Harrismith.
We rode through Gidgegannup before making a detour towards Chidlow and the Lakes via some back roads which took the city straight out of you. It's amazing that you can be on the fringe of the city and it seems like you’re a million miles away; there are some great hidden back roads out there and so close to home. Avoiding the usual routes and the traffic we took the Talbot West Rd out to Beverley.
This road is amazing, cutting through national park and farmlands all the way to Beverley. The road is in unbelievably good condition and hardly a vehicle was sighted. It’s like a forgotten road and well worth the ride. Heading into Beverley we were amazed by the acres of canola crops, which were seas of yellow and at least a metre high. Along with the granite outcrops, lush green farmlands and landscape it was truly an amazing spectacle. Pulling into Beverley was our first stop for morning tea. We had three cafes to choose from and decided on the middle one as it had a nice log fire going. After warming our bones and feeding our faces it was now time for a quick squirt up to Brookton for our scheduled fuel stop.
Leaving Brookton and onto Corrigin for lunch at the Corrigin Hotel we came across a vehicle accident being attended to, which had us baffled how it happened in the first place. At the Hotel we were greeted by a barmaid with more tattoos than me and quickly ordered our meals. The fire in the main bar was a ripper and I spent several moments there warming up - the outside temperature was certainly not getting any warmer. A quick refuel for the big bikes and we were off towards Harrismith.
The day was getting darker and the clouds were looking very rainy as we rode through Kondinin and on towards Kulin where we encountered our first half descent bit of rain for the day. I could see the front in the distance and thought we may be bypassing it, until a big sweeper of a bend took us straight into it. Luckily we only caught the outside and it was over quite quickly. Heading into Kulin we pulled into the Kulin Hotel for another round of the log fire before heading off to our final destination at Harrismith.
On arrival we were greeted by Andy and Chris who had ridden straight from Roelands. They were braving the predicted freezing night in the trailer camper; I believe a fan heater was also brought along for the night. We all booked in, sorted out our rooms, had nice warming rum around the fire and headed off to camp to check out our accommodation. I was sharing a room with the new VP, Clive. All the rooms had heating and ours was quickly set to thirty degrees. A quick committee meeting was held and then it was time to don our Arabic attire for our “Midnight at the Oasis” theme night and head down to the Oasis for dinner.
There were some fantastic and very funny costumes which had the locals rolling eyes and having a good laugh. We were very well received and no shots were fired. Bacon was pretty much the staple for our meals. Dave was a cross between an octopus and an airbag going off! We had Tom the bearded lady aka “The Brow”, belly dancers and a guest appearance by Saint Joseph.
Sunday morning was pretty crisp. I stuck my head out from my 20 degree room and copped a slight chill. It didn’t seem too bad at 8 am. Our bikes were iced over and Tom reckoned walking around earlier in shorts and a t-shirt was not a good idea. Breakfast was a cooked one from the hotel with an all you can eat menu, complete with more bacon. On departure, Dave lost his glasses in his top pocket and set us off home whilst he tried to recover them. He turned the whole room upside down looking for them.
Riding home was extremely chilly and soon blew out the cobwebs. A quick dash for the toilets at Pingelly was called for as bladders and things get moving rapidly at these temperatures. From here it was a refuel stop at Brookton, along with a coffee before rugging up, saying our farewells and hitting the Brookton highway for home.
Little did we know that approximately 10 km out of Karragullen we would all be on the side of the road for 3 hours waiting for another vehicle accident to be cleared. This one was a nasty one with 4 people in a rollover. The rescue chopper landed on the Brookton Highway to take 2 of the injured directly to hospital. The other 2 were ambulanced out. The emergency services people did a fantastic job and finally all was cleared and we could get on our way.
All up I think it was a great weekend away. Sometimes these overnighters kick it up a gear and just seem to flow with merriment and good times. Come along and try one - they are great fun and always a good ride. Thanks everyone for their efforts, funny costumes and for joining me, Clyde and Raelene, Andy and Chris, Dennis and Karen, Tom, Rick, Dave and Clive.
Having existed for over 11 years now, the Vulcan Riders Association of Western Australia (VRAWA), is a socially oriented mixed club for owner riders of Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycles. The VRAWA’s parent group is known as the Vulcan Riders Association International (VRAI), with more than 10,000 members overall. The VRAI overlooks subsidiaries in 26 countries across the world and hosts multiple international rallies each year. The VRAWA are hosting a West Coast Rally in March 2017 and have received approval to host the World Rally for Vulcan riders in 2019.
If you wish to find out more about the VRAWA and their upcoming events, please visit their website at http://www.vulcanridersassociationwa.com/
Photo credits: Raelene, Chris, Fitzy, Rick, Dennis.