Years ago, and for quite a few years, we used to have a “Winter Solstice Motorcycle Ride”. They were also a “Mick’s Mystery Ride”. The format was that on the weekend closest to the Winter Solstice a group of friends would go for a motorcycle ride. No one other than us would know the route. We would end up somewhere for a roast of the day pub counter lunch, athough it was becoming increasingly difficult to actually find a pub that still did a roast lunch. The numbers attending varied from about three to about a dozen bikes. The rules were that you couldn’t pike out regardless of the weather, and we did ride through some snow one year. Anyway, this hasn’t taken place for quite some time.
On Wednesday evening, being the shortest day of the year, we had a phone call from one of our mates that used to go on those rides. He said he was thinking of us and remembering the great rides we used to have at this time of year. “Well”, we said, “Why don’t we go this weekend?” So yesterday we did. It wasn’t a mystery this time, just a good excuse to get a bike out and use it.
There were just the two bikes and we decided to ride out to the historic gold mining village of Hill End for a pie at the little tea rooms. Generally, we seem to ride out via the Turondale Road and return home via Sofala. This time we did it in reverse.
I always try to take a photo of the pretty bridge at Wallaby Rocks, near Sofala.
It’s quite a windy road on the way out. Mind you, it is so much better than it was until fairly recently, when it was finally sealed. Sadly, some of the road surface was in a poor state of repair, but I think that is pretty much the case with many roads, right up the eastern side of Australia, after all the rain over the last twelve months or so.
We arrived at Hill End just in time for an early lunch.
The tea rooms are only open on weekends.
We were surprised to see that it was fairly quiet for a change.
Lunch was just a simple pie. I had honey mustard chicken, Mick had lamb and rosemary and our mate had beef and mushroom. They were all delicious. We then followed those up with blackberry and apple pie for pudding. Somewhat decadent and filling.
It was rather pleasant sitting in the sunshine. We were very fortunate with the weather, as it was the best day we have had for some time. We were rugged up, but quite snug.
The property has a flock of rather pretty chooks.
We had to have a quick ride around the village before heading home. The whole village was rather quiet. I’m sure that will change next weekend, when school holidays start. It is always very busy at those times. Not the best photos, as they were just snapped as we rode past.
I was very surprised to see some daffodils already starting to bloom. Ours are barely out of the ground.We called in at our favourite little lookout, as usual.
Snubby, the silver sidecar was our bike of choice for this ride. Well, my choice, as I could wrap myself up in the picnic rug and stay nice and warm. I was wondering when I was last in Snubby and thought it would possibly be a couple of years. Well, it turns out it was back in March 2020, and funnily enough, it was a ride to Hill End, just as COVID 19 was starting to ramp up. You can read about it here. I think Mick has been for one ride on her since then. The poor girl will be feeling rather neglected.
Let’s hope it isn’t that long before we go for another ride on her.