Today was a pretty decent day, as they go. A few people from Security
Architecture - Nick (Honda Spada), Anna (Suzuki RGV 250), and I
(Kawasaki ZZR250) - went out for a ride with a bunch of friends: Rohan
(Suzuki RGV250), Shane (Kawasaki GPX250), Glen (Kawasaki ZX9R) and Gerry
(brand-spanking-new Honda VTR 1000 with 869 km on the odometer),
from various other places.

The plan was to ride from the McDonald's at Mitcham out to Warburton,
then do the Reefton Spur run, go out to Marysville and then back to
Melbourne. Nick, Gerry and I met up at the Maccas, where we received
word from Anna that she and Rohan had just taken her RGV out for a test
ride (after some repairs) and it all seemed OK, so they were going to
throw their bikes into Rohan's trailer and drive out to Warburton.

(Side note: Rohan hates riding in traffic, so he tends to just load his
bike into a trailer, drive the boring stretches along the freeway whilst
listening to the radio, then whip the bike out of the trailer once he
gets to the interesting bits of road.)

After arranging to meet Shane et al there as well, the three of us
jumped onto our bikes and headed out in that direction. On the way,
Gerry decided he needed to stop for some petrol, so we pulled in at a
little servo in Seville. Flipping up visors and removing helmets, the
first thing we all noticed was this amazing smell of sausages. Looking
around, we saw two women running a fund-raising stall in front of the
local butcher shop (for their children's primary school or something).
Whilst we were congregating in front of the stall, Shane and Glen rode
by. Nick flagged them down, and without further encouragement we all
promptly bought and ate the rest of the sausages for sale. Yum

The next stop was a small bakery in Warburton, where Rohan and Anna were
eating a late breakfast (1pm or so by now). We arranged to meet them a
bit further up the road so that they could unload their bikes. We also
ran into two South Africans who had both just moved to Australia. They
were hanging around the bakery, and when we all rocked up they asked us
where all the decent roads were. We suggested that they just ride with
us, which seemed to sound pretty good to them. I can't remember the
first guy's name, but the other was called Euclid. They were riding a
beautiful, shiny Yamaha R1 and a Kaqasaki ZZR1200 respectively.

And off we went... About ten minutes up the road, sure enough, were
Rohan and Anna - and the distinctive smell of two-stroke oil from their
bikes warming up. Just as we were about to leave, I spotted a nail in
Euclid's mate's rear tyre. Bugger. That ended their day then and there,
and they slowly limped off home. Back to the original seven of us, we
set off for Reefton, warming up the tyres for a thrash through the
twisties ahead.

Unfortunately, while we were waiting for the two-strokes to warm up, we
were passed by an ambulance travelling towards Reefton. After a few
minutes of riding, we came to the intersection that started the Reefton
Spur section of the road, and it was closed by a Country Fire Authority
fire truck. The ambulance we'd seen was going off to collect an injured
motorcyclist who had collided with a 4WD. One other motorcyclist had
already died in the accident - apparently the 4WD had hit the leading
two riders in a group of five, killing one and injuring the other. There
was a helicoptor sitting at the intersection - the closest patch of
ground where it could be put down - waiting for the ambulance to return
with the injured rider. Not good. We can't even presume that it was the
fault of the 4WD driver, either - there are plenty of stupid
motorcyclists in this part of the world. The difference, however, is
that if the bikers were being stupid, it's suicide - whereas if the 4WD
was on the wrong side of the road, knowing the damage they can do, it
was murder.

After waiting around for a while, we saw the ambulance return with the
injured rider, who was then loaded into the helicoptor and airlifted
back to a nearby hospital. The road was completely closed though, so we
decided to turn around. Nick and Gerry were in a hurry to get home by
now, as the delay had taken a pretty large chunk out of the day, so they
bailed back to Melbourne. The rest of us decided we'd make a short trip
to the summit of Mt Donna Buang before heading home. There are a lookout
and a BBQ area at the summit, of which we should probably take advantage
sometime in the future. After our detour to the summit, we stopped in
briefly at the bakery to split off from Anna and Rohan, who were loading
their bikes back into the trailer.

The ride home was pretty uneventful - everyone was a little tired and
subdued after seeing the results of that accident. It took the shine off
what would otherwise have been a lovely day.