Back of the Ranges Ride - 19 January 2020

Event Details

Back of the Ranges Ride - 19 January 2020

Time: January 19, 2020 from 11am to 3:30pm
Location: Lorna Cafe, Ferntree Gully
Street: 1053 Burwood Highway
City/Town: Ferntree Gully
Website or Map: https://goo.gl/maps/mjYQz1yqi…
Phone: 0408833764
Event Type: ride, scenery, social
Organized By: David Atkinson
Latest Activity: Jan 19

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Event Description

Ride Description

For those of you who are around mid-January, this shortish half-day ride through cool green hills to the far side of the Dandenong Ranges will offer a welcome respite from the heat of a Melbourne summer. It is suitable for all scooters and levels of experience. At 125-kms, absolute beginners might consider this to be a longish ride but it is easily doable. The ride will be taken at a leisurely pace so that we can enjoy the beautiful scenery. The route is very different from David’s previous Dandenong Ranges rides. We’ll transverse the range from west to east mostly keeping away from the main tourist routes then wriggle our way through The Patch bypassing busy Emerald before taking a break for lunch near Gembrook. We then travel through the fruit and berry growing district of Wandin East. A longer route home takes us via Coldstream. We then say our goodbyes at Mitcham. If a shorter ride is preferred, we'll finish with a coffee at Mount Evelyn.

Lunch

A picnic lunch at or near Gembrook. See post below.

Post-Preamble

As a teenager in the 1960s, I hated sports days. I never knew what to do with a ball whenever it bounced towards me. I wagged Wednesday afternoon sport once I had been marked off the role and instead took the train home from tech school. With a couple of shillings in my pocket, I would roll my brother’s 1958 Vespa out of the garage and go for a ride. Don’t tell anyone but this was before I was old enough to have a licence. As long as I got back home before mum returned from work, nobody was any the wiser. My favourite destination was the Dandenong Ranges. I remember one particular ride there. It was a chilly winter’s day. Large fluffy white clouds with grey underbellys scudded across the sky producing alternate patterns of bright sunshine, showers and rainbows. The heady sense of exploring the world independent of parents was intoxicating and forever hooked me on Vespas and joy of two-wheel riding. On this ride we will travel along one of the roads I took that day which left me with such a vivid memory. It was dirt then but is now a smooth well-made road. I may just point it out on the day.

Departure Point and Time

Make your own way from the city to our departure point on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, Lorna Cafe, 1053 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully. This means that once underway, we will quickly leave traffic lights behind us. You can either use Burwood Highway or if coming from the south, Ferntree Gully Road to get there. 

We will leave at 11am sharp. The cafe is on a small service road on the lefthand side. Turn left onto the service road at the blue Gateway Shopping Centre sign. By shear coincidence in this g00gle street view image of the sign, there are a couple of club Vespas. Coffee up but no need to eat as lunch is just an hour away. Please arrive with a full tank as there will be no fuel stops on this ride. 

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MEMBER
Comment by Julie Pond on January 19, 2020 at 19:48

Fabulous ride today David, great company, most of us beat the hail and cross winds home bar Les... but it made him feel alive..lol.... hmm wonder if Michael made it back to his vehicle in time.... but anyway it was a great day out...Thank you...


MEMBER
Comment by Julie Pond on January 19, 2020 at 19:01

Fabulous ride today David, great company, most of us beat the hail and cross winds home bar Les... but it made him feel alive..lol.... hmm wonder if Michael made it back to his vehicle in time.... but anyway it was a great day out...Thank you...


MEMBER
Comment by Julie Pond on January 18, 2020 at 19:26

Im back and looking forward to seeing you in the morning...


MEMBER
Comment by David Atkinson on January 18, 2020 at 17:12

Welcome aboard Phil. We will be taking it easy on this ride so hopefully you will enjoy it. David


MEMBER
Comment by Phil Clark on January 18, 2020 at 17:04

Thx David for organising the ride, it is my first club ride and I’m on my “L”s so very much looking forward to the trip. Cheers Phil

Comment by Vespa Club of Melbourne on January 17, 2020 at 18:34

Central Melbourne ride to Ferntree Gully.

A group can meet at Dr Morse Cafe / Victoria Park Station at 274 Johnston St, Abbotsford. Park under the railway bridge. Hopefully Julie is back to ride with us too.

It's a quick bite to eat with a coffee, and then we'll head off at 9 AM.

We'll do the Eastlink Fwy and sit on about 90 kph to accomodate all bikes. Eastlink is a Tollway. Traffic is light at that time so it's an easy cruise. Don't worry, we'll take care of you.

The idea is to get to Lorna Cafe, Ferntree Gully with time to have a chat and more coffee before starting David's ride.


MEMBER
Comment by David Atkinson on January 13, 2020 at 21:21

Picnic Lunch

Hello "Back 'o the Ranges" riders. I think we will go for a picnic lunch. As this will be about an hour after we depart Lorna Cafe, you won't need to eat there. If you forget to pack lunch, the cafe can probably provide something that will travel well. Its likely to be hot so please remember to bring a drink. Pop a plastic bottle of something into the freezer the night before.

I have two location ideas for a picnic. One is JAC Russell Park (top pic) in Gembrook itself. It is green and civilised and perhaps better suited for very hot weather. The other is in a scrubby bush setting with rough picnic tables. It has a rather interesting historical attraction, however.

Kurth Kiln in Beenak forest was built in the early 1940s and was designed to manufacture charcoal. Fuel to make the charcoal was sourced from the trees in the surrounding forest. This charcoal was used to redress the shortage of petroleum during WWII. A device mounted on the back of a car, or pulled along as a trailer, would burn the charcoal and collect the resulting gas. This was then fed to the motor. Cars with "gas producer" units were rather under powered. Rear mounted units could provide a range of around 40-60 miles while trailers provided a greater range. Apparently topping up the charcoal could be a rather dangerous undertaking which led to an explosive release of heat and many a singed eyebrow.


MEMBER
Comment by Julie Pond on January 13, 2020 at 21:06

Sounds like a plan David, perhaps I might even do it on this little beauty.


MEMBER
Comment by David Atkinson on January 13, 2020 at 20:50

Hi Julie. Great if you can make it back in time. However you have a lot to deal with at the moment so if not we'll do the ride again just you and me shortly after you retire :-)


MEMBER
Comment by Julie Pond on January 13, 2020 at 18:10

David, you always make your rides sound so romantic.  I am hoping to be back from Nhill in time to enjoy this ride on Sunday.  How funny that the Maphildas got caught on Google...LOL...

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