Monthly Archives: July 2012

Captain’s Flat Revisited

I can’t remember exactly when it was that we did our little Sunday day-trip to Captain’s Flat but I do remember that we thought it would be an ideal destination for a mid-Winter run with the Swarm. Nikki and a few others had raised the topic on the club’s forum and at a meeting and our figure head, Swarmleader Bill, ran with it and made the arrangements.

We gathered at Motorini quickly turning Michael’s workshop from a serene place of maintenance zen into a frenetic chook shed. We all ran about checking tyre pressures and tweaking this and that. Nikki jumped on the espresso machine and made sure everyone was well and truly pepped up for the cold ride ahead. Nico couldn’t leave with main group as he had to wait for some interstate customers to show up. The rest of us, however, mucked in with the traffic and headed east to Queanbeyan.

Unfortunately, Bill’s usually reliable Rally 200 didn’t make it out of the ACT without a quick roadside repair. It seems that his very technical blu-tac spark plug retaining system had failed him and would need some minor  action. With this sorted, the group buzzed through to Queanbeyan and beyond.

Turning south from the King’s Highway shortly after Queanbeyan, the Swarm were now rattling along the stretch to Captain’s Flat. The two Nikkis (Nikki and Nicky) were in front of me and I could see them gesturing towards Bill’s Rally. It was then I spotted his number plate hanging precariously by one bolt. The plate flew off on a sweeping right-hander and those following quickly pulled off to retrieve it. Nikki went for a little run back up the road to make the grab while Bill, accompanied by Steve, sped off oblivious to what had happened. Several kilometres later, we came across Bill and Steve waiting for us and wondering where we’d got to. Nikki brought Bill up to speed and the tools came out again.

Bill’s Roadside Scooter Servizio

Some creative action was taken here including some clever use of a scrap of fencing wire and the redistribution of the failed spark plug blu-tac. Thankfully, we only had about 10km to run because the temporary repair was beginning to go awry after only a few kilometres of bumpy country road.

Our arrival in Captain’s Flat went largely unnoticed. A group of trailbikes were already parked outside the pub and the scoots went a long way in improving the streetscape as we pulled up next to them. The pub owners quickly got everyone sorted with room keys and it wasn’t long before we were all sitting in what was the Ladies Lounge in front of the fire with schooners all round. Bill was introduced to a local, Doug, who promised to meet up in his garage in half and hour to scrounge through his extensive nut and bolt collection for the just the right solution to Bill’s number plate (and luggage rack) issues.

Swarm Leader Bill contemplates making a donation of a Vespa rack to Captain’s Flat

Did I mention it was cold? It was cold. Not bitterly mind, but cold. The Swarm dutifully dealt with the situation in the usual fashion – more beer. Our hosts sorted us out with some lunch (but please don’t ask for salad because our daughter will have to drive to town to get some!) while we got busy with the fellowship and story telling. The rest of the day and the ensuing evening continued in the same way – interjected with a stroll about the town and checking out the action at the Bowling Club.

The next morning brought us together around the breakfast table. Again our hosts were on the spot with bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato and toast. A much needed fry up to stave off the encroaching hangovers. I had been in the back courtyard with Luke and Nikki prior to this to load up the scoots only to find that our seats were covered in a goodly amount of ice. The rather sage decision was made to move them around the front into some sunshine. And so it was that our seats had dried and the machines were champing at the bit to be ridden when we emerged from breakfast.

The warmest we would be today….

We pushed off at about 10-ish headed for Bungendore. The idea was to stop for coffee, cake and petrol before splitting up and heading home. If the day before was cold, then today was trying it’s best raise the ante. Our hands quickly became numb against a stern westerly wind. Nikki got her first taste of leading the pack before the turnoff to Bungendore. This tickled her fancy just a little bit! The Bungendore stop was a mixed success. The coffee, scones, muffins and raisin toast were delicious and generous – unfortunately, the petrol station was undergoing some modifications. Some thirsty scoots peeled away from the town headed for destinations various.

A great weekend! Thanks to Swarmleader Bill for the organisation and everyone else for making it a fantastic experience.

Here’s some more photos for your viewing pleasure.