Easy riders hit the trail
Each Sunday morning, a group of Halcyon Waters’ cyclists known as The Easy Riders, takes off for a leisurely ride. From time to time, they go farther afield; loading up their custom-made bike trailer and heading off to explore a picturesque corner of regional Queensland. Recently, 10 riders and two back-up crew took on ‘peanut country’ - the 43.5km South Burnett Rail Trail from Murgon to Kingaroy.
Easy Rider Graham Bezant (Beezer) penned this account of the trip and its memorable moments that made it yet another example of the fun, friendship and freedom that Halcyon home owners experience.
Goomeri: The “No Petrol” Folly, Day 1 on the way to Murgon
After approximately five hours of driving and a change of drivers from Wonderful Wodger (Roger Cooper) to Radiant Ray (Ray Ashton) the skipper said quietly to his co‐pilot, “How many kilometres left when the petrol gauge is yellow?” This was overheard by Shirty (Ron Shirtcliffe) and myself and it was not long until all in the bus were buzzing. No one knew how many litres the tank held, how long the yellow light had been on, the distance to the next servo, or even how many kilometres to the next town. As beads of sweat bubbled on Wodger’s brow, Pedo (Ian Pedersen) advised that we could take a bike off the trailer and ride into the next town if the team knew where it was. It was not a full‐on panic, but unnerving when the aircon was turned off, baggage was thrown overboard, and several Easy Riders were asked to run alongside.
Limping into town at walking speed, Ray found a servo with petrol 20 cents a litre cheaper than the Gold Coast. There is always a catch isn’t there? They did not take the charge card and after a whip around that only gathered $5.75, Ray took out his credit card with moths flying and paid for the petrol. Shirty never did unbuckle his money belt. He said Coral (Coral Shirtcliffe) had fused it to his body. Coral says he fibs a lot.
Near Wooroolin: The Lost Puppy, 32 km into the ride
Everyone knows Gorgeous Gerry (Gerry Bolton) looks after lost souls, lost seniors and now lost puppies. As the troupe rounded a corner somewhere on the trail, a shih tzu covered in red earth fronted up to the team asking for directions.
Those riders with little heart rode on, but Nurse Gerry, Wonderful Wodger, Happy Harold (Harold Moyle) and myself (Bashful Beeza) watered the dog. With a phone number on the collar they thought it would be easy, but Wodger encountered an answering service and thus the dilemma began.
Making a long story even longer, the Fab Four popped the canine into a carry bag and headed for a farmhouse. The lady, beset by four crazy bikers, reached for her shotgun but then agreed to take charge and track down the owner. It turned out to be just two doors up, but in this country, a peanut farm or two can be miles apart.
Kingaroy: Double Decker Pies and Sticky Ribs, 43.5 km by bike
While it has never been broadcast, the Easy Riders drink and eat well on these team rides. The Ashtons (Kay and Ray) could not recall so much food being devoured, even in a full country pub. Kay said, “You guys ride, sweat and grunt your way across Queensland losing calories and then eat your way through the menu putting it all back on”.
First was Marvellous Marilyn (Pedersen). Marvellous M ordered a pie and mushy peas. It came with a stepladder and crosscut saw. It was a two‐storey pie. We thought Pedo would have to come to the rescue to eat the ground floor, but our girl knocked it back as though she had missed a week’s meals.
Then that night, Shirty ordered Sticky Ribs at the RSL. They were served by two people in a ute. It was a huge meal for a little guy. He smashed it! He had the ribs all over himself, the table and other diners. No one rode behind him the next day.
Kingaroy: Mr Heinz, 45.5 km by bike
When we checked into the Room Motel I was ready for a shower, a Bex and a respectable recline. The service was fast and efficient, “No. 11 Mr. Bezant”.
I walked my bike to the room looking as though I had ridden a camel for three weeks. At the end of the day, everyone has lycra crumpled into crevasses they never knew existed.
Following a nice shower, the Happy Hour crew got together, and Gerry collected all the breakfast orders. No sooner had she submitted the forms, when the manager asked what room Mr Bezant was in, “11,” was the answer. “Oh geez, we had that room booked for Mr Heinz!” said the manager, “No worries I will fix it”.
Some three hours later, at the RSL dinner fest, King Arthur (Fletcher) had the idea to have myself take a fake call from the manager to say Mr Heinz insisted on room 11 and there were no more rooms available. I pretended to take a call from the manager in earshot of Kay and Ray Ashton. Beeza was irate at the manager but said OK he would bunk in with the Ashtons as they have two beds, as long as he got his money back. Ray was taken aback saying, “You’re bloody joking, aren’t you?” but then after I seemed to have so much trouble with the manager, he relented and said it would be OK, but I would have to sleep in the double bed with his missus.
Another ‘Wheely’ Good Trip
As usual, the group bonded despite differences of opinion as to which road to take, when to fill up with petrol, when to fill up with food and drink, where to stop for breaks, what towns to investigate and who was in charge.
Wonderful Wodger carries the can for all that happened, and he did a superb job.