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Thunder Run and Home

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

This morning was the Thunder Run at the 2012 NSW State HOG Rally at Mt Panorama.  A record attendance of 750 registrants at the Rally delivered on the promise of the largest non National Rally collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles I've seen gathering to take part in the group ride which was to start with a lap around the famous Race Track.

The Chapters were lined up, and after the obligatory group photo was taken, we were soon on our way around the track and heading towards town.  I recalled through the haze of the night before that the ride route was to turn left at Brilliant Street and head towards Blayney, the only part I actually remembered.  Confusingly though the riders in front of me were going straight ahead at the roundabout at Brilliant Street while a lady in a white bus was trying to encourage people to go in the direction I thought we should be going in.  So I bit the bullet, broke ranks and turned left with a line of bikes following me.  Ahead I could see no sign of other bikes and immediately panicked while imagining the ridicule I would suffer at the hands of the riders behind me for leading them on a wild goose chase.  I remarked to Zander,  who was in his usual position as pillion,  "Oh Oh, I hope I haven't stuffed* up here, this is looking really* bad". *Comment sanitised

Still with not a Harley-Davidson in sight I passed some people on the side of the road waving, a guy with a camera out and started to feel mmore hopeful.  Then at an intersection ahead I saw some hi-vis vests indicating a left turn and with no shortage of elation realised I'd got it right.  So I knuckled down, picked up the pace a little and eventually attached the large group behind me to the main part of the ride.  The ride was alphabetic by Chapter name in reverse and there were 9 letters of the alphabet missing between us and the group we caught, signifying a large loss of riders and explaining the big gap we had to make up.  As it turned out the wrong way guys turned around further down town and managed to attach themselves on the end of the ride so we all made it around.

We travelled out through Blayney and then back into town, parking with hundreds of other Harley-Davidsons outside the Council Chambers where the Bathurst council had generously agreed to block the streets.  The end of the Thunder Run is always a bit of a party atmosphere, they are such fun.  There was lots of banter about my decision to not follow the others in Brilliant Street, apparently some of the bikes behind me were indicating that I was going the wrong way, had thought they were following me home rather than on the run but all were happy with my decision when they realised it was, thankfully, correct.  Those of our Chapter who took the straight ahead route (well actually only on who will remain unnamed here) got a good hearted ribbing when he turned up later.

Sadly though with our bikes were already packed we were heading home pretty much straight away, joined for the trip by Chewy and M.  So the six of us said our goodbyes and after a quick stop for fuel planned to get caffeinated and fed at Sofala, a lovely little town if you are after a step back in time.

We were all pretty keen to get going and get home so the plan was to ride through Rylestone, along the amazingly pretty Bylong Valley Way, turn right on the Golden Highway and stop at Denman for fuel and a quick drink.

There we said our goodbyes, rode through Jerrys Plains, where I did a huge scrape of the Vance and Hines heatshields around the 35k bend coming into town (that's what you get for being lazy on a Harley-Davidson).  Soon enough, or too soon depending on your view) we were on the boring boring boring New England Highway heading towards Maitland where we waved goodbye to Chewy and M, saw @officerhardass and Krittie off at Thornton and rode the last 20k's or so by ourselves.

Frankly I don't think I'll ever tire of the ride through Bylong, there's a bit of everything and riding with a few mates with similar riding styles makes it all the more fun.  The Bathurst State HOG Rally was a fantastic weekend. I'm still wishing I could have stayed for the party tonight and come home tomorrow.

Video on Channel 7:

Click here to watch Prime's little video of the weekend.  Joker apparently had a big night on Saturday

Click for HOG Video


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July 2022