Ruffy is not to ‘Tuffy’ Ride Report

This ride was held on the 2nd of July 2022 and had a total of 15 riders join in. I performed the role as Lead Rider on the Norden 901, whilst Dean undertook Sweep Rider duties on his new and embankment resistant KLR 650.
This is a fantastic turn out by the club during winter and is indicative of the commitment by those ‘hard core’ adventure riders that call themselves MADCATS.

True to its name the ride wasn’t too ‘tuffy’ and the weather gods were definitely on our side. I’ll take us back to the 8.30a.m. when we all congregated at the Kinglake United servo, which at the time was barely visible to all arrivals due the thick fog.

 It wasn’t long before we had a full line up of adventure machines proudly displayed in all their glory in the carpark and members were shaking hands and catching up with their MADCAT comrades.
We had one rider that didn’t arrive, and it was later discovered that he was confused about the day of the event. Sorry Peter, but you set a new record for your first ‘planned’ ride with the club and we will be sure to remind you at every opportunity.

 We held a safety briefing, downed one last cup of servo coffee and headed off on our adventure.
The first part of the ride down to Flowerdale was on the bitumen and a glance in the mirrors was rewarded with a train of headlights as far as the eye could see into the fog. What a magnificent sight first thing in the morning.

Once we arrived at the Mt Disappointment State Forest, it was time to set the finely tuned and accessorised ADV bikes loose in their natural habitat. The group stayed reality close, and the big grins on people’s faces was clearly displayed when we pulled in to regroup. Yes……the ride had commenced.

We followed a number of great flowing tracks over the mountain to the Murchison Gap lookout where the fog had lifted and revealed a magnificent day with a chill in the air and some sun to warm us up.

The lookout didn’t disappoint and the sights over the valley were amazing. True to form the phone cameras came out and the budding photographers in the group took some ‘sensational’ pics. I even witnessed Tony walking around with a GoPro whilst providing an excellent commentary on our location and his ADV riding prowess to arrive at such a scenic location. You guessed it we will all be YouTube famous in no time.

On leaving the lookout at Murchison Gap we followed some more winding roads up and over the Tallarook Ranges and down to the Goulburn River. The roads were pristine, and the rock formations made for a fantastic back drop. I heard a comment about the sights when Ribeye replied that he was too busy watching the track that had dropped down mountain. I took this as a thumbs up from our previous president and to add we all enjoyed him coming along for a last ride before he ventures off into the sunset……………maybe not sunset, but definitely warmer weather. Good luck mate and enjoy your trip.

The group of 15 riders followed the Goulburn River to Whiteheads creek where a well-earned break was taken on the creek bed. If you image a picture-perfect setting for our wonderful Australian bush, then this is it. As the temperature was rising, the layers started to be taken off and the sunglasses appeared behind some visors. After a short break and some snacks, we were off again and headed up to Ruffy in the Highlands.

The ride into the Highlands didn’t disappoint with some more rock formations and a winding track that was in perfect condition.

On arrival in Ruffy, we stopped at the town hall and enjoyed the rustic appeal of this remote and extremely small but pleasant town. I made a quick call through to Phil the publican of the Yarck Hotel to inform him that we had 15 hungry riders and would be knocking on his door in less than an hour.

Phil was more than welcoming despite admitting that he was down one chef for the day and it would be a big task. Despite this he said he was up for the challenge and was looking forward to our arrival.

We travelled to Yarck via the Gobur Conservation Reserve and enjoyed a scenic winding ride down from the Highlands.
We arrived at the Yarck Hotel just before 1.00p.m. and true to his word, Phil greeted our crew with open arms, or maybe it was just a ‘gidday boys” but still it was a warm welcome for these weary travellers. Phil quickly ushered us to a rear area in the Bistro that he had set aside for us. The experienced campaigners made a beeline for the bar where a cold drink and meal were ordered. It was at this time that Tony had made his way to the bar and attempted to create a diversion which would allow him to sneak to the front of the line. This was quickly discovered by the crew, and he was relegated to a position at the end of the queue. Good try mate.

We all enjoyed a great meal and were grateful for Phil’s efforts to feed us all. It was now that time in the day where the bellies were full and we needed to make a move. Through great planning on my behalf, we had a shorter ride after lunch that included just the one stop at Cheviot Tunnel before we hit Murrindindi.

Our arrival at Cheviot Tunnel didn’t take long and the tracks leading in were again in great condition. This was a bit different to my recce when the temperature was six degrees and the rain didn’t stop. Yes, I took one for the team and it paid off in the end. Thank me later guys.

The Cheviot Tunnel didn’t disappoint on the scenic scale and the crew enjoyed a walk to the other end. Truth be known the older blokes are accustomed to walking off a big lunch and this was no exception. Our wives will be happy.

On leaving the Cheviot Tunnel we were privileged to watch Anthony punt his Triumph up a steep embankment that would have tested Jarvis on his best day. You could literally hear all the minds ticking over……………’should I or shouldn’t I’ was probably the cause the head noise. Luckily the latter prevailed and we all road off via the main exit.

The ride then led us through Murrindindi and into Glenburn where some members decided to stick with the Melba Highway and travel home. Handshakes, back pats and acknowledgement of the great day out were all the rage before a now smaller group hit the road. A short blast up the Glenburn – Kinglake Rd twisties before we arrived back at our start location.

Overall, it can be summarised as a great day out with a good bunch of blokes on ADV bikes. Thanks heaps to Dean for riding sweep and keeping us all in check.
Thank you all for coming and look forward to many more days in the hills.

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Story: John Papas

Photos:John Papas