March 20 Midnight Ride - a real blast...

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5956
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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March 20 Midnight Ride - a real blast...

Post by Prof » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:35 pm

March now and time to get in another Midnight Ride while the weather still warm... and the weather turned out perfectly for us. Victor who always comes, was crook and Rayne who always comes too, had lighting trouble. So who would be there. Sometimes we have only two or three, other times six or eight, but each time is unique and always great fun. This night turned out to be a real blast.

Lionel, my workman is saving up for a bike and for his licence. The bike an XJ650 in the workshop is almost paid for and it won't be long before he has the moula to go for his licence. In the meantime, he practices on our property on my CB750 chopper and is pretty comfy on it. So tonight he was keen to come even if it meant sitting on the back of my chopper. He also got to be official cameraman although at the speeds we were travelling and the darkness, he did not fare all that well, but we do still have a bunch of cool pics for you.

Dusk as I blasted off on my trusty shovel chop to collect Lionel...
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Then just a great ride through to Villies where we always meet. Three other bikes rolled up for the evening, Zac on his Evo sporty chopper, Jett newly returned from Singapore on his KZ 750 chopper, Peter K on his old school sporty, and Michale on a second sporty.
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As usual I was asked where we were going and as usual, I replied... you blokes work it out and let me know! Decision made was the very popular trip to Outer Harbour, Semaphore and Port Adelaide. At Peter K's suggestion we headed down Main South Road with the intention of swinging off to the left to go down the new Pt Adelaide Expressway...
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Zac and Jett...
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As it turned out, there were road works at the turnoff and we missed it so had to keep on and sweep around onto the Expressway heading in the opposite direction towards Salisbury. Zac...
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I blasted off ahead and pulled across into the right lane so we could do a u turn and head back the way we had planned. I then had to slow down so I could see the break in the darkness and of course everyone else caught in the moment blasted past. Oh well just have to go with the flow and catch up again. Jett...
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I eventually got ahead again (traffic was quite thick) and swung off up the Pt Wakefield Road, again looking for a break to u turn... and off course again was left behind. Zac & Jett...
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I finally got ahead again and finding a break in the median strip, managed at last to u turn every one into a commercial driveway. Time to stop anyway!
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Zac was aware the new section of the Port to Gawler Expressway had opened that week and suggested we try it out. We did and it was a beautiful piece of road on which high speeds were very tempting! After a crazy blast with some interesting antics being performed by certain riders we found ourselves back in civilization. Here are Peter and Michael on their sporties at the lights...
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The long strip of tarmac to Outer Harbour was almost devoid of other users and once again antics proliferated. All I will say is that it was outa sight man!
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Then just steady cruising up the Esplanade to Semaphore a number of us blasting through the many roundabouts as the best speed possible. In the lead at one stage I shot into a round about a bit too fast and had a high kerb came up at me real quick. The shovel is a long bike and does not like these little impediments to sensible travel and I needed to haul it over in a hurry missing the kerb by a foot or so. Had I been on one of those fat tyred thingies it would have been all over in a hurry as they take a lot of effort to roll the chopper's weight over that massive rear tyre. Also a noticeable improvement on my chopper is the new springer I have built, that just about power steers and is very easy to pull over; in fact it is easily steered through corners with just adjusting my weight... lovely to ride through the twisties and definitely a help this time.

I wanted some food and Zac needed fuel, so we pulled into the servo up the road a bit. A couple of the blokes filled up, but before I could get a drink we experienced the usual public interest and I ended up spending time talking about choppers and riding with a newly returned rider. He didn't need to be asked twice to try out the riding position...
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Was keen to chat up Jett and discuss his spectacular machine as well...
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The boys and their bikes; Michael and Zac...
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No one was really interested in finishing at the Pancake Kitchen so it was decided to cruise up Military Road to Glenelg and split off to our respective abodes from there. Lots off fun again as traffic was almost non existant. In fact Semaphore was dead, we guessed because people were choosing to stay home in fear of the Carona thing. Meant we could have lots of unmolested fun again which we did! Zac again with his tiller bars and high midmounts...
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Down one sporty when Michael peeled off as we hit Glenelg, our little bunch pulled up on Jetty Rd (at my bidding so we could say our goodbyes)...
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Jett then turned off back towards Anzac Highway and Zac, Peter K and Lionel and I blasted off up Diagonal Road. Peter turned off... and then there were three! Zac and I had been dragging each other at many of the lights and for some reason, entering Sturt Rd we didn't; which was a good thing. I was suddenly aware of bright lights tailgating me and was just about to accelerate when I caught a faint blue and red tinge in my mirrors... cops! They then pulled out alongside, slowly passing us and then cruising alongside Zac for a very good look. He and I both thought he was gone. His pipes are loud, his forks are long and his riding position is definitely weird. We were both waiting for red and blue lights to start flashing. But after a few hundred agonising yards they accelerated ahead. Zac is somewhat paranoid as it is because his chopper is not exactly legal and this really put the wind up him. I suspect the cops were probably having a bit of a giggle at stirring up this poor guy. Anyway no doubt Zac breathed a BIG sigh of relief and I reckon was still rather shaky as we discussed it at the red light at Marion Rd.

Lionel and turned off onto the Southern Expressway waving to Zac as he motored on ahead. A real blast up the Expressway (I guess I was a bit hyped up by the thoroughly magic night we'd had). Dropped Lionel of and cruised through to a servo I often stop out just south of Noarlunga Centre. Figured I could finally get something for my empty stomach. It was now well after midnight and checking my phone, noticed that my son Paul had tried to call. Put a call through to him and arranged to meet him at Pt Noarlunga Jetty as he was itching for a ride.

Took a couple of pics while I waited and then ended up talking with a very enthusiastic lady and her partner... she absolutely adored the chopper!...
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I then had to sit around for 45 minutes while Paul took a pile of pics and video of his sports bike amongst the fancy lights. Finally talked him into heading home as it was now well after 1am. We cruised side by side where we could, both because we like to and also to put more light on the road because of roos around the Willunga Basin. We were just chugging along at 80 k when I saw a flash of grey and felt a big thud and instantly my lights went out. I still had Paul's light and pulled up down the road a bit. Something had wacked me hard on my right leg. It had to be a roo. We turned around and sure enough a medium sized roo was laying on the verge, its back obviously broken...
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My chopper had still ridden alright, but closer inspection with the aid of Paul's headlight showed a smashed light and bent front springer legs...
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A ute following not far behind us had pulled up by this stage. A local obviously, he dispatched the roo with an iron bar he carries in case of this eventuality.

We rode on home using Paul's headlight and by the time we arrived (5 minutes I guess), my leg was starting to feel pretty uncomfortable. Put the chopper to bed after a further inspection and limped inside. Knee and thigh were starting to swell and I had a two inch patch of skin missing under my jeans. I assume either the tail or a leg flipped around on me as I bulldozed through the roo. Had difficulty walking for three days but by the fourth was back to normal... just a sore knee and thigh and a big purple bruise!

I am quite intrigued at how well I came out of it. The roo while not big was not small either and all I felt was a heavy thud when I hit it; the chopper didn't even wobble. I assume the 8" of trail is a major factor. I suspect also that the front springer legs absorbed some of the shock. It may also be that my two Guardian Angels had just come off their coffee break and were hyped up and ready for action. Anyway, I hope that is my last roo encounter.

Inspection next day also revealed a slightly bent front guard and my slightly buckled front wheel is buckled more and my brake drum is now out of round and can't really be used as it is so grabby. As soon as I get some time I need to bead blast a spare hub I have and build a new wheel.

I travel a lot at night and so have very good lighting on the chopper and keep my speed down in roo areas. But this one I did not see. He must have just missed Paul. I have seen many roos over the years and with the exception of a real big fella a couple of months ago who just stood in the middle of the road, I have not had any problems.

Although that said one early morning on the way to a swap meet a couple of years back I was just pulling out to pass a car with a car trailer behind when it suddenly swerved and I pulled back in. Just made it as a big roo came rolling past my right side; the car and trailer having bounced over the top of him. Luckily I'd pulled in because as it was the roo left skin and fur on my footpeg. I was also liberally doused with flying fur some of which kept showing up for a week or so after. The ute was fortunately fitted with a large bull bar but even so lost on set of headlights.

So there you go. Another Midnight Ride, another adventure. What will the next one bring. Lots of fun with other chopper jocks, but no more roos thanks!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
Posts: 795
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: March 20 Midnight Ride - a real blast...

Post by El Skitzo » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:40 am

Jesus you were lucky to walk away from that one! Thank god you're all ok.

RIP to the poor roo
'65 Triumph Chopper (project)
'64 Triumph Chopper (project)

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