Bendigo, early morning with the steeds ready to be ridden, but first things first, the daily service checks. Mark ‘Dirty’ Harris is a genius when it comes to these fine stallions and is able to carry out running repairs on the fly in record time.
Any Baggers looking for an excuse to sit in a support vehicle because their bike is not purring like a kitten will continually be disappointed.
Breakfast was hosted by Bendigo Nissan who put on another amazing breakfast.
We had Gay Corbitt from Ballarat Health Service speak about her role as one of only 22 Prostate Cancer Nurses nationally, and it was very enlightening.
We rolled out of town about 9.00am before stopping roadside for Parko to be interviewed on the radio. Seriously he never stops working, always promoting the cause and putting the message out about the Male Bag Foundation. Let’s hope that he has not put a time limit on his Patroncy (a new word perhaps)
Then it was on the Shepparton for lunch at Cellar 47 where proprietor Angelo hosted the gang. In attendance were Jarred Thompson Thompson Motor Group, Member for Euroa (Stephanie Ryan) and close mate of the scribe Ken Muston. Quick photo opportunity at Thompson Nissan and then to Echuca.
With very heavy weather around the state and ominous clouds and not a Bagger in sight with wet weather gear on, there was a little agitation as some blokes wanted to get going and others were still undertaking official duties.
The run from Shepparton to Echuca is around 70 kms. Not far when things are running according to plan. When using the straightest route, it should take 75 minutes. If we leave at 2.45 that should make landfall, or in our case crossing the Murray into Moama, a 4 pm finish. Did I say “should?”
As you may have guessed by now, getting lost and or taking wrong turns is more of a habit for the Baggers than kids in the backseat saying “are we there yet?” For reasons unknown a detour away from the Highway and then back up to the highway (about 20 minutes) placed us in serious jeopardy of finishing in the wet. As a golfer that is like having the lightning and thunderstorm go off when you have hit your tee shot on the 400 metre par 4, 18th to pin high staring down an eagle put and having to walk off. We did get a splash, and let me say that this Bagger was NOT HAPPY JAN…
We did arrive in Moama, at 4.30 pm, meaning that average speed between Shepparton and Echuca was a measly 37.5 km an hour. A mobility scooter would go faster! I love the Border towns, but let it be said that as lovely as Moama is, they seem to have a disproportionately high number of them – maybe that could be a new ABS statistic, “mobility scooters per head of population”. Another photo opportunity. This time outside the Border Inn with Parko.
Wisely the support crew could see that there were more tired and emotional Baggers at the end of this day that they decided the safety checks would be performed next morning. A few boys hooked into Mark Harris’ cheese basket he got at auction, some went for a walk in the rain to clear their heads (and maybe even had a shave afterwards). 6.30pm was official meeting time to meet the owners of the Border Inn and thank them for hosting the baggers at an exceptionally low rate. Dinner was over at the Moama Bowls Club.
I know you are thinking Seagulls on Gold Coast, with Lovelace Watkins singing covers of Delilah. You could not be more wrong. The Club gives parts of Crown a serious run for its money, and if you are reading this James Packer (and there is no reason you shouldn’t) it cost less to build the extension than your Macau launch party. Thanks to everyone who looked after us in Moama, especially the Border Inn and the Murray Meander.
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