Finding time

Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s a cliche but the older I get, the quicker time goes by. It flies by actually. I remember when I was a little girl how slowly the years seemed to pass. It seemed to take forever for birthdays and Christmas to come around. Now, I blink and time has all too quickly passed me by. I can’t believe that we are already in April.

I’ve only managed to get out on the Vespa a handful of times since Christmas. Between the craziness of the lead up to Christmas, the girls being on school holidays, a family holiday, the weather, working and a busy first term of school for the girls, there just has been very little time.

I’ve now had my Vespa for over a year 😱 and I have no regrets other than not being able to find more time to ride. However, surprisingly when I look back I have managed to get out and about once a month since Christmas.

January 2019

The morning of leaving to go on a family holiday, I took the Vespa out for a run to do a Stampin’ Up! catalogue drop. Is it bad that I left hubby home to pack the car? The best part was when I came home, hubby told me to take his Vespa for a run as well. Apparently he meant just for a short ride but I ended up right out the back of Tarome….oops!

February 2019

We attended a VCB mystery ride in February. I love surprises but not of the riding kind so I was a little nervous. I think that’s the inexperienced rider coming out in me or maybe the fact that I’m a self-confessed control freak. My nerves were not put at ease by the dodgy weather that greeted us the morning of the ride either. I had never ridden in the rain and to tell you the truth it wasn’t high on my list of things to do. The mystery ride took us to Lake Samsonvale on the Northside of Brisbane. Despite the rain I actually enjoyed the ride. I did learn a few things:

    My leather jacket protects me quite well from rain however it takes a very long time to dry
    I’m glad my helmet has a full visor
    You don’t have windscreen wipers when you ride😬😂 (I hadn’t really thought about this)

March 2019

Some days are just too beautiful to leave the scooter at home. I enjoyed a Doterra Oil class at Pinkle & Co in Boonah. This is an old Uniting Church which has been converted to a residence and a beautiful space where the workshop was held complete with collectibles and art pieces. Of course, no ride is complete without taking the scenic way home via Moogerah Dam.

Pinkle & Co

Moogerah Dam

So this brings me to April and I’m hoping that we will be able go on a VCB ride on the weekend that will take in the sights from Shorncliffe to Redcliffe. We have done this ride before and really enjoyed it. Fingers crossed that time is on my side this weekend.

Vespas vs Cruisers

My brother-in-law has just celebrated the same BIG birthday that I have this year with getting a cruiser.

This sure has been the year of the bike in our family. Two vespas for us, two cruisers for my sister & brother-in-law and my brother and girlfriend also brought two dirt bikes. I think my mum is on the verge of a nervous breakdown 😬

Of course with the addition of a new cruiser to the family we had to organise a ride. The Vespas were to take on the cruisers. We ventured out Wyaralong way to check out the dam and The Overflow Estate.

We’ve driven past the Wyaralong access road many times however have never taken the time to go and check it out. As far as dams go in the area, this is the most recent with it only opening in 2011. The picnic area is actually further from the turnoff than I thought but the road is nice to ride. The area itself is lovely with many tables and BBQ’s and a playground for the kids. We might just have to take the kids back for a picnic.

As for The Overflow Estate, it’s positioned to overlook the dam so it’s a top spot made for sipping wine and relaxing. I’m not sure I was too popular with my sister & brother-in-law though as it’s located up a lengthy loose gravel driveway. My sister had never ridden on gravel before and my brother-in-law’s bike was less than 2 weeks old😱 My sister & I didn’t actually get to sample any wine as we have to maintain a zero level of alcohol for 12months from getting our bike licences. Not sure I’d want to be sipping wine and getting on the scooter anyway.

View from our table at The Overflow Estate

The road to get to Wyaralong is a little more major than I enjoy riding – 100kms with everybody on the road in a hurry to get from a to b. Give me a back road any day. So did the Vespas keep up with the cruisers? Having the smaller motor I brought up the rear of the group but I managed to be not too far behind (okay, maybe a little bit). In all honesty if the cruisers really wanted to they could have left me for dead but they would have had to be doing well over the speed limit to do so!

https://theoverflowestate1895.com.au

Spring Creek Mountain

Last weekend we had the chance to do a ride that has been very high on my ride list since I got my Vespa. I’ve always loved Spring Creek Mountain. There’s an awesome cafe at the top that has the most amazing view and makes you feel as though you are on top of the world. It’s a bonus that the ride to get there is so picturesque.

Aratula to Spring Creek Mountain

I’ve been up the mountain a few times before. A handful of times in the car with hubby behind the wheel and once as a pillion passenger on the back of my uncle’s BMW bike many moons ago. I have to say I enjoyed the road more on a bike even as a passenger so I was very excited to be riding it myself.

The road is very narrow in parts and has many twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Some sections are passable by one car only with signs indicating to give way at various points.

There are many look outs along the way and places to stop and enjoy the scenery. There was a lot of smoky haze about on the day we ventured up there but the scenery was breathtaking none the less.  I’m keen to return again on a clear day. The cafe didn’t fail to disappoint me and was as lovely as I remembered. The food was delicious and it was nice to just sit back and relax.

Teviot falls – dry at the moment
Just a couple of Vespas enjoying the view despite the smoky haze
This hut has always fascinated me

The trip back down the mountain was interesting with hubby losing his back brakes. It made for a slow & very steady ride down. Luckily he still had his front ones. Our modern Vespas are automatic so not being able to use gears in situations like these was something that hubby was not used to. We are not sure whether they overheated or they were low on brake fluid and sucked in some air. The jury is still out on that one. In any case they did eventually start working again. I think I would have panicked if this had happened to me. Being the beginner that I am, I would like to have a bit more riding experience up my sleeve before I’m faced with a challenge like that.

However you decide to get up the mountain, it’s well worth the trip. Enjoy the scenery, breathe the fresh air and just take a moment. Be sure to book ahead if you are going to the cafe for lunch as it does get extremely busy. There are also cottages if you are wanting to turn the ride into a getaway. We hope to do that one day soon.

Check the cafe & cottages out here – http://springcreekcottages.com.au

If we weren’t on a time curfew we would have continued on to Queen Mary Falls. Just another excuse to go again 😉

Condamine River Road – another adventure for another day & it’s gravel 😱

Chalk & Cheese

Maroon Dam

If there was ever a picture that summed up my sister & I, this would be it. It’s become a bit of a joke over the years but we always say we are chalk & cheese. We are polar opposites in everything including our tastes and our personalities. Those that know us well know exactly what we mean.

Unlike me, my sister had held her learners for a long time & just never got around to upgrading to her opens. She got her learners back in the day where you only did a quick theory quiz and there was no practical portion involved. Oh how times have changed! I had to attend a 2 day course with both practical & theory elements and pass a 30 question quiz. I do however think the change is good for those with no riding experience.

I held my learners for only the required 3 months before I went for my licence and it was suggested that my sister & I get our licence together. At the time neither of us were sure it was a good idea. It had the potential to go two ways – we would be too busy laughing at one another to pass or we would get in & get the job done. Luckily for us, we both got in & got the job done & both passed with a few laughs along the way. Even our riding instructor commented on us being chalk & cheese as he had come to know us through the 1on1 sessions we both had.

Just a couple of gals in fluoro vests

We’ve held our licence for approximately 4 months now & a couple of weekends ago was the first time we had found the time to ride together. We both have kids so need I say more.

We took in the scenery at Maroon Dam. It had been years since I had visited the actual Dam. It brought back many memories of fishing with dad when we were younger. We then went back to Mt Alford to the Scenic Rim Brewery for coffee and morning tea. We even rode into Boonah to mum & dad’s to visit our cousin who was up from Melbourne.

It was so nice to be able to enjoy a ride together. I really am spoilt for choice for riding buddies. I’m not sure whether hubby was too impressed though as he was left home with the girls 😜

The beautiful deck area at Scenic Rim Brewery – Mt Alford

A Welcome Distraction

Last weekend we participated in our second ride with Vespa Club Brisbane in and around Samford Village. The ride started at Aspley which is about 1.5 hours away from where we live.

If hubby had his way we would have ridden down there, participated in the ride and then ridden home. The truth of the matter is I don’t feel confident enough to do that yet. I need time to gain confidence and get my head around exactly how we are to ride down there avoiding the major roads. The main one that concerns me is Ipswich Road. I have no intention of riding my scooter on that road – call me a wimp. I don’t care!

Hubby has been riding for years so this is one of the reasons he is comfortable to ride there. Me…I’ve been riding for barely 4 months. Confidence comes with experience & experience comes with time. With a lot to learn about riding, it might be some time yet before I feel the confidence I need to ride there.

So in the meantime, on the trailer they go.

Samford is such a lovely area which is leafy and the roads were hilly & twistie so great to practice cornering on. (Note to self – more practice required). It was easy to feel like we were a thousand miles away from suburbia however we were only 20 mins up the road from Aspley.

The day proved to be …… hot. Something that I hadn’t quite prepared myself for. It wasn’t all that bad until we stopped. I ride with all the safety gear – Leather jacket, Kevlar jeans, boots & gloves. Being a beginner I figure I need all the protection I can get, right? It makes for hot riding in our Queensland climate and it’s not even summer yet. It has definitely made me think about the importance of hydration while riding. At one point we stopped to take some photos and I was too scared to take my jacket off as I wasn’t sure if I would get it back on. Sweat….Ha!

Love me a line of Vespas
Giorga with Kandi, an absolutely beautiful classic that turns many heads when out & about

One of my accessories paid for itself when we took a wrong turn and that was my Quad Lock case & mirror mount. Highly recommend this setup that allows you to attach your phone to the front of your bike. It enabled me to use my phone as a GPS and follow the directions on the screen until we were able to join the group again. It sure did help out a couple of country bumpkins. I’ve also found it very handy to have the phone within easy reach for taking photos.

All in all we had a great day with lovely company and beautiful scenery.

The lows of the Scenic Rim

Riding around sections of the Scenic Rim is heartbreaking at the moment. On Thursday 25th October, a storm swept through the area with heavy hail and severe wind which has absolutely devastated some of our farming community. Whole crops have been lost at a great cost to our farmers. Roofs have been ripped off sheds and boom irrigators have been bent making repair bills hefty.

This freak storm could not have come at a worse time in our area. This time of year our farmers are optimistically preparing for harvest in the hope of a successful season. Crops were looking lush and green and it’s a time when the money finally can start coming in. So many of the crops destroyed by Mother Nature were only days or weeks away from being harvested.

Our own crops didn’t go unscathed. After the storm, hubby went out to survey the damage. The news wasn’t great. It looks like we have lost some crops and others are a wait and see type situation to see what can be salvaged.

Hail damage to pumpkins
Sweet corn from the wind
Pumpkins don’t look great

Mother Nature has managed to take the potential of a successful season and completely crush it in 30minutes. That’s the power of Mother Nature and the risk you take being a farmer. Farming is a gamble and the price paid is sometimes very high.

It got me thinking about why our farmers do it & what keeps them going. It didn’t feel like that long ago that we were having to recover from crop loss due to a flood. On asking hubby he simply said “we don’t normally see hail & wind like that come through the area”. It’s the optimism that I hear that I admire.

I don’t profess to be an expert on farming. To be honest I’m hopeless and I often joke I’m the worst farmers wife in the district. I’m not a morning person much to hubby’s disgust, I still have trouble telling some crops apart and my eyes start glazing over whenever hubby starts talking in detail about some machinery fix that’s occurred down the farm. I do however know that whatever it is that makes our farmers continue through the hard times it is a trait that deserves respect and admiration.

So as I ride around the district with a heavy heart, I can’t help but feel in awe and extremely proud of our farmers who get knocked down time and time again yet get back up again and soldier on.

Read more about it here:

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/scenic-rim-crops-devastated-by-10-million-storm-front-20181027-p50cei.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-03/queensland-farmers-miss-out-on-disaster-funding/10462272

My Cinderella story

I think I was just so excited to be going for a ride. I think that’s how my Cinderella story happened anyway.

It had rained last night so onion picking & carrot harvesting had unfortunately been called off. When hubby actually came home & told me to go for a ride, to say I was excited was an understatement. I just had to keep an eye on the weather.

Our new plates had arrived this week so I wanted to get a quick picture of both of them before I left. Mission accomplished.

New plates fitted

I rode into Boonah via Kalbar and Teviotville. It had been too long between rides and it was so nice to be back on the road. Kalbar was busy with a swap meet being held at the showgrounds and there was the annual orchid show happening in Boonah. Anyway, I got to mum & dad’s and started to take off the safety gear & spent the next 5 minutes looking for one of my gloves. Then I get this message from hubby….

“One lonely glove”

This glove was apparently at home right where I had dropped it when I took it off to take the picture. Laugh! I had ridden all the way to Boonah with only one glove and I hadn’t even noticed. Must have been the Vespa high I was on. I’m so much of an amateur in so many ways but in hindsight, despite my excitement, I should have checked and double checked my safety gear before I left!

My prince met me in Boonah for lunch with my “slipper” and it fit me like a glove. Boom tish!

So that’s my Cinderella story….same, same but different.