Cane Toad Rally 40 years ago, I went to this rally when it was held at Finch Hatton west of Mackay. I rode my CX500 Honda. I attended the rally several times after that on various bikes including my GS850G and a BMW R100 when they changed the venue of the rally to Mount Perry west of Gin Gin. The last rally badge I could find was in the early 90s. So I figured that now that I own a BMW again I would go for a ride and check it out. Paul Gilbert was as keen as mustard to go as well. In order to improve our chances of making it there and back the bikes were given a quick service, oil change and filter, spark plugs and so on. Rick Carbis also gave me the loan of a front disc that wasn’t warped so my brakes worked properly. We left Townsville early at 6am on Friday morning in the rain. It rained all the way to Proserpine and the new rain jacket worked well the old Dri-Rider pants didn’t, resulting in the wet crotch syndrome. We refuelled in Bowen and again at Carmila and the rain had stopped, momentarily. No sooner had we taken our waterproof jackets off than it started to rain again with a vengeance. The bikes were running well with the fuel economy being equal. The run from Carmila to Marlborough was done at the speed limit, 110kph, and the headwind didn’t cause too much trouble, those small fairings really make a difference. The road works on the way added a lot of time to the journey and getting through Rockhampton was a slow grind. At this point Paul noticed that my right boot was losing its sole. Bugger! I thought that I’d better buy a new pair. So we Googled Gladstone Motorcycles, where I could do two things, buy a pair of boots and look at the beautiful restorations done by Cyril Brown. We planned to stay in Gladstone on Friday night and after riding around in circles we found the hotel that Paul had booked. The hotel was comfortable and the food good. The morning was spent looking at boots and bikes. The Yamaha TT and XT 500 are immaculate as are the other motocross bikes. IMG_2447 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr The café racer SR500s are also very well done. The showroom is the best I have seen anywhere, speaking to the current manager, Cyril’s grandson, he told us the air in Gladstone is too toxic to have the bikes outside where corrosion quickly attacks the chrome and alloy. I didn’t buy boots as none suited my feet or budget. IMG_2450 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr We opted for glue so it was off to Bunnings to buy some Shoe Goo. I wasn’t confident that it would work but it did, at least so far. We then went back to the Bruce Highway and down to Gin Gin where we purchased some supplies for the rally. It was then off to the rally at Mount Perry. A good ride along a well-sealed curvy road. The ride to the rally was 662 miles. The rally site was well prepared and after setting up our tents it was off to look at the bikes and bump gums with the other riders. There were some tame gymkhana events to entertain the riders and the usual rum hunts and awards. IMG_2453 by Drew Jackson, on Flickr The oldest bike was ridden to the rally by Ian Elliot someone I hadn’t seen for about forty years, Paul knows what he was riding, I think it was a stroke 2 series twin. Ian races Velocettes in historic racing and has a great wealth of knowledge about BMWs especially the old ones. We enjoyed ourselves during the evening. The night was cold, luckily, we were well prepared for sleep. We asked several people about the road to Monto, so we didn’t have to retrace the same route home. Luckily, we chose to head to Monto from Mount Perry despite the advice we were given. We hadn’t refuelled in Gin Gin but given the size of the fuel tanks we thought we’d make it to Eidsvold at least. We were surprised to find that Monto wasn’t out of range, so we headed North. After a few kilometres we met the dirt, and it was potholed and there was lots of shade so dodging the holes wasn’t easy. But a couple of Kms later we were back on bitumen for some time, then back to dirt and so on. It was mostly bitumen but a lot of it was unfenced and the cattle delighted in wandering across the road as we approached. We refuelled in Monto and the bikes took just over 15litres, so we had plenty of fuel. Our destination was Marlborough as we had prebooked a room at the pub. We had coffee in Biloela before heading to Mount Morgan so we could enjoy the ride down the range before the grind through Rockhampton again. After filling the bikes, it was off to Marlborough as planned. On arrival the publican apologised that the kitchen was out of action and there was no food on offer. This was both good and bad. The bad meant that our next chance of accommodation was Carmila, which was booked out, we were running out of daylight, so we headed towards Sarina. We stopped short of Sarina at Koumala where the pub charged us $45 for a twin room. The service was excellent, the rooms clean, the pizzas excellent, the beds comfortable and the staff friendly. Because we’d done a few hundred extra kms on Sunday it made for an easy ride on Monday. We left Koumala after breakfast which was included in the price. We headed to Homebush then Eton and Marian. I then showed Paul the way through Mt Ossa, a twisty ride that’s good fun if a little narrow in spots. This brought us back to the Bruce Highway south of Proserpine. We refuelled the bikes and had a coffee. It was then on to Bowen and the final leg home. There was a bad accident just north of Bowen where a fuel tanker and car had collided, and it was obvious that people had been either killed of seriously injured. The traffic was held up for some time. Two police motorcyclists went past as we waited so we knew that they were further up the road. We passed them booking a four-wheel drive and they later passed us again as were putting out wet weather gear back on near Giru. The return journey was 669miles and the BM was purring nicely as I arrived home. It is good to know that the bike is still capable of long rides even at the ripe age of 45.