Nov 30, 2016 - Posted by: Prickle

2016 Freedom Ride

A little run down of what this annual ride is about, it’s to raise money for the motorcycle advocacy group called the MRAQ Motorcycle Riders Association Queensland. This association has been around for many decades as far back as I can remember 1983, it has been trying to do its best for all riders.....

In the last few years the helmet standards has been fought and has got the ECE standard included, we as riders can now take our feet off the pegs to stretch and stand on the pegs as well, plenty of submissions for motorcycle licensing  and forums such as Safer Roads Safer Qld and also lane filter was a long time in coming, but the MRAQ didn’t give up, it took many years of working with Government and bureaucracy, all this might not sound like a lot to some that read this, but its enormous for us riders. This association of the MRAQ and its achievements come from volunteers that love to ride and they want to see the riders in Qld are looked after in all matters motorcycle related, whether two wheels or 3 wheels, it doesn’t matter if you ride a scooter or the biggest capacity engine machine, we are all in the same scene and the MRAQ can be our voice.

The day started out rather overcast but I must say it was cooler than the week before, a mate arrived at my place, so we headed off to the starting place of the ride where we could fuel up at as it was at BP Caboolture. Once fueled, I notice there was a few police around and they were only grabbing riders, again this can only be seen as profiling and its happening more frequently these days. The taskforce for organized crime, Maxima were there as well, trying to see if there were any declared clubs present as the law at the moment in Qld has made it illegal for members of declared clubs to ride in numbers more than two, to do so would lead to a jail term, so the law says, it is yet to be proven in a court of law thou.

I did ask a few riders that were pulled over what was asked and it seemed riders are still having trouble understanding that wearing illegal helmets and working within the guidelines on pipes and noise and handlebar dimensions, which is the riders choice, but it will get you the attention of the cash collectors and a lighter wallet. There was another thing a few got booked for, which was, not putting their helmets on when astride their ride and riding their bikes away from the fuel bowsers, in Qld they state that this thoroughfare of the petrol station is not private property but part of the road, so the police can and do and will continue to book you if you don’t have your helmet on and strap done up, so please take the time to do it as getting booked I’ve found, can really stuff your whole day up.

Anyway we were all fueled up and head over to the parking lot were we will leave from, it wasn’t hard to find were we needed to go, with the MRAQ trailer there, letting everyone know this is the place. It was still early yet the numbers of bikes were building which is a good sign even with the clouds that seem darker and building, I checked the weather report on my phone again, it showed no sign of bad weather.

Most of the riders paid there 10 dollars to show their support for the MRAQ but it was surprising how many didn’t pay which is worrying, as this has always been an honesty system and when people don’t show honesty, everyone will end up wearing a proof band of who has paid. Really isn’t much to ask, but it seems folks begrudge to donate to a cause that’s is a nonprofit association and works for them, the riders.

By the time the ride was ready to leave it was hard to guess how many bikes were in that parking lot, but it looked great traveling up the highway.

This year the first stop was Landbourgh Pub, the bike numbers seem to line both sides of the street and overflowed into the public carpark, there had to of been over 180+ bikes which was a fantastic to see. An hour of socializing and we headed to the lunch stop at the Exchange Hotel out at Kilcoy. We went over Mary Cairnscross Scenic Route, I tell you there’s some great twisty roads to be traveled on this leg and some long straights a bit of everything really.

We watched the group come into Kilcoy and they filled every conceivable parking spot even down into one of the rest areas, smiles all round, they all seemed to be having a great time the pub put on a few lunch time choices for 15 dollars, which was fantastic. It was a kick backed leisurely lunch, no rush, enjoy the stop, I was doing the rounds with the camera shutter bugging and all seemed well with the world. It must have been at least an hour and a half if not longer before the call went out to get ready for the last leg.

The last leg was a good bit of road as well, took a road that takes you past the Woodford prison, bet all that were locked up that ride, felt the thunder that was travelling past till we reached the intersection back on to the D’Aguilar road through Woodford and turn right at the D’Aguilar Pub to head over and down Mt Mee.  Down through some glorious bends and follow the roads as it snakes its way eventually down and into the small town of Dayboro and up to the pub for some well-deserved refreshments. It was great to see how many stayed with the ride all the way to the end, and I applaud all that put the effort in, as these pubs we frequent have told us many times that if it wasn’t for the passing trade from us the riders they probably wouldn’t be able to stay open, so for those who did the whole ride, be proud that you have helped the community’s, at each stop we made.

Now to say a big thanks a huge thanks to the organisers, MRAQ for creating the route this year and leading the ride once again, for Qld Bikers help and a big thank you to the Misfits MCC corner markers and tail end charlies that towed the MRAQ trailer, you blokes achieved and pulled off a magnificent job, it was done so well, it was a great ride that had nearly 200 bikes on it after the count was finalized, that no one was left behind, and nobody was lost. Fantastic to see all the variety of bikes, scooters and trikes, this ride has always tried to make everybody welcome, no matter what you ride and this year was no different. To all that came and partook, it is you the rider, that makes rides such as this so enjoyable and that raise funds for your advocacy group such as the MRAQ that works for you the rider, it is you the rider that makes this into a memorable day. Hope to see you all again next year and please tell all your mates about this ride called the Freedom Ride we look forward to 2017.

Write-up & Photos

by Steve Prickle Clancy

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