Jun 2, 2017 - Posted by: Prickle

12th Year Great Achievement Celtic Warlocks.

This event as you can tell by the heading is a yearly thing as it’s an anniversary ride and after party. This year on the usual happening of this event which should be the first weekend in April well that was completely washed out that much so, nobody could even get to the Celtic...

Warlocks clubhouse as it was severely flooded in that area with road closures on all the points of the compass.

So the postponement from all that flood water didn’t dilute the enthusiasm of us that come to celebrate this achievement. I will always say it is an achievement to keep a social club together for this amount of time, it takes diligence and a way of evolving the club, to keep a club together this long, there’s not many social clubs that have structure such as this club that is around to celebrate these many years. There are numerous social clubs in the bike scene that are here one minute and gone the next it is a weekly occurrence, I’m not joking.

This band of merry men stayed the hard yards of keeping it all together, as there are many from the beginning and others joined along the way, who need to be congratulated as well, as it’s the only way to grow a club. Anyway, there is a little history run down on the Celtic Warlocks for you folks that may not have known.

My week leading up to this celebration started with checking out all the camera gear was good to go and batteries all topped up and messaging a couple mates to remind them this was on, no takers this time, work and family commitments had to take precedence, which is understandable. The start of this Saturday morning this week was a far cry from the previous Saturday, no rain on the run up to this day, all was dry, powder blue skies and the late autumn chill in the air. Packed the saddlebags I’ve used for years with my camera gear and a padded flannelette not much room when winter comes around also I have now started to play around with video cameras. So, I made a promise to myself to finally find the time to fit my new bigger saddle bags in the coming weeks, they have been sitting looking at me long enough and I should make a deal with myself, that just cause their bigger doesn’t mean I have to fill them, yeah I’ll let you know how that works out…

Took off, with my mind on the usual, have I got everything and after ticking all the mental boxes I had thought off the bike was warmed and I was in a place in which I love, on a bike with a day and night of adventure in front of me. These days I usually keep the tank full as I’m lucky enough to have a Caltex only a kilometre from home, so I fuel up on my way home. But for me it’s around 60 K's to get to the Celtic Warlocks clubhouse at Jimboomba, so I called into the BP at North Maclean and topped the tank up, they’re always a happy bunch of workers at this fuel stop, said our hellos and have a great day and I was on my way only 5 k’s down the road to the clubhouse just putting my gear on and noticed it was 9.45am, wow, where did that time go, we leave at 10 am. You guessed it, I was on the throttle and once there grabbed the camera out and got my shutter button happening, said my good mornings on the fly and all was good with the world but it seemed I was the only one in a rush, so reminded myself take a few deep breaths and that slowed it all down. A couple of the blokes I know there said they were wondering where I was, it’s not normal for me to be cutting it so close. Make mental note to self, it takes near on an hour to get from home to here, I’ve done this trip so many times well the most important part of all is, hey, I made it.

The 5-minute call went out we all geared up and lined ourselves up, first stop who knows, we will know when we get there. Got ourselves up to the traffic lights at the end of the street it went green and an almighty roar belted out, unbeknown to me, a cop on a bike was at the other set of lights, it looked like he got a hell of a fright, because his head snapped around to see what we were all about. Bet you he has applied for sick leave with ripped neck muscles. We were away made our way onto the M1 heading west took the Esk turn off heading to Fernvale and just on the downslope of those set of lights here was another cop this time with a speed gun but he had his arms crossed, so we didn’t even register on his radar. After that 60 zone that happened in it wasn’t long and we were all sitting in a 100 zone sitting on our cruising speed making our way towards Fernvale, well speed slowed as we were coming into thi small country town which has a great pie shop that’s famous for its pies and sausage rolls, yep lead bikes were parking up, so we all did the same. Some beelined it to the pie shop, while others went straight to the Historic Fernvale Pub for that first refreshment of the day. Some others and I had a different priority, we made our first stop to empty the bladder of the morning's coffee's after that was taken care of, I then moseyed my way around taking shots of folks and bikes and scenery and such, having short conversations as I move around framing the shots. A little time passed, and folks were finishing their food and drink,  the call went out, lets ride, and it wasn’t long we were all heading out of this little country town that is oh so dependent on our passing trade. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying Truckies carry this country, well here is another saying, the Bikers keep these country towns and their businesses alive.

Well, I must say it was hard to keep my eyes on the road and I’m sure others had the same problem, once we had started to ride across the dam wall the day was still the dam's water reflected like a polished mirror how picturesque it was, mesmerising some would say. Once we snapped out of that trance we were on our way through some nice roads and a little way into the town of Esk, we took the crow’s nest turn off. This road is one of my favorites, as it has a bit of everything as you gain altitude up gradients passing the Esk National Park on one side and the Deongwar State Forest on the other side, all the time getting higher and higher with the chill of the air that is so fresh getting that bit cooler that makes you feel so alive. Some of the roads we were only seeing filtered sunlight, which makes for some great views as the bikes suck in this cooled air and you can hear the note of the pipes echoing against the tree lined roads. Riding through light and then dark, all the time on and off the throttle leaning left and then right braking a little on the back and more on the front, back and forth to suit the needs, some days I swear we are playing an instrument as we caress all the levers, foot pegs, grips, tank being held by a knee or two, as this is needed to keep the bike and yourself where you should be upright and moving forward sometimes using gravity at other times fighting it.

Just when we were getting into the total awareness of everything around us, we took a left to be back on the new England Highway heading towards Cabarlah, I know while I was cruising along at a comfortable speed my mind was still back there, amongst those trees, it’s only us the rider that know or that could be expected to know this feeling, the tingling from the adrenalin how one can have so much excitement from two wheels, an internal combustion engine being feed copious amounts of octane fuel regulated by a hand, maybe we that ride these machines know we don’t need much to make our day great. How every inch of the body is alive, alert and aware of our surroundings, all the smells and temperature changes no matter how subtle, we are one with that moment in time? Our lunch stop was a little way up this highway we were stopping for lunch at the Farmers Arms Hotel, as the pub come into view I thought of how many other weary travellers must have arrived here to be met with the hospitality and friendly smiles of the staff.

The locals call it “The Stump” and it is said this pub has the longest holder of a continuous running liquor license, it was licensed in 1863. For those cold days and evenings, she has an open fireplace to get that cold out of your bones. Well, the food is second to none, it has all freshly prepared meals, salad and roast veggies bar for accompaniments. The special of the day when we arrived was roast beef cooked for 18 hours and let me tell you, it was to die for, it just melted in your mouth and there was enough on my plate with a few chips to fill this old boy. I’ve been coming here for years normally in the coldest part of the year, why, because that's what we do ride in the cold, the bike just loves the thick air, and we that ride them, love the Farmers Arms Hotel, and I would recommend this pub to anyone, the hospitality and service is top notch, give them a try you will not be disappointed.

After my lunch, while the others were still filling their belly’s, I got a few more shots and got time to catch up with a few mates from another club, Misfits Motorcycle Club, after a little while I had to excuse myself seeing everyone would have to fuel up, I endeavored to fuel up before the rush at the BP garage that is only a few kilometers down the road at Highfields. No rush, fueled to the full mark, still had time to have a chat with the lady that was on duty at the garage. Moved my bike from the fuel bowser and parked up, grabbed my camera, as I had planned I would get a few shots of the blokes and ladies when they come in to get their fuel, it all come together just right as I had planned, oh boy I love it a plan comes together and that’s not often, let me tell you.

With everyone fueled both rider and bike we were off up the highway to the turn off as we were heading for Murphy Creeks road but when we went to turn off, we were met by Harry from Harry’s Bike Shop fame letting us know that the police had the road blocked off as an accident had happened, none of our mates thank goodness, so a change of plans while in motion we made our way through Toowoomba and down the range and back on the highway through Plainlands and the Marburg range then just before Blacksoil we took the turn off and went back over the highway by way of the new overpass and through the back way to a small country town called Walloon and stopped at its waterhole Walloon Hotel as we had a couple of larrikins on this run that can’t go past a country pub, their bikes turn in no matter how hard they fight against them, well so they tell us, hey why argue we love a country pub as much as the next bloke.

So beverages were acquired and we all found a comfortable place at this stop, I caught up with another couple of blokes from B.A.C.A.® Bikers Against Child Abuse for those that may not know that acronym and those two blokes were Nifty and Tec we spoke how the day was and what’s going on in the scene,  which for me it’s great to see a few of us like B.A.C.A® Misfits & Sinners Motorcycle Club that have been around for longer that some of us like to admit being able to come and celebrate the anniversary of another long established club. So after a few laughs, a quenched thirst, we noticed the shadows were starting to get longer, so we knew it was time to make tracks the back way to Jimboomba and the Celtic Warlocks clubhouse. In under an hour, we were back at the clubhouse with a beverage in our hands.

I took this opportunity to go around the Celtic Warlocks members congratulating them all on their 12 years of being established, what a great feat in itself. The one man band of GT was on his best behaviour and setting up. The burger patties and sausages were being cooked, see Abbo, I had faith you would make it back with the food in time for it to be cooked, sorry folks inside joke. Was a laid back affair for food, make your own burgers for 2 bucks and we had continuous cups of coffee for us nondrinkers, made for us by a lovely lass named Sparkles, thanks mate, you make a great cuppa. Must say GT was belting out some great tunes and keeping us in laughter when not singing and he had help this year with his songs into the night with Ronnie, up there stretching his vocal cords as well. It was one of those nights that felt right and was enjoyable to the max, but there comes time to say goodnight and give our thanks for a great day of riding with great folk.  Thanks also to a couple of Celtic Warlocks Spinout and Ronnie, Road Captain for taking us all on some of south-east Queensland’s great roads and watering holes. Big thanks to the Celtic Warlocks for making it to 12 years strong, well-done fellas and I wish you all many many more. Oh, by the way, always a pleasure to ride next to you Abbo which happens to be the President, let me just say you’re a scholar and a gentleman. I would also like to take this opportunity to say, it was a great pleasure to spend this autumn day and evening with some of the biker community’s larrikins and mates, it was a pleasure and it was great to see blokes that couldn’t make it on the ride because other commitments, come to the after party to congratulate this club on this special occasion. As most don’t think of this without the riders making the effort to come along, rides just like this one may not take place, so keep making the effort folks, your presence is appreciated.

Until we next meet, keep an eye out for the Celtic Warlocks next ride, and watch out for those damn cars.


Write-Up By Steve Prickle

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