Petford Loop.

An early start was rewarded with a cool but pleasant ride down the Cook Highway to our meeting point in Cairns. Todays ride headed south from Cairns, up the Gillies Highway to Herberton. Then onto the gravel through Irvinebank and onto Petford. An easy run to Dimbulah for lunch and a cruise back on the main roads to home.

Shell Smithfield

Shell Smithfield

BMW featured strongly from the start with two air and one liquid cooled versions outnumbering the single Triumph. 

We rode out the western arterial route and picked up another Triumph and another GSA at the junction with Mulgrave road. 

A quick jaunt down to the junction with the Gillies highway saw the number of bikes out for a Sunday morning blast growing quickly.

Mountain View Hotel

Mountain View Hotel

After a brief stop at the Mountain view hotel for a chat we took on the twists of the Gilles Highway, This is great bit of road that winds its way up the range. Panniers and boots were scraped on the way to the top. Traffic can be problem on this section with very little chance to overtake.

Herberton

Herberton

After a leg stretch and refreshment in Heberton we headed west towards the gravel roads.

The tracks are well maintained and easy to ride on. With 7 bikes there was a lot of dust to deal with. definitely a goggle day for me.

Irvinebank

Irvinebank

We stopped briefly in Irvinebank to regroup as we had spread out a bit because of the dust.

The track out of town was quite narrow and we met a couple of vehicles coming the other way.

It was great riding along through some tight corners and undulating terrain. stopping proved to be a bit tricky and a couple of bikes ran off the road into some grass but no harm harm done and everyone stayed upright.

A bit further on we regrouped again and decided on Dimbulah for lunch.

The road opened up from and became a lot faster. The gravel became much more slippery and the bike wobbled about a bit. As I pulled up with Matthew and Tom to wait at the junction the dust settled behind us. Some time later Cameron pulled up saying that the other Tom had come off. He had not hurt himself and the bike was ok and they would be along soon.

 

Everyone caught up and after finding that the only damage was a token mirror and a sore shoulder for Tom we had an easy run into Dimbulah for lunch.

Dimbulah

Dimbulah

After lunch it was leisurely ride back to Mareeba where we split up and headed home.

I did just under 400km for the day. A great and easy day out.

Our track in blue.

Our track in blue.