As noted in the "The Way We Were" thread, recent contact with Jim Scaysbrook regarding and forthcoming publication provided more than enough justification for a ride to Oberon, and the taking of two days and some 1,300 kms to do it! Being as esteemed brother has just bought a new/second-hand '97 VFR-750 and is, like me, a casual employee of the Education Department, time was not an issue. Brother's cat had been ill overnight, and at the Vet's, so we didn't end up leaving till late morning Tuesday 15th, and didn't get to our first stop, Pie In The Sky, on the old Pacific Highway, till near lunch time. Pie and Coffee, naturally. On the way up Mount Ousley out of Wollongong we had a couple of spots of rain, but by the time we go to PITS, it was clear and sunny, and several 'lovely day for a ride, mate' comments came from some of the other patrons. The plan was to go to Newcastle and visit an old friend, and then wend our way over to Oberon and see Jim. The rest kinda got made up as we went along. So after spending an hour or so at Toronto, the need to make a decison regarding the route became necessary; easy in the end, it was still mid afternoon, the sun was shining brighter as the day wore on, and the Putty Road and Bell's Line of Road beckoned. So, hieing off across the Cessnock winery area, we emerged onto the Putty at Milbrodale, just at the head of the famous Ten Mile. What fun. Not one single car or truck, in either direction, for the entire distance. The surface is imeasurably better than when I learned to ride there 34 years ago, and one corner flowed into another in much more fluent style than my much more frequent forays on Macquarie Pass. I felt like I was back on the old RD-350 again. Until... We came across a member of our local Illawarra Forum, who'd planned a solo day on the Putty, but had hit a diesel spill even before he got to the Ten Mile and written off his Hyo 250 . He was shaken but not injured, and was in the process of loading the remains into a ute. We wished him all the best and resumed our pursuit of each other southwards. The middle section of the Putty is as boring as it ever was, and sod's law dictated that when we got to the fabulous plunge down the hill into the Colo River, we were stuck behind a P-Plater in a Pajaero!!! We dusted him on the run up out of the valley and in no time at all were swinging right onto the road to Kurrajong. Last week I had a strange situation with the Hornet where it refused to pick up reserve when switched over, so I was wathing mileage and consumption very carefully. I knew I would have to fill up before I got to Lithgow; in fact I didn't want to test reserve for that reason. But there's no servo at Kurrajong Heights, and by the time we got to Bilpin the NRMA guy told us that the last servo between there and Lithgow had closed 15 minutes ago (6:00pm). How in this great country of ours can there NOT be a servo between Bilpin and Lithgow on a road that carries as much traffic as BlOR does??? So we had to push ahead and hope; I figured that I'd get around 230kms before I hit reserve, but if it didn't pull the fuel through (like I had a choice) I was going to be stuck in the boonies. If it DID pull the fuel though, I figured maybe another 30kms in reserve before empty MIGHT, just might, get me to the outskirts of Lithgow where there MIGHT, just might, be a servo still open. A exactly 230 kms, in a place that felt as desolate and far from civilisation as the moon, a cough announced the transition to reserve. I prayed as I reached under the tank and flicked the tap. Two coughs later four cylinders picked up and ran sweetly! Success, at least I still had some reserve. But at 257kms, inside the 50km speed limits of Lithgow, with not a servo in sight, it coughed again and this time it meant it! I coasted to side of the road and signalled Phil who pulled over. We unloaded his Rjays gearsack, and he went in search of petrol. In no time flat, he was back with a 1 litre bottle; the servo was just over the hill!!! If the bike had done 258kms, I could have coasted into the station!! So, fuelled up, visors washed, and fueled up at the local Scottish Resturant, we headed into bathurst. Since Jim lives halfway between Bathurst and Oberon we figured to stay in Bathurst. But the motels looked very expensive (casual Education staff, remember??) so we head out along the road to Oberon to see if their was a cheaper option along the way. There wasn't. Oh, well, what about the O'Connell Pub?? Great idea. Except that it was closed, no doubt due to the surviving million or more bugs that we hadn't killed with our windscreens/boots/bodies and helmets. No choice but to push through a million more and head to Oberon. The ambient temp was still 25 degrees and I was wearing just a T-Shirt and my R-jays Octane textile jacket and leather pants, so riding conditions were good. We got a room at the Tourist Hotel in Oberon. Two single beds, simple but comfortable, and $40 total tarrif!! I recommend it! The publican said that there was a garage out the back where we could put the bikes, but, "If you park them on the street just under that sign, they'll be safer, because that's where the Video Surveillance camera lives! If anyone fiddles with them we'll know who it was!" Too tired to argue after 683 kms, we changed went for a walk to see the sights of Oberon, and 3 minutes later hit the sack . End of Day one. Day two was to prove about as different from the first day as we could have imagined.