The History of FarRiders
by ghostrider (with a personal twist)
"We met at Thomas Lee Motorcycles, then had lunch at a cafe in town. Most riders were Queenslanders with a few from NSW. The ride is memorable for being very cold, with temperatures below zero around Cunninghams Gap."
- Quoted from FarRiders' very first ride still readable here
This first FarRide, FR East #1 was held on Saturday, June 17, 2006 with a meeting place at Moree, NSW. Fourteen riders completed
David "Davo" Jones - the founder of FarRiders - had been a very keen long distance rider for some time. Build it and they will come was his conviction - leading to the conception of FarRiders . . .
. . . after watching the movie Hidalgo depicting a horse (Hidalgo) and its rider Frank, winning an epic desert challenge ride (Ocean of Fire) restricted to the finest Arabian horses. Far Rider was the nickname given to Frank in that movie. So Davo chose the name FarRiders for the group he planned to form.
And it worked.About four months after the first FarRide, on Saturday, October 21, 2006 FarRide East #2 finished at the Great Artesian Spa in Mitchell, Qld. The word seemed to make the rounds.
FarRide West # 1 in Western Australia - held on the same day in 2006 with a meeting place at Wyalcatchem, WA - saw only four people turn up on three bikes!
Early days, small beginnings . . .
It took a little longer to create awareness in Tasmania. FarRide Tas #1 finished on Saturday, March 07, 2009 with a meeting place at Elephant Pass Pancake Barn, St Marys.
Rising numbers during 2012/13 made it harder to find suitable destinations and - as the East passed the
100 rider mark - we decided to split the East into East/North and East/South. Due to the input of "Team
FarRiders" - each of our four ride sections now offer three official FarRides per year.
It so happened that early in May 2009 I filled the tank of my FJR when a 1000GTR pulled up next to us (I rode with my pillion mosey-angel) and a few hours later, Davo - the GTR rider - had us lassoed in . . . and lasso us in he did!! No way to escape Davo!
We rode our first FarRide to Albury, NSW (FR East #10 in 2009) where by now the numbers had grown to 65 finishers for that ride.
Again on a FarRide, this time FR TAS #2, we suffered the worst weekend ever!
Administrators took the reins and did an amazing job to hold our group together!
As FarRides seem to have a serious influence on my life, it was two years later - October 1, 2011 around FarRide East #17 to Eungella, Qld - that another change in FarRiders' history took place. Davo's family as owners of his legacy transferred ownership to my company Action On Line Pty Ltd., placing the reins in my hands.
For some years FarRiders were the Australian unofficial branch of the IBA. Late in 2015 this connection finally ended, bringing us back to our roots as FarRiders.
On June 18, 2016 - 10 years after the first FarRide to Moree - we met for our Anniversary Ride at the same place in Moree, NSW. By now we had already issued FR member #1000. Registrations for the ride exceeded 100 of which 80 successfully completed this ride (FR #40 EAST).
Amongst the finishers was a young lady riding a BMW GS650. Also not a member at this point, Lisa MacPherson had only
recently managed to make it to P-Plater status (she just got her license!) and attempted her entry ride.The "youngster"
clocked up 1066kms to finish in Moree. She now holds FarRider #1001. Congratulations to the young lady!
What will FarRiders' future hold?
Well, as it was "just a road" in our past, it is "our road now" and we will certainly make the best of it. Thing is, it is actually much much more than just a road!
With riders like young Lisa completing her first FarRide smiling at the finish our future looks pretty good.
The invitation goes out to all riders with Long Distance Motorcycle Riding aspirations and to all FarRiders' members to participate and ride with us – as little or as much as desired.
It's great fun, absolutely free and it only hurts if you fall down . . .