Monday, March 18, 2013

A Duc, a Wing and an Eagle

It's been a very slow start to the riding year for me, so much so that on Sunday, I finally got out for the first ride of the year. Its also been summer here and its now just ticked over into Autumn, there seems to have been always something to get in the way of getting out for a ride whether it be work, rain , 40°C heat or just family stuff getting in the way, so it was fantastic to get the bike out for a ride. By the end of today's ride one of us wouldn't make it to our destination and another had ended up ploughing off the road.

Checking the tyre pressures that morning at the servo and the front was down to 25 psi and rear was on 30 psi, yep it has been awhile hasn't it and filling up since the last ride I put in 15.48 litres for 298km's. Not bad that's 5L/100km and on a sportsbike too!

So today's plan was to do a full day's ride into the hills stopping off at Taralga pub for lunch. Geoff picked me up on his way through and then we picked up Wayne in the Blue mountains on the way out to Oberon. Wayne mentioned that his ducati was running very roughly. We didn't realise it at the time until we pulled into the servo at Oberon 120km later and he put in 13L. Wow that's over 10L/100km. He wasn't joking when he said it wouldn't pull out of a corner or couldn't overtake. So Wayne decided to pull the pin as riding an ill performing machine was no fun at all, it was just plain scary. I think it's time for a new bike Wayne.

The first stop we pulled over to take in some of the scenery just south of Black Springs. The pine forests here had been cut down as far as the eye could see. If the greenies in the city could see this they'd be up in arms writing folk songs on their acoustic guitars! As we stopped here we saw a couple of gold wings and Harley's and a concourse pass by enjoying the day.

The ride through the hills here was fantastic although it can get a little rough in places. The best thing about this road is that it's in the middle of nowhere, it starts nowhere and really ends nowhere but has loads of bends and hills. Some of my regular readers might remember me talking about this road last year and about the notorious bend over the crest of the hill that quickly turns and drops away to the right going from wide double lane to narrow single lane. Looks like it caught out one of the gold wing riders that had passed us earlier when we stopped to take some pics. He went straight off the road and went down in the gully. He had broken mirrors, scratched up fairing and damaged crash bars. Not too bad all things considered.

I took some video of the trip today with the gopro. Here is a snippet of the road where it descends down the gorge and across the Abercrombie river. It starts just before the gorge you can see the Blue gold wing at 0:37 and other bikes and it ends with Geoff rooster tailing it at the bottom of the gorge in the dirt.

We arrived in Taralga just on lunch time. There were a couple of other bikes at the pub having some lunch as well. The bar staff here were great fun and very welcoming, asking all sorts of questions about my gopro and the ride. They do a very nice lunch here too. A little later the group of guys with the gold wings pulled in so we had a chat to them to see if all was ok. The rider said he was fine just a little sore around the ribs.

Taralga Hotel

It's all vegan.......cept for the chicken

Bikes at the pub

After a beaut lunch it was time to head back up the same road on the way home. I decided to put the gopro in picture mode every 5 seconds and see what it came out with. As it turns out I got some nice shots and something a little unexpected.

Damn is this thing on...I think it is!

Touring by R1

Bridge on the Abercrombie River

I thought I'd pull up at the bend to have a look and see if there was a gold wing mirror laying about. Looks like they must have taken it with them but I found some other interesting things, like a bike mirror and some other plastic bits and pieces. Looks like this bend has claimed a few scalps in its time.

Did I lose this?
Geoff stops to inspect the bit and pieces
It's time to keep on moving so its back to the bike for the trip back to Oberon.
Is this one mine?
One last look back at that bend, they have put up 45kmh signs on the bend since I last rode down here. It was scary coming into this last year at speed with no warning. It's something you'll never forget that's for sure.

On the way back I saw a couple of eagles flying low over the road, and I saw Geoff looking up at one of them. He had a large wing span with white and brown feathers. Now the picture below I don't remember seeing this until I looked through the pictures later to make this post. What does everyone else think the object above Geoff's head is? It looks like an eagle carrying a rabbit or something to me. You will have to zoom in to see it well.

We pulled into the servo in Oberon for one last fuel up before the trip back across the Blue Mountains. I noticed the price of petrol here was the highest I've seen anywhere. OUCH!

Another fantastic day out on the bike. Lets hope that the next trip is sooner rather than later.


  1. What a great post and fantastic video Steve - felt that I was seated on your R1! Would very much like to travel that road. The Ducati fuel consumption was as bad as my old Subaru Impreza!!!

    Sad about the 'wing. Funnily enough, a few years back, a mate binned a 'busa on a tricky corner and when we went back a couple of days later, we found his missing wing mirror plus several bits from other bikes and a car!

    May the rest of your year include more riding like this post!

    1. Thanks Geoff, the guy on the wing was ok and he was insured.

      That was some poor fuel consumption thats for sure, our car gets that around town and out on the open road its around 7-8L/100km.

      Yeah too right theres more riding on the cards. I wanna check out the seacliffe bridge soon.

  2. About time you got out, you lazy b*st*rd! I was thinking "how could you not see that corner with double 45 signs, double REDUCE SPEED signs and double "road narrows" signs?" So what was the Gold Wing rider's excuse?
    Looked like a nice day too. A bit cool is great.

    1. Lazy don't get me started......
      Goldwing riders excuse was that he had the cruise control set on 110kmh when he went into that bend. Those signs have only been put up this year by my guess, they were not there in Novemeber when we went through on the snowy ride. About time to as its a pretty dangerous curve. It didn't stop me taking it at $1.40 with no warning of curve ahead last january. Thats probably why I was crapping myself.

      It was a fantastic day out, temperature was just right about 18°- 25°C.

    2. $1.40! You crazy so and so! Pity the fuel wasn't that much. Clearly Oberon people "don't take kindly to your type 'round there!".

  3. Steve, glad that you got a good day in the saddle. Looks like you were back in the grove pretty quickly. I really liked the last minute of the video, looking at the curves and taking in the engine noise for each. It doesn't sound like the R1 is revving that hard actually. The roads around here are appalling and it looks like yours are not much better.

    We've gone from weeks of blistering hot weather to cool, wet and gusty without any sort of balmy transition between. There are a few historic events coming up over Easter that I'd like to ride to so it's fingers crossed for some decent weather.

    1. Hi Jules
      We were pretty much in cruise mode going down the gorge, as it is very bumpy and were unsure if there was any gravel on the bends.
      We have had lots of rain on weekends here, and when it wasn't raining I had something else planned.
      Good luck with your easter weather hopefully it'll be a sunny one. By the way, have you riden the thorpdale twisties jules?

  4. Not too hot out, no rain - perfect day for riding. Too bad the Duc had to get his feathers ruffled and not want to play. Hope he gets his bike sorted or a new one - that is always fun.

    Ha! vegan except for the chicken, you're funny. And it would be vegan except for the chicken & cheese you cheeky monkey.......

    We are paying about $0.94 a liter right now for petrol. Expensive for here but cheap compared to your prices. Our Subaru sucks gas too but it is the price we pay for all wheel drive.

    Thanks for sharing your trip pics. We haven't been on the bikes much lately so it is nice to travel along with others on their days out.

    1. Is cheese a type of meat? I didn't know that, well you learn something everday don't you.

      I guess you have to get some benefit of spending billions bombing the crap out of Iraq, and thats cheap fuel.

  5. I have been a bit like you to mate, have struggled to get out and do any decent riding at the moment. ALways seems some thing on. Enjoyed this post though and the vid, glad to see you had a decent is great for the soul!

    1. Least you got a out with Geoff and the boys for a trash around the North Island. Other than that your blog has been like mine so far this year, a bit on the dry side.

  6. Steve:

    your video isn't loading for me, will have to try again at home

    our petrol is around $1.45/litre so we are much higher than in the USA. That is poor fuel mileage for the Duc. My R1200 gets around 5L+/100km and that's in town. My Strom gets a bit higher

    you guys travel too fast for me. Who in their right mind would go $1.40 on a .45c curve ?

    Nice to see you have mastered your GoProHD

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Well bob, the signs got put up only recently and you couldn't tell it was a sharp curve when all the previous ones were 1.40 corners.

  7. Awesome that you finally got out for a decent ride. I've been taking it a bit easy so far this year too must admit, as shown by the fact that I dropped my bike in a parking lot last weekend ... ugh I need more low speed practice.

    That is expensive petrol!! bout $1.40 here I think, tho I rarely look at the price anyway.

    I reckon you're right bout that being an eagle with a snack .. love the gopro for catching stuff like that.

    1. Dang, hope all is well with you and you didn't hurt your bike to much. Bikes aren't meant to lay down for a sleep.

      When are you off on your big trip of western NSW, it must be soon?

    2. Yeah just a couple of scratches that will buff out, and a bruised ego.

      The trip may not actually happen for a while now, there's something else being planned for a big trip next year that might end up in Mildura sooo... We'll see what actually happens. I might just do White Cliffs/Broken Hill later this year.