Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Year in Review

Well another year has come and gone, I know I say this every year but where the heck did it go so fast? What a year of riding it has been for me personally, probably not the most riding I've ever done but some of the riding achievements for me were life long goals like riding New Zealands south island and riding on the track at one of the worlds best Motogp circuits, Phillip Island Australia.

It was a bit of a slow start to the year with a couple of short rides around local roads like Wisemans ferry and up into the Blue mountains for a bit of a look around. There are many spectacular look outs to be found in the blue mountains, but you need to look a little further for great riding.

Sandstone walls near Wisemans Ferry

3 Sisters and Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains

Then in February we achieved a life long goal of both mine and my brothers that we had talked about for years (around 18 to be precise), a riding trip around New Zealand. This was the most anticipated trip ever and something I'll never forget. This trip had everything you could possibly want in a motorcycle ride. Winding coastal roads, winding mountains road, spectacular rivers and lakes, and some of the most beautiful mountain vistas and lush forest scenery all in between. It was even better because I got to ride it with my older brother who I used to ride with all the time but in the last 10 years we have both moved long distances apart and haven't ridden together since. So it was fantastic to ride with my bro again and to share in the special place that is NZ. The best motorcycle tour ever bar none. The blog that followed took longer to put together than the actual trip so it was epic on every level. We did just over 3900kms in 10 days.

Overlooking Alexandra towards the remarkables

Near Mt Cook village with Mt Sefton in the background

Magnificent Mt Cook
Here's a short video of us riding up the legendary Arthur's Pass.

Then in April after I came back from NZ I had decided that it was time to retire my old quin leathers. They had served me well over the last 18 years even coming through a crash at Eastern Creek raceway with only minor cosmetic damage. I'd ordered a nice new set of Tiger Angel leathers straight off of their website. They have a pretty comprehensive measuring system. All arrived in time for a test ride up to the Oxley Highway, another trip I haven't done for about 6 or 7 years. The leathers were a little bit big around the chest, and I've also lost some weight since getting them so they are a little loose around the top, but otherwise are a great product.

We had the regular crew back together that we would normally do our snowy ride on and it was another overnighter staying in Walcha and riding the Oxley highway. One of NSW premier biking roads, loads and loads of tight twisty bends.
The Oxley Highway, where bikers sell their souls just to ride this road

Through winter we got several good rides in some of them being so good I couldn't tell if it was winter or if it had turned to spring. We had some nice warm winter days to blaze away at the Putty road, a favourite of mine. And my good friend Brad bought himself a brand spankin new Z1000 and came out for a ride with us. Come on mate pull your finger out and get some more rides in with us will you ya slack bastard.

The  end of winter saw me just doing some servicing of the bike, throwing in new brake pads & fluid, oil & filter and then got the rear suspension rebuilt. A couple of short rides at the start of spring showed that the rear shock seemed to be working pretty good but the downside it also showed how bad the front suspension was, so I also got that rebuilt in preparation for the coming track day at Phillip Island. A couple of more rides up into the blue mountains and we were attacked by swarms of bee's and dive bombed by kamikaze magpies. Thats spring for you.

September saw some sad news from over sea's from the blogging community when we heard that Bobscoot from Riding the Wet Coast had suddenly passed away whilst on holidays. Just about every biker on blogger knew Bob either via their blogs or by actually meeting him. Long may you ride on bobscoot.

Then in October we had a family holiday down to Victoria and along the great ocean road. This was a good trip as it had been about 15 years or so since I had been down there and I also got to meet this fantastic bloke and his lovely wife.....

Jules and Mrs T from the great blog Tarsnakes. I got to check out the mighty ZX-14 in the flesh, everything about it is impressive, and Jules had even fitted a GPS. After that we cruised leisurely along to the 12 8 Apostles.

After getting back home we had some really hot weather at the end of October and start of November which is a great start to the summer season, not so much fun riding in 33°C+ heat though.

Then in late November I ticked off another bucket list item by riding around at Phillip Island. Unfortunately I didn't get to ride the track on my slicks like I'd hoped but it was still one of the most fun things that you can do with your clothes leathers on.

I started out the year with 60,551kms on the clock and finished up with 64,411 kms, couple that with the 3900kms we did around NZ then it turns out I did a credible 7,760 kms this year. Not to shabby for me with the little sammich munchers still stealing from my new motorcycle fund.

Lets hope that 2015 brings in some new weaponry to my stable. As you would all know that one bike is never enough, I think the R1 needs to have a friend to share the garage with.

Happy new year to all my loyal readers and here's to a fantastic year of riding in 2015. See you all on the road. And stay safe all.


  1. What a riding year, Steven. Thanks for sharing your vids and pics, and for letting me tag along for a ride in your neck of the woods. Here's to 2015. Ride safe, ride happy.

    Greetings from the Black Forest, SonjaM

    1. Greeting Sonja. All the best to you and Roland over there in the shivering black forest :)
      All the best for 2015 and happy new year.

  2. It isn't always the quantity of riding, but the quality, and you had some awesome rides this last year.

    All the best to you, your wife, and your little moto-fund stealing sammich grabbers in 2015.

    1. Happy new year Brandy. They were awesome rides, some of the best ever. It will be hard to top these.

  3. Good stuff little Bro. Un Zud was awesome but I can't believe it was almost 12 months ago already!!
    I hope you don't mean that my bike will be your bike's company? Hopefully you are getting another? ;)
    Happy New Year and all the best for 2015.

    1. It feels like so long agon now doesn't it? Maybe I'll have to organise a north island tour and bum off those kiwi bloggers for free accomodation and booze! I hear Rog likes a drink or two.
      Happy new year, maybe that R1 will get ridden more than once. Will it then be an R2?

  4. Nice wrap-up Steve. I've been working on mine - best get on with it!

    All the best for the New Year and I hope you can squeeze in a few decent rides here and there!

    1. You will have lots of material for your 2014 year in review, you did heaps of rides.

      I try to get out when I can, having kids is like a ball and chain on your leg, that also steals your wallet!
      All the best mate and happy new year.

  5. Hey, great stuff Steve. A year well worth reviewing. And thanks for the nice comments and pic of Mrs T and I.

    Best New Year wishes & ride safe in 2015.

    Cheers Jules.

    1. Hi Mate
      Happy new year to you and Mrs T.
      Keep the rubber side down in 2015 mate and all the best.