Last November plans were hatched to go to the World Superbike opening round at Phillip Island and then after that we would take the ferry across Bass Strait to Tasmania. It has been about 15 years since I'd visited either by motorcycle so I was excited to be heading back.
With my recent knee injury I was a little concerned about being able to ride for long stints. An MRI turned out that I had a knee fracture but the only thing for it was Physio, so I got hooking in to get as well as possible in anticipation for the ride. It has been so long since I'd been on my motorcycle I'd almost forgotten what it was like to ride it, I hadn't been on the bike since November last year.
DAY 1We left early from my place with Stu and Bushpig just after 7am headed towards Goulburn via the dreaded Hume Highway. I packed my sheepskin just for this section. Two hours later we had arrived and refueled the bikes and met the others(Dave and Bruce) at the bakery for a spot of breakfast.
With the hunger wolves now at bay it was more dreaded highway down to Yass where we picked up a couple more people, Doug and Craig with now seven of us all told. We continued down to Coolac where we finally turned off the highway (yay) and took the back way into Tumut. Headed out of Tumut we took the Rosewood road up through the pine forests, this is a great bit of road in the middle of nowhere, thank you logging industry for providing some motorcycle heaven. We then stopped in Tumbarumba at the bakery for a spot of lunch.
Leaving Tumbarumba behind we headed down to the NSW/VIC border via Jingellic and onto the Murray River road and up over the Granya gap. I struggled riding through the Gap a bit as I couldn't put weight through my knee to weight the pegs and hang off into the bends so I had to counter steer every corner without hanging off, which became a bit slow and tiresome but still a lot of fun being back on the bike.
We were soon pulling into the pub at Dederang which was to be our destination for tonight. The accommodation is quite reasonable at $40 a night with continental breakfast. Dave and I stayed in one of the cabins out the back which cost a little extra but we were in total luxury.
The local constabulary turned up to the pub and was checking out our bikes, he said a quick hello and then went off to see the publican. Putting the bikes around the back we settled in for a few well earned ales.
|Inside our cabin|
Day 1 Map Reference
DAY 2Today's trip would include some great motorcycling roads unlike day 1 which was half highway half twisties. I'd skipped the free toast for breakfast as Doug had said we'd stop at the whitty cafe for breakfast about an hour away. We refueled in Myrtleford on the way to Whitfield. Sitting at the cafe eating breakfast we watched probably over 100+ bikes go through. They do a great breakfast here too and are very bike friendly.
Bushpig nick-named Doug's bike the Stukka, because;
A: Its German and
B: It comes in from behind and dive bombs you before shooting off into the distance.
Here's a short video of the Stukka in action on the Whitfield road.
We refueled in Mansfield for the trip across the Jamieson to Eildon Road. This is a road I've never ridden on before but had read a lot about it so this was a first for me. The road didn't disappoint it was an absolute cracker. There were so many bends by the end of it I think I was just about all 'bended' out and was hoping for a few straights. SHIT did I just say that?
|Jamieson - Eildon Road|
The lookout is at the Jamieson end not far into the twisties but with superb views below of the lake. From here the road twists its way around mountains with 55km corners which slowly turn down in speed until you doing 35km and 25km corners. I was quite exhausted by the end of 60kms of just bends. With counter steering the whole way it wasn't making it easy, I couldn't ride my normal ride by not being able to hang off and attack the bends but boy was it still a hell of a lot of fun.
|Lake Eildon Lookout|
We had a brief reprieve from the twisty goodness that was the Jamieson road as we pressed on down to Marysville. Then we turned off here and instead of doing the black spur, Doug took us down the Reefton Spur yet another first for me as this is another famous bike road that I'd read about but never done. Two first's in the same day with brand new twisty motorcycle roads. I'm loving it, bring it on.
|R1 on the Reefton Spur|
After this the road seemed to descend for miles and miles and the road became narrow and very twisty, plenty of 25 and 35km corners and all this after the work out earlier on the Jamieson road. The constant downhill bends were giving my wrists a workout. I bet this road would flow much better in the other direction as it would be mostly uphill. I didn't put my gopro on here as it was almost flat from the jamieson road but it would have been nice to get some footage.
After what seemed like ages of corner after corner action we finally came through Reefton (not much there) and into Warburton. Refueling the bikes it was time for some lunch so we found, you guessed it another bakery. With coffee and pies dispatched we then turned towards the Island which was not too far away, only about 2 hours. I was thankful as I was beginning to get tired by this point.
|Map of the 2 Spurs|
|The view from our house over Cape Woolamai|