Monday, December 14, 2020

Possibly the greatest photo of the year

 Well that's a big statement to make but I'm sure this photo that I found floating around the internet is one of the greatest photos of the year if not all time possibly. What do you think?

Taken at the Austrian MotoGP this year.

Not my photo by the way. Not sure who owns it, so can't credit them.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Snowy Mountains Tour 2020 Part II

 DAY 4

Unfortunately for us the road into Cabramurra had been closed and today's trip after a short run to Adelong was going to be back in the same direction, although no one complained about that because these roads up here are awesome.

But first it was to the cafe for a hearty bacon and egg roll and coffee for breakfast then we were off for fuel before tackling the Rosewood raceway. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, beautiful blue skies and perfect riding temps.
Fueled up and on pole position

The January bushfires had swept through the area which has been purposely planted for logging and supply of timber to the local timber mill in Tumut. As the trees were all burned and blackened they cut down all of the tree's leaving the hills completely bare. You could literally see for miles.


So we rode the 80 odd kms into Adelong before turning around and heading back the same way. This road is very conducive of spirited riding, which may or may not have happened, er I can't confirm or deny anything your honour.

We took a short break to take in the beauty of the area and breath in that fresh country air. Ah that sweet smell of fresh air. I'm sure Stuart is standing out there alone polluting that air.

From here it was back into Tumbarumba for fuel. A brown kelpie came rushing out of the off coloured dirt on the side of the road almost causing another brown trouser moment, as I didn't see him until the last moment when he nearly went under my wheels.

After fueling up we retraced our route from yesterday to Khancoban where we stopped for lunch.


From Khancoban I lead up into the mountains, today was one of those days when riding, everything was just clicking and riding was a pure joy. That's not to say some of it wasn't hard work but that is its own reward sometimes. Leading the guys down the Alpine way was top fun. The old R1 was still holding its own against the newer weaponry.

A quick stop at the top of Dead Horse Gap to regroup and take in the mountain ambience. It's so beautiful up here and nice and cool at 1570m altitude.

A few other bikes passed by as we chatted. Soon enough we were off down the hill towards thredbo. Stu stopped in briefly to watch some of the mountain bikes coming down the hill.

We remounted one last time for the trip into Jindabyne, by then everyone was pretty much settled into their rooms at the Banjo Paterson Inn. This was a great place to stay if not a little pricey, we could have easily shared here to halve the price. Clean rooms, good food and great beer. They Make Kosciuszko pale ale here also. PUB#7 and brewery number 2.

So after another great days riding we retired to the bar a little earlier than we would normally. The place was quite busy and we sat out the front watching various motorcycles pass by whilst having a ice cold beer. Does it get any better?


I was up fairly early today, not sure why but anyway I decided I'd eat the continental breakfast provided in the room. Then the guys decided that they would go down to the bakery for breakfast. Damn. I decided not to have two breakfasts and waited patiently. Looking down I found a packet of nails next to my tire. Oh that was lucky I didn't ride over them.

Once the guys and gals were ready we hit the road out to Dalgety and back across the Snowy River Way. I only stopped to take one photo below of the wind farm half way along. Those things are huge when you get underneath them and you can see them coming in the distance for miles away.

We stopped in Bombala for some morning tea at the cafe. The toasted Ham-Cheese-Tomato samich was ace, washed down with a coffee. We continued on down to the Imlay road. It was 5 years ago since I've been down here. I couldn't remember what it was like to be honest. Jason's Bandit also decided to spew coolant all over the road which it continued doing the following day.

Following along behind the faster riders was a bit of a blast and there may have been a little bit of spirited riding. The road was a little rough in patches but otherwise a fun, continuing down hill set of fast sweepers and straights. It didn't seem to take long to reach the Princes Highway at the other end.

Imlay MotoGP track

From here we made our way into Eden, where we proceeded to head down to the wharf for fish and chips. Except the shops were all closed. Not sure if from Covid or what but not much was open sunday lunch time. So we proceeded to go from place to place looking for somewhere to have lunch before Geoff said 'Fuck it I'm going to the Pub for Lunch'. So that's what we ended up doing in the end. Can't go wrong with pub grub. PUB#8

Eden Wharf

From Eden we took the Nethercote road across to Mt Darragh road. What a great little road this was. Good find Stu. Stunning views through this twisty valley road. Best take it easy if you've never been through here before as corners are blind with big drop offs on either side.

Riding the Mt Darragh road from South to North didn't seem as much fun to me. I think the road flows better in the other direction.

Soon we were holed up at the Bar in Bermagui at our digs for the night, the Bermagui Hotel-Motel. PUB#9. The crankshaft ales were flowing like no tomorrow. That and a late night MOTOGP round Stu cracked out the fireball whiskey. A fitting end to our tour as tomorrow was the trip home up the coast.


We had a fantastic breakfast in the Bermagui beachside cafe next to the Hotel. It was my first bacon and eggs on toast of the trip, not bad seeing as it was the last day. I wandered over to the beach to have a look. Bermagui is a beautiful place alright. 

Bermagui Beach

Beach Views

Bermagui Hotel-Motel

We'd lined the bikes up out the front of the pub for one last all together shot before taking off for the trip home. The monday traffic on the south coast was absolutely dreadful today, it was like school holiday type traffic and throw in the fact that today's temp hit 38°C the ride up the coast was painful. It was too hot for photo taking today.

Another awesome trip away with the boys and girls. We saw everything from Beaches to mountains and everything in between. Thanks for the memories guys. Bring on next years tour. Vic should be open by then.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Snowy Mountains Tour 2020 Part I

I was debating whether or not to call this post "The Great Snowy Mountains Pub Tour of 2020" rather than current title as that's probably a more apt title. Yes it is that time of year again where a bunch of drinkers bikers from far and wide get together for our annual Snow Mountains tour.

This year was going to be a little different than the others due to Covid closing the border between NSW and Victoria so we would need to stay within our own state. This would at least give us the chance to explore some of the roads in the Snowy mountains that we haven't been on in years as we tend to bypass them to get to the Victorian alps.


The tour was officially kicking off on Thursday however a few of us wanted to have an extra day of riding and Geoff, Doug, Scotty decided we would start a day early. Meeting at Maccas McGraths Hill we chatted over coffee before heading off. I even put fuel in the bike this time before starting the trip.

We crossed over the Blue Mountain along the Bells Line before crossing over the Darling Causeway to Mt Victoria and down the hill. 

The picture below was purely for starting a fight with my two daughters as they love the Lolly bug. What kid doesn't like lollies. They were most upset with me for not buying them any too I might add.

We stopped just along the Jenolan Caves Road for a break, but quickly moved on as someone had dropped a plastic bag with a goats head on the side of the road right next to where Doug stopped. The stench was horrendous.

The Plan was to head into Oberon for lunch via Jenolan Caves but that would have been around 2pm by then so we decided to stop at Hampton pub which we've always bypassed and have lunch there instead.

Never having stopped here we had no idea what it was going to be like. And to our surprise it looked like they had spent a lot on doing this place up. The lunches were pretty good if not a little slow but it hit the spot nicely. Pub#1.

From here the plan was to ride down through Jenolan Caves and back to Oberon, however at the Duckmaloi rd turn off the sign said the road was closed but the caves house was open? Umm yep so how's that supposed to work then?

So instead of riding the caves road we turned onto Duckmaloi rd and headed into Oberon for a splash of fuel. We needn't have bothered as I put in 9 litres for 180kms, the R1 is running great after the carby tune. With a 18 Litre tanks thats well over 300kms on a sportsbike.

We set off down through Black Springs and down the twisties into the Abercrombie Gorge to the river at the bottom. It's been 3 years since we'd come this way and they've put in a new bridge and resurfaced the northern side of the gorge. The road condition was great.

A quick stop for a photo of the wind farms on the distant hills. 

It was only a few short minutes into Taralga where we were staying at the Taralga Hotel for the night. The rooms are a little pricey for pub rooms but Geoff and I shared so we have more beer money.

Main street Taralga on wednesday afternoon. Not much chance of getting run over here.


It was the perfect weather for riding today. A few beers were had and tall stories told of speed and daring, mostly by Geoff. 

Another tall story


It was only a short ride into Goulburn to meet Stu and the others and it was good to get the air flowing through my helmet. However being spring here at the moment I get hayfever allergies and my eyes were watering even after I'd taken a tablet. A short breakfast at trappers bakery in Goulburn we headed down towards Tarago to pick up the crew from Callalla Bay.

The last 5 kms into Tarago my allergies were getting the best of me, sneezing into my helmet with tears running from my eye's. It was then a mission at the petrol station to get water and take some more drugs. I was so focused I'd forgotten Bretts name and almost Dave's too. Geez got to chill out a bit.

We continued down to Braidwood and then down the Kings Highway for our lunch stop at Nelligan. Except I wasn't hungry so I lazyed on the lounge with a chiko roll and iced coffee.
On the banks of the Clyde River

Lunch in Nelligan

Riding into Batemans Bay I noticed that they were nearing completion of a new bridge over the Clyde river and it looked huge compared to the old one. About time it got replaced. We are so backwards in Australia about building decent infrastructure. It's about bloody time too.

Riding into Narooma the weather looked like it was about to dump on us, so we fueled up and stopped in at the Pub with the million dollar views for a quick refreshment, there was only 76kms to go today till we arrive at our accommodation. PUB#3

Weather hunting us all into the pub

Million Dollar views, no chance today.

We didn't hang around for to long before we made our way on damp roads down the coast to Bermagui and on into Tathra for the night. I thought I'd stop down at the wharf for a quick photo op whilst the other hit up PUB#4.

Tathra pub has been refurbished and reopened now after being closed for several years. There's a brewery now on the premise of which we had to participate in the beery goodness. Saving little country town pubs, one town at a time and doing our bit for the economy. Fortunately the pub closed at 9.30pm and kick us out, which was a blessing in disguise as we were ok the next morning.

Scotty telling a "whopper"


Heading down to the bakery for breakfast was a good call. After a nice sausage roll and ice coffee we headed over to the beach to take a look, not many people out early today. 

A few of the guys needed fuel so we waited patiently whilst they filled up. Groups of 12 or so can take quite some time filling up, it can be just like herding cats most of the time.

From Tathra we headed towards Bega then followed the highway for a short time to the Candelo turn off. The road into here is being bumped up my all time favourites list. The Mt Darragh section is superb but is tight and can be treacherous, but ever so fun and rewarding when you get it right. With virtually no traffic at all and 45km of twisty goodness what's not to love. 

It was interesting to see that last January's bushfire had also ripped through here with the fur like growth evident on all the tree's in this remote area.

We soon had to pull over for some road works. They closed the road because of a tree falling across it, apparently unrelated to the works they were there for. Lucky for us. So we got up to some shenanigans.

Photo by Doug

It was cleared in about 5 minutes and we got back under way heading into Bombala for fuel.

From Bombala we took the Snowy River Way, a road that I hadn't been on since the early 2000s and that was only about a third of it as it was dirt back in the day. Now its a fast flowing roller coaster ride over Australia's rooftop with views of far off hills and valleys. This is Hayabusa country for sure, but had its fair share of fast sweepers to keep you on your toes.

We stopped for lunch in Jindabyne at the bakery. Maybe we should call this trip the great snowy mountains pub and bakery tour? We also picked up another rider who was a late starter due to work. Craig joined the frivolities.

After lunch we headed up and over thredbo. It was interesting to still see some snow drifts up top. As we crested Dead Horse Gap and headed down the winding slopes we noticed the bushfires had ravished these beautiful mountains and now they gave an eerie ominous look.

A few kilometers down the hill I almost came to grief with a huge front end slide followed by a rear end slide on a fresh patch of gravel that couldn't be seen. A few corners later I caught up to Stu riding quite slowly. He obviously hit the same patch and also had filled his trousers like I had. That was too close.

We stopped to regroup just after the river at Geehi picnic area. Jas pulled up on the Bandit, he'd also filled his trousers, but not for the same reason. His front guard got caught on the radiator guard and was on full stop on the suspension and almost ran off the road in the process. Its a long way down from up there is all I can say. Very lucky, but it broke the front guard.

It wasn't far from here till we reached Khancoban, where surprise, surprise we visited the pub for a quick refreshment before the final stint into Tumbarumba for the night. PUB#5.

Interesting that we bumped into one of Scotty's mates who incidentally was out on a group ride of his own. Sometimes the world really is a small place.


It was only a quick stop before we set off for Tumbarumba and PUB#6 for tonight's stay. Another fantastic day on Australia's rooftop.