Friday, December 10, 2021

Shad it

In a cruel twist of fate the delivery gods in their infinite wisdom decided on sending me my Shad top box and mounting kit 2 days after I returned from our Snowy Mountains trip. Gee I couldn't see that coming. That would have been extremely bloody useful if I had one of those things......

Well onto the fitting bit. Out with the instructions, yeah they're pretty useless as expected so start pulling bits apart on the bike. Seat and rear side covers off and mount both left and right mounting plates. Gee they are heavy bits of steel.

Rightio then that was pretty easy. Let's put the top plate on. 5 minutes trying to work out how to get it off the actual topbox, then mount it up. These mounting plastic bits look like cheap chinese shit. Check where its made. Yep cheap chinese shit. Don't like the look of it to be honest, I reckon thats where its probably going to fail. Well just have to wait and see. I guess.

So here is the finished product. It looks huge in the photo but its not to bad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Snowy Ride Part 4

 Day 5

Was feeling fairly second hand this morning. Watching the WSBK on fox and drinking red wine until late brought me a headache I couldn't shake all day, I should know better than to get on the red's. Such is life.

Luckily I'd filled up the day before and didn't have to do anything but ride. Switching to cruise control for this morning's ride out to Bombala was a breeze. Arriving I was in desperate need of a coffee. It was sometime here that someone said"Hey, where's Karen?"

Yep a rider was missing, hubby was on the phone and the conversation wasn't going too well for him. Must have been his fault she got lost somehow, all married men know this...........

Turns out she missed the turn at Dalgety and went back to Berridale and then Jindabyne again. So she was an hour behind and wanted hubby to come get her. I could see the frustration on his face. Why can't people take responsibility for their own actions and get themselves out of trouble, not like she was broken down. Fill up and ride out to Bombala, look at google maps FFS, it's not hard.

So hubby turned around and headed back to meet her along the way somewhere, whilst the rest of us non Karen's made our way down the Imlay road. Sweet, sweet Imlay. You could hold a TT race on this road as there are no houses along here at all and would make for a great race track. Alas for our nanny state mentality where anything good or dangerous is banned.

Some road works made us regroup on the grid again, holeshot device engaged and we were off and racing er riding along at a decent clip. I had plans on stopping to get some photo's of the road here but the red wine squashed any ideas of enthusiasm today so not many photos.

We stopped just before Eden at the Seahorse Inn. I tried the fettuccine and prawns, it was absolutely delicious, just what I needed. Fabulous spot here as we strolled down to the beach for a look around. We've been from snow capped mountains to the beach within a day on the trip, so much to see in this country.

Karen & Thomas turned up just before we were leaving. From here we fueled up in Eden then up Neathercoat road to Myrtle Mountain and Candelo. The group split up a bit here and went everywhere on our way to Bermagui. I followed Doug as we were on a mission for beers at the bermagui hotel.

Another good day out on the bikes followed by a few cold beers. Food at the Bermagui Hotel is excellent and this is always a great little spot to stop.

Day 5 Map


Sadly day 6 is just the reverse boring commute home that was day 1. I kinda think this is a wasted opportunity, we could make some route changes and make the last day a twisty fun ride home but we wouldn't get to stay in the Bermagui which is a lovely place.

We were up early for breakfast, a lovely bacon & egg breakfast for the last day of the tour. Richard decided on Bacon & Strawberry pancakes. Holy smokes never seen that one before, had to take a photo. Sounds so wrong but looks so inviting.

The weather for today was looking a bit shite, so we pressed on early up the coast stopping in Batemans Bay for fuel then in Braidwood for a bit of early lunch. Geoff powered on home whilst we ate delicious pie's......

Around Bowral we copped a light rain shower for about 10-15minutes, again not getting wet at all I'd made it home around 4pm. Another great tour done & dusted. The Africa Twin impressed the shite out of me if I'm honest with myself. Can ride it all day long and its not uncomfortable, can put on cruise control, it can scratch, and it can run well on dirt roads. It uses bugger all fuel and I can extend fuel stops out to 350km fairly easily. It's a bit like a swiss army knife, good at everything, master of none. I think I can get used to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Snowy Ride Part 3

 DAY 4

We stayed at the Union Hotel in Tumbarumba. Another bike friendly place, I can't recommend these guys highly enough either. $40 for a room, with a free Pint($10) and a $10 bacon & Egg Roll with coffee for breakfast. The publican couldn't do enough for us. This is how service should be. The rooms are large but a bit run down but excellent value for money.

I awoke early again dang it, so got up showered and decided to go for a walk around town. Sunday morning at 7am is dead quiet in Tumba. I took a walk through the park behind main street. Reminds me a bit of my own home town in central NSW.

Tumbarumba was founded in the early days by the discovery of gold in 1855. But the town now survives as a timber town. There's a large statue in honour of all the timber workers in the local park.

We decided to make our way back to the pub for some breakfast. I was still full from last night's huge meal and wasn't feeling like much. Doug and I went halves in a bacon & egg roll. That was just enough I couldn't have eaten any more than that.

Some of the thirsty bikes needed a refill while the AT super tanker was trundling along just fine on old 91 octane keeping up heh heh. Out on the rosewood raceway the guys up front stopped for a toilet stop, what already its only been 20 minutes. So I used this as an opportunity to zoom out front and find a spot to take some more photos. Think I picked a better spot this time.

The bare hills make for an excellent backdrop. This region had the bushfires rip through here two years ago, so the forestry commission cut them all down and replanting that's why the hills are bare.

Another fuel stop in Tumut before heading up the Snowy Mountains Highway. On the way out of Tumut I looked into the maccas and saw 3 highway patrol cars in there, happy days. There was road kill all along the roadside on the way to Talbingo Mountain, dead kangaroos and wombats everywhere.

I always enjoy riding up here in the Snowy mountains, the scenery is spectacular, as we approached Kiandra on the highest section the clouds got lower and were sitting on the hill tops and the temperature plummeted to 9°C. 

I had to put my thermal top back on when we regrouped at the Kiandra turn off, there was a definite chill in the air. The road from here down to Cabramurra was in excellent condition, it looks like it had been resurfaced after the fires as the road was closed close to 12 months.

At the turn off to Khancoban I decided I'd ride into Cabramurra to take a look. Almost the whole town was raised to the ground in those bush fires, only about 5-6 buildings remained intact. A gate barred the road with an electronic keypad. So I turned around and rode back. The photo below from the interwebs shows the devastation.

Just up the road I saw this huge tower. I thought to myself 'fuck it I'm going to ride up there and take a look, I'm at the back anyway how often do I get up here anyway and they'll be fucking around in Khancoban I'll catch back up there, I won't need fuel so it shouldn't be much of a difference in time'.

So I rode to the top of the hill, it's Cabramurra radio station. Wow what a view from up here you could see all the way back to Talbingo reservoir back near tumut, and the top of Cabramurra.

Two towering behemoths

So I was well behind everyone now, but I care not as this allowed me the luxury of riding fast or slow and stop for a picture if I wanted to. So what did I see as I was coming down one of the big hills. Yep the picture below says it all.

Bloody fantastic views up here, there's the dam wall behind the hill on the right with the road rising up the hill from bottom right to upper left just above the water line. Whilst I was standing here taking this photo I could hear either Dave/Brett's Tuono/MT10 roaring up the hill. Sounded awesome from way up here, but if I was a copper I would have a field day hearing them coming from miles away.

Tumut Pond Reservoir

Better not drop it on my own, I'll never get the behemoth up again

I didn't stop again to take a photo of the dam but here is a shot I took back in 2019 of the dam wall.

Riding up from the dam wall I was having a great time, with all the tree's burnt down you could see much more scenery than usual. Dang now I have to stop for another photo. I'd not seen so much water in the dam before or was it because you couldn't see it all before? Still it made for amazing viewing.

I pulled up into Khancoban at the petrol station and half of the guys were still filling their tanks, the others were buying some lunch. Great I didn't miss anything then. So I took my time and got a nice toasted sammich and sat on a picnic table with Brett & Margo shooting the breeze.

Before long we were headed up along the Alpine way along the backside of Mt Kosciusko. From the road we could see snow up on the peaks, not a little bit but quite a lot of snow. Awesome for this time of year only a week out from summer.

It was along here that Brett came past like the wind on the way to dead horse gap with Dave in hot pursuit, I thought  screw it I'm going to have a crack and split them. Brett very slowly pulled agap on me up the hill in the tight stuff but Dave was hanging back aways. Was he hanging back because he was expecting Africa Twin bits to go flying everywhere when I binned it?

Having a quick chat at dead horse gap, Brett was riding flat out, I was riding as fast as I was game after only 3 days and keeping up mostly. This bike has surprised the shit out of me(and some others by the looks) for what it can actually do. For a big dirt bike I reckon I could take it up the old road and towel up quite a few sportsbikes and embarrass them. It really is that good. Fuck who would have thought? Definitely not me Andrew Thomson

The weather was now closing in and looked like it was about to rain. Pretty decent considering we've avoided rain all the way so far. We had some light rain for about 15kms into Jindabyne, not really enough to test any wet gear as my gloves and boots were still dry and they definitely are not water proof.

DAY4 Map