Saturday, April 13, 2024

When is an Adventure ride not an Adventure ride?

Easy, when you have over 150mm rain the night before the ride and all your mates bail on you. The pic below was at 7pm the night before the ride. 

Red line was original plan with 100kms dirt - Blue line actual ride

I'd organised a half road/half adventure ride with the lads down to Tumut the week before as the wife and kids were going to the Hunter Valley.

The excuses started flowing thick and fast from the lads during the week when rain was predicted on thursday & friday. I'd been watching the weather all week and Tumut had no rain up until 25mm on friday so was pretty confident it would be ok. "Oh my fork seal is leaking", "oh my chain is worn out", until finally "we are gonna pull out as we'd rather do it in more ideal conditions". The forecast for saturday and sunday was showers and 1-5mm. That's nothing, sometimes you just have to go all in, pussys.

I was greeted with thick fog at 6:30am which cleared once I got to Penrith. I'd decided to head up the Great Western Highway, good call as unbeknownst to me the Bells line of road was blocked with tree falls. It was clear blue sky's all the way across the Blue Mountains and 18°C.

I'd decide against going down via Oberon which also had 150mm rain over night and decided to head further west.

I came to a causeway on the Tarana rd which had a torrent of water running through it. It wasn't too deep but there are 2 more of these further on and those ones are deeper than this. I didn't want to take a risk being by myself so rode around via Great Western to Bathurst. I went through my first rain shower which lasted about 10 minutes and just wet my visor, road was still mostly dry. 

I then decided I would head south down the Abercrombie Rd to Crookwell. I went through another shower or 2 here that again was enough to wet your visor. Geoff called me and I answered, but the comms is pretty shit at 120kmh cause I couldn't hear him and it cutout after a bit. I could tell by his tone he had FOMO.

Abercrombie Caves park was closed today. Probably due to high predicted rainfall that hasn't actually eventuated. I noticed all the weather reports online this morning had comments turned off. Media scaremongering and climate alarmism bullshit to fit their narrative.

I continued on and had a kamikaze Kangaroo jump out in front of me. He was hopping so slowly and looked soaked haha.

Most of the ride was in sunshine with threatening looking sky's. The road was mostly dry with a few wet patches and was totally empty today and it was fantastic riding.

It's not the adventure ride I was hoping for but still a fantastic road ride in pretty damn near ideal conditions and I was loving it.

Next stop was for Fuel in Crookwell and then a feed. It's not a motorcycle tour without a bakery stop. A coffee and pie hit the spot. I was thinking the conditions would be ideal to continue the rest of the adventure ride. 

After checking the weather again and NSW Traffic app I found out that Wee Jasper road was closed at Brungle Creek. The sky's were starting to get darker and more threatening. Decision made on heading out further west through Boorowa and Harden.

More empty roads and awesome riding. The sky looked foreboding but it was much like that savage dog at the dodgy house down the street, behind that fence that's all it was threatening and nothing else.

Rolling into Jugiong I came upon this fantastic little pub, the Sir George. It's an old pub that's a little bit up market in the middle of nowhere. So I thought it's time for a beer. I even got valet parking right out the front. I can't believe we rode through here for years and never once stopped here at the pub, what a waste. That Crankshaft ale went down nicely.

Just out of town I saw a lookout by the roadside with views over the valley and hills beyond. Beautiful country out here.

It was a short stint along the highway to Coolac where I turned off again down towards Tumut all on back roads through Brungle.

I could see the clouds following me south, building blacker. The road along here has been re-tarred from the Murrimbidgee Bridge to the turn off at the farm and was in top condition also been widened.

A quick stop on the Brungle Road Bridge over the Tumut river. The water was flowing steadily but was quite clear. So quiet out here with no one around.

Getting to the Wee Jasper Road turn offit was only 4pm, so I turned to have a look what condition the road was in. The dirt looked like it had just been resurfaced and was in good condition, slightly damp so no dust and plenty grippy. I turned around after about 5km and thought it was time for a beer at the pub in Tumut.

The lookout over Tumut on the Wee Jasper Road. Awesome views. I was soon in town so filled up cleaned the visor and was ready to go in the morning. The Royal Hotel in Tumut was great. $90 for a motel style room where you could park your bike right at the front door.

Time for a beer or three, whilst I watched out the front window the rain coming down. It lasted for about an hour. Just beat it then.

A glass of red went well and this steak was one of the best I've had in years. Cooked to perfection.

I retired to the room with a bottle of red where I could lazy in comfort and watch some TV.

Sunday morning and I open the door to look outside and I'm greeted with this.......

I shower an pack and look at the weather radar. The rain appears to be heading south. I'm not going to Ride the Brindabellas today after this rain, it was the 2nd part of the adv ride I had planned and I'm not going further into the Snowy mtns either as I'm sure to be cold and wet up there. I get some breakfast at Maccas and decide on my route.

The weather today doesn't look as good as yesterday, but I head off in the dry back up to Coolac and onto the highway. I encounter a few more showers along the highway but don't get wet.

I take the Gunning turn off to Crookwell which has superb twisting flowing hilly curves where I'll get fuel at Crookwell and decide my next move. I thought I'll get lunch at the Taralga pub. Solid plan. Dodging rain along the way.

On arrival at 11:50am its closed. I gear up to leave just as they unlock the doors. I think fuck it they are not going to be doing lunch's right now if they only just opened at 12 so head off.

I keep avoiding rain showers along the road, the road is wet with occasional dry patches and vice versa.

Coming down Abercrombie Gorge I notice the debris on the bridge. Lucky I didn't try and come this way yesterday, it would have had water over the road and probably would have had to turn back.

I decide to avoid Oberon and head for the blue mountains. I'll get lunch at Mountain Pies bakery. I continue down Shooters Hill Road.

I take the Cox River road and join the Great Western Highway and cross to the Bells Line. Looks like there goes my lunch stop, I forgot about the pie shop, disaster. I have one final detour upon reaching Windsor the plains are flooded and I have to double back and adds an extra half hour. Finally reach home about 3pm for lunch and a couple of well earned beers.

Another fantastic ride, lads you missed out on a top ride. Wasn't an Adv ride but I'll take what I can, when I can these days.


  1. yes but we did that one 2 weeks earlier n the rain once again got in the way

  2. Rain? What's rain?

    Water usually improves our gravel.

    1. Yeah wasn't gonna do it by myself. You are probably right, but I've read that the Brindabella road has clay on it and that was never gonna be on.

  3. I used to ride around the rain often in Japan, got a certain satisfaction out of it.
    Nice ride report Steve.

    1. Your actually quite right, I enjoyed dodging the inclimate weather. It's kinda therapeutic.