Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Blast from the Past

Whilst visiting my Dad at Christmas he brought out some old photos he had found when he was rummaging through some draws. Looks like he found some long lost photo's of my old ZX-9R from the late nineties. Good times.

First pic is the bike at Dad's place.



Interestingly enough this second picture was taken on the day of Dave's wedding in Orange in central Western NSW.


God we look young in that pic, christ he even has hair, thats how old this is. Must be somewhere around 99 or 00 before I had the R1.

Monday, January 18, 2021

O'Connell Pub Run

Holy shiz balls, 2 rides in 2 weekends. Must be some kind of record. Might have to quit my job and go professional blogging like that Bandit rider guy, he's always riding and posting and I'm starting to think he doesn't actually work, hmmmm.........er maybe not. Perhaps my wife's getting ready to divorce me and needs time to fill out the paper work....

Our neighbours from Nowra organised a ride out to O'Connell pub for lunch on Sunday and asked around anyone else wanted to go. I think just about everyone went on this trip. Normally its 40 odd degrees and not bike friendly weather here but this summer has been quite mild, only in the mid to high 20's. Perfect riding weather.

So the Sydney covid infested crew headed on out over the Blue Mountains via the Bell's line of road. We were very lucky not to get done by the rozzers in one of the overtaking lanes on Bells, the bastard was hiding in the bushes with his laser. Fucker, just as we overtook 2 slow ass Cam Am Spyder  drivers.



Crossing over Darling Causeway we descended down Victoria pass and gave Geoff's speed camera the finger as we went. Fcukers. We turned off on Jenolan Caves road and headed out to Oberon to meet up with the rest of the crew. Geoff dropped back so I used that opportunity to stop for a quick pick.



What is it with Sunday drivers, we came upon a line of traffic doing 60 in the 100kmh zone. It was difficult to over take due to the undulating terrain and winding road. Only to finally get past some completely oblivious moron with a train of vehicles in their wake and with everyone wanting to road rage him off the road and burn them to death. I hope I scared the bejesus out of them when I went past. Seriously is it that hard to use your mirrors, or accelerator or even pull over to the side of the road and let other pass? So fucking clueless.....


A short break was had in Oberon where a few of the lads inhaled some pies from the bakery while we waited for the Nowra crew to arrive. We received a message saying they'd be 30 min late. It gave us time to catch up and talk bikes of all things.




Soon after the Nowra crew arrived we were off to O'Connell and the pub for lunch. Stu booked ahead when we were waiting in Oberon and it was a good thing he did. They were extremely busy today so we ordered straight away. Still it took about an hour or more for us to get our burgers.......Dave then ate some else's burger, hahahha.



Lunch was ok, the burger wasn't anything special but filled a hole I guess. The short or long lunch stop however you want to look at it was over too soon and we said our goodbyes and headed in separate directions. Our's took us back through Oberon and back up Mt Victoria.


There were plenty of slow Sunday drivers along Jenolan caves road to the point were Stu pulled over so we could let a big long chain of cars go, so we could have an enjoyable run down the hill to the highway. After the 5 minute wait we eventually caught up to them at the highway intersection and had a great run through the twisty bits.



Waiting, waiting.......couldn't have asked for a better day for it.

Bruce made the suggestion to stop at the Lapstone hotel to rehydrate for the last leg home. Not a bad idea and I needed a drink by the time we got there. I've been past here plenty of times before but never ever stopped in. Not a bad little pub.


Thanks for the ride fella's it was a top day out, only a short 350kms but great all the same to be out riding. The alternate is pretty bleak, lets hope we don't go back there anytime soon.




Friday, January 15, 2021

Get your sh!t together mate!

 What the hell has been going on? 

A ride was organised last Sunday at the last minute. It's the first time I'd been on the bike since November last year. God that's sad. So what have I been doing you might ask? 

Well for one I haven't been blogging, and in fact last year was my poorest effort yet. The year that should not be named really took the wind out of my sails you might say. Being a motorcycle travel blog and not being able to get out on the bike really put a dampener on my blogging, managing just 11 measly posts. 

Oh well shit happens as they say. I was only busy with work and normal family life, as we didn't really get out much at all last year. I did get out a bit to photograph some bike racing action which I'll post up about a bit later. So I've got no excuses really, just been plain old lazy. Well maybe its time that I got my shit together and got on with it. On and up as they say, there's no time like the present. Time to start looking for a new bike as well as I haven't done squat about that either.

So on Sunday morning I headed off and picked up Geoff and Scotty for a bit of a loop ride. First stop was for a some lunch on the Old Pacific Highway and to meet St Pat who had just bought himself a Ducati 1198 SP the day before. Lets hope this one doesn't end up like the last one did here. Coming down the hill from Cowan I was followed by a motorcycle cop all the way down through the twisty bits in an 80 zone. D'oh. 


Late last year Geoff managed to pick himself up an sweet looking Africa Twin that he's been using to tour on. Slack bastard hasn't given me a ride yet. What kind of friend is that? Complete selfish bastard!

St Pat's new to him Ducati only had 9000kms on the clock, so it is practically brand new, only just run in. It looked in really good condition as well.

St Pats new to him 1198 SP

Just as we were a bout to leave a guy came over to talk to me about my old R1. He then asked me if I ran a website with a new red & white R1. It's funny, that's the first guy I've bumped into out on the road that's read my blog. I didn't have a chance to have a decent chat as we were moving off, so if your reading sorry about that mate.

Today was the first warm day we've had in quite some time. It was about 30°C today. We've been shivering through high teens and low twenties, definitely not normal for summer here. This time last year we sweltered through 48°C days and bushfires.

We made our way down to Wollombi. The tavern was jam packed with bikes today and there were hundreds of bikes out on the road. We didn't bother going in as there was too many people about, and the dreaded Covid is still lurking about around Sydney so didn't want to risk it.
Wollombi Tavern


St Pat had to head back home, but the three of us made our way up to Broke in the Hunter Valley for fuel and then crossed over the lower hunter and down through the 10 mile on the Putty road.


There were plenty of bikes coming the other way, all of them giving us the swirly finger. Sure enough there was a highway patrol car sitting right in the middle. He had a bike pulled over on the opposite side of the road, but I couldn't see a rider. I saw on facebook user group later that there had been a accident. Hope that the rider was ok if that was him.


We passed by Grey Gums cafe and made our way to Colo Heights servo. This was the first place we had come to that actually wasn't full of bikes, just a handful. We stopped for a break and refreshing drink and chatted all things bikes and still Geoff didn't let me ride his bike, bastard. 






The old R1 felt great out today. It's doing alright for a 21 year old bike. But it's time that I pulled my finger out and got my shit together and got something newer. The old girl is not going to be reliable forever and its just not that comfortable to ride long distance anymore. Still its much better than the 15 R1 was.

One last stop for an ice cold beer before splitting up to go our separate ways. All up a great day out on the bikes.

Sunday, December 13, 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.

Dave


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 hayfever.....er 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.

Khancoban

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?







DAY5

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.







DAY 6


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.

DAY 1

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.

PUB#2

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


DAY 2

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"






DAY 3

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.

PUB#5

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.