Thursday, December 29, 2011

Look what santa brought........

Merry Christmas and happy new year to all . I hope santa was good to you all this year.
I know he was good to me. Look what he got me.......

No new bike but a shiney new camera to take pics and videos whilst riding my bike. Thanks santa!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Favourite Five 2011

Roger our kiwi mate has asked everyone that follows his blog to show their favourite five photos for the year. So here are my favourites from this year also being my first year at having a go at making a blog.

On our recent trip to New Zealand I snapped this picture whilst in Christchurch. To say that this place was a mess was a real understatement. Lets hope that they can pull it all together sooner rather than later. I somehow took the pic in Black & White with Yellow contrast. It turned out really Erie which at the time was entirely appropriate.

My next favourite photo was taken in the Bat Cave, at Jenolan Caves. I had never been here before and thought they would have been small caves not humongous ones you can drive a bus through. I really like the silhouette of the bike against the background.

The next one is a shot of me and my Daughter at Mt Cook in New Zealand on our holiday. Just a magic moment in magic surroundings.

The next pic was taken by my mate Geoff on our recent trip along the Bylong Valley Highway.

The last photo was taken on a ride earlier this year when a semi crashed into the centre barrier and exploded. You don't see that sort of thing every day.

It's been a ripper of a year and I have had a great time riding, and now some extra motivation by doing this blog. Also reading all the other great blogs out there is giving me more motivation to get back out there and do even more riding/blogging.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You pissed me off, you bastard

I can feel a rant coming on.......

Every motorcyclist out there has probably experienced some of these things that car drivers do to us that really pisses me off and makes me think you bastard, where the f*#k did you get your license from. Maybe they really do come from cornflakes packets.

Here is my top ten list of things that car drivers do that really pisses me off. In no particular order....

10. When following a car along on a highway that has a lot of bends and it is very hard to find somewhere to over take, and they are to inept to drive their vehicles properly and drive at 85-90kmh instead of the 100 limit. Then as the road straightens out and comes to an over taking lane they speed up to 110-115kmh either making you really speed to get round them risking your license in the process, before the lane ends or sometimes if there are a few cars you don't get past and get stuck before the over taking lane ends then as the road has narrowed they then promptly slow back down to 85-90kmh again. This one really gets me when I am in the car as it doesn't accelerate as good as the bike but is still annoying on the bike. You really pissed me off, you bastard.

9. When riding in traffic on a multi lane road and you are passing a car and whilst watching them they suddenly change lanes into your lane cutting you off and for the bonus moron points they don't even indicate. I was watching you and you didn't even turn your head to look in your side mirror or check your blind spot. And no I am not a rider that just sits in cars blind spots. You pissed me off, you bastard.

8. Again sitting in traffic in a small gap between cars and the traffic is moving, the car in front decides that he needs to wash his windscreen. Yep you guessed it, his crap box car shoots water straight over his window and sprays your visor causing your vision to go to shit. You pissed me off, you bastard.

7. You are riding along on a twisting road enjoying the moment, keeping on your side of the road when someone in a car/4wd coming the other way decides that the bit of road your riding on is theirs. As if they didn't already take up enough room they want your side as well, putting you into an emergency of picking the bike up to avoid hitting them then laying it back into the bend so you don't run off the road. Stay on your side of the road moron it's not really that hard. You pissed me off, you bastard.

6. When riding along a street following a car, the car starts to brake. Why are you braking. Start looking around and nothing in front of the car. Are you turning? Are you about to do a U turn. Are you pulling into a drive way? Are you stopping to drop off a passenger? How about using some indicators to let other people know what your intentions are. You pissed me off, you bastard.

5. Approaching an intersection a car pulls up at a give way and you have right of way. Then the car suddenly pulls out in front of you causing you to make and emergency stop if your lucky and get away with it. And their convenient excuse of 'sorry didn't see you' makes my blood boil. How about looking next time. You pissed me off, you bastard.

4. When riding along in traffic and there is a car in the lane next to you they veer across into you lane. When you look and see what the heck is going on they have their phone stuck to their head talking or texting behind the wheel. Pay attention. I have also seen people in traffic doing their hair/nails, shaving, reading the paper whilst driving, watching a DVD that was on the centre console, You pissed me off, you bastards.

3. When following a car and it indicates to turn left and there is a dedicated turning lane for them to turn from they still continue in the same lane and fail to use the turning lane, so everyone behind has to slow down just because they are to lazy to drive properly. Also have you noticed that most of these car drivers also start to brake before they put their indicators on which goes back to point 6. You pissed me off, you bastard.

2. Tailgating. I hate cars that tailgate me whilst riding. Leave a gap ya Karn. When riding in the rain have you noticed that car drivers don't slow down. In fact here in Sydney I reckon they drive faster and I see many car drivers doing 80-90kmh on the M4 motorway with less than 1 car length between them in the pouring rain. Lots of cars tailgating and sitting right behind you. In the wet the bike doesn't stop as well so I leave a bigger gap and cars are always jumping into it taking away my braking buffer zone. You pissed me off, you bastards.

1. Cars that sit in the overtaking lane that are not actually overtaking anyone. On a road where you have 2 or 3 lanes there is always someone driving in the right hand lane and usually going slower than the centre lane. They refuse to move over and so you usually end up undertaking them. You pissed me off, you bastard.

There's my rant for the day. I got the inspiration for this rant after reading another blog I found called YOU PISSED ME OFF YOU BASTARD

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How and why did you get into motorcycles?

Gary at Flies in your Teeth has put it out there to all of us bloggers as to how and why we got into bikes. Here's my reasons....

When my older brother and myself were young kids around 10 years or so(its to long for me to remember properly now) my dad got us a mini bike that we would ride around the back yard for ages. Mum also had a Honda 50 auto that we would also punt around on. After a while this riding went by the wayside as we grew up to be teenagers and went on to do other things.

My brother then around 18 came home one day with a CBX750. I was only about 16. I still remember him taking me for a ride around town on it and it was so cool. He then upgraded to a ZZR600 which i remember him taking me for a ride to Parkes, NSW about a 33km trip. On the way back there was a small down hill section that i told him to go really fast on, which he didn't take much encouraging. I think we saw 160kmh and from that point on i was instantly hooked. I have never been that fast before the speed and acceleration was blinding. Well for a kid that didn't even have a license it was. Any chance that i got from then on i would go for a ride with him if he was willing.

A couple of years down the track after i got my first job i got my first bike. You can read about that here. When I got my first road bike my brother took me for a short ride out to the airport. I was just on my L Plates and still very much a novice. At the airport he said here swap bikes, I'll ride your 250 back into town take my Fireblade. What the heck. I had read lots about  the new Fireblade which was the R1 of its day, light and fast. After turning onto the main road from the airport back into town i slowly accelerated in first short shifted into 2nd then absolutely nailed the throttle to the stop. Holy moley by Jesus this thing nearly ripped my arms out of my sockets it accelerated so damn fast. I saw 210kmh in no time. The sports bike rush had kicked in and i could not stop riding bikes ever since.

I've since gotten married in the last 6 years with one beautiful daughter so the riding had since slowed down.
"Like many others, marriage and children put an end to my early motorcycling days and it wasn't until many years later that I bought my next bike." Gary at Flies in your Teeth
I am absolutely determined to not have this happen to me so i kept the bike through about a 3 year period around the time of the birth of our daughter where I'm sure it only got ridden about 5 or 6 times. I am so glad i didn't sell it as just this year I have started to ride quite a lot again considering that I now have a large mortgage, wife and kids.

Riding bikes still brings a smile to my face after all the years I've been riding. There's always somewhere new to go and something new to see. And a winding road that i need to lay some black lines on......

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wallacia Hotel Ride

Geoff texted me to go for a ride late Saturday arvo so who was I to argue with such great wisdom. We headed out with the destination of going up Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains. It was about 37°C(98°F) and after about half an hour Geoff changed the destination to Warragamba Dam. By the time we got there he said lets get out of this heat and hit the Wallacia Hotel to cool down. This was something I wasn't going to disagree with. Damn it was hot!

The air conditioning and a cool beer went down fantastic whilst we waited for it to cool down outside. The Wallacia hotel is a nice pub with a great little beer garden out the back. It was a very short ride and it was that hot that I didn't even get my camera out. To hot to be riding in this weather.
Wallacia Hotel

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sofala - Bylong Valley Way

Who would have thought that on one of Sydney's best bits of winding road at the top end of the Putty Rd that my R1 would have felt so sluggish and docile to ride in the twisties, a place where I'd normally throw caution to the wind and let rip i found myself slowly rolling into the bends taking care to not upset the suspension to much because if i hit any bumps on entry the bike would be wallowing and squirming around beneath me. Why was my bike feeling so terrible to ride on such a fantastic road.....

Day 1
It's Saturday morning and five of us meet at the BP servo at North Richmond for the ride out across the Bells Line. Riding up Bell Bird Hill at Kurrajong we get stuck behind a Ute and every corner it rounds water pours out of its bumper onto the road. This is a good reminder to not go to fast here, this piece of road has a high level of traffic which spills oil and water and crap all over this bit of road.

Its a pretty uneventful ride across the bells line and i didn't stop to take any photos but you can see some pics from my last ride out a couple of weeks ago here. We had a short stop in Lithgow and continued on down towards Jenolan Caves.

We head out down the Great Western Hwy and turn off on the Jenolan Caves road. The start of this road also has some brilliant bends as it winds it way down the to sudden 8km drop down to the caves.
Dueling R1's

After a quick coffee break at the visitors centre it was time to head off again up through Oberon for lunch. No pub for lunch today just a quick bite at one of the local cafes and then onto bathurst for fuel and a couple of laps of Mt Panorama.

After living out this way for years i had ridden around the Mount several times before on all the bikes i have owned. The race track during the day is a 60kmh zone so there was to be no heroics of speed and daring.....well maybe just a little, after 3 laps at the legal limit i couldn't help myself coming down the esses and just had to give it a little. But still safely and on my side of the road. Just enough to get the adrenaline kicking in.

Mt Panorama

It all ended under the bridge after a few laps otherwise we may have been tempted to do something stupid. The road surface on the track is very good and i attempted a little knee down action on several corners. Although i failed miserably cause i wasn't (a) hanging off enough and (b) going fast enough and (c) out of shape.

After leaving Bathurst it was onto Sofala and to the pub for beers and stay for the night. A good night was had by all, I'll tell you the locals around here can really drink and then some.

It was a slow start to the day after a fairly decent effort by me and Geoff to try and drink the bar dry but to no avail, maybe on the next attempt we'll do it.
Sofala Royal Hotel
We left Sofala and headed for our breakfast stop at Rylstone. After a coffee and bacon and egg sandwich it was time to head of again. There were quite a few bikes in town this morning. My speedo was reading 49,994. So when we left i told the guys i would stop for a photo and that i would catch up.

So here i am 6kms out of Rylstone with the magic numbers on the dial. 50,000kms on my R1 woo hoo. Who says you can't tour on a sports bike?

Bylong Valley Way - 6Kms from Rylestone

After this short stop for 2 photo's the others were long gone. Time to catch back up again. This was the first time i had ridden on this road and what an absolute beauty it is to ride. I must say that this road flows better from North to South due to the the very twisty mountain sections that were all down hill for me. Its hard work riding fast down hill, much easier to ride fast up hill i think.
The photo above is very deceptive as it looks completely flat, but it is actually looking down a step hill with the mountain looming up very high in front at the end of a very winding section. After this stop i was getting even further behind. Time to step up the pace.

I caught up to the rest of the group just as we came into Bylong itself, which is basically just a general store and that's about it. The road along here is very good, nice surface with long views ahead.
It was getting very hot today as well in the low 30°Cs. I am so glad that i brought my camel back so that i could stay hydrated. It was a godsend to have it today and it got filled twice. After leaving Bylong the road wound its way through the hills, there is another tight twisting bit of road here that last for a few kms. We came along a sharp down hill left hander with 2 guys sitting on the guard rail and one very second hand looking Aprilla RSV wedged under the armco barrier. They were OK so we kept on riding as a tow truck was on the way.

We then had a quick stop in Denman for a drink and then the plan was to head to Bulga for fuel then back down the Putty Rd and home.

At this point things started to go a little pear shaped due to a number of reasons. We had a kraut out front who didn't know where he was going and everyone following. The turning point was on the crest of a hill with only a small sign.

One thing lead to another with lead rider braking heavily to stop to make the turn. I was sitting back in fourth spot and all of a sudden saw brake lights and bikes looming large in front. Shit! I hit the brakes and try to avoid running up the back of geoffs R1. Whilst doing this i look in the mirror to see a very close and very sideways ducati with rider starting to leave the bike. SHIT!

Needless to say this brought an abrupt halt to the days proceedings. The duke was unridable due to a broken clip on and footpeg and brake lever. A tow truck was called and removed the offending ducati.

Mr Ducati(name changed to protect the innocent, but we all know who you are lol) had a quick trip to singleton Hospital and luckily everything checked out ok. No broken bones just some nasty bruising. 

Its also good to see that his draggin jeans came through without a scrape or mark on them. I think i will go buy a pair of those. Excellent product.

Now back to the very start of this tale. Why was my R1 handling so poorly on the Putty.
Well Mr Ducati was on the back with all my luggage and all his luggage in my bag and with the both of us on the bike, the old R1 had just about had enough. It was overloaded with weight and was protesting at me. But it managed to get us home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seven Days seven bikes

If you had unlimited funds and could have one bike for every day of the week, what bikes would you choose?
This was the blog challenge that Trobairitz has thrown out to all bloggers. See here for details.

My Monday bike would be a Kawasaki Z1000. Just a pure and simple fun bike. I have liked the look of this bike since i first saw them on the road a few years ago.

My Tuesday bike would have to be the MV Augusta F4. This bike just oozes sex appeal. And its not a ducati. Seems everyone wants a ducati these days.

My Wednesday bike would have to be a BMW R1100. Why? Just so i can load the shit out of it and ride off into any roads i wanted like a trip through Russia and the Ukraine ala Ewen McGregor in Long way round. And because R1's are just no good for riding on the dirt.
Well this one is an obvious choice for my Thursday bike. Its Yamaha's mighty flagship sports weapon. The R1, now with traction control. Why? Why not i say. I already own a 11 year old one and I'd love to update to some newer technology, slipper clutch, cross plane crank etc.
I guess Friday would be time to have some smoking hot fun on a super motard. These things fly on the twisties. i want one.
For those lazy Saturdays it would be for some cruising or high speed fun aboard a ZX-14.

Then there is Sundays ultimate track day weapon. Casey Stoners RCV211. Need i say any more.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thieving Kiwi's

After spending thousands of our hard earned cash in New Zealand on our recent holiday it looks like the NZ government wants us to pay a little more. After the horrible feeling of getting a speeding ticket had subsided which in this case was only a few seconds i had to laugh at the amount. I put $80NZ into a currency converter and it turns out to be $61 Aus dollars. Still laughing at the $60 speeding fine.......

And the best part is that the wife was the hirer of the car ..... lol. I guess they have to collect as much cash as they can to rebuild Christchurch. Ah well least its going to a good cause.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jenolan Caves via Bells Line

Saturday morning came around and i had been planning on a ride for a couple of weeks now. After all those brilliant roads i drove on in New Zealand i was eager to get out on the bike again. It turned out that everybody was busy with other things so i decided that i would be going it alone today. It was probably a blessing in disguise. All the stops to take photos would have annoyed the others no end. Also i cant believe how rusty my riding was, i would have embarrassed myself in front of everyone else. It doesn't take to long to lose your riding skills when you haven't been out for a few weeks. I checked the weather and it was going to be 29°C today. It was a nice cool start as i headed up Kurrajong into the Blue Mountains. I stopped at bell bird hill for a photo but there was to much fog and smoke in the air from Hazard reduction burning in the mountains, so i would stop here again this afternoon for another photo attempt.
Lookout at Bellbird Hill Towards the City

Continuing along the Bells line the road climbs up to Mt Tomah and Mt Bell with some superb twisties along here with brilliant views of the blue mountains. It was nice and cool up in the mountains today perfect for riding. On the downside there was a lot of traffic up until i passed them near Mt Bell in the overtaking lanes.
Mt Tomah

Bells Line

It was a bit on the hazy side today and it is easy to see why the blue mountains got their name. The pic below is just past Mt Bell towards Lithgow.

Bells Line

Bells Line

Turning off the Bells line once reaching Bell i then headed up towards Mt Victoria along the plateau. There i followed an R6 along and we were going at a nice clip. This section of road is virtually empty. Reaching the Great Western Hwy i then turn right and head down Victoria Pass. Victoria pass has some great views but has far to much traffic to make it much fun, still its better than having a straight piece of road through here. At the bottom of the pass i soon turned off the main Hwy again and onto Cox River Rd.

The road surface along Cox River Road had it all. Spectacular views, smooth hot mix surface, rough patched up road and even 3 kms of good dirt. I saw 2 other bikes along here pulled over taking photos as well.
Cox River Road - New Hot Mix
After turning off Cox River Rd it was then onto Jenolan Caves road. I have never been down here before and was wondering what was in store for me. Not far past the wind farm i came up on the back of 2 slow moving cars. I was going to shoot by but i could also see a 50 zone just ahead of them. So i back off and cruise down to their speed. Just as well i did as just round the next corner was a Highway Patrol car sitting up on a ramp on the side of the road looking down to the road, perfectly visible this way but completely concealed if you were travelling in the opposite direction. The sneaky bastards. Saved by the cars. Whew!
Wind Farm on Jenolan Caves Rd
After that i decided to just cruise down the hill towards Jenolan Caves. This section is very steep and very narrow as you can see in the following photos. There were great views all the way along this section. I really enjoyed this bit as i pulled over several times to take some photos.

It was also getting quite warm now so stopping for any length of time in the sun in leathers was getting uncomfortable. I did notice however the ventilation system in my new boots worked a treat as i got underway again i could feel the air circulating in around my feet cooling them down.
Jenolan Caves Road

The road suddenly gets to the bottom and the cave entrance looms up straight ahead and the road goes through the cave. How cool is that. I never expected that the caves would be so big. Riding the bike through there with the echo of the exhaust sounded great. Out the other side of the cave is Jenolan caves village. There are lots of tourist here today enjoying some lunch.

Jenolan Caves Village
After leaving the caves i headed up towards Oberon. This is also a fantastic bit of road that once out of the Jenolan caves twisties opens up into some big sweepers over the crests of hills. This reminds me of the roads in the snowy mountains. Its easily ton up territory in mph here. I stopped in Oberon to refuel both me and the bike. Not a bad lunch at the royal hotel.

Then i headed off back to Sydney down Duckmaloi Rd. This was another superb bit of road winding its way across the hills both up and down.

This was a fantastic day out of riding, i have ridden the bells line many times just not recently but i have never been down to Jenolan Caves and now i am wondering why i haven't done it before now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

RIP Marco Simoncelli

As me and my wife sat down to watch Motogp last night we were both horrified by the sickening crash that we saw on live TV.  We have lost one of the great up coming riders who would have surely held the title one day. He was such a character in the motogp paddock and will be sorely missed. Condolences to family and friends.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Aussie Ass Kicking

You bloody rippa.  Casey Stoner has handed an ass kicking to the rest of the motorcycling world by winning his 2nd world title at Philip Island today.

Casey lead from start to finish and most of it by a fairly big margin of around 5-6 seconds. It wasn't all easy sailing as it started to rain 3 laps from the finish and Stoner slowed considerably. Lots of other riders crashed out in this period but Casey kicked some butt. Needless to say there was plenty of beers drunk around our house today in celerbrations.
2011 MotoGP World Champion - Casey Stoner

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Riding New Zealand - Otago Peninsula

The Otago Peninsula is located near Dunedin. The Portobello Road flows around the cliff faces of the Otago Peninsula with the Harbour on the other side. The first 10kms of this has hotmix surface which is very smooth. After that the surface ranges from good to average with a few places near the end being very rough. The road end at the headland where there is a Albatross Colony and Fairy Penguins.

There was a fair bit of traffic on the Dunedin end of this road. If you get if wrong here you will be either getting fished out of the harbour or pulled out of a cliff face.