When is a group ride not a group ride? Well when you ride with us of course. A good friend Steve in Brisbane organised a ride to Walcha on the Oxley hwy last weekend. He was to meet us at Walcha on Friday arvo and the rest of us Sydney siders were to meet up at Wilberforce at 9:30 to start the trip. That's where the wheels fell off the group ride right there. Wayne's bike broke down on the way and Ant was running an hour late. A text told us to keep going and we'll meet somewhere along the way.
So we pushed on up the Putty road to singleton on our group ride. Yep there was me and Geoff. I suppose that could be considered a group. We got stopped just north of Bulga as the coal mine nearby the road was conducting some explosive demolition. After about a 25minute wait we rode through the area after the blast and you could smell the acrid after effects of the explosives. It was very strong on the nassal passages.
After a quick morning tea in singleton we continued on through to Dungog via Gresford. The road along here was very badly chopped up. It would be a fantastic road if it had some money spent on it to fix it up. The scenery on this section is quite beautiful.
We had just stopped to take in the view when 2 highway patrol cars drove past whilst we were stopped. I count that one as a win. We continued on into Gloucester for fuel and a break. We found out here that the guys were on the way but were a fair way behind. Then I noticed Geoff's new shirt still had the size label stuck to the front of it, he'd been wearing that most of the day like that. We both pissed ourselves laughing before removing the offending tag. It was time to continue on up onto the thunderbolts way to Walcha.
It's been a while since I've been up here and the road is pretty much how I remember it except it's gotten a lot rougher. There were 2 vehicles crashed off the side of the road here and I can't help but think has the road condition had anything to do with the crashes. Some sections were quite good and had been resurfaced but its generally a pretty bumpy trip especially the section that climbs up to Barrington Tops and the look out.
We finally got into Walcha around 4pm and refueled ready for the next day. It was time to hit the pub up for beers and diner. Steveo was already there waiting for us. He'd made good time from Brisbane. Then about an hour later the rest of the group actually arrived.
Day 2 started out with a bit of fog and a chill in the air. It was time for some breaky at the local cafe. The bacon and egg roll was expensive but it hit the spot just right. We didn't get underway until about 10am as one of the ducatis battery's packed it in due to the cold. Rick and Stewie got underway as they were doing the full loop around waterfall way and the oxley. I wasn't feeling like doing that ride and opted for just doing the Oxley to Wauchope and back.
|Fog & Chilly|
|Safety first Jason|
|Me on the Oxley|
|Bikes at Gingers Creek|
|Gingers Creek Store|
Coming out of the last few km's of twisties on the Oxley I saw a couple of wallaby's sitting on the side of the road. This brought the speeds back down as I didn't want to hit one of those. From here on back to Walcha the road really opens up into big straights and sweeping bends over the hills here. This reminds me a bit of the snowy mountains highway. It can be tempting to open a bike up along here, which may or may not have happened.
|Big sweeping bends and long straights|
On the way back I wanted to stop in at Aspley falls and have a look. It was late in the afternoon and I was taking photos into the sun so they didn't work out so good. Oh well there's always next time. The falls themselves were pretty spectacular.
|Aspley Falls Entrance|
That was the end of day 2, with another enjoyable night spent at the bar with some good company listening to Geoff(the life coach) give out advice to all who would listen. After a quick brekkie and coffee we hit the road around 9am. It was rather cool out this high up but still a good ride, at least we weren't riding into the sun like on day 1.
We stopped for a quick refuel in Gloucester then again in Singleton. It was here that I'd noticed Geoff's tyre was really shagged and we still had about 220kms to go to get home. Everyone gathered around to laugh at Geoff. At least the putty road has lots of bends on the way home so he won't use the centre of that tyre all the way.
|Bikes on the putty, nearly home|
Heres the map link for our ride.