Saturday, May 24, 2014

Oxley Highway Overnighter

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

Thunderbolts Sign

Ricks Tuono
We  got underway late but that was ok because we knew that being almost winter that there would be wet patches on the road in the shade where the sun doesn't get on the road at this time of year. Jason and i briefly stopped and got some pics of the guys riding. It wasn't long before we arrived in gingers creek where we stopped for refreshments.

Safety first Jason

Me on the Oxley

Bikes at Gingers Creek

Gingers Creek Store

After Gingers I'd put on the gopro to get some footage of this fantastic road. You might say it's one of the best motorcycle roads in the galaxy. Its best viewed in 720p.

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

Aspley Falls

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
The new leathers were great out on this ride and were very comfortable when riding. I had a fantastic weekend and must thank Stevo for organising it and the rest of the guys for making it a memorable trip. Looking forward to the next ride now.

Heres the map link for our ride.


  1. sounds like a good run
    the roads in most rural areas are suffering bad without the funding thats needed on them
    and was going to ask how the new leathers went but you answered that right at the end

    1. Some of the roads in rural NSW resemble goat tracks with patch upon patch until the road is only left looking like patches.

  2. What a great weekend Steve! Love all the pics.

    We were thinking about taking Buckets Way earlier this year on our way home from Forster, but I wasn't too sure about the condition of the road.

    Love the video, well done! Some of those tight bends that seem to go forever made my toes tingle no kidding. Like you I love those 'flip flop bends' that you can take a bit faster, though I'm sure I wouldn't take them anywhere near as fast as you. Within legal limits of course :)

    Wow your mate from Bisbane had quite a ride before he even got to the group, hope he wasn't just doing the weekend.

    1. You should have taken buckets way its a good ride, just a little bumpy however your bikes should soak those up pretty well.
      Steve rode down by himself on the friday and home again on the sunday. He's pretty hardcore.

  3. Nice! Great to get out on the road for a few days eh? Roll on next weekend for me...

    1. Overnighters are always good. You got a bit one coming up?

  4. Great video. Perfect song to go with it too. The twisties reminded us a little of our Oregon roads, just different plant life around it.

    A great weekend out, even with the bad tire and inside out shirt, lol.

    1. Thanks Brandy. We had a great weekend. Wish I can do it all again very soon.
      Those Oregon roads must be good when it isn't raining.

  5. Maybe Geoff could have put that size label from his shirt on the centre of his tyre to help extend the tyre life?

  6. Steve, half your luck on the overnighter. I think that I've left it a bit too late in the season down here for a multi-day ride. Great pics and video.My neighbour was up on the Oxley on his CB1000R a week or so ago. He actually commented that the road surface up there was just as bad as ours around here.

    There's not much keeping the air in when a tyre is that bald that it has the steel belts showing!

    1. The surface of the Oxley wasn't in too bad nick but some of the other roads, you could hide a bus in some of the pot holes.

      That tyre was pretty shot wasn't it. Glad I wasn't riding on it.

  7. Steve:

    always nice to get away for a weekend with a few friends. Those are nice roads but I notice you don't have much shoulder area to stop. Our roads get chewed up too because of the winter and limited road repair budgets. Lots of frost heaves which you have to watch out for

    Riding the Wet Coast