I took the annual leave for 2 days and waited and it wasn't until the week before that I actually finally decided that I would go. They say every trip you don't do you'll regret it later and how true those words turned out to be. No one ever said on their death bed I wish I had worked harder - NO ONE, so screw work I'm out here. Bring on the bikes, roads and beers and good mates, besides I've never ridden further north than the Oxley Highway so it was time to change that.
Leaving early Saturday morning we headed up our usual weekend riding route via the Putty Road, stopping in at Grey Gums so Rick could meet up with a couple of friends who were out on a ride today. One of them had a beautifully restored Norton Commando. I loved the paint work on the tank.
|Grey Gums Carpark|
|Norton Commando 850|
We continued on up through the 10 mile of twisties on the Putty road and up to our first fuel stop in Singleton. The highway patrol were out in force today as we saw 3 from grey gums to the top end of the putty but we were exceptionally well behaved.
|Gloucester Main Street|
A quick rest stop for fuel and lunch in Gloucester was what I needed and a great recharge for the ride up the thunderbolts way to Walcha. Some of the road surface through here is pretty ghastly but some is good and new so you need to be on your toes. We stopped in the little town of Uralla at the Top Pub on the Saturday night which is your standard country pub but boy they have excellent pub food, everyone commented on how good the food was all washed down with a nice cleansing ale or two of course. The rooms are quite small but are clean and a bargain at $50 per person.
After a quick breakfast at the cafe across the road from the pub we were under way by 9am on Sunday morning headed north to Armidale. We turned off towards Ebor on the waterfall way, this road was heavily wooded by the sides of the road and looked like it would be kangaroo country but luckily we didn't see any. As we passed the Dorrigo turn off the road got quite tight and twisty and wound is way through the forest with big tall gum tree's to either side, I was having too much fun to stop and take any photo's, oops. We took a quick break by the roadside in Nymboida but soon continued on into Grafton for fuel.
We got a rain shower leaving Grafton and it was slow going up to casino as this was generally straight boring highway. We were soon coming into Kyogle for a late lunch around 2pm I think and rolling into town I saw a familiar blue R1 parked up outside the Kyogle Bakery. My brother had ridden down to greet us and ride back to Brisbane via the twisties.
This was a good day for me personally as this was the first time I've actually ridden with my brother since 2003 with the exception of the tour of New Zealand which was now 2 years ago. Gee time flies doesn't it? A chicken salad roll from the bakery filled a hole just nicely and now I was feeling a bit more motivated for the next part of the ride into Brisbane via the Summerland Way and Mt Lindesay Highway.
There is this fantastic set of tight twisting bends on the NSW side of the border that climbs up the hill and crosses into Queensland and comes down the other side of the range in another fun-tastic set of twisties, but these ones are quite rough compared to the NSW side. The road winds its way down around the ranges with great views out to Mt Lindesay which we stopped for a quick photo. Most of the way through here there were light spots of rain, enough to make the traction control light on my dash start blinking on/off. Yeah we had some fun through here and the roads were mostly empty due to the inclement weather.
|Me at Mt Lindesay|
|Dave at Mt Lindesay|
We met Dave again the next morning waiting for us on the on ramp of the motorway and he took us up the Advance Town road and back towards the NSW border. This was a fantastic smooth bit of road with long sweeping bends and a few twisties thrown in. The road followed around a large lake and then up to the NSW-QLD border crossing which looked out over the Numinbah Valley. Beautiful views from up here and the road was fantastic if a bit narrow in places but no traffic really. We stopped at the border for a couple of photos before moving on. I made Dave ride my R1 along here, I noticed his suspension was totally shagged and the motor felt a little asthmatic but it still went well.
The road down into Murwillumbah and on into Kyogle is one fantastic ride with sweepers, tight twisty bits and everything in between. Its got everything you ever want in a road including great views and lush green countryside. It seemed to go on forever some bits were smooth, some were rough but it was one of the best rides I have had in years. We stopped off for coffee in Uki. The coffee here was good. The road had many great spots for photo opportunities but it was so much fun I just couldn't stop, it was that good.
|Coffee in Uki Cafe|
|Geoff & Stu in Guyra|
Day 4 turned into the reverse of day one with us back tracking along to Walcha and onto the Thunderbolts Way to Gloucester for a coffee stop. As we ascended Barrington Tops we found we were running up into low lying clouds and just breaking out at the lookout again.
There were a few more spits of rain along to Dungog as we made our way back to singleton. Both myself and Geoff had been keeping an eye on our tyres as we both had done 4000km on them before the trip started and they were just about finished but in this last bit Geoff's Pirelli seemed to wear a lot faster than the bridgestone I had, that's not to say my bridgestone wasn't shot, it just wasn't down to the canvas showing.
Coming back down the Putty Road we hooked into the 10 mile twisties with renewed vigor that is until I came around a 55er with 2 kangaroo's standing in the middle of the road. Yeah that slowed me down real quick.
Getting back into Sydney's peak hour traffic at around 4pm required a wind down beer before we all departed in different directions. Cheers fellas was a great ride, thanks for the company we rode on some great new roads and we will have to do it again some time maybe once my ass have recovered.