Getting back to the hotel it was around 10am, I saw the remnants of our previous nights session on the balcony table. Not a bad effort no wonder our heads were pounding like the hammer of Thor.
So we waited out the front of the pub, and waited and waited. Ant wasn't in any condition to ride so we waited some more. A group of about 20 bikes arrived from Canberra at the bakery and had breakfast, the average age of the riders looked like it was about 65 in the shade. I had to laugh when one of the harley types dropped their bike on the ground from not putting down the side stand properly, but like a champ he was off and picked up the tractor with the reverse lift technique like he had done it a thousand times before. They then left and headed for home whilst we still waited and waited........ It was about 11:30am before we actually got away from the Boorowa hotel, this has to be the latest start to a ride we've ever had.
The ride took us up to the middle of the Wyangala dam road just east of darby falls. This was my old stomping ground in years gone past. In my younger days I would ride my CBR600 and ZX-9R up this road for a weekend ride as it was the only twisting road within 90 minutes ride from home otherwise everywhere else was straight. Not very conducive to riding a sportsbike. A quick but fun blast up to to the dam, it was a lot shorter than I remember. The road has changed here and you no longer go over the dam wall, the road goes down over a new bridge and bypasses the wall but I saw a turn off and went up the old road to the spillway viewing area and to the dam wall was gated and closed there. Such a shame as the views from the dam wall are fantastic.
|Wyangala Dam Spill way|
I didn't get any photos from the dam wall so I blatantly stole one from google street view. Below is the old dam wall down below with the new earth wall at top. The original wall was built back in the 1930's and was then upgraded with the larger Rock wall in the 1970's. The dam is 1.37km's long and holds about 2 times the water of Sydney Harbour or 1,217,000 mega litres. The old dam wall can be seen once capacity is down to 30%. Capacity was at about 98% when we were there as they just had some flooding only weeks before due to all the rain. That's why every thing's so green at the moment.
|Dam Wall pinched from google|
We continued up towards a little town called Woodstock, the road winds its way up through the hills for about 10kms before coming out into sweeping plains. There was no traffic at all here and I was having a lot of fun.
|Bikes on Mt McDonald|
We waited in Woodstock for everyone to catch up. Woodstock is a small place really nothing much at all there. Continuing on we turned off towards Bathurst. Just coming out of Woodstock into the 100 zone I heard a loud bang on the front tyre quickly followed by the rear tyre. What the fuck was that? I didn't see anything on the road. Within 5 seconds the rear end is getting all loose. FUCK IT.
I stopped and got off the bike as the others started to wizz past, pressing the tyre it was completely flat. Wayne and Ant pulled over when I started waving frantically as the others disappeared over the hill.
There was a huge dent in my number plate that also bent it on an angle. I didn't see what I hit but it must have been a piece of steel or something. I didn't have a puncture repair kit and have never carried one, That's about to change in a hurry. This is only the second time I've had a flat on the bike, last time was way back in 1998. Lucky for me Ant had one and got to work on it, the hole was big and he put in 2 plugs before putting in the air, I could hear air pissing out again, not good. Cowra was 30kms away and in the wrong direction and Bathurst was about 70km. But would I make it that far. A quick call to Cowra Motorcycles and they had a tyre in stock so I made a bee line for there to get it changed before it went flat again. 5th rear tyre in 14,00kms this bike is sending me broke. Quick everyone send donations fast I accept cash......but will also take credit, beer and bags of chips as acceptable forms of payment.
Wayne followed me into Cowra, thanks mate your a true champ whilst Ant and Geoff caught up to the other guys for lunch in Tarana. Thanks Ant for the repairs you bloody legend, I'll be getting you some new air canisters shortly. So this was the end of the tour with the guys as we wouldn't see them again after this.
We got into Cowra Motorcycles and they got straight onto the tyre change for me which was fantastic of them. They didn't have the exact size tyre but close enough. Beggers can't be choosers out in the country. I was lucky they had a tyre at all. I got a Michelin Pilot Road 4 on the rear at a 50 profile instead of the 55, this tyre should last as much as the last 4 at least. Now I need to change out the front and keep it for the next time I need to change. DAMN!!!!! My brother was right this motorcycling gig IS going to send me broke.
|Even R1's stop for flat tyres|
Anyway I got out of Cowra $360 lighter in the hip pocket and Wayne and I did the boring commute on the highway until he turned off at Springwood and I continued on into Sydney and home. Big thanks to Wayne for sticking with me when he didn't have to and also to Ant for getting me going again. Bloody great chaps!
That pretty much ended the 5 days of frivolity in the mountains for this years Snowy ride. Yet another great time was had by all except for the flatty at the end of course, I could have done without that. Thanks to all the guys for an excellent week away and look forward to next year.
The Ventura rack worked out great, I couldn't think of anything worse than living out of a backpack for 5 days and the rack and bag did the trick. There was a bit of water on the inside on day 2 when we hit the heavy rain, but I had my gear in plastic bags so no harm. It wasn't a lot of water but enough that would make clothes damp if I didn't have them sealed up. It was good to be able to carry some water on the bike so when we stopped I had something to drink, its good to stay hydrated whilst riding. The right hand indicator had rubbed on the rack but nothing too serious. Another washer or 2 should sort that out. It was good to not have to wear a backpack so thumbs up to the rack and bag.
Map Reference Day 5 - The alternate Route