Wednesday, November 30, 2022

2022 Alpine Ride Part 1


This years Alpine ride was going to be similar to the other years with similar route plan. I was thinking of changing it up a bit on the second day by doing something slightly different. But first it was time to put a new front tyre on as the Karoo3 may or may not make the trip. I sourced a Karoo4 as the 3's are now obsolete. 


I dropped by Stu's house and met up with the Sydney crew heading out at 7am. It was fresh at 13°C and only a handful of days out from summer. This would be the theme for the trip so we would find out.

Our first stop was for a coffee and sausage roll at trappers bakery in Goulburn where we picked up a few more riders as we continued south. Dave's new Superduke 1290 looks mighty impressive. Like, will that rear tyre last the trip. 

Day one of this trip is always a bit of a slog as its really a commute day to get down south to ride the good twisty roads. Lunch was had in Nelligen, but I wasn't that hungry so opted for a coffee and Caramel tart instead. It had warmed up to a balmy 20°C.

NSW roads have become a minefield of potholes over the last 12 months with all the rain events we have had. The ride down to Braidwood was an excursion in pothole avoidance. Clyde mountain was filled with cars and some of NSW finest hair dryer operators trying to collect some funds to fix the roads.

Filling the tank in Batemans Bay, it took 15 litres for 330kms or 4.5l/100km. The Old Africa Twin is impressive on the fuel economy I must admit. Next stop was the usual rehydration stop at the Narooma Hotel.

Before making our way to our destination for tonight at the Tathra Hotel and picking up the last of our riders here. A total of 17 this year.

Tathra Hotel has some beautiful views out over the ocean, except it was far too cold and windy out tonight to enjoy them. We managed one beer out of the wind in the small alcove before retreating to the warmth of the pub and a delicious diner. Notice none of the locals were outside, that's how cold it was.


The weather today was a mighty improvement over yesterday, it was still a chilly morning but top temp was going to hit mid twenty's. Hooray for us. First stop was for a bite to eat at the local bakery. When 17 bikers turn up at the same time it can take a while.......

The route today was the same as last years, with us going up Mt Darragh and across to Bombala for a fuel stop before tackling the Bonang Highway. Here the group usually splits into 2, with the more precious riders that don't want to do the 10kms of dirt on the Bonang turn down Cann Valley way and meet at Orbost.

This year I was going to make it a 3 way ride. I bought some extra water and some lunch whilst fueling up in Bombala. Everyone that was interested last night in my alternate route now chickened out. That made me more determined to do it even if I went alone. I told them where I was going incase something went wrong. So when we got to Bonang I turned off the road and onto McKillops Road. Geoff stopped with a look of concern. I could tell he didn't want to ride this road but he also didn't want to let me ride it alone either. Either way I would have done it alone but company is always the prefered option.

So 150kms of dirt riding coming up, the road was in pretty good condition compared with some of the tarred roads we have ridden. The road followed the Deddick River for quite some time. We stopped several times to admire the views.

Plenty of rock faces on one side and big drop offs into the river on the other side. It helps keeping your concentration levels up but the scenery through here was awesome.

It seemed to take quite some time to actually get to McKillops Bridge but it was only 58kms from the turn off, but we stopped several times and were only doing about 60kmh as the road was narrow and twisty.

As we arrived I noticed 4 KTM riders parked up, looked like they were fixing one bike. Speaking to them they were the sweep riders on a 70 rider group heading to Jindabyne tonight. Luckily they were leaving as we were stopping for a bite to eat. I cracked out the sammiches and Geoff had some chocolate so we shared and had a cool drink in the shade whilst admiring the views. The bridge is 255m long and spans the Mighty Snowy River. The original bridge got swept away in a flood the day before it opened in 1934.

The road out of here was a steep and narrow 10km climb out into the vic highlands which meets up at the Barry Way.

It wasn't long before we came upon Little River Falls. A quick stop for a drink as it was thirsty work now it was getting warm. Surprisingly we passed 5 or 6 cars along the road, lots for a minor back road.

Little River Falls

From here it was only a short fun ride to the Barry Way turn off. It looks to be all tarred from the turn off down to Buchan, but we turned north and headed to Limestone Road. I was surprised as there was 8kms of good tar on the Barry Way. I thought it would be all dirt.

I must say the new Karoo4 was handling the dirt better than the Karoo3, I didn't have any front end slides or moments of any kind and I was getting better at braking into corners. Bit more dirt and my confidence is slowly coming along. Only about 80km of dirt to go and then back onto the tar again.

Limestone road had a bit of every type of gravel on it. Good fast compact gravel, slippery new rocky gravel and a fair amount of rutted gravel corners thrown in, but was a good fun ride through some beautiful countryside. We stopped at Native Dog Flat campground for a drink. Geoff then remembered he had a bag of donuts he bought at the bakery this morning, we made quick work of those before heading off again.

It took us about an hour to get to Benambra. As we came down from the hills into the valley to Benambra I was thinking this rich green beautiful area is truly god's country. Amazing. Stopping at the intersection in town we both spied the pub across the road. I asked Geoff if he needed Hydration, it was a dumb question. We settled in for a couple of quick pots, as it was only a short 22km ride into Omeo from here.

The road from Benambra to Omeo is a cracker too, wishing I had my R1 for that bit but we still had fun.
As we arrived in Omeo I notice Dave was here and a couple of the others had just arrived. Impeccable timing. So we all caught up over a few beers. We made sure that the guys that chickened out on the ride heard all about the great ride up over McKillops Bridge really was. They saw the photos and then they wished they had come along. Next year fellas.

Geoff keeping the hydration up, only problem is two hands and only one mouth

Day2 Map Reference


  1. Replies
    1. Sure was mate, some more adventure riding is required I think.

  2. Awesome stuff Bro. I'm glad you did the McKillop's Bridge route. Dirt isn't scary at all, especially if you take it easy. Some of the best views in the country are hidden down the end of a dirt road and now that you have an AT you don't have to miss out on them!
    We camped at Native Dog Flat a couple of years back with the kids. Beautiful place with the little creek running through it. I had to laugh at the 3 photos of Geoff from there. First one he isn't looking happy, then at the pub he is juuust cracking a grin and the third where he has a beer in front of him he looks like a dog with 2 dicks!
    Next instalment please!

    1. Yeah thanks for the encouragement, it was a good ride and pretty easy nothing difficult in it at any rate. I'd do it again no problem.

  3. Forgot to ask, how was the Karoo 4 on the road? Could you push it as hard as you did the 3 in Tassie?

    1. I felt that the Karoo3 was better on the street than the 4, but I also felt that the 4 was better on the dirt than the 3. It was hard work pushing it on the Mitta road and I waved Kwoky & Dave past so I didn't hold them up. I still had fun.

  4. Great to see you guys embracing the gravel.

  5. Great review as always, Hos. Those sweepers you saw on the KTMs were probably on the ride that Ant was doing from Halls Gap

    1. They were headed for the Hunter Valley at the end of the trip, Jindy was an overnight stop for them.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks mate. Hope your doing much better. All the best.