Sunday, August 27, 2023

Morgan Park Rnd 5 ASBK 2023

I'd never been to Morgan Park before, so when I saw an email from MA saying my media application had been successful I thought to myself I don't remember applying for that. Anyway with the year I've had so far it's no wonder I'd forgotten about applying, I had applied for SMSP & Morgan Park at the start of the year.

I was tempted to give it a miss but then hatched a plan. I had recently changed jobs and work for the Brisbane office of my company. So I could fly up on wednesday night and stay at my bro's house, go to work in Brisbane office thur-fri then the track on sat/sun for the superbike racing, back to the brisbane office mon-tues and then fly home and it won't be in one big whirlwind trip where I don't have 5 seconds for myself. Good plan.

It was good to catch up with Dave and the family, we even went out on a short ride after work one arvo swapping between his R1, Desert X and Will's CBR500. Dave asked me what I thought of the tyre's on Will's bike. I said they were rubbish and he should get something better asap before he bins it.

Saturday morning came around and I was on my way out to Morgan Park. The drive out was interesting as I've never been put there before. The drive up through Cunninghams Gap over the great dividing range was quite spectacular. Morgan Park is at Warrick about 2-2.5 hours from Brisbane.

Arriving at the track and everything has gone digital, no paper passes anymore. So bring up the app on the phone with my pass wait 2 minutes for it to load as I notice there is 1 bar of signal here then proceed to enter and head straight for the media centre. They've runout of official media vests so luckily I have my own media vest. They know how many media are attending how can they then not have enough vests?

I'd taken the trusty D500 with the Nikkor 200-500mm F5.6 and my 2 Tamron F2.8, 24-70 and 70-200mm lenses. I'm still amazed with this 7 year old camera body. I hope Nikon make a Z mount mirrorless equivalent of this camera. I was a bit worried about taking as check on as the limit was 7kg and these were way over that but they didn't even check.

The crowd was very small on the saturday. Not knowing my way around this circuit I proceeded to go from pit lane around to the bridge at turn 3, then across to turn 7. We were in for a treat today as Garry McCoy was out here today alongside the 2 seater doing demonstration laps. He didn't disappoint either. Here's a couple of shots I got of Mr Squiggle at turn 

Anthony West ex-MotoGP has been doing the rounds in ASBK for the last couple of years and it was good to see him racing hard, elbow down.

Anthony West


I probably spent far too much time at each location looking to get some good shots, I tend to also take more than I need at times as well to make sure that I got the shot and they aren't all a blurry mess. Long way to come up here and get only blurry images. Some turned out alright I think.

With saturday over with it was back to Dave's for a few beers and review some photos only to find out he doesn't have an SD card reader and I didn't bring mine. D'oh.

On Sunday Dave & Will decided to come out to the track and watch the racing. They weren't disappointed as Troy Herfoss#17 Honda racing and Mike Jones#1 Yamaha Racing battled it out all race long swapping the lead multiple times. I decided I'd like to get shots of the riders on the grid and forgo getting a good position around the track. I can't be everywhere and the grid was a bit of fun to shoot.

Here's a few shots on the grid.

Image Table
Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5

There's not much time on the grid, probably less than 5 minutes in total before the 3 minute siren blasts signalling everyone off the grid to racing can get underway.Then it was a mad scramble to get around to turn 3 to shoot the action. I stopped and had some lunch with Will & Dave at turn 3. There was a big crowd out here for todays races and they got some great racing too.

Here's a few shots from sunday's ASBK Race 1

Herfoss#17 & Jones#1

Mike Jones#1

Glenn Allerton#14

Herfoss#17 & Jones#1

Herfoss#17 & Jones#1

Josh Waters#21

Arthur Sissis#61

All up it was a good weekend away at the superbikes, got some good shots, had a good time with my bro and his family which happens far to seldom these days and got to work with my new work colleagues. I'm glad I did it. Till next time.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Wombeyan Caves Adventure Ride

I'd been keen to do this ride for a while now. RDO on monday and Sunday night I'd decided to go for it. I'll just message the retirees to see what sort of support there might be.

Lots of silence after. So a call the next day to see what the excuse is this time.

ME: Ready to go.......

Bushpig: Ah I've got gout in my hand, riding on a bumpy road will be killing it. Yeah gout.....

So while the softcocks er pissweak bastards cowerd in fear at home I went on an adventure ride. This was my 3rd day in a row for a ride I might add.

I was about an hour late in getting going and was underway by 9am first stop was an hour down the road at the servo in Mittagong to get a sammich and chocolate bar for lunch. I figured I might be late for lunch in Taralga so took my own, I can stop anywhere and have lunch now at anytime. This allowed for me to stop and smell the roses, scratch my ass and generally fart about and take photos.

There was a bit of road work happening on the Mittagong end, mostly easy going potholes really with a stop/go zone. Then the road started winding into the hills, looks like they had tarred a few extra km's of the dirt section, damn it.

The temperature today was going to hit a blistering 14°C, awesome for a slow adventure ride. It wasn't long before coming down the hills I came upon a one lane tunnel carved through the sandstone rock. The Bullio Tunnel was built in 1899.

Bullio Tunnel

Sandstone cliffs are a feature throughout the Blue Mountains and around Sydney. Very easily cut through but solid at the same time. Many beautiful visits of sandstone cliffs in our area.

The road descended slowly down into the valley on the other side, there were some slippery gravel patches on the newly sealed road with lack of traffic to wash the pea gravel from the surface remained in each bend to trap the unexpected motorcyclist. It's all narrow one lane road all the way down. I marveled at the breathtaking vistas of lush valleys, rivers and peaks stretching as far as the eye could see.

The road turned back to gravel on the way down, the first downhill section of gravel has a steep crown in the middle making riding, if you stay on the correct side around right handers feel uneasy as you are constantly riding off camber, on a tight narrow road. Uneasy feeling to say the least unless you take the wrong side.......

I pulled over to take in the view and 3 adventure bikes went roaring past in a cloud of dust. Setting off it wasn't long before I came out onto the Goodmans Ford Bridge that crosses the Wollondilly River.

Duck for dinner tonight?

It's smee

Looks like the amount of rain coming down through this creek can be quite substantial judging by the angle of those tree's.

The water was calm on the western end but flowing rapidly on the side I was parked. My little ducky mate kept following me across the bridge. Must be expecting a free lunch, cheeky bugger.

I continued on from here and the road wound its way up the mountainside in ever tightening corners, all single lane, with potholes, small ruts and boulders that had fallen from quite some height laying all over the road. It was quite slow going. Probably not a good place to stop, but photos' don't take themselves and I was wearing a helmet.........

There is a big drop less than 1m from where I parked

It wasn't much longer before I descended into Wombeyan Caves camping area. There were a few buildings here but all were closed and the new toilet facilities were all fenced off. They all looked brand new.

With the facility closed it probably explained why there was absolutely no traffic, plus the fact it was a monday. I had the place to myself which was awesome. That lovely looking freshwater creek, it's waters not so fresh now, don't drink the water........ well if their toilets we open.........

I had some lunch on the brand new picnic tables next to the closed kitchen building. Was nice just sitting here relaxing in the shade. How's the serenity?

After about half an hour I decided I'd better get going. It's only 32 km's from here to Taralga out the other side of the range. Shouldn't take long. The climb out was bitumen to start with, a sign said road closed - residents excepted. I was hoping not to have to turn around and go back, lucky I didn't have to. As the road got to the top of the range it changed back to gravel and as it turns out it was a gravel super highway, superb smooth gravel riding through the forest. FMS.

The road eventually turned back to tarmac about 20kms from Taralga, and it was a superb set of 65/75kmh sweepers over the rolling hillside. This would be fantastic at speed on a sports bike, fun enough on the ADV bike. I was hankering for a beer at Taralga. When I pulled up the guys that passed me earlier were here finishing their lunch. A GS1250, KTM and DDX, we had a quick chat before they went their own way.

I was contemplating riding back to Goulburn and the boring way. I check the distance to Oberon, 99km. I have plenty of fuel to get there so I might go that way and check out some more gravel on the way. It was about 1:30pm by the time I left. The closer to Oberon I got the temperature plummeted to 12°C with a chill winter wind up on the high plains, but great day to be riding. I turned off onto Cosgrove rd and fired along the forest road until I turned up Mt Werong road.

This turns into the fun fast roller coaster tarmac we previously rode on here. Thinking about 'that' incident, I'd needed a rest break, so pulled over just at 'that' location. So I wandered over to have a look, as it was 6.5 years ago since I'd been here. The tree is still there laying over.

On closer inspection I found a Pazzo brake lever laying there for 6 years. Just like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Time to get going into Oberon to fill up for the return leg to Sydney, I've seen a few skippys about so time to get going. 

It was a great day to be out adventure riding. I've some more ideas of riding in this area. Just needs some mates to ride with.......