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A Learner laps Tassie - TasTrek

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by BigJig, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have a ride report to share with you, fuelled in no small part by Rosie's excellent ride report - l sure you are all aware of it. :)

    Firstly a little about myself. I'm 28, from Melbourne, have only been riding for about 4 months, and have been documenting my whole experience about learning to ride on the Overclockers.com.au motorcycle sub-forum. I found it really hard to see what was involved before l started because there is so much information available (mostly very good) but fragmented through several different forums/threads. I wanted my diary to show one person's experience from beginning to well.. as long as l continue to update it.. :)

    Feel free to have a browse - it is in the Noob section at www.ocau.com/mc

    On to the bike. It's my first, a '95 ZZR250 which l got for the princly sum of $2000 (and to look at it, you can see why.. lol..) but it's proved itself quite reliable when it counts. I call it 'Red Rocket'. :p

    So basically l was reading about all these people having fun touring around Australia on their bikes, and thought 'Nah, it's too much for me to think of at this point.' Enter Rosie_V7 who throws that idea right out the window. Learners unite! (Good on ya mate! Now look what you've made me do!)

    I should probably say at this point that the furthest l have ever ridden from home was.. gulp.. about 150k.. :oops:

    Firstly, l got the rear tyre on the bike replaced, due to it developing a slow leak the week before leaving. Typical l know. :? Tent purchased, bag for the back of the bike, RJAYS Tankbag, self inflating mattress, sleeping bag. Fluids and pressures checked, and l was away.

    Here is the leaving shot. (My parents insisted they take a current photo of me - they didn't think l would make it back.. Lol..)

    Leavinghome.

    First was the ride from home, Montrose, to the Spirit of Tasmania dock. To be honest l only had a rough idea on where to go, but l left myself plenty of time in case l got lost. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and l got there in plenty of time. I also met a nice couple Gareth and Shirley who were touring Tassie on a brand spanker Harley D.

    We filed through quarantine and security checkpoints and along side the boat, and l struck up a conversation with a guy called Simon who was also touring Tassie, albeit for a month! He was riding a very nice airbrushed Blackbird, and had everything bar the kitchen sink on the back of his bike. See picture below.

    Simon.

    He was from Toowomba, and we ended up chatting for most of the trip over a few drinks... Too many in my case.. :cool:



    Let me just say that if you are planning a trip to Tassie, BOOK A CABIN! Sleeping in a seat that would considered small in a decent cinema was not a good start to the trip. This was confirmed when a slightly confused older gentleman decided to take all of his clothes off and wander past me and into the lounge. :shock: (No pictures, hehe..)

    After a very rocky sail over the straight, we docked at Devonport at around 8am, and l was not suprised to see the weather had rained a little just before our arrival. No dramss there, but as the only wet weather capable riding gear l have is my boots, l uttered a silent prayer for no more rain. It must have worked because l had no rain for the next six days. w00t! :grin:

    As the bikers were the first on the boat, we were also first off, and l hit the road for my first stop - Burnie.

    More to follow.

    Stu
     
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  2. Great write up Bigjig, cant' wait for the next installment :grin:
     
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  3. Looking forward to the next chapter BigJig.

    Man...you can fit a bit of gear on a blackbird can't you.
     
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  4. Well Crusingal and Muttly, here it is - just for you.. :)

    Okay so Day 2 went a little like this.

    After fuelling up in Devonport, l headed out along the Bass Highway in search of Burnie. This was going to be my first stop of the trip, for fuel.. For me.. Maccas.. Yum! :)

    BurnieMaccas.

    This short run was good for adjusting to the feel of the bike with the extra weight on it, and l have to admit it took it really well. The centre stand would bottom out if l ran over a sharp dip, but l just adapted my riding so l expected it. No dramas there. Acelleration was a bit slower than normal, but patience is in every ZZR250 rider. Hehe.

    This picture also highlights a small problem l had over the course of the trip - getting on the damn thing. I'm a pretty short and rotund guy, so getting on without being able to swing my leg over the back meant l had to do something like this:

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/flykick.jpg

    OK so maybe l was wearing more clothes than this guy, but you get the idea. (On that point, wtf is this guy doing? And why is the back of that boat on fire?)

    Moving on, I had a hearty :p Maccas breakfast, and pushed on to ward my daily goal - Stanley. This interesting town is at the base of 'The Nut'. You'll see it later.

    For some reason, when l got back on the bike l was fluffing gear changes more than normal, until l got into the rythm again. I'm not sure why this was, but l got going eventually, and got my first taste of the Tassie twists. I decided to divert to see a scenic lighthouse indicated on some streetsigns. After riding for about 16km along a tiny one lane road without seeing it, l decided to turn back. At this point l had my first 'O shit' moment.

    While turning the bike around, my boot slipped on the loose gravel, and she started to go over on me. That bag up high on the back only helped it try and fall into mother earth''s embrace, and l had to madly scrabble for firm footing. I grabbed the handle bars and kept it upright, but the bloody think almost busted my wrist l was straining so hard. Take note of the ground in this shot.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Slippery.jpg

    I had to have a smoke after this incident, it was the closest l have ever been to laying it over. And that's bad, mkay? :twisted:

    So l finally got her gingerly turned around, and headed back along my original road, singing along in my helmet. The roads loosly followed the coast, and l found my first set of roadworks on the trip. This was to be the first of many - l think they are finally completing Tasmania. :)

    So l'm sitting in the line at one of those portable traffic light systems, and l see 5 or so Harleys go past me heading in the other direction. And they didn't look happy. I only worked it out when l went to ride through it. The water truck had just gone through and turned the dust to mud. Thanks guys. :mad:

    With with my muddy bike, we continued on to Stanley and 'The Nut' Here is a shot from the scenic lookout.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Stanley.jpg

    It's a large raised section of land. Yay!

    I booked into their caravan park, and ended up taking a cabin for $75. I decided l needed a proper bed and shower after the ordeal on the boat trip. The only problem here is that the soil is quite sandy and soft, and the side stand kept sinking. Easy fix - I just rode the bike onto the cabin decking and parked it there. I'm sure it looked a bit wierd parked there right next to the door, but meh.. What ya gotta do.. :cool:

    I dumped mot of my gear, and headed to a place called Dismal Swamp about 45km away. It's a beautiful sinkhole that is filled with a particular tree and crayfish in some sort of union.. It looked pretty anyway. It also has a really cool slide that is about 150m long, and takes about 14 seconds to fly down! :D

    Here are a few pics of the place - utterly beautiful.

    The slide:
    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/DismalSwampSLide.jpg
    This scared the absolute shit out of me. Even with my armoured leather jacket, boots and Draggins on, l felt like l was being beaten by six guys with baseball bats. Awesome! (y)

    I then got to walk 1.2km worth of trails like this:
    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/DS2.jpg
    I popped some calming music on the iPod, and just walked around for about an hour and a half really tranquil, l recommend it.

    At this point, l was properly shagged, and rode back to the caravan park, got dinner and slept like the dead. A good days riding, and touristing.. :)

    Stu
     
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  5. Day 3 went a little like this:

    After a really good night sleep, l got up nice and early so l could get some serious k's under my belt on the way to my day's destination - Strahan (west coast fishing/tourist town.)

    It must have been cold that night, because l had to wipe the rocket down to get all the dew off it. Poor thing.. :)

    I was recommended a coastal cafe called the Jolly Roger for breakfast by my parents who made a similar trip of Tassie last year in their cage, so l dropped in just when they were opening. Apparently this cafe has a dog called Priscilla that hangs out there on a bean bag they provide. It begs treats from customers and must make a good job of it too, because it was quite fat!

    Good to see my L plate is being chewed up. Die you infernal thing! :)
    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/JollyROger.jpg

    After a mind-bendingly good breakfast, l set off along the road to Strahan, and used my iPod whilst riding for the first time. What a revelation! I was singing like crazy now! I wouldn't do it in a city, but along country roads - awesome.

    I then confronted this fella:

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Nice.jpg

    Nice.

    And it wasn't bloody wrong either! I had ablast riding through this area, it was so picturesque, but l had to keep my mind on the job because it was like the Spur run here in Melbourne. Tightening hairpins and lots of camber/elevation changes. The quality of road was pretty good to, so l was pretty confident in the grip levels.

    Here's a pic of the type of road involved, and just after l took it, two Blackbirds both carrying pillions whooshed past me. We met again later while both having a drink stop. Nice people.
    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Hairpin.jpg

    I continued on for another hour or so, and then was confronted with a resurfacing sign. Crap! I spent the next 11km riding at 35kph because there were huge piles of gravel on the road, and it was bloody slippery. I had to concentrate on riding in one wheel track to keep her upright. And it was not fun. :thumbsdow

    Pushing onwards, l found l needed to 'answer the call', so l pulled off the road to address this need. I happened to stop in a pine forest, and was awed by the whistling of the wind through the trees. The car traffic was pretty low, so it was like being the last person alive on earth. Really eerie.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/PineForest.jpg

    A quick blat later, and it was into Strahan, and straight to the Caravan Park. I was able to grab a tent site, and set myself up just nicely.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Strahan.jpg

    Fish dinner (God the seafood was good there) a quick listen/watch of the iPod, clean my gear, and l was in bed. Quite a good spot.

    There's more coming.

    Stu
     
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  6. Hey bigjig..this is fantastic stuff! You've put a great big smile on my face. :) I'm so happy my own thread spurred you on to doing this. :grin:

    Love the part about the L plate. :LOL:

    Feels good doesn't it? What adds to the beauty of doing stuff like this is the knowledge you don't have to head home at the end of the day...if you get what I mean? It really does feel like 'me time'. Sooo good.

    I wouldn't have had the guts to go on that slide! I got scared on the toboggan at Gumbuya Park!! lol.

    You have exactly the same tent as me. :grin: What did you think of it? Nice to see you bothered with the rope support tie thingys on the tent cover...I was too lazy to use mine...okay - I lie - I didn't realise that's what they were for. :LOL:

    Pretty amazing feeling aint it? :) I had that sound at Bald Rock National Park...just magic. :)

    Thanks for posting this up. Looking forward to reading the rest of it. I really should get around to finishing mine. :oops:

    BTW, if you feel the urge to go off and do something similar, come along on the 3 day Alpine Way ride. Niiice. :wink:

    Rosie
     
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  7. Day 4. Destination Strathgordon.

    After a pretty good night's sleep, l got up at about 8am, and broke camp. I knew this was going to be a pretty big day of riding, so l wanted to get cracking as soon as l could. This is not easy when you are trying to pack a tent up into a bag the size of a Gorilla's condom. How l know this.. Don't ask.. :p

    After quickly speaking with a bunch of Harley riders about the road ahead (and warning them of the roadworks) l stopped at the only servo l could find. The guy came out and went to help me fill up the bike, and l said 'Er.. It's OK mate l got it..' not knowing that this is quite normal over here. What service! But l'll do it, thanks..

    When it came to pay, l had just handed the youg guy my card and he goes belting out the front door! :shock: Not knowing what was going on, l walked out and found he had sprinted out because another bike had pulled up (a firestorm) and the guy then dropped it because he forgot he didn't put the stand down. Poor fella. He was so embarrased.

    He and l had a brief chat and inspected the tiny damage to the bike, and it turns out he is an American guy touring Tassie. It's really true when they say Tassie is to the the motorcyclist what Hawaii is to the surfer.

    I walked back inside and paid for the fuel and spoke to the helpful youg guy again, and asked 'What's the road to Queenstown like?'. He smiled and said 'You'll love it.'

    And he was right. I started off slowly, and before 10k was up, l had a grin from ear to ear. It was just like the Spur runs here, only it went for a lot longer. And coupled with Tassie's strange roadsign method (it's 100k speed limit, but here's a bunch of 35kph corners) it was a lot of fun. I found the bike felt fine despite the extra weight, but l did have a picture of a Triumph 675 in the back of my mind at the time. If you ever get the chance, go to Queenstown, it's a blast. :LOL:

    Queenstown is a kinda strange place. It's an old mining town, but the sulpher generated killed all the trees off on the hills, so it looks really bare. There's also a very nice old railway that ferrys tourists up and down hills here. It even has a nice old school terminal to run from.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Qtown.jpg

    Breakfast in the cafe, and then l had my second 'O shit' moment. When l had parked the bike, l had locked it up, and then dropped my keys into my helmet with my gloves whilst l sorted something else out. When l picked up my helmet, l had forgotten my keys were in it. :shock:

    So what do l do? I put my helmet down on a drain when l took a photo, and of course l put it with the opening facing down. Lukily my keys were still in there, caught in the gloves. As a side note, this is the ONLY key l have for the bike. (It's twisted so l cannot get another one cut.) Lucky Stu, very lucky.

    Next stop was Maydena on the way to Strathgordon, so l got going, and rode one of the highlight roads of the trip - the climb out of Queenstown. Honestly l now know what it feels like to ride a bike on the Rally of Monte Carlo route. A road following a mountain side, cliff on one side, small rock wall and a sheer drop off on the other. Hairpin right, harpin left, hairpin right. OMFG how good is this road?

    The only problem? Nowhere to pull off and take pics. Sorry, but you'll just have to trust me. :(

    Pushing onwards to Maydena saw me face another drama.. Bees.. Lots of Bees.. Thousands of the buggas, commiting Hari Kari on my bike, my visor, and my white leather jacket. Crap.. Who's idea was this bloody jacket? Oh yeah.. OK.. :oops:

    It turns out they have thousands of bee hutches on the side of the road, so the bee population in this area is unbelievable. I was riding like the hunchback of Notre Dame in an effort to close up access to my neck. I'm not allergic to Bees, l just didn't want to get stung.. 1000 times.. :?

    Arriving in Maydena to fill up, l had a quick chat to some local girls who just seemed to want to impress me with the amount of Scotch they claimed to drink the night before. The weird part? They were about 10 years old.. :? I moved on.

    The Beast in Maydena (Feral kids not in view.)

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Maydena.jpg

    Now to set the picture, Maydena is the last form of civilisation on the road to Strathgordon, so if anything went wrong in the next 72km, l was rooted. And to help things along, my mobile was not getting any reception at all. Thanks Telstra 3g, you can eat an ass.. (No, not a Donkey..)

    So l headed off into the remote part of western Tassie full of trepidation, but the road was excellent, and the scenery ethereal.

    Take a look at this stuff.. Imagine 72km of it..

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Strathgordon.jpg

    The air here was so clear it looked like you could reach out and touch that mountain. Amazing stuff.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Hill.jpg

    Arriving in Strathgordon with a majorly sore bum from the k's ridden in 'Overladen ZZR250 Superbike mode' l staggered into the reception for the Strathgordon hotel. 'Gimme a room, l don't care how much it costs..' got me a functional room with own bathroom for $60. Bargain in what can only be described as a monopoly on the Accomodation market out here.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/STrath.jpg

    Had a shower, and changed into proper clothes for the night. Spoke to the pommy cook there, who rides an R6, but not on these roads 'Too bloody dangerous, mate..' :shock:

    The 'dish boy' who works in the kitchen there rides a scoot, and apparently it took him 6 hours to ride from Hobart to Strathgordon. (A ride l completed in about 3 hours the following day.) I spoke to him, even though he rode a scoot.. :LOL:

    I spent the night watching TV in the Bar, and having a few quiet ones. I was pretty tired, so retired early.

    I'll post the rest up tomorrow guys & girls.

    Stu
     
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  8. Day 5 - Hobart and Pt Arthur await.

    I got up pretty early, and headed into the on site restaurant for breakfast. Not a bad selection available, and l had a yak with some of the other tourists and the Cook again. He advised me to take it easy the further 13km out to the Gordon dam, as the local fauna are quite friendly. As in they want to hug you while you are doing 80kph.

    So with his warning fresh in my mind, l packed up the bike and headed out of town. In no time, l was deep in the twists, and experiencing some amazing elevation changes. One moment it was like climbing in a plane, and the next moment l was riding the brakes in an effort to keep my speed under 80kph. Really amazing stuff.

    Unfortunately this stretch of road was nothing like the ride into Strathgordon, it had been repaired so many times it looked like a patchwork quilt. There was more patched or repaired road than there was road itself! :mad:

    But then l got there - Gordon Dam (Biggest of this type in Southern Hemisphere, 140m tall)

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Gordon.jpg

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Gordon2.jpg

    With this personal achievement crossed off my list, l started the ride back through Strathgordon, Maydena and on to Hobart. I did have to stop and take a photo of Lake Pebble though - the water was so still it was like a mirror.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/mirror.jpg

    So after a quick stop in Maydena for a Bacon and Egg roll (Yum!) l pushed on towards to Hobart. I had met a guy on a big Virago style bike (Not a HD) in Maydena, and he and l rode together for 30ks or so. It felt good to be riding with someone else for a bit, but it was hard work with only 250cc. Apparently he is a logging truck driver around there, so he knows the roads real well. So he left me for dead.. :p

    I have to admit, my trip through Hobart was a bit of an anticlimax. I had to go to a store in Moonah for work purposes, and used this opportunity to charge both my iPod and mobile phone, but then decided l wanted the open road more than the closed city feel. So at about 3.30 l was suiting up to push onwards to Pt Arthur.

    Riding back in traffic! This was not a fun part of the ride, probably because l was trying to navigate and keep an eye on the loonies driving the route l wanted to go on. :evil: But we made is safely out the eastern side, and locked onto Sorell as the next stop point.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/roadworks.jpg

    Well l could have guessed this was going to happen. I hit major road works every day of the trip, quite often sitting in a line of cars for so long it was better to turn the bike off than have it heat up. Having said that, l found the quality of road surface here quite good, and confidence inspiring when the going got twisty.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/rdtopa.jpg

    At this point, two things started to happen that made the last few km quite tough. The least important was my back was starting to lock up on me, causing quite a bit of pain. It was relieved when l stopped for a smoko break, but within 10min of resuming the ride, it was back. Quite uncomfortable.

    The second thing was the WORST driver on Australian roads. This guy in a white Camry was completely erratic with his speeds, sometimes flying along, and then hitting the brakes HARD. I nearly rode into this guy a couple of times, even when leaving a lot of room. He was also drifting around a lot, and l could see his head moving from side to side. Aha.. Tourists.. No wonder the locals down here call us Tourorists. So l wait for my moment, and then gun past him over double white lines. Ride another 2km, and then swing into the Caravan Park. Doh!

    So l head into the reception only to hear the lady behind the desk say 'We've only got two campsites left, and that's it.' So l immediately shout 'I'll take one!' So guess who walks in and gets the last one? Mr Motorcycle Killing White Camry driver. Right next to mine. Yay.. :mad:

    So l setup camp, collect some firewood for the night, and glared at my inept driver neighbour.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/tent.jpg

    I swear when he looked in my direction he would have seen this (I was pretty pissed off).

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/OGame_proj_balrog_retuched.jpg

    So after a quick walk on the beach and some more iPod time, l was off to bed.

    Day 6 coming soon.

    Stu
     
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  9. Yes, you're responsible for this, mate. Hope you enjoy it - l did.


    Yep, l noticed. Got it from Ray Tent City for $69. Perfect for my needs.

    Brint it on! I really did use it as a source of courage, so keep it up.

    Stu
     
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  10. Day 6. Up the east coast.

    I woke up early, and broke camp again. since the weather had been pretty good up until this point, l didn't have to leave the tent out for the sun to dry it off. Good stuff! :grin:

    After waking everyone else up by warming the bike up, l rose the 5km or so to the Pt Arthur tourist centre. Since l was quite early l was able to have the pick of parking, and grabbed the closest car park available. Since l was in Tassie l was not sure what the laws are regarding parking on the sidewalk (which is OK in Vic.)

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/PtArthur.jpg

    I secured the rear bag with a cable/combo lock l got from Anaconda (this little jigga was the star of the trip), and popped on my Xena disk lock. With the bike secured, l then popped my helmet, jacket and tankbag into one of the lockers provided. $2 for the locker - quite a good deal. I would say that Pt Arthur is motorcycle friendly. :grin:

    Now this place is amazing, $20 gets you a tour through a museum, a ticket on a tour, a ticket for the ferry across the Isle of the dead, and a ticket into a 3d animated movie. Good value. I spent about 2 hours wandering around here taking pictures of the old buildings and exploring around the site. It's kept in immaculate order, much like the Melbourne Botanical gardens.

    This is the old church.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/church.jpg

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/church2.jpg

    I can say that walking through the solitary confinement building with my heavy riding boots echoing off the walls was really weird. It was almost like the guards of old were 'walking the mile.' :LOL:

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/theile.jpg

    This was such a pretty place, despite it's dark past. I really would recommend it to anyone going to Tasmania.

    So l hopped back on the rocket, and headed back up the east coast via Sorell, Triabunna and Orford. While riding near orford, l was experiencing another Monte Carlo Rally moment and thinking 'God this would be crazy with a bunch of guys in a pack' when l passed about 20 riders in a pack going the other way. My head was bobbing up and down for the first few, and then l resorted to a wave to 'The fellas.' I ended up getting quite a few waves and nods back which was pretty cool. :cool:

    This was quite a windy day too, so the riding was harder than usual, with the wind inflating my jacket with super cold air. There was a constant threat of rain as well, so l was determined to push as far as l could before my back started to play up again. It was actually so cold my gloves changed from black to dark green. What's that all about then?

    This was a short break l had to warm up. I found that pushing my cloves down near the radiator made them toasty warm when l got back on. Hehe. :p

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/beach.jpg

    At this time, l was quite sore from my muscles tensing up, so l decided to finish the day at Bicheno, famous for it's blowhole. I rode into town at about 3pm, and made straight for the hotel on the beach. It was another 'I need a room, don't care what it costs' moment, and l got a beutiful A frame style cabin, with a carport! w00t!

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/radiata.jpg

    The view from my deck of the blowhole and coast.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/radiata2.jpg

    I was straight into a hot shower, and put all my electronics on to their chargers. After feeling more human, l decided to do a laundry run, and was confronted with the oldest washing machine in recorded history. Seriously, this thing was made before the 'rock in a river' method was released. The information pamphlet given to me at reception even had a full page on how to use these dinosaurs. Hehe. :?

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/washer.jpg

    So after using this thing and deciding that maybe the 'Rock in a river' system is better, l kicked of my boots and watched the cricket for the night. The wind was whistling outside, but l was snug as a bug, and l has a coke in my hand. Dinner was a beautiful scallop past dish, with bruschetta for entree. Doing it hard, l was.. :p

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Inside.jpg

    I booked a return trip on the boat, and upgraded it to Business class as well. No way was l gonna put up with old naked breakdancing men this time! :twisted:

    Day 7 will be up soon.

    Stu
     
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  11. (Day 7)

    Day 7. Back to Davenport! I'm heading home.

    Woke up after a great night's sleep, and hit the road straight away. The wind was still pretty strong, and the roads were damp already from a brief shower overnight. I adjusted to the conditions, but for some reason had a real paranoid day about the bag on the back of the bike coming off. Don't know why this was, but l found myself checking the bag every time l stopped. :?

    Not long after l started riding, everyone was flashing their lights at me, so l thought 'Cops' and slowed down a little. It turns out they were warning me of this:

    Sheepies!

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/sheepies.jpg

    I slowly rode through these mutton buggers, and turned towards Devonport along what was to be the crappiest road of the trip. Narrow, twisty, wet and covered with shotput sized rocks that had fallen from the rock walls overnight. I glanced down at my speedo through a few corners, and l was taking them at 25kph - madness.

    Here's a typical pic.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/slippery2.jpg

    So riding onwards, l climbed into the mountain range, and was soon almost level with the clouds.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/elephant-1.jpg

    To my surprise, up here there is a Pancake Parlour style cafe that is apparently quite well known. Possibly because the amount of people who die trying to get there and back.. hehe. :grin:

    While riding through one of the small towns up here, l came across this, which must be Australia's smallest Police Station. It's the small white building on the corner.

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Police.jpg

    The ride to Devonport from this point was pretty easy, with only a stop for some cheese tasting and subsequent purchasing, and a fuel stop. The lady who came out to fill the bike up (It's OK love, l got it..) said she rode a Harley Night train, whatever that is. I don't know my farm equipment that well. :)

    Soon, l was standing here. (Trying to keep the cheese in my Tankbag cool.) :p

    http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t179/BigJig_2007/Devonport.jpg

    Loading on the boat went past without a hitch (apart from an occy strap flying off my bike and hitting a Mercedes Benz 4wd :shock: )

    I met a nice guy called David who had flown into Tassie that afternoon to buy a BMW R1150GS, and we ended up chatting most of the evening.

    Day 8's a short one, and it's coming soon.

    Stu
     
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  12. Fabulous reading, I've really been enjoying this thread. I lived in Tassie for years, I must admit to a little reminiscing whilst reading about your travels. Nice to see the old 'gloves shoved on the donk' trick to keep 'em warm too :)
     
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  13. Sensational write up BigJig, Tassie is definately a tour that I am planning on doing. You and Rosie have inspired me to get off my arse and do something about it. I will be doing the trip on a ZZR as well, interesting to read how the little beast held up. Well done :applause:
     
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  14. Heya Hopper,

    Mate, l ended up calling it 'The little bike that could..' She just kept going, and going and going. :grin:

    Good to see you are planning a trip yourself, it's a lot of fun.

    I'll be posting a little about what worked, and what didn't work so people can get an idea on what to take, and what not to do.

    Stu
     
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  15. Absolutely fantastic write up!!!

    Really makes me want to take off and ride... L plates or not, why wait to have the fun... Thankyou!!
     
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  16. Hope there are many more rides to come!

    The first one is the hardest.
    After that, you have learned what to take, what you should take, and what you don't need to take.! And what pace suits you!

    You also learn that you CAN do it!.

    Tassie is a brave first choice, we toured it last year, and the roads are not quite highway standard, and some of the driving skills have to be seen to be believed. It is ironic that the tourists get blamed for the bad driving, but while we were there, there were a number of fatalities, and they were all locals.

    Good report, good pics, and lets get some more bikes out there!.
     
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  17. nice work bigjig.. great write up to..
    i'm looking to do the same but i'll probably do it in november

    i had a quick question for you.. how did you find the buissness class seat on the way back?
     
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  18. I don't know BigJigs answer, but I found them bludy uncomfortable, and moved to the bar after it had closed and slept on a lounge, with a dozen or so others :grin:

    Great write up Stu, you obviously had fun too.
     
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  19. Sweet write up mate. Just wait till you do the trip again with a "proper" bike and some real bike chops.

    I've really enjoyed reading your trip write up.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
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  20. Love the write up, except what happened to launceston, you traveled the whole state yet missed the best city on the island.
     
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