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A lesson in Alpine riding

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Nelle, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Just sharing a story of my first Snowy Ride.... I headed up to Jindabyne on the Friday afternoon, 2 weeks ago, with my partner driving his ute i.e. my support vehicle, well that's another story, who leaves their bloody mobile behind? Grrrr... Any who, a pleasant warm day, no probs, lots of bikes on the road. Had a great night out with family and fellow bikers with a pub crawl through three of the locals pubs. Keen to get a few stamps on my card I headed out on Saturday morning for a ride to Charlottes Pass. It had been very gusty during the night but it wasn't too cold. Well, I gave a few seconds thought to putting my waterproof liners in my textiles but that was too much of an effort, had my Kevlar jeans underneath (I won't be cold) so....a few sprinkles of rain, no probs, a sun shower. Ha! Black clouds moving overhead as I headed up on my first Alpine ride then rain, then heavier rain, colder, then huge wind gusts and heavier rain. Water pouring into my boots, soaking wet pants and gloves, the temperature dropped to about 6.5C. I did think a couple of times I should just stop and turn around but bloody-minded stubbornness said no, keep going, you'll make it, no far to go. Well I must've been about 1km from Charlottes Pass when I called it quits, freezing cold, wet and having never ridden my bike in the rain before, I bit scared. It was the longest 36km up there and even longer going back. I quickly warmed up in a hot shower and put my dripping wet gear in the dryers. Lesson 1: 4 seasons in a day in the mountains - take wet weather pants regardless. Lesson 2: find someone to ride with (I was on my own) Lesson 3: my Bonneville is SO AWESOME even in the wet! Can't wait for my next Snowy Mountains ride!

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  2. Ah the joys, we've all been caught out like that once or twice. Glad you survived, and learned a lot...
  3. I've done the (spirited) drive once or twice in a car around that area and found that a bit of a challenge, good on you for having a go on a bike, not something i will be trying in a hurry.
  4. I was in the US recently and was heading into Dever from Utah on I70 East. This goes right over the Rockies and tops out at 11500ft roughly - so about 3800m or more than 1km higherthan anything we have here. And from great sunny weather warm weather we hit - SNOW! In a campervan. Why this is relevent is that there were 3 guys on BMW's (R1200GS?) going up and over and down the other side, and they just kept on going despite wind/snow/sleet/slippery as hell roads. Damn I was impressed by their fortitude (so much so I took a pic further down once the white-knuckle death grip has passed), but also by the planning as they were all clearly in uber-weather gear etc. Funny thing is, overtook them all going down but they soon came past again as it got drier.

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  5. I did this trip last year from the Goldie to Melbourne, it was around 2-3 degrees around Mount Buller with plenty of rain, I was in summer gear which was fun and at about 100kph you get a wind chill factor of around -5. The day before I went up it was around 28 degrees, the weather around there is insane.
  6. Well done @Nellie for having a go. You picked a great day and location for your first ride in the rain. That morning was bloody freezing and blowing a gale.

    You definitely need to take alpine riding seriously. Temperatures can plummet rapidly to dangerous levels and hyperthermia can set in quickly if you are wet. Beautiful riding country though.
  7. Too true. A few of us rode to Thredbo earlier this year from Sydney and Melb - at one point I had 5 layers on and still felt the cold.
  8. A couple I know did dead horse gap coming back from the GP this year,they spent the night at Threadbo.Something about 50mm of hail on the road made that happen.Last year we left Bright at 26c,50ks later going over Hotham in a T shirt and no winter liner and light weight gloves on.It must have been about 5c at the top.Hard to stop with 15 other blokes pushing on.We left Hornsby 6 weeks ago at 6am to do The Ox ,it was 10c.Came home 4 days later in winter gear arrived in Sydney to 35c.You just cannot win these days with what gear to wear.But in all cases I had it to use if needed.
  9. Yes I won't be taking a risk next time I'm up there. I'm hoping to do a ride to Thredbo in mid December but I'll be taking warm and wet gear this time. Nothing worse than freezin' your butt off!
  10. Yep it is always cooler up there, the issue is just how much cooler. Blizzards in the middle if summer can occur.
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  11. Too cold (or too hot) leads to making mistakes. Wear appropriate clothes and you will be safer as well as more comfortable :)
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  12. Ya I was out in that storm in the Omeo area. It was everywhere. Had to cut our ride short that day snd missed the Bonang.