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Clowndogs Wollemi Circuit - NSW Australia

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Clowndog, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. The mission, should I choose to accept it.
    • Stretch my legs on the new DL650 Wee-Strom, two weeks out of the box.
    • Spend two or three days riding around New South Wales, Australia
    • Get a good feel for the bike on a variety of roads and get some experience
    • Take an arseload of pictures
    With the bike sitting on 400km just over two weeks from purchase I was looking to do my first three to four day trip and was
    planning accordingly when it hit me. The bike is due for it's first service at 1000km! bah! I was forced to compromise and
    make some cutbacks, so after hearing good things about the Putty Road and Bells line of road I devised the following route,
    having only 600km to play with.

    This is basically a circuit of Wollemi National Park, as it turned out, a good mix of tar / dirt and twisties

    This hybrid version makes it a little easier to visualise

    The chosen route takes me North out of Sydney via the ever popular Putty Road, North-West up to Denman via the Golden
    highway and West to Bylong following the Bylong Valley Way. From here I head South to Rylstone along Bylong road, South-East
    past Mount Marsden until I reach Glen Alice, West again to Capertee with a side trip to Glen Davis. From here I had planned
    to head South to spend my second night in Lithgow before an early morning ride East along Bells line of road and home, but I
    ended up deciding to skip Bells and leave it for another day.
    So there you have it, everything planned and accounted for, except of course, the weather. I had planned to leave on Thursday
    and return Friday or Saturday but with rain and thunderstorms hitting Sydney on Thursday my confidence was shaken. I have
    only had the bike for two weeks, only had the license for three, and most of my limited riding experience is a good 15 years
    out of date, assorted dirtbikes while growing up. Head-games set in and I chickened out :cry

    A brief break in the weather on Thursday afternoon, all dressed up and nowhere to go

    By Friday morning my resolve had returned, to hell with it. I set out around 9:30am, stopping for a few minutes at a local
    accessories store to pickup a wet weather jacket to go with my wet weather pants, thoughtfully stashed under the seat, under
    my tailbag, under 6 to 8 okky straps, you know, for easy access :rolleyes

    It was still stormy on Friday, it rained for most of the ride up the Putty. Due to bugger all photo opportunities so far
    and nowhere much to stop, this is up past Putty, near Bulga

    It was good to be out in the open again, twisties are all well and good, but I'm just not that guy. Take note of the bike
    cover strapped to the back, look secure enough ?

    I had planned to take Wallaby Scrub Road up to the golden highway, expecting my first tiny little taste of dirt. The road was
    straight like an arrow, smooth as a babies bottom and no dirt in sight. I have started a modest map collection but it seems
    you never really know until you get there eh ?

    A little back road along the golden highway, whats a ride report without a few mundane shots to start it off ? good
    practice I say.

    The weather cleared up and I kept moving towards Denman

    Still mundane but things pick up on day two. nice little farm tho, I might make them an offer.

    Arriving at Denman after 236km I checked in to the local motel and got busy unpacking. Remember that bike cover I mentioned ?
    as it turns out my okky strap technique needs some fine tuning. The bag came loose and must have been hanging across the
    side of the exhaust by a strap for the last few kilometers. The case suffered some damage, the zipper was melted at one point
    and two parts of the bike cover had fused together leaving a small hole once pride apart.

    Nothing too major and the cover is still in fairly good nick. Lesson learned.

    After unpacking I headed to the RSL for a cold one, then back to my room to charge my electronic doodads and grab a few hours
    kipp before dinner. The local Royal hotel provided a serviceable steak n salad, a good end to day one. A short day for sure,
    but it's good to test the water before you jump in I guess.

    Day two begins with brekky at 7am and departure around 8:30am

    Early in the day, hot sun, the odd cloud and no more rain

    Denman is part of the Hunter Valley, vineyards and horse studs are the big industries. There also seems to be a market for
    massive Ute's but I neglected to get a picture of any

    This is the beginning of the Bylong Valley Way. Maps told me tar / dirt, locals said tar all the way to Bylong. Time will

    No dirt yet, but a nice little road all the same

    The driveways out here tend to be a little bigger than those found in Suburban Sydney

    I don't need twisty roads to enjoy myself, I soon found myself riding through postcards.

    Time for a picture of your host.

    This road leading into the mountains comes with enough twisties to keep you busy, even the odd dirt twisty.

    The Wee-Strom was very accommodating and didn't complain once as I pulled over every 2km for yet another picture.

    The tomtom rider received a hammering soon after this as I hit my first bunch of corrugations, the second worst of the

    Bylong Valley Ways runs alongside a rail track for part of the way and crosses under it once or twice.

    Here is a closeup of the train. This cameras limitations come to the front when trying to use the zoom, many zoomed shots
    were wasted.

    Looking backwards to one of a few 25km turns

    Looking forwards to the next one

    Here is the Canon camera I used. It did a decent job but it was on loan to me. I have my eyes set on a Panasonic Lumix in
    the near future.

    Here I hit my first dirt for the trip, with stock standard trailwings and no bashplate to protect the oil filter I was a
    little worried

    Plenty of wet patches left over from the previous days drenching

    A nice scenic strip of dirt over some easy rolling hills

    Loads of loose gravel at the edges of this thing but not a problem for the V-Strom. As it turned out I was completely
    comfortable on the dirt this trip, content to allow the bike to slide and shuffle at will, just positioning my weight and
    using the throttle to maintain control. I guess my dirtbike days growing up helped a lot.

    A Slightly different angle of the same road.

    Some clouds forming over the ranges.

    One of the locals

    Back on the tar for a while

    This is a tree

    Smooth tar and lush paddocks heading in towards Bylong after coming out of the mountains

    Some funky trees

    Bylong General store is the ONLY store in town, Aussie humor, kek

    Trip tally so far, two coffees in Denman, one pie & one coke in Bylong

    Heading south out of Bylong towards my next stop at Rylstone

    Always check your mirrors, you might miss some scenery

    Looks like the locals were right, tar all the way to Rylstone

    Whats this ? dirt on the horizon ?

    Another mundane shot, ho hum

    The same place, different angle

    Time for some mountains shots, and back on the tar again




    Rylstone. Trip tally, add two coffees, one red bull, one carrot cake. I was also forced to unpack the bike in Rylstone and
    find my tool roll as the corrugations had shaken one of my handlebar end weights loose and I almost lost it

    Leaving Rylstone and heading South East towards Glen Alice

    The road to Glen Alice is tar most of the way, the scenery is mostly grass and mountains

    Mount Marsden

    Plenty of parking

    I tried to get a few bug shots but they didn't show up very well

    Dramatic mountain ranges


    My destination, to the far left of shot

    As I was told, the tar held out most of the way to Glen Alice, nice sweeping tar

    Things looked a touch more bleak moments later as a massive cloud passed infront of the sun

    It's dirt !

    Doh, no it's not, it's tar again, and a skinny little bridge

    Mount Clowndog. no really !

    Decisions Decisions

    There is only one road in and out of Glen Davis but it's well worth a short detour

    The road happens to be dirt, fairly good on the way in but coming back out was rough

    My passing did not go unnoticed

    Another local

    Lots of locals

    The foreman


    Are mirror shots cliché ? Unfortunately due to cutbacks, these are the only special effects I can afford


    I was not particularly happy with this shot, I got on the mobile phone and had some things moved about

    ah, much better

    According to local legend these mountains were once mole hills ?



    The last stretch into the lovely alcove of Glen Davis

    Glen Davis rejoices in being surrounded on three sides by a magnificent panorama




    The local that just passed me after this shot gave a huge smile and a wave, clearly chuffed to see someone taking an




    Mirror shot time again




    My last shot of Glen Davis before heading West to Capertee

    On the way to Capertee it turned back to tar and I passed two crazy buggers riding push bikes up and down the hills. Don't
    these guys know how dangerous those things are ?? sheesh

    I took some of the road with me

    And some of the bugs - Trip tally - add another red bull

    In Faulconbridge I had my first accident. Moving at low speed I lost control of a jam filled doughnut

    Wanting to sleep in my own bed, I by-passed Bells line of road this time and returned home under cover of darkness



    So there is my first ride report, the bike is sitting on 1032k and booked in for it's first service.

    I have adjustments to make, camping gear to purchase and accessories to add, but I started planning my next trip as I was pulling into my driveway from the first one.

    Hope it's ok. It was more fun doing the trip than compiling the report, thats for sure :)
  2. :popcorn:

    Well done, nice scenic report. It is nice country and have done that ride myself, in fact my mum spent many of her young years at Glen Davis when it was fully alive.
  3. Well done, so how many memeory cards did you take :p

    Seriusly though - you've got some nice gear, ditch the ocky straps and check out www.andystrapz.com

    Onya for getting the Strom dirty - great bikes that do many things well :cool:
  4. hehe, didnt even use a full 1gb sd card yet, not for lack of trying tho. Actually surprised how many high quality photos they can hold, I was going to buy a 4gb but may not need to for a while.

    Got a set up piggypack strapz and a set of smart strapz from andystraz at the Sydney motorcycle show last weekend, the okky straps are history :)
  5. Mods, please don't do this thread for more than 3 posts per thread, it shouldn't be, since its dedicated to the trip.

    :rofl: Awesome!
  6. nice trip and photos,
    it is something I am hoping to get my wife into..