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Maplegum's Alpine Trip

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by maplegum, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Day one.

    Tuesday 28th December

    6.30am start sounded like a good idea. Beat the traffic. We left home at 7.30am. We aren’t very good at sticking to plans. Well, actually I am, Ivan isn’t. He sucks at being punctual.

    It’s really cold that time of the morning isn’t it?! 4 degrees. That’s ok, we had warm clothes. Ivan was tossing up on whether to bring the arctic, good for temperatures below minus 50 jacket, or the summer, more appropriate jacket. Guess which one he took? Guess who has been stinking, sweating hot for the last 2 days? I did make the suggestion that he pack the extra bag so that he could take an extra, more appropriate jacket, but oh no, that means extra luggage tied to the bike, might slow him down. I’ll shut up now.

    Our trip was to take us to Mt Beauty. 400 klms from home. According to google maps, 5 hrs 30 mins. We went via Kilmore, Seymour, Wangaratta then Bright.

    That’s Mt Beauty behind us and Mrs Beauty standing beside Ivan.


    We made good time, simply because I am so awesome on my bike, and checked in at Snow View Holiday Units. (To the operators of the units, the key is in the mail. Ivan tried to steal it and kept it in his pocket) $130 per night. Excellent views but we didn’t see any snow like the name promised. Should have given us a discount for misleading us. Actually, they should have given us a discount for the amount of pet hair left behind on the carpets from previous guests and their dogs! Ivan dropped some food (he has a problem finding his mouth and often drops food), picked it back up off the carpet and it was fluffy! Lucky he didn’t try the 3 second rule that time hey!

    Here he is making something to eat, he probably dropped that too.


    So, we arrive at the unit and I have a shocking headache. I have a cold .I had been sick with a sore throat. Now, I think I got such a rotten headache from the change in altitude. That can happen right? Or maybe I got the headache from riding around the twisties. Oh yeah, I must mention the twisties. Apparently, this region is a bike riders heaven. That is, unless you don’t find the twisties fun….like me. Ok Ok, let me explain. These roads aren’t like the twistie roads I have around home with long gentle sweeping bends, these twisties are INSANE! Like why can’t they just build the roads straight? Stupid road building people. Ivan is having a blast. I’m having a break down. I suck at bends. I really suck. I can’t do them. Ivan tells me I look like a retard. Riding these extreme roads does not come naturally to me. I have to concentrate so hard that I feel like my brain is going to pop.

    By the time we get to the unit, I just want to sleep. Ivan just wants to ride. I win, I managed to catch about 30 minutes of sleep then decided we should do some sight seeing, again. We headed off towards Falls Creek which was about 35 klms away. Full on twisties which had Ivan excited like a little kid. Me, I was less excited. Extreme twisties on a 250cc cruiser doesn’t really cut it so I discovered. But, I’m still quite awesome




    Now tell me, what is it with all of the push bike riders and people that jog in Bright and Falls Creek? Are they insane? Must be. These people run and ride everywhere! Must be a prerequisite of living in the area. Up mountains, down mountains, around mountains. The bike riders are seriously on a death wish. They ride these bikes full tilt boogie down the mountains with nothing other than some lycra between them and the road. These guys rode faster down the mountain than I rode on my Suzuki!

    Did I mention that I really suck at cornering through the twisties? I have to concentrate so much that I end up with a headache. My brain hurts. Need panadol and another lay down.

    470 klms

    6 hrs travelled

    I ask Ivan if I'm a hardcore biker now.

    No, not yet, keep working at it.

    Stay tuned for day 2.

  2. Day two

    Wednesday 29th December 2010

    Apparently I snore. I snore lots. I doubt it. I think it was Ivan’s own snoring keeping him awake.

    Destination, Corryong. I love a map. I love a plan. I had our whole trip planned and printed out, like a professional traveler. It went something like this. Mount Beauty > Harrietville > Omeo > Benambra > Corryong.

    Houston, we have a problem. The lady at the petrol station in Omeo tells us that the road from Omeo to Corryong has a load of dirt tracks. Hmm, doesn’t sound like too much fun. The other option was to take the long way around via Mitta Mitta > Tallangatta > Corryong. Apparently there will be dirt roads that way too, just not as extensive. Why don’t these people just pave the roads! We have the technology surely! According to my trusty google map, the original trip was going to take 4 hrs 20 mins, 265klms. A nice day of riding. Oh how things can change so quickly.

    Here we are between Bright and Mt Hotham. I had to pee behind a tree here.


    Here’s me looking at stuff.


    What’s with all the dead trees anyway?


    Here I am breaking the rules at Mount Hotham. I’m totally badass now that I ride a bike.


    Me giving it the ‘full Rossi’ round the twisties. If you love twisties, you’ll love these roads. Actually, ok, these are not technically twisties cause I could still get the bike up to about 60kph without pooing my pants with fear.


    Fairly nice drive through our ‘alternate route’. That was until we hit the dirt. You want to know how a 250cc cruiser handles in the dirt? Like crap. Ivan tells me that the faster you ride over the dirt, the easier the bike will hill handle. Yeah right.


    27 klms of dirt roads. 27 long, dusty klms on my lil Suzi. That little bike is a trooper. She should be awarded the bike equivalent of the Academy awards for outstanding performance. I need some kind of award too, surely.

    Finally, the end of the dirt roads! I think I held this car up for a good 10klms and didn’t even know it was behind me as I was concentrating so hard on avoiding holes in the road! Sorry to those people. At least they got to see how awesome I was on my bike for a while.


    Me, through bug splatter from Ivan’s bike.


    Are we there yet? I’m bored. I’m tired. My bum hurts, even with an airhawk thingy and a sheepskin. I hate taking an alternate route, it messes with my structured plans. I need structure, not an alternate route.

    Finally, we make it to Corryong Mountain View Motel. At least this time they deliver on their promise, we got mountain views. At $80 per night, it rocked.



    390 klms

    11 hours travelled

    Am I hardcore yet?

    Not quite yet.

    Stay tuned for day 3
  3. I'm getting to look forward greatly to your ride reports (y).
  4. Only one thing better than a good ride report with pics, and that's a good ride report with pics and humour.

    sounds like you guys had a ball, I bow to your awesomeness... :)
  5. DAY 3

    Thursday 30th December

    It’s going to be a warm one. How’s the artic jacket working out for you Ivan?

    It’s going to be an easy day today. Not so many long hours on the bike. I have a map, we are heading to Thredbo, 1 ½ hours or so, 100 klms. When we get to Thredbo we are going to take a ride on the chair lift. I’m not scared now that I am a badass biker. We will have lunch and coffee and all the stuff bikers do. Yeah, it’s going to be a relaxing day on the mountain.

    1st stop, breakfast in town. Well actually, just breakfast for Ivan. I had cereal at the hotel. Ivan needs a substantial breakfast whereas I can live off my fat reserves for a much longer time. We take a seat outside and I head across to the supermarket for travel goods while I leave Ivan at the café to chow down on his big blokes breakfast. I finish getting groceries and head back to the café. There is a man sitting with Ivan. I knew I shouldn’t leave him alone with strangers. Crap.

    Hey Lone, this guy here is a local and also rides. I showed him your map and has given us another route.

    WTF? But I have a plan already, I have a map. Look at my map.

    How did I agree to yet another alternate route? It must be because I’m tired and delirious now. Can’t think straight. He got me at a weak moment.

    I had no idea of the day ahead for me.


    We stop off at this monument thingy cause it had airplane stuff. I think an airplane crashed nearby. Ivan loves flying, it’s his ‘other love’ …or is it that I am his other love?


    Apparently it was called the Southern Cloud Lookout cause this photo says so. If we turn back now its only 53 klms to our hotel!


    We keep on riding and riding some more. Got rather excited when I saw this sign. If they think they were going to charge me a fee to enter the park after riding all that way, they are in for a shock cause this badass biker won’t pay!


    We are such tourists. It just feels as if we ride, stop, take a photo. Ride, stop, take a photo. I wanna do stuff too. That will happen soon right Ivan?


    Ohhh look, we rode, stopped and took more photos!


    So I’m getting tired of these roads, just want some straight stuff. That will happen soon yeah Ivan?


    Another photo opportunity. Man, it’s almost noon and we still have a lot of riding to do


    We end up in Adaminaby. Used to go there as a kid on family holidays. I recall Mum asking the local kids what there was to do in the that town. “Well the lake freezes over in winter”.

    I think this is the Snowy Mountain Hwy. Could be wrong, I want to go home now


    So the wind picks up. Great. I have quite the lean on now. It was the strongest wind I have ridden through. I’m already struggling with the winding roads. Did I mention that I only saw 2 other cruisers during the entire trip? Every other bike was a sports bike. Jokes on me now right? A learner, on a 250cc cruiser riding through some of the most extreme roads in VIC & NSW.

    Ivan pulls over ahead of me. I catch up and pull up alongside him. He has that ‘look’ on his face.

    Lone, if I do 80, you do 60. If I do 100, you do 80. You have to pick up the pace now.

    Huh? I can’t fly around the twisties like you. I can’t speed up in the wind cause it pushes me all over the road. I can’t do 100kph in NSW as a learner!

    Lone, you are holding up miles of traffic.

    Get stuffed, I’m riding my own ride like the forum people tell me to do.

    So now my ‘shitty’ button is on. A badass biker with a shitty button switched on is not a good thing Ivan.

    We push on through yet more twisting freakin roads. All the bends and twists look the same after a while and I feel as if I am having a Ground Hog Day moment. There are so many hairpin bends – and I’m on lill Suzi. I’m mad, surely I must be mad. Some of these roads are so narrow and they don’t have any guardrails. One mistake and your over the edge. Ivan wouldn’t even notice if I did go over cause he was way ahead riding like it was a race track. He would stop up ahead for me, take a photo and push on. This isn’t fun anymore.

    So we make it to Thredbo, I’m still shitty. I’m so shitty that I don’t even take in how excellent this area is. Forget the chair lift ride, I’m tired, I’m shitty, I’m sore, I’m shitty, I’m over it and I’m shitty!!!

    Are you taking all of this scenery in Lone?

    Get stuffed, I’m shitty.

    I agree to be in this stupid photo at the Murray 1 power station, even though I’m shitty. That is a fake smile…..cause I’m shitty


    We need fuel. I need to stretch my legs. We stop and fill up. Ivan heads into the servo to pay while I suit up. I suit up and wait in the shade for him. He walks towards me with an ice-cream. Magnum. Magnum white gold. I still try to act shitty, I have the cats bum mouth perfected.

    Here Lone, bought you an ice-cream.

    Well, I’m suited up Ivan, ready to go. I’m not taking my gear off now to eat a stupid ice-cream. I just want to head back to the hotel, we are so close now.

    Aren’t you happy? You love Magnum’s. C’mon you know you want it.

    I’m still shitty but I take the ice cream. It was like a drug running through my veins. A ‘I’m not shitty anymore’ drug.

    I tell Ivan he has redeemed himself.

    415 klms

    9 hours traveling

    Am I hardcore yet?

    Not at those slow speeds.

    Shitty again

    Stay tuned for day 4
  6. Love it, Maplegum! You finished my day off beautifully with a smile now on my face, looking forward to reading the next installment.
  7. The Alpine Highway between Corryong and Thredbo is a fabulous road, but I can understand your reluctance given that there's about 6 inches of straight in its entire distance.
  8. lol "I have a map..."
  9. lol! Brilliant
    exactly like myself and my girlfriend!
  10. Day 4

    Friday 31st December

    Yay, New Years Eve.

    Destination, Mansfield.


    I have a map and I’m not afraid to use it.

    I will not change the route.

    I will not let Ivan talk to strangers.

    Just when I thought I had Ivan brain washed into following my plan, I catch him chatting to another bike rider in the room next door to us! I hear them discussing routes. I watch Ivan take ‘my’ map out to show him.

    Ivan, step away from the map and no one gets hurt.

    Ivan sticks to my plans. He was scared.

    A photo of a road


    We stopped off here for a drink cause Ivan was cooking in his Alpine artic jacket. Not sure if this was in Benalla or Wangaratta.


    Ivan in total awe of my riding skills, almost choked on his drink.


    From that ‘unknown location’ we wind our way through yet more winding roads through Whitfield then Tolmie. Ivan got all sentimental at Tolmie as he helped fight the fires there a couple of years with the CFA. We stopped in at the pub for a drink. I let Ivan feel like a hero as the lady at the bar thanked him for saving the town.

    Another road


    Mansfield. Thank goodness that was an easier day on the bike. We stay at the Mansfield Valley Motor Inn @ $125 night. Nice room, nice location. It’s hot here, sucks to be Ivan in that jacket. We drop our stuff in the room and turn on the air conditioner to full power.

    You can’t be serious! The air conditioner isn’t working!!!

    You must be doing it wrong Ivan, operator error.

    Ivan calls the hotel lady and we have to move to another room. Air conditioner on! We unpack then get about pouring ourselves a drink.

    No ice in the freezer. At $125 a night and such a hot day, you have to supply ice!

    This time it’s Ivan’s turn to be shitty. He can’t do shitty good like me though.

    Lone, let’s head into town and buy something to eat……and a bag of ice.

    What? More riding? I just want to lay down and sleep. Can’t do anymore riding, too tired.

    Ivan panics as I tell him that I couldn’t care less if I packed the bike away for 6 months and didn’t see it again.

    You are just having a moment Lone. You couldn’t possibly mean that.

    I’m deadly serious.

    Ivan rides into town on his own as I neck about 4 drinks.

    There, I have alcohol in my system, I’m a learner so can’t drink and drive. No more bike riding for me today!

    Ivan arrives back with dinner and ice. He is not shitty anymore. He needs to work on holding that shitty mood longer. It’s stamina

    Ivan was asleep by 10pm. Me, I have stamina so I made it to 11.30pm. Hardcore bikers need sleep at some point too right? Ivan wakes up just a midnight hits, gets his 2nd wind and wants to party.

    This is the most energy I could pump out to welcome in the New Year. I was asleep 30 seconds later.


    290 klms

    4 ½ hours traveled

    Am I hardcore yet?

    No. Not when you want to pack your bike away for 6 months

    Stay tuned for the last day, day 5.
  11. Maplegum, your reports are awesome and I love them.
    How much?

    think I'm im love....hehehe
  12. Hi Maplegum,

    I see that you now have a small shield on your bike... that makes for better touring as one of the guys on here found out after travelling across the Nullarbor on a naked bike...

    I have to agree with you on the twisties... people get all wanked up about them but all you end up doing is spend all damn day looking at the road until you go crosseyed... I've ridden the area you guys were in years ago... I've ridden the GOR "from start to finish" a few years ago now and I've got to tell you that I wouldnt bother doing it again... its where most of Victorian motorcyclists have died...

    The north/East coast of Tasmania was a bit too windy for me... wasn’t bad... and also between Hobart to Queenstown... Mountainous and twisty and I was ****ed at the end of the day... but some of the most spectacular scenery on that day... I was on a cruiser for that tour.. RocketIII ... nothing wrong with a cruiser on twisties as long as you aren’t trying to “race it”...

    Im a defensive rider which seems to upset a few motorcyclist on here... I don’t believe in this riding OUT wide and then CUTTING low through the corners bullshit... it’ll get you killed... a nice steady line through the corner is best keeping away from the middle of the roads on the bends... fatigue is another big killer... ride until you’re too tired and you’ll end up going straight through a corner to your death or drifting out over the white line into the front of a car won’t be a good day either...

    I had a workman at my place a few months back and when finding out that I've toured many parts of Australia and that im not a big fan of riding in groups he started telling me about his motorcycle club up at Hamilton... etc etc... he told me at how safe that this club is etc but then he proceeded to tell me about a “group” ride that they did through the hills somewhere... there was a guy that was riding and also his mrs was riding... her hubby took off up the road towards the next town through the day and while the others were still coming through the mountains his mrs overshot a corner, hit a barrier, and went flying straight over the edge to her death... the bike bounced off the guard rail and back onto the road into the path of the next rider who came flying off of his bike... broken arm and leg.. in the mean time.. the hubby had made it to the next town unaware of his mrs death until told...

    So what made her shoot through the corner? Most likely fatigue... tired arms and legs.. loss of concentration and bad judgement ...

    Not wanting to put a dampener on your awesome thread... but I’d rather speak up and save a life rather than say nothing... you should never push other riders... a lot of guys will make this mistake when their mrs start riding their own bike and in the end many will simply just give up... you have a map, you know the direction so if your partner wants to go like buggery then so be it... meet him at the other end... on long tours my mrs comes on the back of my bike as she’s not got the concentration for a full days hard ride....

    anyways... thanks for your report... take care :)
  13. My hubby and I always have the same conversation too about him doing 100 whilst I do 80, but I know I'm riding within my capabilities and will (probably!) arrive safely. Thats the main reason why I decided to ride my own anyway, I didn't feel safe on the back of his because of the way he speeds up whenever theres twisties in sight. Good to hear you have your windshield on now, have you noticed any difference?
  14. I'm glad you guys are enjoying my riding journals.

    Firetiger, no fear. Those twisties have me riding at crawling speeds. I won't speed up for anyone. I don't have anyone I need to impress and I already think I'm pretty awesome!

    Huge difference since getting the windshield ametha. I love it. Now I don't end up with boobs that look like pancakes at the end of the ride from the pressure of the wind on my chest. LOL
  15. Maplegum you have a gift in how you put things together
  16. :p:p:p
  17. love these posts of yours Maple!

    you have a great sense of humour and a knack for storytelling!
  18. Maplegum, great ride reports. Did all the roads you did and much much more over the last 3 days and they are awesome. You mightn't have liked the twisties as much now due to being a learner as I wouldn't have either but wait till you have more bike control and get more experience then once you do those roads again you will love them for being as windy as they are.

    Now get Ivan to help you to improve things like cornering, hard braking etc so you get more enjoyment out of the experience.
  19. Oops, Res not sure about that...
    Some ride with no aspirations of getting too much faster but because they love the cruise on two wheels...

    First couple of paragraphs of firetiger good example of this..
    This is my only criticism of Netrider as it can be a little too one sided at times where getting faster on the twisties seem to be the main focus of many.
    Everyone rides for their own reasons which is all good...

    And by the way, maplegun doesn't need to as she's already awsome....hehe
  20. I will happily donate to an NR fund to buy Maple a "Hardcore Biker" t-shirt.
    I think Ivan's a little worried you're getting more hardcore than him... ;)