Deciding to get a head start on the interesting riding, I opted to leave after work, at around 9 oâ€™clock that night. Double and triple checked everything I had to make sure I was all good to go, and off I went. Iâ€™m not the most prepared type when it comes to long distance riding â€“ although I did change the oil the night before and pulled my andystrapz panniers out of the cupboard. Into the backyard and it was time to pack - Excessive toolkit â€“ consisting largely of hex keys, race tape and a large bowie knife. If I get badly lost I can cut up and eat some roadkill. Check. Carton of Cigarattes â€“ Good for my relaxation and bartering with country locals under 5â€™s for fuel. Check. Water â€“ Must keep fluids up. Check. One large packet of industrial ear plugs - Riding at 120kâ€™s with the SR pinging itâ€™s tits off is never fun, and damned exhausting. Check. And all the stuff for when I get here, wallet, paper money, cards, phone, camera, clothes, toothpaste, razors etc. All good to go. Taped some directions to my tank and Iâ€™m ready. I haven't really worn my 2nd hand triumph leathers before, so now's a good time to bed it in. Riding a Yamaha wearing all trumpy stuff makes for one confused looking bastard. So the plan was to head north along the Hume to Glenrowan, home of the Kelly Gang ltd. From there Iâ€™d head up through Bright, through the Alpine Highway, stay the next night at Jindabyne and to Canberra, see the war memorial and other crap and onto Sydney via Wollongong. Two hours north of Melbourne, smelling something suspiciously like melting panniers I stopped at a truckstop. The Panniers were resting on the rims and slowly being burnt through. Fantastic. A few more minutes and they would have fallen off, and taken all my earthy possessions with it. Moved the bags back a bit, tightened them and they seemed fine. The good news was that the indicators were now visible as well. A quick duck inside the caff attached to the servo for some food. â€œWhat would you like love?â€ Said the lady behind the counter. â€œWhatâ€™s good?â€ She shrugged her shoulders. â€œI dunno, I wouldnâ€™t eat hereâ€¦â€ Turns out the burger with the lot was bloody good. I even had some handy reference material in the guise of an RTA printout on how to ride through locust storms. Slow down, is the key, as well as spraying your windscreen with mortein. What an insight! So thatâ€™s where my taxes go! Riding into Glenrowan about fifteen minutes after midnight the pub next to the Kelly Country Hotel/Motel was thumping. Fighting my way through the four drunks to the counter I got a beer, read some jokes about Collingwood on the walls and walked the 5 meters back to the hotel, watching drunks fall into cars and run into a streetsign as they bunny hopped and swerved back home. Day Two Nice nightâ€™s sleep, fired up the SR again and rode out to Bright. Still in a bit of an early-morning haze I was puttering along at around 110kph when I spied some lovely cockatooâ€™s resting by the side of the road. How sweet. Until I got closer, they took flight and everything went in slow motion as I eyed the biggest, fattest **** of a cockatoo Iâ€™ve ever seen haul his fat arse up right in front of meâ€¦ Nowhere to go, I just dropped my head and throttled on for good measure. WHACK. fcuk. Ow. Feathers everywhere, I shifted down to first and got off the bike. White powdery crap all over my helmet and a roaring pain down my neck. Just above my visor Iâ€™d smacked him on his right side, with clearly-visable marks where his feathers were. You fat bastard. Walking fifty meters down the road poor Mr Cockatoo was looking a bit worse for wear. Just alive, in his death throes. Gotta do what you gotta do. Heâ€™s now in heaven, colliding with a better class of rider. QuarterWit 1 Cockatoo 0 The roads through Oxley, Bowmanâ€™s forest were pretty uneventful. The usual charming, semi-ugly-semi-depressing Australian landscape before Porepunka/Bright. Brightâ€™s a pretty town, no doubt, but on this day it was infected with young, tanned, good looking lads and ladettes recovering from a big New Yearâ€™s the night before. A reasonable breakfast, a quick stop to have a chat with some wanker about my â€œtriumphâ€ and I was off. On recommendation from a mate the ride through Tawonga gap road was good, twisty, but otherwise pretty tame. Maybe I wasnâ€™t in the zone, maybe it was mid-corner gravel or the GP wanna-be cocksmokers crossing the centreline through blind corners as they try to get their knee down but It wasnâ€™t that great. Just reaffirmed the notion that sportsbike riders are, by and large, tossers. At the end of this road there was a sign; â€œCAR RACING HEAR NEW YEARS DAYâ€ Sounds promising. So in I went, paid my $10.00 and was introduced to an interesting new form of motorsport. Sedans around a dirtbike course. Nothing funnier than watching two cars trying for first around a corner that would be tight for two dirtbikes. Entertaining stuff. They also had kids on PeeWeeâ€™s fanging about. Thereâ€™s nothing more satisfying than watching two kids collide, and one going flying and bouncing into the front wheel of another PeeWee and being used for traction. Sick, I know. After being told what a lovely Triumph I had, kicked the SR over and I was off into Jindabyne. A quick video of the cars - http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/marlon1985/?action=view¤t=ventures030.flv I havenâ€™t done the Alpine Highway before, through the Snowy Mountains area but for those of you havenâ€™t â€“ it should be first on your list of things to do. A tight, windy road, well paved but with occasionally oncoming traffic crossing the centreline the scenery is absolutely amazing. Stuck the SR in fourth and just thumped up and around the twisties, sticking to the left and feeling every suck, squeeze, bang and blow as I let the bike struggle up into the revs from corners I was too lazy to change down through. Absolutely fantastic riding. The scenery, the surface, and the slow-moderate pace Iâ€™d adopted just made for possibly the best bit of motorcycling Iâ€™d ever done. Iâ€™m going to have to do it again, for sure. And in my opinion thereâ€™d be no better bike to do it on than an SR. The roads leading out of the snowies towards Jindabyne were pretty cool too, a bit more throttle and the SR was bumping and weaving around the corners flat out. I've been quick on quick bikes before, but nothing really makes you feel like you're going fast like an SR. I was probably doing only 120-130, but you feel every single bump, gust of wind and bit of gravel on the road. It actually feels like you're riding a motorbike. Jindabyne itself is a depressing, parasitic town. Iâ€™m sure many people love it, and Iâ€™m also sure itâ€™s not without itâ€™s charms but thereâ€™s something sad about the place. The weather, the lack of permanency and no shop being opened on New Years day, which led to 2000 tourists wandering around looking for something to do. Got a terrible pizza, stopped at an internet cafÃ© to find the place I was staying at. The Aalberg Chalet was a lot more like a motel than a chalet, but I wasnâ€™t in the mood to care. Watched some British superbikes on the teev, fell asleep. Day Three Well, I can see why the included breakfast was free. Two eggs, some crap bacon and a hashbrown the size of a panadol. Getting some fuel when a Japanese chap came up to me, looking at my bike a grin spreading across his face. â€œHooooooooooooooor. CRASSIC SR!â€ Yep, thatâ€™s it, I told him. â€œWhy you have wrong jacket?â€ Finally, somebody with half a brain. He came from around the world, but itâ€™s refreshing to know that someone is switched on enough to read the engine covers. Turns out heâ€™s riding his bike down from Darwin, a little 250cc Suzky dirtbike. Ambitious little bastard. Now I know how they conquered half of the pacific 60 years ago. Iâ€™d planned on staying in Canberra for the night, but as I was riding in I noticed something was wrong. There were cars everywhere. And not good cars. Shithouse, rattling, tappety VN commodores. Heaps of shit. Full of shirtless dickheads doing 6 grand starts at each set of lights. Into a servo. â€œIs there a wanker of the year competition on or something?â€ â€œClose. Summernats.â€ â€œAh, fcuk that.â€ â€œWhat, donâ€™t you like motorsports?â€ â€œNo, love it. Is this motorsports?â€ Gesturing outside, impeccable timing as a wanker did a almost-impressive running burnout down the street. â€œPoint taken.â€ So, all accommodation gone, wankers everywhere I thought that I might as well punch on into Sydney via the boring way â€“ the Hume. Besides, I was starting to hurt. The usual aches and pains that you get on a bike like this. My backside was burning, my right wrist, the one I need, was really feeling the pain. Having to keep the throttle pinned open starts to hurt. Iâ€™ll have to look into this in the future, either one of those fancy hand/palm things that sticks out or maybe some thicker grips. Either way, I was suffering from a bad case of the CBF's. So, went up the Hume, almost got taken out by an overzealous highway patrol as he tore out of the bushes and across two lanes outside Goulbourn in pursuit of a child molester, a murderer or something Iâ€™m sure. So now I'm staying at the folks house in North West Sydney and pondering my options. I love the SR very dearly, but it's just reaffirmed my want/need for something a bit more tour orientated. After asking around on the forums and through some other channels it looks like I'll be getting a K100, or something of that sort. I'll paint it black, drill the mufflers out and it won't attract homos.