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My 5 Day Cruise Around Mornington Peninsula, Gippsland And Up Into Them Hills

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by HB, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. #1 HB, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
    Sunday 4th November 2012

    Weather – absolutely perfect.

    Set off from home and head to Queenscliff to catch the ferry to Sorrento. I was a bit anxious about riding on the painted steel ramp so just took it easy and was directed to a spot right at the front near the stairs.

    I took the opportunity to take a photo for the riding game thread, but unfortunately by the time I got around to uploading the photos I was beaten to the punch. Oh well, maybe the next challenge would be mine.

    There was a group of 6 bikes on the ferry as well, they were just going over for the day, I told them about my plans, and they wished me a safe journey. The camaraderie of the 2 wheel fraternity never ceases to amaze me,

    Got to Sorrento and headed down to Point Nepean for a look, then turned around and on to Flinders via CapeSchanck. Stopped at Flinders for an early lunch, then via Red Hill to Arthurs Seat. The ride down through Arthurs Seat reminded me of those motorcycle fail videos where the camber and sharpness of the turns makes for some amusing crash viewing. Decided I wasn’t going to join that gang, so took it gently. I was concentrating so hard I was down the bottom before I realised I hadn’t got a photo, maybe next time. I did see the views as I was coming into some corners, and they were really something.

    The plan on this trip is to avoid highways where possible so the next part of the journey took me through Tyabb & Tooradin, but couldn’t avoid a stretch on the Bass highway. Turned off and went down to CapePaterson. Had afternoon tea there, and continued on along Surf Parade following the coastline and then back up towards Inverloch. There was a bit of traffic on the South Gippsland Highway, and road was a bit rough in patches. Since I was making good time I then took the Koonwarra-Meeniyan Road to get to my first stop for the night.

    Total for the day 330kms – easy riding and great views.
  2. Monday 5th November 2012

    Weather – slightly overcast, actually got to 31 around lunchtime, a bit humid but still okay for riding.

    Today was partly social as I had arranged to catch up and have lunch with some people in Morwell I know through work. So did a bit of a ride around near where I had stayed overnight.

    Had lunch and then headed off towards Lakes Entrance. Took a wrong turn (was only the first of many – I blame goggle maps) and ended up near Loy Yang power station. Got back on track, ended up taking some interesting roads, but don’t ask me what they were !! and ended up in Bairnsdale. It wasn’t far to my where I had booked for the next 2 nights, so feeling a little thirsty with the humid weather, decided to stop for a drink and an ice cream. I had gotten caught on the Eden trip with parking on the side of the road in Bairnsdale and then being unable to get my bike up off the kickstand so decided to go down a side street and park on level ground. As it turned out there were 6 bikes just outside a pub (who would have thought?), and a couple of them were vintage bikes. I went and got my drink & ice cream and was admiring the bikes when one of the guys came out and had a chat to him and the a couple of the others as they came out. They were from Sydney (I had noticed Sydney cafe racers stickers on 2 of the older bikes) and had come down to Melbourne for the weekend for a show. They also had a guy in a ute travelling with them who had all their gear, as none of them had any luggage on their bikes. It was looking like rain was coming so they were keen to head off, and I wasn’t far behind them.

    I got to my accommodation which was out of Lakes Entrance intentionally so not being near shops I got luggage off the bike and headed into Lakes to get some food for the next couple of days. I’ve got a kitchenette in the studio apartment I booked and there’s a pool, spa billard/games room & even a guest laundry so well set up. Hoping to go up to Bright tomorrow, but will have to check the weather again in the morning, not looking good at the moment.

    I have a young couple on my left hand side who came up for the long weekend for some fishing, they’re from Geelong. Funny how I’ve gone all this way and still cannot escape!!. On the other side of me there’s an older couple from Lilydale. He tells me about his Harley & how he doesn’t ride much anymore, “there’s too many idiots up in the spur these days” apparently.

    Total for the day only 270kms – too much time spent socialising off the bike, but good to have caught up.


  3. #3 HB, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
    Tuesday 6th November 2012

    Weather – rained heavily overnight, still overcast showers likely this afternoon.

    I was feeling a little off colour, not sure if it was something I ate or the complimentary port I tried, so decided to take it easy a read a book for a bit, so didn’t saddle up until late morning. I wasn’t trying to break any endurance records on this trip, it was just to get some kms under my belt, as I never seem to be able to get any consistency with that, so figured Bright was going to be out of the question as it would have been 450 plus kms return and didn’t want to be doing that in the wet.

    Headed back to Swan Reach and fuelled up and then took the Great Alpine Road up through Bruthen to Omeo. Decided I would make an assessment there as to how much further I went. Stopped for lunch in Omeo. Didn’t want to upset the stomach so thought I just go a toasted sandwich and coffee, maybe cake from the bakery. Shock horror, they can make me any sort of sandwich I want but they can’t toast it, apparently they only toast for breakfast!!. In disgust I walk out and head down the road to the not so flash looking café. Get a lovely lady behind the counter who makes me a toasted sandwich and a great coffee. Realised there’s a gallery just across the road from where I had parked, so try again for the riding game challenge.

    Omeo to Bright was 100kms, so 200km return, Mt Hotham was only 60kms or 120kms return, so decided Mt Hotham it is. There is a lot of traffic coming from the opposite direction, guessing a few of the 20 or so bikes are from the Snowy ride, but also 2 log trucks, heaps of cars and some with caravans. On my side of the road I got passed by 2 motorbikes (alas one of them was a learner, but I had slowed down and moved over to the left side and let them know to pass me), they waved and then went into the distance. Also got passed by a car, but decided it was easier to watch him in fron t of me than on my arse.My count for overtaking was restricted to a tractor (I’m sure it must have been turbo charged) and a pushie (he was going really fast at the time!!).

    The little virago struggled a little on some uphill sections and there was quite a headwind, but on the way back she positively purred. I never realised before just how useful those snow poles are. I always thought the keep to the left or right of the poles signs were unnecessary as the poles stand out, but they were handy to get my lines right. I don’t think I’ve ever been as smooth through the corners and with it being easier for the Virago downhill, it added a good 10kms to the speed. Not that I am fixated on speed my any stretch (i.e SLOW), I’m on a cruiser and I CRUISE. The day I get my knee down in a corner there better be a crane to get me and the bike back up.

    I had been reading with interest before this trip the @Vertical C versus @raven debate in the “cornering for cruisers” thread and let’s say, I took a little from column “A” and a little from column “B” and came up with something that felt comfortable for me.

    I never broke any land speed records today but felt smoother and in better control through most corners, so pleased with that.

    Still not much traffic on the way down. The 2 bikes that had passed me on the way up were stopped in Omeo when I stopped for fuel. Not long after Omeo I caught up to a ute & a trailer. I was following it for a coupe of kms, waiting for an opportunity to overtake when I spotted a white 4WD coming up fast in my mirrors. My first thought was “boys in blue”, I wasn’t doing anything wrong so had nothing to worry about, so paid them no more attention then any other vehicle, certainly didn’t change the way I rode. In the next stretch of straight road the 4WD overtook me (and yes they were cops, my spidery senses were working fine). They never overtook the ute and trailer until the next straight stretch, but I saw lots of brake lights going on & off in every corner, no problem for me as I was far enough back from them, having known how the ute was going from following it earlier.

    I had seen a roadside billboard on the way up and thought that I had just displayed the ideal “beige cardigan” riding style so stopped for a photo. TAC if you’re looking for a poster girl – call me.

    As I was taking the photo, I heard a bike coming along who was starting to gear down. I realised he must have thought I was in trouble, so I waved him on & gave him the thumbs up to let him know I was okay and he didn’t need to stop. He reciprocated with a thumbs up, and increased his speed. I’ve decided a group of bikers would make a very formidable charades team.

    Having contemplated earlier whether to just go for a cruise around the local area, I was glad I have made the trip up to Mt Hotham, it was just the sort of roads I needed and on a day where a “horse race stops a nation” perfect conditions with the road to myself for 95% of the time.

    Tomorrow starts the trip back home, and will have company for some of the way with a member of the Netrider family, looking forward to that.

    Total for the day 360kms – and home before the rain

    Mt Hotham


    My audition for poster girl
  4. Wednesday 7th November 2012

    Weather – not great, misty early on, quite a downfall at one stage, then cleared for a bit, a light shower then a bit grey all afternoon.

    Had spoken to Meags last night and arranged to meet up in Stratford and the plan was to ride together to Drouin for lunch via some back roads.

    The forecast was for a light showers in the afternoon, so I didn’t put the wet gear on, wasn’t a good decision. Stopped for petrol in Bairnsdale and hadn’t actually rain so wet gear still in my roll bag and headed off for the meet point, As the weather gods would have it, they pissed down on me just out of Bairnsdale and since it was not too far to Stratford decided I would wait until then to put the wet gear on. By the time I found the best kept secret park in Stratford the rain was quite heavy.

    The radar was showing that it wasn’t raining, pfft,. I half expected Meags to say lets just have a coffee and chat and then she would head off home. I know I would have seriously considered that in her position. We ended up have a long chat, (fancy that 2 women being able to string a few words together), and waited for the rain to ease off. I had put my wet gear on, which off course was after the fact, and we headed off on some back roads.

    Meags took me through some nice countryside, with some windy bits and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. What a pity we don’t live closer together, I would ride with Meags any day of the week. She kept a good steady pace the whole way and never got out of view, and the roads were some I would never had thought to try. We ended up stopping at Trafalgar for lunch instead. It was later than planned so Meags headed back home and I continued on to Mornington for an overnight stay with a friend.

    I only had around 20kms fuel left I figured and not knowing when the next petrol station would be turned off when I saw highway sign said “petrol 2 kms” just out of Drouin, I’m sure it was double that, plus went through 3 roundabouts made another couple of turns before arrived at the petrol station. Unfortunately there weren’t any useful signs on the way back to get me on the freeway, I knew I didn’t want to go to Warragul and without any visible sun I headed in the general direction I had been going before on a road that was just off the highway. Saw a sign for Five ways and figured I was going in the right general direction so kept going,

    I don’t have gps on my bike, haven’t tried the navigation on my phone whilst riding as I don’t find earplugs comfortable. I wear the Oxford ones for reducing noise and have trouble keeping them in ears. Went through 2 pairs on this trip with them falling out and didn’t want to be distracted so decided to keep riding and see if the signs would get me there. I very rarely use gps in my car. Do you know there isn’t a single sign that I came across that said Mornington or even Portsea and since I didn’t want to be stopping every 10kms to check the phone I headed towards Berwick/Cranbourne and figured I’d get at least to the Nepean and be able to take that. It was getting late.

    I won’t bother with the whole saga but I ended up in Hastings, finally stopped, sent a text message to my friend and checked the phone for directions.

    Arrived at my friends, went out for dinner, then back for more wine, a very late night/early morning.

    Thanks @Meags for making a terrible weather day, very enjoyable.

    Total for the day 450kms – yes, there was some scenic detours

    Sorry, I didn't take any photos today
  5. Thursday 8th November 2012

    Weather – beautiful day for a ride, but I have to be home by 1.30pm as I have an appointment this afternoon and then out to an early dinner at Chocolate Buddha for my daughters birthday before the David Strassman show tonight with a small group to celebrate the occasion.

    Headed out for a late breakfast at The Rocks in Mornington, then back to the house to pack up. Decided the ferry was the easiest and less stressful way back home, so headed the quickest way back to Sorrento, then off at Queenscliff, and home before going out again in the car.

    I was so tempted to go back via Arthurs Seat, but with ferries only being every hour, would have cut it too fine and couldn’t afford to miss the 12pm, so that will have to be another day.

    Total for the day – less than 100kms.

    I had been on the rode for 5 days, but I had showered at least once everyday and put clean clothes on, but no one wanted to be near me.

    The ferry at Sorrento

    Breakfast Views

  6. AVERY well written travelogue! Makes me want to take a few days off and explore Victoria. :)
  7. I'm planning on going to Tassie for 10 days in March, so thought it a good idea to see how I go for more than 2 nights, which had been my longest trip with the bike.

    This trip has at least given me confidence that I can do it.

    I forgot to post up an attempt at an artistic shot I did at Mt Hotham
  8. Tassie will be awesome. I've been there a few times in the car and going back on the bike is on the to-do list now. A fantastic place to ride, eat, drink and relax. At least for a lazy person like me. :D
  9. Good write up HB, Very enlightening, Glad your getting out by your self and doing the miles,
  10. You're welcome - great write-up HB!

    Was terrific to catch up with you and really enjoyed the ride (despite the rain). I've got my eye on that Tassie trip...

    Catch up again soon.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Thanks Brian, took the most of an opportunity to string a few days together riding. Not your iron butt stuff but all well within my limitations.