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My First Big Roadtrip

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Megabite, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. [FONT=&quot]The Background Info:-(/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]For the first time in decades, I found myself in-between projects this year and that I was in a position to take an extended break over the Xmas/New Year period. In fact, I would have a full 17 straight days off work!!! Unheard of really in my world for a long, long time!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I planned to spend most of my time up in Jamieson doing some jobs that had been neglected over the last 12 months. Also, I normally have all my firewood done in Oct/Nov, but as the weather had been so wet up till then, I planned on spending the bulk of the holidays days cutting firewood up and then carting it home to be split. Fun & games in 30+ degree heat, but I got between 3-5 hours in most mornings before settling back with a few well-deserved cold beers in the afternoon.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Now, I’m not sure what happened during this break, but this self-confessed workaholic got so used to not being at work that I decided to take a further 2 weeks off later in January. So, I went back to work on the 10th Jan, lodged another holiday form, and would be off again between 21st Jan until 7th Feb.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]So, what would I do?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]First, I should really spend the first week splitting the firewood and stacking it in the shed. Otherwise it could be a long cold winter up there![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Then, I really had to engage in some serious spider eradication back home in Melbourne. Whilst I was away over Xmas, a rather large colony of daddy-long-legs spiders had moved in, made themselves very comfortable, and had nothing short of taken over the house. They were in every corner, in every room, lurking suspiciously and moving freely throughout the house at their will.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]But after all that was done would come the reward for all the work, I could go on a long roadtrip on the bike………now how good would that be!!! Hell, I’ll even book in to do my License test before I go…….my 3 months on L’s will be up by then too.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I called up a good mate and asked her if she wanted to come along. No probs there, she was interested. So, I said I would plan something and get back to her in a day or so. I thought we could head over to the East coast, then up through the Snowy Mountains, down along the Murray, through the King Valley and back home. Sounds like great fun and we should have a good time weather-wise given that it was relatively cool this year compared to previous - I should mention now that I HATE the heat!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Anyway, being the experienced Project Manager that I am, the next step was to book some accommodation along the way. I mentioned I would do that during the next week or so………..and that’s when she let fly at me……….apparently I need to “loosen up a bit” and we should “go with the flow” and “see what happens along the way”.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Now I’m pretty sure that none of these terms have come up in any of the PM courses I have done, or in any of the books I read, and in any case, doesn’t she realise that it will still be school holidays……..and probably difficult to get accommodation – I mean, what if we can’t get in somewhere – shouldn’t we find out now and we can then plan on staying at another town. She just doesn’t understand that ”seeing what happens along the way” would be a totally new concept for me – I’m used to being organised - having a plan – following the plan. Despite numerous protests, I had little option but to relent and would have to “go with the flow” for probably the first time in my life!!! It won’t kill me, but if things go pear shaped……well, there is no need to tell you the first thing that I will be saying to my mate!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Prep Work:-(/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Bike:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] My gleaming XVS650 had been serviced just before Xmas so there wasn’t anything that needed to be done with that except checking the tyre pressures. Should be a dream run, and I have added it to my RACV Membership in case of puncture, breakdown etc. This will be my first big trip on the bike – the max I had done was 560kms in a day before, and we shouldn’t be going over that any day (unless we can’t find accommodation) – I wonder how comfortable it will be being on the bike day after day for 6 days?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Firewood:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] All got split and stacked in the wood shed. I had hoped that what I had cut would fill it, but as it turns out I am still about 2 meters short of filling the shed completely. Not to worry, I still have plenty for this winter.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Spiders:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] I tracked each one down, room by room, spider by spider, humanely stepping on each one – crushing it well beyond any further existence in this world – and finally, I could be sure that I had reclaimed my house!!! (Apologies to all the spider lovers out there, but they had to go!!!)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The License: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Well, it was a fairly hot day - have I mentioned that I HATE the heat? - Spending a day out at HART Kilsyth saw me easily pass my license test. Yippee! Back on 2 wheels. Many thanks to both Mark and Mars for the instruction and for making it a fun day. Cheers guys!!! As of today it’s only 353 days (and counting) until I get off my restrictions!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Mate:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Now L’s (shortened as I haven’t asked her if I could post her name) been riding for about 15 months, but isn’t overly confident on the bike and has just upgraded from a Virago 250 to a HD 1200 Sportster. Further, she hasn’t ever ridden through the city (which was the easiest way to my place from hers). So, the next best thing was if she rode on the freeway as far as Forster Road, got off there, and I would ride for a ½ hour in the wrong direction to meet her there. It was probably the easiest place to meet up so that’s sorted – well, kinda sorted, the other thing to mention is that she isn’t really a morning person, so I had to promise we wouldn’t leave any day before 9am!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Trip:-(/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Day 1:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Sunday 30th Jan - Forecast – 40 deg + Sunny![/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Meet at 10.30am in Mt Waverley + Ride to Bairnsdale via the South Gippsland Highway. Boring road, but certainly not as boring as going down the freeway!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Whilst I was waiting (I was pretty keen to get going so I got to the meeting point a bit too early) a guy on a Triumph stopped by to make sure I hadn’t broken down, and we had a chat about the soon to begin trip and his recent trip down the GOR. Nice guy, and many thanks for stopping if you are reading this!! Great to see that some fellow riders do this kind of stuff.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Finally, off we went and headed down the freeway, through Cranbourne, and off down the South Gippy Hwy. Gees it was hot and getting hotter by the minute, but we wanted to leave that day, so that was what was happening. No problems, we would just stop regularly and drink plenty of water along the way and it will probably cool down tomorrow anyway. As my saddlebags are full, I don’t have any room to carry water with me, so I’ll buy that at each stop.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]We made quite a few stops along the way – after all, it wasn’t a race, and we both smoked so both of us were keen to make regular stops, and we had a full 6 or 7 days to get back home.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Each time we stopped, off came the helmets and the leather jackets. We got some relief from the heat at least if we stood in a shady spot. We had lunch at a café in the quiet little town of Toora near Port Welshpool. Memo to self – do NOT eat hot food when it is 40+ degrees outside and you are already boiling hot!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Now picture this – big heavy black leather jacket, black helmet, Kevlar jeans and knee high leather boots, the heat off the V&H Cruzers, hot wind blowing in my face, about 50+ degrees radiating heat from the road – I was HOT, my feet were HOT, and I was getting hotter by the second – I hate the heat!!! Lucky I had left the flap open on the jacket so at least some little amount of wind would get in, albeit a hot wind.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Along the way we passed a few different groups of bikes that were heading back towards Melbourne. They looked hot too which wasn’t really surprising. It was a fairly uneventful ride really, and just a means of getting to our next destination and a means of getting onto some better biking roads.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Arrive in Bairnsdale about 4pm and we rode straight through the town looking for accommodation. We came across the Mitchell River Caravan Park and pulled in to check if they had any room for us. (I might have checked the options, location and availability on the internet the day before, but don’t tell her that). Off came the sweat soaked helmets and leather jackets. It’s well over 40 degrees out in the carpark, so the relief provided by walking into an air-conditioned office was fantastic.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Yep, they had one 2brm cabin on the riverfront left – we’ll have that one thanks!! Parked the bikes on the concrete beside the cabin, went in, turned the air-conditioner up full, and after numerous glasses of water had cold showers to cool off a bit. Cabin was comfortable – all we needed, and there was plenty of shade when sitting on the verandah overlooking the river.[/FONT]

    Mitchell River 1. Mitchell River.

    [FONT=&quot]There is absolutely no way on earth I am putting that jacket back on today[/FONT][FONT=&quot], so if we can’t find food in walking distance, I’m going to go hungry tonight![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Dinner was at the Mitchell River Tavern, just up the road from the Police station. Cold beers on tap and in stubbies, great food, but the servings were way too big – fine for those country lads who could eat a horse every day, but a lot of waste for 2 city folks like us. We had the bruschetta for entrée, then I had the biggest plate of fresh flathead tails I have ever seen, and L had a gourmet pizza for mains. Good quality and great value though and would definitely eat there again. In hindsight we should not have had the entrée.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]We chatted to a couple who were spending 2 months touring the eastern half of Australia – 2 up on a Harley. They were making a beeline for a HD dealer in Geelong the following day as a bolt had come off the windshield and it was rattling. This made me think that I really need to stay on top of the news whilst I’m away, because if Bunnings have gone bust over the weekend, or gone out of the nuts & bolts business, well, I’ll have a lot of spare disposable income at the end of the year (Bunnings is like a second home to me).[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Off to bed we went hoping it would be cooler tomorrow………

  2. [FONT=&quot]Day 2:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Monday 31st Jan - Forecast – 40++ deg + Sunny![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Ride from Bairnsdale to Merimbula via the Princes Highway. A few twisty bits but mainly long sweeping bends – a little more interesting than yesterday.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]It was hot already, and L suggests putting a bottle of water inside my jacket – that will help keep me cool and allows me to carry water with me – great idea spock! On go the big heavy black leather jacket, black helmet, Kevlar Jeans & knee high leather boots, and off we go heading towards Lakes Entrance. I’m looking forward to the ride today as I have been over this way before a few times and it is nice.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Coming into Lakes Entrance we pass by the Lookout – I remind myself that it’s not a race and I have to learn to slow down and smell the roses more………take some photos………enjoy the scenery. Anyway, there was nowhere to turn around as it is on the hill, so we pull over in the carpark on the foreshore for a short break.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Cruising along through the long sweeping bends over near Cabbage Tree Creek, I start thinking about the restaurant last night – I hadn’t slept much because I had eaten too much and even though there was a small air conditioner in the cabin, I had turned it down because L didn’t like it too cold, so it was hot. Anyway, back to the restaurant. When we got there the waitress had told us to take a specific table because all the rest were booked………even thought there were only 4 other tables occupied all the time we were there……strange! And thinking about the different couples there………1 couple was obviously on a first date, another was an older guy with a much younger girlfriend, an older couple who came from the gaming room, and the other couple looked like tourists too……[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Then I saw it……a BIG black airborne ball about 15 metres in front of me……S**T!! Too late to swerve……I’ll tilt my head a bit……then WHACK!!! That would have hurt lots if I didn’t have the visor down……phew……lucky me!!! Funny though, no guts on the visor……What the hell was it??? Must have been some kind of monster insect I thought……possibly even a small bird. Anyway it’s gone, both me and the bike survived, and my mind started focusing on the road ahead again.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Then after about a minute all hell breaks loose inside my jacket……whatever I had collected had obviously found it’s way through the gap in the jacket caused by the water bottle, woken up from the coma it was in from the collision, and started flapping around trying to get out……but it was going the wrong way – it was working it’s way down instead of up!!! The commotion was so great that my mind instantly thought this was some kind of flesh eating monster and that it was going to start biting soon if it didn’t find it’s way out……it was definitely not happy where it was, and come to think of it……neither was I.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]After a quick check in the mirrors, emergency stop from 100kms, down with the stand, off the bike, unzip the jacket……where the hell is it? It’s still flapping furiously……it’s inside my bloody T-shirt!!! Hang on, there are two of them……then I work out that it’s just two bits of the same monster insect……Finally, I managed to get this big black flapping flesh eating monster insect out of my T-shirt and onto the ground……never seen anything like it before. It stopped flapping pretty quick when it met up the sole of the leather boot!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]By now, L had caught up, had come around the corner to see me at the side of the road, arms waving around in a panicked state, pulled up beside me and she was pis*ing herself laughing. What a great idea putting the water bottle inside my jacked had turned out to be……I need a cigarette!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Emergency over, we set off again and stop in Cann River for lunch. Damn it’s HOT! Remember, no hot food……your hot enough. Helmet & sweat jacket off - even the boots came off this time, and we spent most of an hour having lunch and relaxing![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Luckily most of the trucks had turned off onto the Monaro Highway, and the majority of the camper vans etc had stopped in Cann River, so there wasn’t much slow traffic in front of us. The roads over this way are much more interesting and nicer to ride on. It must be well over 40 degrees by now and you guessed it……I’m HOT!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Coming into Eden, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees and it was much nicer. We stop at the lookout on the hill past the wharf for a while……much, much cooler here so neither of us were in much of a hurry to leave.

    Twofold Bay Eden. Twofold Bay Eden 2.

    [FONT=&quot]After fuelling up again, we make our way up to Merimbula, and the thought of a cold beer was foremost in my mine. No time for a cold shower today……it was going to be gear off and then straight into the bar.[/FONT]
    We stayed at the Pub (just over the bridge on the left) and the rooms are all you need for a good nights sleep. Airconditioner up full, gear off, shorts & singlet on, and off we go to sink a few coldies.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]There was no point in going out looking for a restaurant so we had dinner at the pub too, and we both ordered the chicken parma – it’s hard not to get a good parma in a pub – or so I thought!!! After last nights experience, we said we would skip the entrée tonight and just have the main meal.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The meals arrive and I thought they were a little on the small side. I got stuck straight into the parma as I was hungry by then. Now it’s fair to say that somebody had gone to a huge amount of effort to get not much more than a boned-out chicken wing and flatten it out to make it the same size as your normal parma……dead set, this thing was about 1mm thick all the way through!!! I reckon the cheese on top would have been thicker than the chicken before it melted. Not to worry, I didn’t want to eat too much anyway. Disappointing meal! The Pub allowed us to bring our bikes into the beer garden courtyard where there was video surveillance, instead of having to leave them in the carpark out the back for the night. Happy with that.[/FONT]


    Continued next post...
  3. Merimbula 2. Merimbula 3.

    [FONT=&quot]Off to bed we went hoping it would be cooler tomorrow……[/FONT]

    Continued next post...
  4. [FONT=&quot]Day 3:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Tuesday 1st Feb - Forecast – 40++ deg + Sunny![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Ride from Merimbula, up through Cooma, Adaminaby, and down to Khankoban for the night. Should be lots of nice twisty bits up here – I haven’t done it from this side before as any other time I have been up this way I have come in from the Albury side.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Unlike L, I’m very much an early morning person and I’m up at the first whiff of daylight, so I took the opportunity to go for a bit of a wander up the street. Now, not only is it Hot today, but the Humidity is sitting at about 110%! I took the video camera with me and it was so humid that the lens fogged up. Had to retake the couple of shots after I figured out what was wrong.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Anyway, after L gets up, on go the big heavy black leather jacket, black helmet, Kevlar Jeans & knee high leather boots, and off we go heading towards Cooma. I can’t remember where the next photo is from, but I did stop to take it as part of my “smell the roses” initiative……[/FONT]

    IMG_0152. IMG_0153.

    [FONT=&quot]We work our way up through some nice countryside and start to get into the mountains. There has been some recent road resurfacing up here and I could hear the pinging of gravel on the bottom of the bike – nice twisty corners though. The back wheel slips out on a couple of corners - SLOW down a bit sunshine – it’s not a race![/FONT]

    Sawers Hill.

    [FONT=&quot]After winding our way up through that few hills we seem to be up on some kind of plateau and from here up to Cooma the road is pretty straight and boring. It’s very windy up here which made the riding a little more challenging. Lots of traffic heading in the same direction too – one cager decides to pull out and cut me off whilst I’m overtaking them, but I was switched on enough to see it happen in advance. I’m a little disappointed with this stretch of road because I had expected it to be similar to coming in from the Albury side……not to worry.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Lunch was at a café at Cooma – nice place, and they weren’t busy at all. The owner whinged that nobody eats when it is this hot. I look at the digital sign on the hardware store opposite – 44 degrees!!! Remember – no hot food for me. I get a chicken sandwich and L orders bacon and eggs. When the food comes, my first comment was that the bacon on her plate was thicker than the chicken parma that we had last night – I really gotta learn to let this kind of stuff go……”Loosen up a bit”……LOL!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]It’s getting hotter, so we make tracks and the road up from Cooma to Adaminaby is a little better, and the further up we go the better it is getting. I can remember years ago coming up here in the middle of winter with a few mates for a fishing trip……we stayed at the caravan park at Providence Portal last time – how I was longing for that kind of freezing cold weather today.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Continued next post....
  5. [FONT=&quot]There are some whispy clouds starting to form around us and my guess is that it is going to rain. L doesn’t believe me, but I’m an avid fisherman so I know this kind of stuff about the weather.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]We take off again and now we are into the good stuff – twisties galore. Don’t overestimate me – I’m neither fast nor elegant through this, but I love this stuff and I love talking myself through each corner. Before the trip I had gone to the trouble of printing out all the great stuff that Rob put together in the Noob 101, 102, 103 & 104 stickies for L and got her to practice them……she knows it works, she knows how to do it, but she continues to wear in the chicken strips into the new tyres – anyway, we had agreed that this trip is about us riding to our own abilities and not having any off’s.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]We make our way up to Cabramurra, Australia’s highest town. It’s even hotter up here, so it’s a quick break, smoke, photo, and off we go again.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Winding our way back down the hills I make some quick stops again to take photos of the Tumut Pond Dam from both the top and at the dam wall. I can remember coming through here towing the boat in the middle of the night and stopping on the wall – the brake disks on the car were glowing red and nearly on fire.[/FONT]

    Tumut Pond.

    Continued next post....
  6. [FONT=&quot]When we moved off we only got through a couple of corners before we came across a tree over the road. Lucky for us that the power workers were already busy cutting it up and pulling it off the road. Anyway, parked the bike at the side out of the way and waited till they got the job done. They had all the right gear for the job so there was no point in getting involved. When I was just getting back on the bike I noticed that the stand had sunk about 15mm into the tar – great – just bloody great – my nice chrome stand covered in tar!!! I’m officially OVER this heat!!!

    Tumut Pond Wall. Tooma Dam.

    [FONT=&quot]Arriving in Khankoban, we set our sights on the Pub – COLD BEERS needed urgently. Lucky for us we got the last available accommodation there – the place was packed with the workers from the power station. The rooms are just ok, but again, what more do you need than a good nights sleep. Again, I have a quick change of clothes and head straight to the bar……mmmmm Cold Beer!!! It was so hot by now that we hardly bothered going outside to have a smoke until later in the evening. We had the Scotch Fillet steaks for dinner – lovely tender meat – and I couldn’t have cooked it better myself. Recommend.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]No rain yet – did I get it wrong? After talking up my weather forecasting skills so much in Adaminaby, I might have to admit to L that I got it wrong……s**t! Nah, I’ll hang off till morning.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Off to bed we went hoping it would be cooler tomorrow……I’m really getting fed up with the heat now and have had enough!!![/FONT]

    Continued next post....
  7. [FONT=&quot]Day 4:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Wednesday 2nd Feb - Forecast – didn’t see it![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Ride from Khankoban to Beechworth via Walwa and along the Murray River to Wodonga.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Again, I am up well before L and guess what – rain clowds everywhere. It is trying to rain (but isn’t yet). Fantastic – I was right after all! Phew! After L gets up we have a cuppa by the pool and decide to make tracks – then guess what, it starts raining. It’s still very hot, very humid and hugely uncomfortable.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]On go the big heavy black leather jacket, black helmet, Kevlar Jeans & knee high leather boots, and off we go heading towards Jingilic. A bit down the road I pull over and put on the wet weather pull-overs. L doesn’t bother. Then, after we get moving again, I get the bright idea that I would close the flap on the jacket and zip up to stop me getting wet – not a good move!!! I closed the flap and pulled up the zip which when fully closed, the tab decided to break off. Fantastic, Hot, Humid and a big heavy black leather jacket with no way to get the zip down!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]We stop in Walwa and the nice lady in the General Store there gives me some large safety pins, one of which I proceed to stick into my finger several times whilst trying to open the zipper. We get chatting and it turns out that she has a house at Howqua, just down the road from me at Jamieson. If you are going through Walwa, make sure to stop off at the store as both the coffee and burgers are fantastic.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Now I hadn’t been up to the Murray River in a long time, and I nearly dropped dead when I saw it – it’s kilometres wide is some spots – awesome stuff! The road along to Wodonga is a fantastic ride also and we got along there pretty quick despite being stuck behind the tip truck which insisted on taking up the whole road for a fair portion of it. It’s my own fault – I was the one who stopped to “smell the roses” and take some photos. Damn, I nearly got away ahead of him.

    Murray River 1. Murray River.

    [FONT=&quot]We then stopped off at the Hume Dam – again, as full as I’ve ever seen it. Gees it looks good. They weren’t letting any water out that day, but I heard that they did the day before.

    [/FONT] Hume Dam Wall.

    [FONT=&quot]Off we go into Wodonga for lunch. Beechworth is only a short drive down the road, and it is way too early to stop, so I have a look at the map and we decide to head down to Mt. Beauty, then go through the Tarwonga Gap to Bright. Looks like a good road and a bit of fun. We will stop in Bright for the night. So, heading out of Wodonga, we need fuel. I cannot believe that there are no service stations on the way out of town – apparently they are all on the freeway. The next town isn’t too far away, so we will fill up there. However, next thing was we came across a traffic diversion back onto the Bright road and then had to work our way back across to where we wanted to be – Keiwa. Now this is a rather strange town – we had to stop at the Milk Bar and ask where we could get fuel – we were told “The Factory” was the only place in town which sold fuel and were given directions to get there. More road work along the way, but I suppose it is good to see that the Govt are actually spending money repairing the roads so I shouldn’t whinge. “The Factory” sold everything – and I mean everything.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Fuelled up and on the way again, we make our way down the Keiwa Valley Hwy towards Mt Beauty and turned off at the Tarwonga Gap road. Now this is a great stretch of road and full of fun twists and turns. If you haven’t done this road before, put it on the list of must-do’s.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Arriving in Bright, I am getting a little worried about my bike – it seems to be drawn to Pubs very easily as we have just stopped in right at the front of the Alpine Hotel. We check in. Rooms there are basic, but it’s only for 1 night. At the risk of portraying myself as a full blown alcoholic, I raced in, turned the air conditioner on, changed my clothes, and was just about to make a beeline for the bar when it started pouring rain. I’m going to make a dash for it and I don’t care if I get soaked……Then my phone rang……Noooooo!!! – I’ve had it with the heat……I just want a cold beer……PLEASE!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I eventually get there, and after a couple of beers decide to head back to the room and have a nice shower. It’s rather hot outside, but not as bad as what it was up at Khankoban. There is a restaurant off to one side, and pizzas available in the bar. We settle on pizzas for dinner as lunch in Wodonga had been unexpectantly large.[/FONT]

    Continued next post....
  8. Bright 1. Bright 2.

    [FONT=&quot]The weather forecast for the next few days was looking rather ordinary (still hot though) with the remnants of the cyclone about to hit Victoria, so we decided to head down to Jamieson tomorrow via the King Valley, and then head back to Melbourne on Friday before all the rain hits.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Day 5:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Thursday 3rd Feb - Forecast – Hot and Wet![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Ride from Bright to Jamieson via the King Valley.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]After a rather clowdy and steamy morning in Bright, we headed back up the Great Alpine Road for a bit until we reached the Glenrowan Myrtleford road and took that shortcut. We stopped off at Whitfield Café (yes, that’s right, the café, not the pub) for a quick break and made it back to Jamieson around lunchtime. We had come across more roadworks on the way and this ruined the best section of the ride for me (the roadwork went from the top of the hill outside Whitfield most of the way over to Powers Lookout. Bummer!), but as this is pretty much my backyard, I can do it anytime I like.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]My mate Jeff from the Jamieson Brewery was kind enough to lend me the pub’s courtesy bus for the night so that we didn’t have to ride the bikes up the 1.5km dirt road to my place. Cheers mate. That night we had a few beers and dinner at the Brewery and caught up with a few friends. It was pouring rain again, and wary of the forecast, decided that if it was still like that in the morning that we would delay our trip back to Melb by a day or so.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Day 6:-(/FONT][FONT=&quot] Friday 4th Feb - Forecast – Getting Very Very Wet![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The (non) Plan: Ride over the top to Eildon, then down to Yea, Whittlesea and back home.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Whilst it rained for most of the night, it had stopped by morning and the roads were just beginning to dry out. We had not slept very well as I don’t have any air conditioning at my place, and I was a bit tired and grumpy. It had also been pretty windy so there would have been lots of debris on the Eildon road – combined with the rain, the resurfacing work, the loose gravel, we thought better of taking that route. With all that in mind, the best option was to ride back through Mansfield and head back to Yea that way. At least L would get to see Bonnie Doon at 79% full!!![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Ending:-(/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Those of you who have stayed awake and bothered to read through this thread from start to finish are probably bored stiff by now and fed up of hearing me whinging about the heat and humidity.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]All in all we both had a fantastic trip and are looking forward to the next one whenever that might be (it won’t be in January though)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I have to say though that I was a little disappointed in tackling the Snowy Mountains from the Eastern side – there were a lot of long straight roads which I hadn’t expected.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]And of course, even in the constant heat, it was still much better than being stuck in the office working!!![/FONT]

    AND, the best thing is that we are probably even better mates now!!!

  9. Awesome stuff(y) !!
    I've just read from 1st to last post now ..
    looks like you and the mysterious L had a great time ,
    can't wait to see your write up of your next road trip :D
  10. That was a great read. Loved the bit about the huge flapping insect thingey inside your tshirt. You described it so well I felt like I was riding along too with you both. Theres absolutely nothing like riding along in a heatwave, jacket just dripping with sweat, and the heat coming off the bike like an oven, oh the joys of riding! You're on a Yamaha too, nice bike (Im biased towards Yamahas, having owned 3 of them) and the mysterious L sounded like she had a great time too.
  11. there's nothing better than a great ride report with terrific pics

    unless it's a great ride report with terrific pics AND a humorous prologue :LOL:

    Thanks for both :)
  12. Since my trip across the Nullarbor a couple of years back with temps of over 40* most days, I've promised myself a new jacket that has vents etc in it so that the wind blows through the jacket... but, I've still got my $800 dollar sweat soaked Triumph jacket.... im going to get around to buying a new one, err, one day... I had sweat coming through to the outside of it on some days...

    It might pay to get a windshield for the bugs, birds, stones and rain... etc...

    About 4.5 years ago I worked as the companies Parts/Service manager where I was spending way too much time at work... one summer only completing 2500km for the entire summery months... oh the shame... in the last harvest that I worked I was working up to 7 days a week...

    So I quite that job taking around a 15K cut in pay with the promise that I would double the amount of kilometres that I had ridden in the previous years... which I was able to to, easily... since then I've been across the Nullarbor, to Darwin and return, around Tasmania, around New South Wales, all over victoria, GOR, GAR, Grampians etc... South East coast to SA etc...

    I am now living a proper balanced life... I am not going to wait till I get old to do these things... I saw my old man work all his life only to take a heart attack two years out of retirement... he didn’t want to do much after that...

    As Davo Jones would say... "we are all destined to die, some choose to live while alive"


    oh Hello hornet... you've been MIA for a while ...
  13. Great story! i can't wait for the weather up here to get a bit more reliable so I can head off for a trip to the Atherton Tablelands.:beer::beer:
  14. Thanks for the comments everyone!

    It really was a great trip, and can't wait to get going on the next one. L is not as mysterious as she seems (to me anyway) - a 25 year long friend - she is reading this tonight so will probably shoot me down in flames with some of the stuff 8-[ haha

    Perhaps she will join up and be one of us!!!

    I just hadn't checked with her if it was ok to put her name in, and me being the sensitive guy I am, thought better of it.....!!!

    Now that I have got the zip repaired, I have to figure out how to get the jacket de-sweated! Should be a joy for whoever is doing it.......LOL!