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My Mini Adventure - Strathewan and Kinglake

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by guye777, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Hi all.

    Went for a short ride Easter Monday out of Melbourne and thought I'd share. I'm still a newbie (3 months now), so thought this might be good for others looking for somewhere to go.

    Cick here to see My Google Map (Bowden Spur)

    Headed out from Rosanna up through Yan Yean and Doreen along the Yan Yean Road. Turned right onto the Arthurs Creek Road, and topped 110 for the first time on my little 250. (8200rpm at 115km FYI - saw that question in another thread somewhere). Bit wobbly with a cross breeze at that speed though - does it get more stable on a bigger bike?

    Through Arthurs Creek and sticking to the tarmac I took Greens Rd to Cottlesbridge Strathewan Rd (imaginative road names in this area!). This took me all the way up to Strathewan. This road is sealed, quite narrow with a faded white line (no slips on that then!) that is quite clean (except for the occasional gravel runoff from driveways).

    Really, this is my first serious back-country-road, and I start to sense the real exhilaration of some potential touring in future. You really are 'closer' to the bush on a bike. Everything takes on greater significance. I mean you can even smell the roadkill - so that adds a whole new sense to the experience!

    Stopped in Strathewan outside the CFA just across the bridge where the bitumen runs out, thinking I'd return alogn the same path. After a short drink and glance at my Motorcycling Road Atlas, I decide it is less than 10km to the Kinglake Road, so I might as well try a dirt track.

    My map isn't detailed enough, so I stop a passing local and get directions and he sends me up the Bowden Spur Rd. I am glad he did, because:

    a) It was my first ride on dirt, and this was pretty scary. But I took it easy and as my confidence grew I was able to feel a lot more about what the bike was doing under me. I certainly feel more confident when I am back on the tar now!

    b) The view near the top of Bowden Spur back over all of Melbourne is nothing short of spectacular!

    c) I got to ride some great twisties for the first time too (later)!

    (FYI, the start of the Bowden Spur Rd from Strathewan turns hard left only 50m up the hill, just before the school.)

    Halfway along Bowden Spur Rd there are signs warning track is suitable for 4WD only - for fire access, but my bike handled it easily. On a dry day so would most cars. The track follows the high power electricity towers up to the top.

    Three quarters of the way up Bowden Spur Rd the track takes a series of hairpin bends reminiscent of the Italian Alps (early James Bond movies spring to mind) albeit without the bitumen and little stone walls!

    Once I hit the sealed road on the Whittlesea Kinglake Road I headed left down to Kinglake, and stopped at the General Store to buy a notebook - I read somewhere to always carry one in case you wanted to take trip notes and I now know why!

    From there I headed down Heidelberg Kinglake Rd towards St Andrews, experienced another first - my first serious set of twisties. Woot! Now I get waht you guys are always raving about! That was fun, even if it was a little scary. I got to the bottom of the hill and turned around at Olives Rd to go back up again, then down again. Woo Hoo!

    From there I just traveled to St Andrews and turned right to Panton Hill, then flicked right along Cheery Tree Rd into Hurstbridge and back home through Diamond Creek and along the Greensborough Highway. Just over 100km.

    I am now keen to do some more twisties but with some other riders who can guide me on speed, line, etc!

    Ciao dudes.
  2. Hi Guy,

    Thats a good trip. I haven't been up the Bowden spur in quite a while. When you get to Kinglake if you go right across to the Melba Hwy then cross over the Hwy and head out through Toolangai to Healesville is a good run. Then you can either head up the Black Spur or back to Yarra Glen this part is a lot more sedate. :) Have fun.
  3. Good roads! I love the twisties between St Andrews and Kinglake.

    Next time you head up, if heading north through Hurstbridge, turn left at the second roundabout (first past the station) - takes you through Nutfield, great little detour, you can then take a right and double back to the Hurstbridge-St Andrews road.

    I tried the Bowden Spur road years ago on my postie - but it was raining and muddy, and I didn't have much luck getting up the hill!
  4. guye777, great write up. It's almost like being there. I like the way you set up the google map too, did you use a GPS system to set that up or did you set ip up manually? Well done.

    Yes, bigger bikes are more stable with cross winds. As I'm sure you guessed they would be.
  5. Ta birdman.

    Just setup the Google maps by hand. Pretty easy to do really.

    Was admiring Seany and Kwaker_750's bikes on Sunday night - I think I need a bigger bike already :)
  6. Guy, I moved from a 250 to an 1100 and currently have a CBR1100xx which is the best bike I've ever experienced (in around 20 years of riding). Every bike has advantages and disadvantages, you just have to find the one that has advantages that suit you and disadvantages that don't concern you. I've enjoyed every minute of my journey on 2 wheels as I'm sure you will.

    Always ride defensively, always expect the unexpected!

    Thanks, I may use google maps more.