UPDATED: My Snowy Ride 2010 (missing day added!) PART 1: After paying for my rego for TSR 2009 and then having to miss it for family reasons, I was disappointed about missing it for months. So this year I paid my $60 rego and made a booking with the Thredbo YHA (also $60 for 2 nights) back in early August, then have been looking forward to the trip since then! My ride plan was basically to take a different route from Melbourne to the Snowy Mountains each way, avoiding freeways as much as practical. The routes I ultimately took for each day (with some deviation from the original plan) are culminated in this map: Total distance travelled: 1,865km Total time in the saddle: 26 hours Total hitchhiking bugs: 432,589 Total bird collisions: 1 (deceased) Each year of my motorcycling career has seen me on a different set of wheels. My first year was on a 2005 Hyosung GT250R, a 250cc V-twin that a good friend long-term-loaned me until I could pay him for it, which I subsequently did and then proceeded to learn to ride and enjoyed my first biking adventures on this machine. It was Too Slow, I decided, so my second year of riding was spent on a 1988 Yamaha FJ1200, an inline-four 1200cc touring motorcycle in excellent condition for its age. I enjoyed many a long ride on this bike, although the heavy clutch and heavy bike (286kg dry weight!) just got me down a bit. So at the start of this year, I went shopping again and settled in the middle - my 2000 Suzuki SV650S, a 650cc V-twin that weighs a similar amount to my old Hyosung while having enough poke to be sufficient for my town and country riding. It's quite frankly a jack of all trades, this bike, and I have a lot of fun on it! This would be my first touring ride on the 'zook, but with good gear and a familiar overnight setup, packing the bike wasn't difficult. I use: a cheapie GPS that I've disassembled, waterproofed and then permanently wired to my bike that sits under the tacho a tank bag with my commonly-accessed gear (think snacks, wallet/phone, water, first aid, etc) a Camelbak 2L water backpack with convenient drinking tube that fits under my helmet a larger Gearsack that sits on the back of the bike and holds my recovery gear, warmer clothes and overnight stuff a tarp that sits on the rear seat under my Gearsack that is used to cover the bike at night as well as a potential survival item if I crash in the middle of nowhere, and a 5L jerry can which gives me a bit more courage to tackle unknown roads! After a busy day at work and then unexpectedly needing to visit a family member that evening in Emergency after a non-bike related brush with death, I didn't get around to packing until about 8pm - but was all squared away an hour later, hitting the sack at 9:30pm with happy thoughts of the road ahead. The next morning, I managed to hit the road by about 7am and made good time through Yarra Glen, Woori Yallock and onto the Noojee run (pictured above before the descent into Moe). A fairly uneventful run after that until I got to Orbost, where instead of continuining on to the Cann River for lunch (as I've done in the past on a ride north from Melbourne), I instead decided to try a new stretch of road that promised <20km of gravel - a worthy exchange for new curves and quiet country roads! Immediately after crossing the Snowy River, I turned left to head north on the Bonang Hwy, which is a fairly deserted 2 lane road that heads north through a mixture of farmland and dense bushland. Aside from the good quality gravel road from somewhere between Bonang and Delegate, this was a brilliant ride. I think I stopped after the gravel for a quick break and to briefly inspect my tyres for any signs of damage (chunks missing, etc), considering I was planning on asking up to 100% from them over the next day or three! After filling up at Delegate's combo mechanic & fuel stop and having a bit of a yarn with friendly owner about the great roads, lack of cops and his Triumph Speed Triple he was considering taking to TSR this afternoon, I got on my way and headed east to the Monaro Hwy, then north to the Snowy River Way a little further on. Until now I had only seen one or two other bikes the entire morning (surprising, given the event and the great weather!), but here on the Monaro Hwy and Snowy River Way I found groups of 2 and 3 riders all on their way north. Not having planned too carefully at this point, when I hit Maffra I then turned north towards Cooma, ripping myself off in the process by missing out on the Snowy River Way through Dalgety then Jindabyne - a fantastic stretch of tar that I fully enjoyed the following day! I found Cooma was full of bikes and it felt good to finally find a bunch of them together after a bit of a lonesome morning. The day was getting on at this stage so after filling up outside of town, I motored on through Jindabyne and up the hill to Thredbo. Got to the village around 4pm, got lost finding the YHA (it's around the corner and up the hill!) then found a room and unpacked. A hot shower and change of clothes later, I decided to have a bit of a wander around, not having been to Thredbo before. Found a very nice view from the steps of the YHA, looking up to the ski slopes that began right there in the village! Thredbo at 7pm in November: I found some bikers down in the main area and had a bit of a chat while waiting for my small yet expensive pizza, before retiring to my room to get some food down, plan Saturday's ride and then get some shuteye. I think I slept like a baby on the very comfy bunk bed from 9ish to 6am, waking up without an alarm. Went for a wander into the village again to look for food and shot a few more pics on my phone (hence the quality - sorry!). Thredbo at 7am in November: Looks cold up there, doesn't it? It was about 4 deg C at 7am and I was glad to have all my thermal gear on. Walking around in half of it was sufficient to keep me warm, although once I jumped on the bike I was rugged up in everything I had, with heated grips going at 75%. After chatting with a friendly bloke called Gary who had been at every Snowy Ride since its inception a decade ago, we both departed at similar times with a similar route in mind for the day. Most people were heading down the hill towards Jindabyne, but I wanted to start by doing the alpine route to Adaminaby via Khancoban and Cabramurra. At around 8.30am I fired up my cold-blooded v-twin and left the small group of bikes that called the YHA stable 'home' last night. ***PART 2 CONTINUED HERE*** - I accidentally missed a chunk of text when first posting this, sorry! Part 3 will be linked at the bottom of that post, so you'll be back onto this page again shortly!