With work and other committments being fairly taxing of late, I've not had much chance to ride some real roads lately. Trackdays are awesome and they challenge you on a highly technical level, but real roads have a different and unique appeal - and put you in a riding brain space that's a class of it's own. I've really missed going for a blatt. Well, I wasn't working today and with the weather being so farking amazing, the hills east of Melbourne beckoned! First leg - Melbourne to Kinglake, via hurstbridge - the famous bikers route to Kinglake. I hadn't been on this road for the better part of a year. With a wary eye for driveway gravel on corner apex's [and there was quite a bit], I found this road lived up to it's technical tight twisty reputation. But with a cornering school fresh in my mind and some track days under the belt, all the pieces fell into place. Traffic was one large white van that was easily disposed off. The bike and I were in sync and before long, the Kinglake roundabout appeared. I took a breather and noticed the white van pull up nearby. One of the guys ambled over towards me and I thought, "uh oh! Here it comes." The guy started a friendly conversation. He just wanted to check out my bike. So what was he doing in the white van??? It turns out that he was a police driving instructor and a biker from way back. He's an expert on the popular motorcyling roads of Melbourne's East and was actually instructing the ambo drivers on the ins and outs of the popular motorcycling roads... kinda a grusome if ya think about it. Every minute counts I guess... A really nice guy actually. Second Leg: I could hear the black spur calling, so I jumped back on and headed out of Kinglake towards Healsville. There was hardly any traffic... a couple of farmer brown types - easily dispatched. The road to Tolangi was pretty good, some residual wash out here and there... only one gravel patch required some fine navigating skills. I really dig the Chum creek road, but following a tip off, I turned off Chum Creek rd onto Myers creek road. Well blow me, but this is an awesome sweepy, variably challenging sweet country twisty road. Having never done Myers Creek road before, I left a healthy margin, but there were still plenty of opportunities to roll on the throttle and put the licence in jeopardy! As best as I know... it's still safe in my wallet :grin: Arriving in Healesville, I didn't waste anytime and turned left up towards the black spur. Third Leg: On a day like today, with NO traffic, crystal clear skies, absolutely clean dry roads, and feeling in sync with the bike, the black spur was about as close to biking Nirvana as I've ever experienced. The best parts of the ride were almost spiritual. The canopy closed over the road and the resulting filtered rays of sunshine added a rare beauty to the ride... it was almost a shame to shatter the serenity with the 9R's kerkered song. The bike tracked like it was on rails. Accelaration out of corners was swift and came in a controllable rush... I had a silly grin stretching from ear to ear and hummed a happy ambling tune.... especially through the string of five 40km/h corners a little out of Healsville... that's a sweet combination at about 80km/h!! Turning right to Marysville, the 9km strop was over almost before it started, urged on by the call of nature! A 15minute stop over in Marysville [I was really busting!! ] and it was time to head it home... back down the spur! Woo hoo! Next leg: The universe seemed to be turning it on for me... again virtually no traffic on the spur... was I the only human alive???? Finally there was one car, but he moved over to let me past! That was sweet! Gave him a cordial wave, blasted ahead and tipped it into a 35km/h hairpin. :grin: Healesville appeared all too soon and the spur was done with. It took a lot of effort not to turn around and lap it again... but I needed to visit my sis and give my neice a turning 11 birthday hug. So pushing on, I rode through Healesville and turned left onto the Healesville - Kooweerup rd towards Cockatoo. Another sweet road, not heavily technical but a couple of the tightish corners at the end of throttle opening straights... end result: Yikes! Lean lean lean!! Loved the varying country side, market gardens, and typical australian farming country views. Again virtually no traffic... maybe everyone was at Oaks day??? Sweeeeet! A right turn at Cockatoo saw me heading West and enjoying the fast sweepers on the way to Emerald - which appeared in no time flat. If not for the neice, the final leg of the ride would have included a detour to Monbulk and onto Olinda to ultimately take in Mountain highway... but I'll have to leave that for another time. Riding straight through Emerald and taking a left turn at Clematis saw the twisty's fall behind and signalled the beginning of the end. Sigh. It seems my eye was obviously tuned into corners flashing past at a certain rate, YIKES!! I dialled it down when Cardinia reservoir flashed past at a rapid rate... ooops... Stud rd appeared, absolutely confirming that I was amongst suburbia and playtime was over... with the family just 5 minutes down the road, a stop off at the sisters and a birthday hug to the neice was just what the doctor ordered. Don't you love that comfortably satisfied feeling after a good ride??