I had an interesting little ride on my Shiver today, I'd had a bit of a mongrel of a weekend, it was just about single-handedly ruined by a friend of mine who made plans to go out on Friday night, then left me high and dry; followed by him bailing on me for a day trip to the snow that we’d planned for today (Sunday) ruining my Saturday night as well because I’d made no plans because I was expecting an early night to head up to the snow first thing Sunday. However, mad as I was I woke up to sunshine this morning, so I decided a ride was in order. I contemplated heading down the coast along the Great Ocean Road (which I haven't ridden yet), but figured the nice weather would have the roads clogged with cars, so elected to head into the high-country instead. So I packed warm, threw a little lunch and some water in a bag and off I went. The air was pretty crisp but the sun was shining and the roads were mostly dry so it was a lovely day to be out on the bike. Headed up through the hills to Marysville via the Black Spur. The aftermath of the fires is still very present, but the landscape it’s left behind is amazing, regrowth is thoroughly underway at the moment, so the forests are filled with these amazing black pillars of burnt trees covered in lush green regrowth, it’s an eerie but beautiful landscape to travel through. The first half of the ride all went very smoothly, the roads were dry so the going was good (the temperature dropped from 14 degrees down to 7-8 degrees in the hills, but I was rugged up so it wasn’t too bad). I stopped for lunch in Marysville, the majority of buildings are still temporary shipping crates and the like, sad to see but the visit out there and the people stopping for lunch/coffee is bringing some money back into the town. The second half of the trip, the return leg, I decided to take the Reefton Spur, a road I haven’t ridden before. It took me into a higher elevation than the ride in, so I was expecting the roads to possibly be a bit damper. I wasn’t disappointed on that front. However the road was completely empty, so I had the twisties all to myself (which was lucky because between the wet patches and the tree debris on the road, I had to go pretty cautiously). As the road took me higher up I saw the temperature on the Shiver’s dash drop and drop. From 10 degrees to 8, from 8 down to 6, and eventually to 3 degrees (pretty friggin’ cold at speed). And then I saw it… snow lining the sides of the road! Actually seeing it whilst on a motorcycle of all things was really pretty exciting. The only problem was, with the temperature down to 3 degrees, my hands were bitingly cold and almost completely numb, which along with my shivering left leg, forced me to slow down even further for fear of not having complete control of the bike. However all of a sudden as I came around a corner I saw the shape of a couple of bikes by the side of the road catch my eye. Could it be? YES! It was a pair of Aprilia Dorsoduros (the sister bike to my Shiver)! And not just any old Dorsos they were both the limited-edition 'Factory' versions. I got all excited so pulled over next to them to have a chat with guys. To try and put a little perspective on my excitement, the Shiver and Dorso are extremely rare down here. I’ve never actually seen another Shiver on the road before, and these were the very first Dorsos I’d seen outside of a dealership. So to run into them on an isolated stretch of mountain road… pretty exciting stuff. I stopped to have a chat to the guys, and apparently they’re the only two ‘factory’ Dorsos on the road in Australia. Beautiful looking machines, all carboned up. So we admired each others bikes for a while then I continued on home. Reefton Spur is a lovely stretch of road, but it was sadly too cold and too damp to enjoy properly. Still, Spring isn’t too far off now! As for the bike, she performed superbly. At 224km, this was the longest day I'd spent on the Shiver so far, and the riding position remains superbly comfortable for longer distances, my knees didn't hurt at all (a serious problem on my old Monster, even with lowered footpegs), and it was mostly just the cold on my hands that was a put-off. True to the Italian motorbike experience however, I did have the glass of my right-hand mirror fall out a kilometre out from Marysville, cracking in a dozen different parts, I pulled over, picked it up and put it back on, but now I need to get a replacement from Rizoma I'm slowly coming to accept that these things simply happen if you ridden an Italian bike... Well that's the end of my little story for the day, hope you enjoyed.