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Sunny afternoon to Suntop

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by XJ6N, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. I haven't ridden for nearly a fortnight since having 'flu. So after lunch today I fiddled about with the rear suspension preload, squirted a bit of wax lubricant around the chain and put my helmet on. I hadn't the faintest idea of where to ride. I didn't really want to go far (has anyone really been far as decided to use go want to do look more like?) so I let the clutch out and decided to ride to Suntop.

    geurie-ponto-arthurville-suntop-wellington-geurie route july 2015.

    With a name like Suntop, you might expect fairly amazing things of the place - it reminds me of the names of ski resort runs - but in fact it is just a rural locality with a nice view east over ranges. I turned off the Mitchell Highway at the village of Geurie on to the Arthurville Road where, last weekend the mayor of Dubbo had "a nice vomit" while competing in a mountain bike race at nearby Bald Hill went on and across the timber bridge over the Macquarie River.


    Even away from the irrigated river flats the countryside is green, too green for an El Niño year. Every farm either has Spring-Summer crops coming up or sheep and cattle making the most of the green grass. The road here is fairly relaxed, long straights and slow bends. The recent rain has caused pot-holes and crumbling edges but it is a quiet road and not too badly damaged.


    The big-sky views east across the shallow Macquarie Valley are hard to take.


    Signs here and there at the verge said WARNING - CYCLISTS AHEAD and I wasn't sure if the signs were for the benefit of cyclists or I was about intercepted and savagely beaten by the local carbon-fibre peloton outlaw club. I went on and stopped briefly before turning left on to Suntop Road at Arthurville, another locality with grain silos, a house or two and low hills to the west.


    The cyclists appeared ahead in several groups of adults and children. A motorcycle escort rider behind them waved to me and I rode on unscathed in what I consider another small triumph of leather over Lycra. Another few minutes ride past the abandoned corrugated-iron chapel, the stand of pandanus palm escaped from a long-gone farm house garden and I was in the bright sun at Suntop looking down to Finger Post and Curra Creek.


    Suntop Road ends at a T-intersection on the Renshaw-McGirr Way, the main road between Wellington and Parkes. Here I turned left again and started along one of the two 'best bits' of this ride, eight kilometres of twisties as the road follows the eastern side of the Mount Arthur range and the bulrush-lined Curra Creek.


    Stopping to take the previous photo I could hear Curra Creek trickling away below. I walked through the trees and scrambled down to where the road used to be. It was a still afternoon and it was warm in the sun, very pleasant after the very cold and windy Winter weather. I stood still and watched fish in the creek below, the rock faces across the creek and listened to the birds for a few minutes.


    Maybe it is middle-age or something but these days I feel as though there's never enough time to enjoy things like this. Today was no different, always having to move on because there's something to be done or somewhere to be but I am thankful that motorcycling offers a reason and the opportunity to go out for a couple of hours at least.
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  2. 004.


    Reluctantly I scrambled back to the road and rode on down the valley. If it were in Scotland you might call it a 'glen'. This had not escaped the owners of a property along here who had a sign showing showing the name of their farmlet, 'Glen Holly' and I can bet that Glen and Holly are still congratulating themselves for this play on words every time they drive in and out of their gate way.

    I rode into Wellington, past the manicured racecourse, the stables, playing fields and over the Bell River and up to the railway station and along the main street.



    Wellington has received some very bad press recently in the national news because of the prevalence of methamphetamine use in the town. I'm not sure if it is any worse than anywhere else. The town has many things in its favour; attractive historic buildings, a beautiful location where the Bell and Macquarie Rivers meet in broad valley below the eucalypt and cypress-covered Mount Arthur range, cafés and limestone caves.

    Riding out of town again, I went up to Mount Arthur and took a quick photo of Wellington from a lookout. P-plate drivers were using the mountain access road as a race course and I had to pull off to the side twice to avoid being hit on the narrow winding road.


    I was glad to be away from there and along Bushranger Creek road, the second 'best bit' of the ride - twisties for another eight kilometres winding west past the old empty reservoir and through the forest. As I came around a bend, the road was dazzled silver in the low sun. Along a straight, a young wallaby sat in the middle of the road. I quickly cycled down to second gear and idled forward. My front wheel was nearly level with the wallaby before it decided to make its disappearance into the trees. Too inquisitive. I hope it learns to stay away from the road and people.


    I have begun to see some motorcyclists riding the twisties of this road on weekends but it was only me today. I stopped only twice again, once to take a photo of the white cedar trees with their vanilla-coloured seeds, then turned on to Zaias Lane and completed the loop by riding back to Geurie, across the river's reflections again.

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  3. You are making us southerners very jealous with those sunny blue skies. Today we had skies of black, skies of charcoal, skies of grey, skies of ash, skies of slate.

    But it didn't rain, WooHoo.
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  4. Proper Melburnian Winter weather by the sounds! Melbourne sometimes has a very particular dark sky that you've described. Today was the first day in about two-and-a-half weeks that it has been properly sunny and I took advantage of it - didn't know where I was going to ride to but knew it was the day for it!
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  5. XJ6NXJ6N you lucky devil you. Mate that looks just amazing Thank you for sharing. You certainly are a word Smith to boot. Happy days sunshine and serenity, a ribbon of asphalt and a willing steed to take you there.
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  6. Another good write up, neat :snaphappy:
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  7. Love your write ups.

    Keep'em coming..
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  8. That sums it up perfectly. That I have a motorcycle now to escape the busy-ness of life for a couple of hours here and there is something that I'm very thankful for. Thanks very much GregglesGreggles!

    Thanks also to KurtzKurtz and Lazy LibranLazy Libran for your encouragement, I really appreciate it and am glad you enjoy reading it as much as I do riding, writing and taking a few photos along the way.
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  9. XJ6NXJ6N simple pleasures of life as they say.

    Bikes, rides, photography, and some good grub on the way. Simples..

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  10. GregglesGreggles summed it all up beautifully! Yet another riding adventure, stunning photos, engaging write up... XJ6NXJ6N once again you took us along on a wonderful journey discovering your part of Oz. Thank you for sharing and looking forward to more :)
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  11. Thank you, Fr33dmFr33dm! I sat in the driveway half-thinking I'd back the bike into the garage, go inside and make another coffee or paint my nails or something. It was good to ride for a couple of hours.
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  12. I unfortunately have done exactly the opposite! Yesterday was threatening to rain, was too windy and cold, and I had too much housework. Today was sunny but cold and windy, so instead of getting on my bike I've been painting my nails and baking cupcakes... Now I wish I did go for a spin, even to practice around town. Bloody Goldilocks!
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  13. Well, I'm Goldilocks then. :D The last two weeks have been grey and miserably cold and my bike has been sitting in the garage all that time. What with Chris'Chris' description of Melbourne weather yesterday I'd say you made the right decision. And, and, I didn't end up with a batch of hot cupcakes at the end of the ride so I don't know who's ahead all things considered. :-/
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  14. You make me tempted to do it.
    But usually I forget to pull over until I need to pee.
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  15. XJ6NXJ6N guilt is a powerful thing... I'm surprised I ended up only with a tray of cupcakes! I need riding experience as my licence test is getting closer. Instead I acquired more padding on my hips to add to what my riding gear already has to offer :/
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  16. Okay girls, firstly what colour are we doing our nails and what flavour are the Patty Cakes I prefer the Australian term showing my age now. lol gotta say tho XJ6NXJ6N you didn't strike me as the painting nails type. lmao
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  17. Today's special is deep purple for nails and red velvet Patty Cakes (I just increased my vocabulary, thanks GregglesGreggles :))

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  18. Today's special is deep purple for nails and red velvet Patty Cakes (I just increased my vocabulary, thanks....Mmmm deep purple interesting choice of colour there's a theory on that colour. Fr33dmFr33dm
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  19. Being completely engaged with the riding is a great thing, a feeling I pursue with multiple activities. I don't always achieve it, it's actually rare for me these days but that makes it even more valuable.

    I wondered if it was going to be soon. Do you have a test booking to aim for? I'm looking forward to the ceremonial 'goodbye hi-viz and L-plates' for you.

    Look, it was a slip of the typing fingers. How do you feel about going camping with me sometime and we can discuss some other things I'm into?
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  20. Yep, soon enough :) I've been on my L's for three months to the day today. But I should've practiced more, bit difficult with this winter weather, and working full time doesn't help either. Can't wait to see the last of mandatory fluoro-yellow and lose L-target off my tail!
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