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Tas East coast/midlands/great lakes loop 27-10-07 -Long-

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by V8cressida, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Well you guys who didn't come along on satdee (err all of you :p ) missed out on a 458km experience I won't forget in a while. I had been planning on going on my first longish ride on my new bike, this long (show) weekend. Checking the long range forecast at www.bom.gov.au (bom) indicated five days out that saturday would be the best day! But of course when the day came closer, the forecast changed. I woke up Saturday morning and checked bom. The forecast was for morning rain periods becoming fine around midday. According to the radar there was a bit of rain around the Port Arthur area (original route), and not much anywhere else. So the decision was made to instead head up the east coast to Swansea then across through Lake Leake to Campbell town.

    The two of us set off from Sorell (me '01 GSXR 1000, my mate '96 ZX9R) 10:30am under cloudy skys heading for the first scheduled stop at Triabunna. A little more than 20km down the road drizzle set in, just enough to wet the road ! We arrived at Triabunna, shot inside for a quick refreshment. Was told by a couple of local fishermen that the weather further up the east coast was better. So hearing this we decided to press on, through Little Swanport, Swansea then along the "Lake Leake" road to Campbell Town. The fishermen were right err, sort of. The rain did disapear but would arrive with a vengeance later. The road from Swansea to Campbell Town past Lake Leake is one of my favourite roads that I have travelled on so far by bike. Although when I rode it last on my ZZR 250 I don't remember the first few k's to be so rough! Having a ball in the twisty bits, we get about 1/4 way along and down came the rain,hard! Spoiling the ride for the next half of this enjoyable road. Just as they say about Tassie weather (and Vic too I believe), four seasons in one day. Soon enough the rain vanished again leaving the last 1/4 of the Lake Leake Rd from the long straight (here I resisted the temptation to see what my new steed could do) onwards to enjoy.

    198kms down, we arrive at Campbell Town with drizzle again. Time for a fuel stop. 10 litres of premium was all I used = 5.05L/100km or 55.84 mpg. Both machines full of fuel now, later on in the trip we can compare fuel use between the carbied Kawa and the fuel injected Suzi. We camped out here for half an hour or so umming and arring where to go next. My friend recons there is a turn off to the left just up a bit which will take us to some nice twisties. So blindly I follow on.

    So we have turned left now onto Macquarrie road, seems ok nice and smooth........for the moment at least! Not long and it is definately is NOT sportbike country I reckon my ar&$ spent 1/4 of the time out of the saddle, The bike was handling it fine but comfort level for my butt was pretty low. If the pegs were a bit more forward I reckon it would have been better to stand! I am seriously asking myself now, as rain squall after rain squall comes at us at 5 minute intervalls, where the hell are we going!

    At last a reprieve. We arrive at the Poatina turn off. We stop here for a stretch of the legs and wonder what the water monument we are now staring at is (a)doing out in the middle of nowhere? and (b)supposed to symbolise? It's at this point I am warned that the twisties ahead on Mt. Blackwood, in places are really tight, infact 15kmh signposted! While we are talking I notice some large spindly flying insects (mosquito like but much bigger) all flying towards us from the direction in which we will be heading. An omen perhaps? My riding gear is keeping me warm and snugg and is holding up well. I have Dri Rider Nordic 4 pants,Moto Dry jacket,the obligatory neck sock and Gaerne boots. Not very Poser sport bike looking riding gear I know, but today I wouldn't want to be in anything else. Not too chuffed with my Suomi helmet though, I have always had a fogging up problem with it on cold mornings, but in the rain it is a shocker!

    Once more we head off with me as TEC as I have no blinking idea where I am going. Here it now seems that we are about to enter the most treacherous part of the journey with wet roads, and REALLY tight corners. I am following blindly, (which a little way up the road almost becomes literal) on my first 1000cc bike that I have only been riding for a week, and so far not in the wet. I reckon the cards were already stacked firmly in the houses favour.......My hands are starting to noticably become cooler now as Drizzle has once again given way to rain....no wait is that sleet? I am now having to ride with my visor partly open as it is fogging too much. So I have rain on the outside of the visor AND the inside! Things are about to get worse! Now we are riding in fogg, visability down to about 40-50 metres. Here come the corners! Holy crap, a little compression lock up into the first one wakes me up! And that was a 25kmh corner where are the 15's. Sure enough here they come. On the exit of one the light was just at the right angle and you could see an oil slick right across the road, no choice, gotta go over it! I really don't know why someone didn't just step out of the gloom and try and knock us off with a cricket bat!

    Finally we head down hill again and with it the rain subsides, the fogg disapears and as if by magic we are greeted with dry roads. Bring it on! From Starvegut hill we continue on to the sleepy township of Bothwell. This stretch of road is NOW my favourite! Smooth flowing roads, with the odd twist, no nasty bumps and potholes, and straights to die for (or on. Bad choice of words). We stop at Bothwell for refreshments and a toiley break. Reminiscing about the trial by non-fire we just survived.

    The ride is really all but over now as we set off to join up with the Midlands highway at Kempton. We now continue south along the bore-way to a fuel stop at Brighton. Now lets compare the fuel usage. ZX9R 195km 10L = 5.13L/100km or 55mpg
    Gixxer 195km 9.36L = 4.8L/100km or 58.75mpg

    It's here we part company and head of to our respective homes. Even though the weather for a lot of the way was anything but fun, I did enjoy the day very much. I remember at the height of the bad weather in the middle of some sharp and oily corners actually loving it for the challenge it posed.

    Signing off for now

    V8 :grin:
  2. quite an "interesting" sounding day! At least you made it home in one piece :)
  3. Its a good ride that one. I've done it twice. Once on a Suzuki Across, the second time on an XS650 single. Weather was better than what you had though.

    To make the end part more interesting take the road from Bothwell to Hamilton and down the derwent valley home.

    No better way to bond with your new bike than a ride like that.
  4. Pfftt...where was the snow huh?

    Glad you survived your first huge ride in revolting conditions! :grin:
  5. Twin
  6. sounds like a good ride guys, i should be up for a ride with yas soon!

    Good ride i enjoyed was Nichols rivulet then verona sands!

    Also milton mowbrey via norfolk!