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Tasfest 2009 - Going down Again

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by Mrs Scumbag, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Rhetorical question.........what do you do when you run a trip to Tassie for 14 friends in 2007 (Tasfest 2007 - Lapping the Map) ??

    you have so much damm fun that you just have to do the whole thing again 2 yrs later !! :grin:

    So assembled on the dock to start the madness again were:

    Scumbag - Ducati ST2
    Mrs Scumbag - Ducati S2R
    Chairman - MV Brutale
    Deyago - Tuono
    Mel - VFR800
    Dimi - Monster 695
    Jarrah - Ducati 900DS Darmah
    Black Betty - SV 650S
    G - Ducati 1000S Monster
    Trinity - Monster 600

    As you can note there was a plethora of Italian bikes in the group & for some weird reason we are all riding bikes that are either red, black or red & black......colour coded !! Made for some very cool group shots (see later posts)

    Basic itinary ran:
    Day 1 - Launceston
    Day 2 - Launceston to Swansea via Scottsdale
    Day 3 - Swansea to Port Arthur
    Day 4 - Port Arthur to Hobart
    Day 5 - Hobart (Strathgordon Run)
    Day 6 - Hobart to Launceston via Bothwell & Poatina
    Day 7 - Launceston (rest day)
    Day 8 - Launceston to Sheffield via Cethana & some back roads
    Day 9 - Sheffield (Run to Smithton & Dismal Swamp)
    Day 10 - Sheffield to Cradle Mountain via Reece Dam
    Day 11 - Cradle Mountain
    Day 12 - Cradle Mountain to Devonport via Hellyer Gorge & back roads

    Some of the group had to head back at the end of day 8 & the remainder stayed for the full 12 days.

    Max distance travelled around 3100km

    Weather was awesome for the whole trip - thanks largely to a pre commitment pact from Sunshine Boy (VTRElMarko) who promised to extend his god like control of the weather to include Tasmania while we were there.

    Further posts, pics & ride comments from the team on the way.
  2. Mmmm, you missed the Queenstown to Strachan run, Why?
  3. I've been down there quite a few times and with each return I am pleasantly surprised by new discoveries. Each time I develop a deeper level of appreciation for this wonderful region. :D :D :D
  4. I'm in awe with some of those regions ......... even been checking out the local real estate on the net!
  5. we did Strahan on the last trip (see Tasfest 2007 - lapping the map thread). Aim on each trip is to find new roads or focus on different parts of Tas........

    this trip the emphasis was on the East Coast & the North West Corner of Tas.
  6. The price for that weather will be high. Very high.

    Glad you all had a distgustingly good time down there.
  7. Ahem...3283kms travelled! :grin:

    Day 1 - Rudely awoken at some ungodly hour by the announcement that we have 45 mins to be down on deck & ready to roll! WTF! I'm asleep I can't ride! G coaxes me downstairs to the deck where the door is still firmly shut, so I lean against the wall & try to stay awake. Out to the bike; hmmmm :-k which tie down strap is undone first, I can't remember :facepalm: I do know that the wrong one results in your bike crashing to the deck! No no people [-X I never did that, saw it happen though & it wasn't funny. Ok logic says the right one first (as in not the left one) hope I don't look as unsure as I feel, why oh why did I let the guys do this for me last time? Am I gonna ask anyone...nope...stubborn that's me. Yay my bike is still upright! Our bikes are loud :twisted: the sound of them rumbling off the deck is deafening, I'm sure we woke half of Devonport on our journey to........breakfast! Fortunately it isn't far & I manage to follow along at the back in my sleep; the Monster has travelled these roads before & I've been assured that if I get lost she'll find her way. 10 bleary eyed bikers are well fed, watered & ready to rock (Deyago your Mum is a saint).

    Not much mojo happening that morning for me; the Bodacious ones (the boys & Jarrah closely followed by Mrs Scumbag & Black Betty) on the other hand were off, giggling maniacally I'm sure & led by the chief maniac (no guesses who that is :p )....Scumbag of course. Eventually I have to corner mark, what can I say I’m a virgin it’s my first time! I count 1….2,3….4,5,6 beep beep I should be off but I’m doing sums in my head 6 plus me & Scumbag equals 8, 10 minus 8 equals 2; where are Mrs Scumbag & Black Betty? I’ve been tooted, rules are last bike through toots, have I missed something? I recount……. nope still only get to 8. Ah well maybe there’s something I don’t know…….further on up the road & there are 2 bikes in my mirror closing fast, flying past… :oops: !

    We arrive at our accommodation in Launceston to find the motel driveway is almost vertical :shock: ...I don't wanna ride up that! The amazing Mrs Scumbag manages to wangle one room for us to dump all our gear in & it's onwards & upwards & upwards & upwards & the steepest hill start I've ever done! A quick perusal of the surrounding lanes shows that there’s a better way in & out, it’s a one way lane which means going the wrong way coming in but hey who cares it’s not steeeeeep :) ! Some decide to stay & explore the town whilst Scumbag, Jarrah, Black Betty, Dimi, G & I head to Scottsdale the easy way for coffee & lunch.

    Mojo rising! We're back off to Launceston via Bridport & Pipers Brook & I'm rocking along. The bike feels sweet & we're flying until...oh no a turn off & Black Betty is corner marking which puts me firmly behind Scumbag! He lifts his visor, grins :twisted: at me & beckons :eek:hno:...I don't wanna ! Off he goes at what he considers a snails pace, I do manage to keep him in sight probably because the next turn off is only a few km up the road....I'm glad to corner mark! Safely back for a shower & off to the pub for some :beer: ….mmmmmm!

    We spend a lovely afternoon in the shady beer garden tasting some of Tassies finest, then head off for a leisurely stroll through the park & back up the driveway from hell, which somehow seems steeper after beer consumption, to our rooms only to decide we’re starving & need to find somewhere for dinner. After much discussion…..back to the pub we’ve only left an hour before! Chairman gets one up on the waitress with his order “I’ll have the chicken & vegetable soup with chicken & vegetables†she’s halfway through writing it down before the light dawns :LOL: . Scumbag & I order rump steak; I kid you not when I say these steaks are absolutely ginormous, they are hanging off the plates :shock: , mine feeds 3 of us with left overs, Deyago helps Scumbag out with his! No more beer I have to ride tomorrow. That hill seems ever steeper, finally fall into bed & dream about flying along on my baby.
  8. Day 1 - Poppies, Trains & Automobiles

    I've done the ferry trip 5 times so far & that damm wake up call is still rude !! Scramble on deck to find that our pact with VtrElMarko is working......a cool but clear day awaited us, a few clouds threatened but all looked good. :grin:

    We collect Jarrah after we clear the quarantine area (she arrived in Tas a couple of days ahead of the main group) & head off to Deyago's Mum's place for a slap up brekky of bacon & egg rolls, fresh coffee & juice. What a Mum !!

    Suitably refreshed we head off to Launceston.....Scumbag & I keep the first day of this trip pretty easy as some find the ferry trip pretty hard to take & can be less than refreshed & ready to ride when arriving in Devonport.

    We headed down to Launceston via the B71 which takes you through the back country between Devonport & Lonnie. Its a great introductory road to what Tassie riding conditions are all about, awesomely great twisty roads :twisted: , un sign posted 45kmph corners, off camber, gravel, sudden local vehicles coming off farms & logging areas. Highly recommended !!

    It also runs past the poppy fields, which for newcomers to Tas can be a bit of a surprise......yes Virginia they are real opium poppies there growing in huge fields. The poppies were only just coming into flower so for any of you heading over in the next couple of weeks, the fields should look amazing once in full bloom.

    Black Betty & I didnt have much of an opportunity to really admire the views tho, cause thanks to a bit of a mix up with our corner marking techniques, she & I were left behind & were having to chase down the main pack :twisted: he he he he

    As a bit of a change from the usual route along B71 into Exeter, Scumbag decided to turn off on a side road & explore the C730 to Legana. Woot !! what a road, well surfaced & loadsa fun (especialy if you have started to catch the back markers & are now hunting down the groups wingmen).

    A quick stop at Laguna to refresh everyone on cornermarking methodology & we headed into Launceston. Decision was made to see if we could get at least one of the motel rooms we had booked so we could dump the luggage and/or change & wander off to do tourist things.

    Room arranged, steepest driveway I have ever negotiated overcome & the group decided to split. Chairman, Deyago, Mel & myself headed out to look at the National Automobile Museum & the Railway Museum at inveresk while the rest of the gang headed off sans luggage for a ride up around the Tamar Valley region.

    The museum at Inveresk to our great delight had a small interactive Scienceworks type display.........4 very overgrown netrider children rediscovering their inner child then ran amuck for a while playing with lighting machines, whirlpool machines & remote controlled robots. :LOL:

    After our group had done its cultural thing we headed out in search of a pub with a beer garden to quench the thirst we had raised by running robots into each other shouting "exterminate, exterminate......"

    Pub & beer garden found we settled in for a relaxed afternoon of BS & Beer. The pub was so good that we ended back there for dinner & man.....talk about value for money on the food side of things. You have to love a pub where the steaks & parma's overhang the plate :grin:

    I cant remember the name of the pub but its on the corner of George St & Cimitiere St........great shady tree filled beer garden & fantastic value for money food......highly recommended.
  9. You all smell :(
  10. +100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000


    Looking forward to the reports. :)
  11. is probably of no consolation - but we did miss you & your lovely other half (referring to human not mechanical) :)

    Great start to the write up gals :grin:
  12. Scumbag notes.
    Giggles at boat in Port Melbourne before leaving for 12 nights of good fun roads and lots of laughter.
    On arrival in Devonport we headed off to Jakes mums for a leisurely breakfast as you would at 6 am. Point of note. Jakes mum is a fantastic person for putting up with 10 loony bike riders at a stupid hour of the morning.
    Once the bellies were fueled, said convoy went out of Devonport and headed to the back roads towards Launceston. Some nice roads were found and The Pace was discovered and the convoy order was starting to be established.
    Once in Lonnie the group fractured a little and a while some did one thing, I disappeared out to Scottsdale via a series of backroads with some others.
    Some good twisty roads were found and run over. Lunch at Scottsdale in the bakery was very nice.
    From there more backroads towards the coast and Launcestion. Some good speeds maintained and the new tyres (at this point) working really nicely.
    Into to Launceston to find the others and start looking to something to eat.
    Found the biggest steak I have ever seen on my plate and only ate one half of it.
    Trinity is scared to run with me when beckoned.
    The driveway was reasonably steep.
    Steak is good. :LOL:
    Bikes are fun :p
    Scumbag out
  13. You still smell
  14. Mark storms off in a huff...
  15. Day 1: The day had finally come and were off! :grin:
    Leaving Port Melbourne we stood on the outside deck - for some reason chairman had the "loveboat" theme happening.
    6am and we're getting ready to unstrap bikes and ride off. First stop Jakes mum for brekky and pick up Jarrah... actually she was waiting for us. Jakes wondermum had it all ready for us, coffee, tea, bacon egg rolls and fruit for Sunshine boy - just to keep him happy and the sun shining for our trip. Even the neighbours came out to wave the parade of black, red, gold bikes into the street. Breakfasted and ready we were off to conquer Tassie.
    Taking off for Launceston I remembered all that I loved about this wonderful place. The Duke just hugged the roads. Arriving at our hotel - the steep hill to our rooms -seemed from my vantage point like a 45%!! incline :eek: ok the conscensus was about 28-32% after much debate. nevertheless it was steep - yes Jo it was I agree. But it was conquered and cunning maneouvers were made to beat the "hill".
    Mrs Scumbag, Jake, Mel and Chairman took the slow road of museums and walking round town and the rest of us opted to keep the mojo running and follow Scumbag off to Scottsdale. Machiatto's were good on the first day and we knew we were in for a 'Crack-a-lacking" time. Came back and the Tasfesters gathered to speak of their 1st day discoveries and dine sumptously on "BIG" steaks and soup. Day 1 ended well and yes Jo that hill was very steep when walking back after a big meal and a drink.
  16. Day 0 - getting on the ferry.

    High points...

    Dimitra is waiting by her bike, packed and ready to go, 30 mins before the agreed meeting time. This is a PB.

    I'm dispatched to buy sandwiches for the trip, only to hear my "friends" start their engines and begin riding onto the overgrown tugboat that will take us to Devonport. I realise that it's only day 0 and they're already trying to lose me.

    Work experience kid tries to tie the MV down by draping tie downs over handlebars. I point out that bar-end mirrors might be a challenge. He gets a slightly surly look because now he has to walk 10metres to the pile of tiedowns and choose a different type. I check his work and head for the cabin.

    Overcome by claustrophobia, we head for the deck. Where's the pool? No shuffleboard? No deck quoits? No dining with Captain Stubing? This isn't what I paid for. Disappointed, I drink beer and retire to my berth (a nautical term I learned whilst on the high seas).

    Day 1 commences at midnight. Some people snore. Some purr. A rare few sound like a woodchipper with too much wood and not enough oil. Like Kylie said - I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.

    <Sleeping. God bless pharmaceuticals>

    4am and the Captain blows the ship's horn very loudly. Strangely, the sound seems to be coming from within my room. From the next bunk, actually. Then a tiny voice whispers:


    I mumble something incoherent. After staring into the pitch blackness for another 6 hours, it's 5.30 and we're roused by one of those cheery-under-all-circumstances voices - the sort that says "Good afternoon, mateys! The boat is now sinking, so pop on your lifejackets and have some life-boat fun! We hope you've enjoyed sailing with TT Lines!).

    It seems we have time to wash, dress and head for the garage, but no time for breakfast or reading the papers. If this is a holiday, how come it seems so much like a work day?

    We head for Jake's mum's house, the Rivendell of Tasmania. Here you get looked after like a prince, fed 'til you burst, filled with coffee and generally made to feel like one of her kids. I proposed adoption, but she didn't seem keen on the idea.

    As is traditional, we lined the bikes up in the quiet cul-de-sac where she lives, and revved the guts out of them while the neighbours applauded. This has become an important biennial event in Devonport and the kids are all brought out to watch. All it need is fireworks - must make a note for next time.

    Off to Launceston, winding through picturesque towns who's names I don't recall, except for Legana, because my ex-wife's uncle lives there and I'm still not sure if I'm welcome in town. I keep my helmet on and the engine running, just in case.

    As related elsewhere, we settle in to comfortable digs located at the peak of Mt Everest. Be sure to collect oxygen from reception before ascending to your room. After freshening up, a scouting team head off to the Motor Museum - which looks a little drab from outside, but turned out to be a wee ripper. Amongst its fine collection was a well preserved Suzuki RE5. Legend has it that, when the RE5 flopped so spectacularly, Suzuki threw the entire spare parts inventory into the sea. Unlike the other bikes on display (which all had a little sign singing their praise), the blurb on the RE5 is condemnatory, and very funny. This alone was worth the price of admission.

    On to the old railway workshops. The workshop were closed in the early 90's. I suspect, given the way Melbourne's trains are running, it isn't much different to what you'd see at Connex today. Dusty, dirty, greasy, oily, tools scattered hither and yon - frankly, this is heaven. But they won't let me play with the toys, so I have to be content to watch. Like Spearmint Rhino for mechanics.

    We head for the science museum. This is really cool. Jake applies a very large magnet to the heads of a few kids and suddenly we have the place to ourselves (That last part may be untrue. I don't recall, your Honour). They have great toys and we amuse ourselves by getting onto a thing that gives you all the fun of getting pissed (including the urge to chuck) but doesn't cost anything or leave you with a hangover. The only downside is that it would be really hard to smuggle it into the cricket.

    We wander around Launceston and finally settle into a pub to wind down and mentally prepare for the next day. I worked hard at mentally preparing, and I don't recall what happened next. Oh, yes I do. We walked through a park with monkeys, climbed the hill to our rooms. Then we walked back to the pub for more mental preparation and dinner. Then we walked back past the monkeys and up the hill again. Feeling faintly hypoxic, I double-checked the pitons holding my cot to the cliff-face and went to sleep. :grin:
  17. Day 2 – “OMG this place rocksâ€

    The day dawned clear & cool with a promise of clear skies & a beautiful 24 degrees. I give thanks to VtrElMarko [-o< & get organised for our trip to Swansea.

    Route planned was to take the A3 to St Helens & then down the coast to Swansea. Our corner marking had sharpened up & we managed to negotiate our way out of Lonnie without incident.

    On first leg to Scottsdale everyone started getting their Mojo flowing, with Scumbag setting “The Paceâ€. The road starts out fairly open & swings nicely through valley type conditions allowing everyone to re-acquaint themselves with the minimalist approach to signage on corners & to keep a keen eye out for road kill, gravel on corners & sudden logging trucks.

    The road starts to climb at an area that’s marked on the maps as “The Sideling†& damm does it climb……tight & twisty seems to go on forever. Road surface at this stage is pretty good & looks newish. Again fantastic Tas traffic conditions prevailed…….there is bugger all traffic…….which makes everything seem twice as fun, I swear at times you feel like they have made these roads just for you. :grin: :grin:

    Stopped at Scottsdale for a coffee & then continued on to the coast. The road at this stage alternates between fast open sections & sudden tight twisty sections, where you suddenly alternate from a wide open 85kmph sweeper to a 35kmph 90 degree corner in one swoop. :shock:

    Just after Weldbourough we discovered the reason for the excellent road surface…………..the road did one of those jumps into tight, twisty, green tunnel forest type conditions which made the whole road surface very dark, only the warning “ping, ping, ping†of little bits of gravel ricocheting off the frame that gave clues as to what we had just launched into……fresh spray seal…… :eek:hno:

    Fortunately the new surface didn’t last for too long & we were soon back at “The Pace†Once past Pyengana the road starts to loose the forest conditions & heads back into open sweeper country. We arrived in St Helens well pleased with the day so far & headed around to a Pub I knew for a Seafood Feast for lunch.

    Unfortunately, said Pub has changed hands since the last time I visited & the menu has changed completely :oops: (you used to be able to get the most amazing fresh seafood platters at this joint)……we decided to hold off on the seafood feast until Swansea & as the new menu wasn’t half bad, we still managed to get sustenance into ourselves.

    A group decision was made to skip Elephant Pass this time (did it last trip) & keep to the A3 down the coast. Scumbag & I have done this stretch in the past & vouched for its ability to hold to the same amount of fun as Elephant Pass (fast open sweepers instead of the tight twisty stuff).

    Now I don’t know if it was the road, the bike or the fact that I have worked hard on my riding skills in the intervening years since I have done this stretch of road, but this was one of those stretches where I felt like I was flying……..corner after smooth corner flowed & flowed…..the Mojo was on. I was marvelling at how awesome everything felt tipped into a 85kmph right hander at faster than I want to think about when Deyago, who had been corner marking & was now on the chase for Scumbag, flashed past me at what felt like warp factor 9……it didn’t help that he gave me a cheery wave while doing this !!! Muttering under my breath I gave hopeless chase……& shot past a police car at 1.30……#&$@&!!!!! You have to love a state where all the cops do in response to this is wave & give you the thumbs up !! :woot:

    Judging by the amount of unladen sportsbikes heading in the opposite direction, this stretch of road is popular with the locals as well, which may explain the police presence.

    The rest of the stretch down to Swansea is entertaining but was populated with more cars than normal thanks to the number of holiday towns along this area of the East Coast.

    The digs at Swansea turned out to be amazing, view from the balconies was incredible & the seafood feast that night was stupendous…..I scored a half a lobster, smoked salmon & 1 doz fresh shucked oysters for 40 bucks from the local fresh fish & chip joint.

    A walk along the beach before dinner just capped an awesome day off.
  18. Day 2 – I go from sound asleep to wide awake instantly; we’re here, in Tassie, woo hoo :cool: ! There is an air of anticipation in the car park this morning, we fire up our steeds & suddenly sleepy surprised faces appear at motel windows all around the building :LOL: .

    Our corner marking this morning is perfection, bodes well for the day. I set out riding in the middle of the pack & before long can’t see anyone in front or behind me, there’s nothing unusual in this, nothing to worry about. I’m not setting the road on fire but for the first big day of riding I’m content with being smooth & consistent. The road is gorgeous; smooth sweeping corners, the weather cool & slightly overcast with patches of blue sky peeking through to show what is to come. 8-[ I wonder if I’ve missed something, haven’t seen anyone else for a while, glance down at the speedo :shock: my speed has crept up as I’ve settled into my rhythm, I’ll back off for a while & watch for any of the others coming up behind me; BB is back there & she will surely be chasing me down. Before long I can see her distinctive twin headlights in my mirror, phew! I wave her through & off we go, the road hits some tighter turns & winds it’s way up through gorgeous ferny forest, BB & I are flowing through the corners together in synchronized harmony; it’s a beautiful thing. We pull into a lookout for a toilet break & to re-group, our coffee destination, Scottsdale, can be seen down below in the distance.

    I drop to the back of the pack; downhill twisties freak me out & although I’m working on it I don’t want to hold anyone up. :eek: I’m actually handling the downhill turns well today, have to drop down a gear & slow up a bit as I keep coming out of corners too close to the riders in front of me. I start thinking about what I’m doing differently; discover that it’s nothing more than keeping my head up & looking further through the corners. I’m a very happy girl when we stop for coffee.

    The next leg takes us all the way through to St Helens, the mojo is still present & I’m having an altogether awesome day. Riding along with Mrs Scumbag & Black Betty, the sun has broken through & it doesn’t get any better than this! I see Mrs Scumbag slow down & indicate to turn into a servo so I follow, :LOL: she’s emptied her camel back & now needs to empty something else! I wave & pull out again laughing to myself I’ll keep going & let them chase me down. St Helens & they haven’t caught me I’m stoked, pull over where Scumbag, Jarrah, Deyago & Chairmen are sitting at the side of the road, they have been there for ages, of course!Leap off my bike just as I spot Mrs S & BB appearing so I rip off my helmet & say “ I’ve been here for ages ok?â€, they laugh & Chairman says you’d better sit down then :wink:

    A few take off for the pub & as the others are still getting their gear on I follow. WTF :-k I’ve missed something, so much for the perfect corner marking! I suddenly find myself on a very picturesque winding coastal road the wrong side of town, turn around & head back & spot bikes up a side street. Mrs Scumbag is very apologetic, I think it’s Karma for my effort on day 1! After a lovely prawn & mango salad with a large lemon lime & bitters we’re off again.

    Final leg for the day, down to Swansea. The pace has picked up as the road has opened up into glorious fast sweepers, I pass Deyago corner marking & have a chuckle; that man has some of the most flamboyant signals I’ve ever seen (Cejay - only yours can compare) he also loves an excuse to hunt down & dispatch the pack one by one. I’m pleasantly surprised that it takes him a little longer than I expected, he passes me waving cheekily, I hook in behind him I’ll stay with him :rofl: ….NOT! A quick stop & re-group at Bicheno, I’m getting very tired. As we leave town a large campervan is crawling along to the left of the lane, what is he doing? Oh cool he’s letting me go, I indicate pull out & increase speed…… fark :shock: his indicator just went on, he’s turning right, drop down a gear the monster howls & we rocket past before he can squish us, scary moment, decide that I’ve had my fun for the day & I just need to make it to Swansea upright!

    Mrs S, BB, G & I go to hunt & gather for the hungry hoard. Dinner is delish; fresh ocean trout, grilled to perfection by some drunken idiot on the bbq, accompanied by ‘gay salad’ concocted by the girls. It’s a night of wondrous tales & many laughs. A walk on the beach & it’s the perfect end to a perfect day. Eat your hearts out people :p XO