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The little V-Twins that could...(600kms later)

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by mav, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. New Year's approaching fast, and with 6 months of the missus complaining about how infrequently she rides her bike, I thought "the hell with it, we're goin for a cruise"

    2mins later I had booked overnight accommodation at some random Motor Inn, in Hawk's Nest (north of Newcastle). Rang the missus and said "hey, new years we got nothing planned, so i've got a surprise for you. The only catch is you have to be up at 6.30am on New years day (saturday)" "cool" she says "what do i pack?", and knowing how bloody much a girl can take with her (even just to go down to the shops), i said "swimmers and a clean top, NOTHING ELSE!" i did not want to deal with balancing 100 kilos of luggage strapped down to two 250cc bikes, while hitting the twisties i had in mind.

    next step, check with NetRider for petrol / rest stops for the route,


    and we were good to go!

    Day 1

    So i managed to get her up and packed in under 30mins, not too bad! Managed to sneak in a couple of photos of her and the bikes just before we set out. First stop in Wilberforce for petrol and a Kit Kat, since she was topped up already, only spent $6 to fill mine, then onto the Putty!! Gorgeous road with some great twisties both up mountain and down mountain, 5mins into it, checked the rearview mirror and couldn't see the missus. ****, already?!? this is gonna be a loooonnng day....sure enough after a bit of waiting around she comes and off we go again, mind you, i'm not able to go that fast on a baby Virago what with peg scraping and a small engine, but managed to find a speed where she was always in my mirrors, even if it was briefly as i took another corner.

    In case of emergency or needing a stop, we had agreed to put the hazards on and beep the horn to let the other rider know to pull over.

    Anyway...halfway down the putty we came across a cafe called the Grey Gum Cafe, built on some clearing just to the side at the bottom of the valley. So i thought "good op for a coffee and a quick chat with the missus". So as we turn in, (shit nearly missed the driveway entrance), ride over the sand and gravel we pull up to a nicely manicured lawn with covered outside seating, and a concrete strip specifically built for Motorcycle parking only!!! awesome.

    Had a quick chat with the missus about how she was going, and she really needed to use the bathroom, so i asked her why she hadn't let me know earlier, and she says "i put my hazards on and have been beeping my horn for the last 100km's!!"...hmmm my bad, my love.

    (photos to come)

    So after some delicious hot chocolate, raisin toast, and free caps from the new cafe owner, headed off to Singleton...
  2. Yay! Another couple of 250cc cruisers out there touring, and around the twisties too!
    I was starting to think I was the only insane one.

    Get those pics up!
  3. I'm so envious of everyone who has gone on long rides lately. We were going to ride from Brisbane to Mackay last week but our plans were ruined and we went nowhere..... As for your lady and her signals, if ever I have to let my hubby know I need to stop I frantically wave my arms around a lot and point, (much to the delight of anyone travelling behind) and have even been known to get right behind him and beep my horn loudly, and he always doesnt notice, but says he does check his rear vision mirrors all the time........ I'll echo what Maplegum asked, photos please :)
  4. Yeah word of advice from doing the same with my misses on our 250s, you won't hear her horn or see her lights flashing, even if you are looking/listening for it...

    I just tell her to put her blinker on and pull over if she needs to, normally I see it as Im keeping an eye on her, and if I don't see her come around the corner for 20 seconds or so I do a uturn and head back to make sure shes alright.

    We just got back from a round trip around tassie, was a fantastic experience and sandras riding improved tenfold which was impressive.

    Good to see more couples out there having fun, if this trend continues we will have to organise a couples ride event some time. :)

    Best of luck mav (y)
  5. I did bring the camera to work with me, only to find out the memory stick in it does not plug into the USB port like our other memory stick does...come to think of it, i think it's in the 3D photo frame...but yes, i promise i will get photos up, even the ones of her giving me the finger at a long-waited impromptu rest stop..:)

    Day 1 (continued)

    So we arrived in Singleton without incident. However did have a few notables along the way!

    We interrupted a raven feast on a dead snake that was stretched across the complete width of our one lane transit. One of them was damn persistent about not leaving its meal until i was bearing down on it, exhaust blaring, lights flashing and horn tooting away. Took one last peck at the innards and flew off! Luckily the missus was close enough to notice all this and managed to avoid running over the dead bits, we scooted out of their as quickly (and legally) as possible to avoid bomber attacks on our helmets. Not to much further down the twisties we came across a massive black goanna sunning it up in the middle of the opposite lane, he was bigger than either of our bikes!! hopefully he didn't get hit by a cager coming the way, we didnt wait to see...there were some beautiful patches of breathing in fresh eucalyptus air...ahh delicious, followed by some fields of cow patties and sheep drops...not so delicious but nostalgic none the less.

    Just as we arrived into Singleton and pulled into the first petrol station on the main road, we noticed a sign for the World's Largest Sundial! So after filling up ($8 for both bikes) and chatting with a fellow named "Bear" who rode in on a Triumph Rocket Roadster, went 100m around the corner for some tourist pics and a breather at the sundial. The missus was pretty happy at this stage, commenting on the beautiful forests, panoramic views and fun twisties (guess you can have fun at any speed!). The missus then mentioned that we were at least an hour from anywhere coastal, taking the hint I told her there was a beach where we were destined and she could stay there all day and night if she wanted to.

    We then headed towards Maitland, with a planned turnoff just before Newcastle to head north on the Pacific highway. O-M-G how ****ing boring...It was the New England Highway all the way in and it was as straight as they come, add to that an 80km/h speed limit (L-platers) and Double Demerit period, it took forever....and ever. Thank god i was able to use my gut to prop myself up on the fuel tank and take the pressure off. (Don't hate the man gut ladies, it is a life saver). It didn't bother me really as I was enthusiastically keen on reaching our destination and seeing the missus's smile when we got there, as at this stage, i was keeping it a secret to surprise her. So she was a bit of a trooper to go all this way and have no clue where the journey ended. i found out how much she could swear like a trooper when she pulled me over on the pacific highway just north of Newcastle. She was really tired, hot, annoyed, sweaty and was generally shitty at me. Lol. So i gave her a can of lemonade, promised her it was only 10mins to go, and swapped bikes for the remainder of the journey.

    40mins later we were still on the Pacific highway heading north, and the only thing that had changed was that the numbers to Taree were getting smaller. I was a little worried as I had no idea that we had to travel this far north to get to our turn off, but didn't let the missus know this and cheerfully pointed out on our NSW road map (yes, we did this without a GPS), that it was quite close. she was too tired to do anything other than nod her head as we continued on.
  6. I'll be going to the photoshop on Thursday night to get some pics put onto a memory card so i can upload photos from this trip

    Day 1 (continued)

    Hooray!! Turn off in site, I emphatically waved my arm in the air and pointed at the sign so that the missus behind me could notice and be happy...all i got was a view of a biker hunched over the bars looking dead ahead...maybe she was trying to run me down? :) anyway, we turned off and before long were in the township of Tea Gardens. We stopped on the main strip, outside the smallest Caltex I have ever seen! Pulled out the online directions printed from the website to get there "go over Singing Bridge, to the T-intersection, turn right and third street down you will reach your destination." At this stage the missus was much happier again, as the sight of civilization must of revived her and you could smell the beach in the air.

    so 5.5hours since departing home at 7am on New Years Day, we finally arrived at Lake Myall Motor Inn, @$150 for the night with our own car space (good enough for our 2 bikes) heated in-ground pool, and private balcony and kitchenette, we finally settled in. They even had a proper fish cleaning sink out next to the parking lot!!
  7. Top job Mav u lucky devil.
  8. What a top ride report, can't wait to see the pictures (y)

    (one day when the bruises have subsided I'll tell you about the last time I rode the Putty with Mrs Hornet, back in 1979 :LOL:)
  9. nice report!

    im still working on the getting the gf on a bike... she seems to think i should buy the gear, then again, maybe thats a cheaper price to pay..
  10. 80K speed limit?

    strewth.... we got rid of that stupidity in vic like 20 years or more ago...

    everyone should be on the same speed limit... less overtaking, less accidents..
  11. Really enjoying the read Mav. I can really relate! More please
  12. Thanks for the responses guys + gals

    Day 2

    Wake up at 7am (stupid body clock) and go for a walk and wonder wether my shoulder has healed up for the ride ahead. (Sorry, forgot to mention I was wearing a heavy-ass backpack throughout Day 1, and at the end of the day, my left shoulder felt like it had been stretched out of its socket.) It didn't seem too bad, but nonetheless i resolved to strap my bag down to the missus's bike, my little baby V doesn't have any tie down points.

    Anyway, rolled the missus out of bed and we went for a walk looking for breakfast. Of the 3 shops we had to choose from, the bread shop was the only one open (thank god!!) due to the town not waking up till 10am...so if you travel and want to eat early, bring your own food!!

    1 x sausage roll, 2 x bacon/pineapple/cheese/onion rolls and 2 x coconut pink finger buns later, with an instant coffee thrown in, breakfast was over, but at least we got a nice picnic table to sit and eat on the lake...and watch the black clouds roll in. Look at the missus, know exactly what she is thinking, i can tell she is trying to look distracted like she hasn't noticed the clouds, but inside she is saying "You said nothing about RAIN!", oh well, smile at her and get a smile back, s'all good.

    Pack up and strap my bag to hers, then strap them both down to her bike. Lol this is going to be amusing to see her climb on considering she is shorter than me, and has to swing her leg up and over and "thread the needle" without knocking over the bike. Don't tell her that though, offer a hand like a gentleman, for balance, and oopsie daisy she's on! About to jump onto mine when i notice an orange and black butterfly humping my starter button. Hmmm nature. Whip out the camera and take a couple of quick snaps before grabbing a stick and tickling its belly. According to the missus, if you touch its wings with your hands, it won't fly again?

    Anyway, having also suffered numb vibrated bum yesterday (no airhawk / sheepskin), i had a moment of inspiration. Flick out the rear pillion pegs and rest my feet on those. Brilliant. Now i'm sitting upright like i'm riding a GS500, only I have to swing my legs forward if I want to change gear. Small price to pay for comfort. Off we go and scrape the forward pegs on the first corner. Oh that's right, I'm on a baby Virago, not a GS500, and I'm riding the rear pegs. Made it to the smallest Caltex in the world, around the corner, and proceed to fill up. Once I'm done, the missus rolls up next to me and I fill her tank too. While this is happening the manager comes out and tells my missus off for sitting on the bike while refueling. "you should of got off like this chap did", pointing to me. While he is explaining to her the dangers of refuelling your bike without even putting the sidestand down, I'm inside paying up. $14 later we are ready to go.

    Head back outside and the missus has already left the smallest petrol station in the world and i can see her waiting up the road. Caught up with her and she had a laugh about not knowing the proper procedure to fill her bike, apparently the manager was quite nice about it, and he didn't embaress her.
  13. Bang, straight out onto the Pacific Highway heading south, and straight to first fuel stop in Kurri Kurri. BP and it was much more expensive per litre than in Tea Gardens, but hey, we only had to top up half a tank. $8. And hey, there is a guy selling cherries by the roadside, and apparently he only sells them by the kilo. Missus is confident we can eat a kilo between us, so we handover $12 and start eating in the shade. After one third of the cherries are eaten, a police prisoner transport van rocks up, lol, time to get the hell out of here. But, our bags are full and strapped down, where are we going to put the cherries? So i double up the plastic bag, and sit it on top of my gut, and zip up my jacket. Again, man gut to the rescue.

    Uh-oh, all the cherries make me want to poop, 200metres down the road, Macdonalds = Clean toilets, pull in, make a dash, and 10 exhilerating minutes later, exit the air-conditioned bathrooms and the missus is nowhere to be seen. Ah yeah, she's in the toilet too. But once she's out she heads straight for the cashiers to order some food. Doesn't look like she's going to get it anytime soon, seems that the poor manager with lack of hiring options, has the whole preteen workforce behind the counter and they are all happily ****ing about as pre-teen girls do i.e. not working. The smell of the missus's cheeseburger meal is too much for me, so off I go to order the same. With my shaved head and massive double gut under my motorcycle jacket, I'm thinking that I won't have any problems. Wrong. I must look like one of their brother-uncle inbred relatives cos I;m get the same treatment as the missus. Give the manager a look, and ah, there we go, my food is magically ready.
  14. Day 2 Continued

    Cessnock, didn't stop just straight on through to Wollombi. I like travelling without a GPS, just give me some half decent signage and a printed road map and I'm good, the missus has faith in my directional sense so no arguments there.

    Wollombi pub. Looks like a stereotypical pub should, none of these fancy waterfall landscaped whitewashed tile stone facade's here. Timber, nails and sweat. And enough room to swing a cow in. We faced a problem however, as it's sitting at a T-intersection junction, one sign is pointing to Singleton (nope, wrong way) and the other is pointing to Laguna. Where the hell is that? I want to go to Bucketty and then Wiseman's ferry!

    Turn to the missus and ask for the road map... "um...it's not here", what do you mean love? Isn't it in your pocket? "no, the camera is but the map isn't." check my pockets, nope i don't have it, but I know this because the missus was holding it.
    "Ah babe" she says,
    yes dear says I,
    "I know where the map is"
    "oh really? where?"
    "it's at maccas"
    "oh...what's it doing there?"
    "i took it out to have a look at where we were going"
    "ah i see. But i didn't see it on the table"
    "...it was under my meal tray."
    No problem. Walk up to the newsagent / knick knack shop and ask a local. Brilliant, Laguna is on the way to Bucketty, and then Kulnura. Sweet, crisis averted.

    Wollombi to Kulnura is one of the best roads you will ride. It has everything. Up, down, left, right, sweepers, tight corners, hairpins, open valleys, tight mountain tops, dipping straights (roller coaster-ish), and a myriad of smells, mostly from the type of tree you are riding past, pine, eucalypt, bark etc. The petrol stop there is on a blind bend (heading south) so be carfeul and don't lock up your brakes or you will have every petrol head and bikie look your way and shake their heads.
  15. Day 2 (continued)

    We were enjoying the twisty river run on the banks of the Hawkesbury River until a couple on two harleys pulled out in front of us and ruined the view, the serenity, and locked us down under the speed limit. FFS lead, follow or get the **** out of the way! We were glad though to finally be on the ferry, as it meant we were less than an hour from home. There was some bushpig redneck woman and her incest son-husband sitting in their tractor next to us, making disgusted faces at us etc. While she was doing this, her tractor started to slowly roll forwards, but I wasn't going to tell her, specially as there was a shiny new yellow XR8 parked in front of her. So i kept smiling at her until she realised her tractor was rolling forward and hit the brakes just as she hit the rear of the XR8. I giggled my ass off (suck shit biatch), but then before I could get to the driver of the car, the gates opened and he drove off, with a bullbar inprint on his rear fender. Apparently he musn't of felt it?

    Anyway, the two harleys riders took forever to get up the ramp, and not wanting to be stuck behind them all the way home, we parked in the grass next to the Wiseman's ferry cafe, grabbed a couple of coffees and finished off the cherries.

    On the way home, I got a bit far ahead of the missus and pulled over to wait, normally she would catch up and slow down so that she can slip in behind me, but not this time, no, she decides to continue on her merry way. No biggie, i'll let her play for a while and catch up later. So after overtaking a few fully sick cagers with pink number plates and chrome wheels, I catch up and slip back into the lead role. Gee what a mistake that turned out to be. At the first set of lights we encounter, the missus proceeds wave her arms around and scream at me through her helmet about having to look at the same scenery for 10hours and getting sick of it, i.e. me not letting her lead. Love, all you had to do was say something, and you didn't exactly know where we were going? More anger followed so to prevent a homicide end to our journey, I just said "Yes Dear", the magic phrase that solves everything, and let her get ahead.

    And then, LOL, the next set of lights we get to, she leans over to ask if we are supposed to turn (which we are), but because we are in the wrong lane, we can't, so we go through the intersection, turn around down the road, then come back and make the correct turn. I just kept quiet and didn't say a word :)

    Suffice to say we got home just before the rains kicked in, but the missus was smiling so that's all that matters.

    In all, great ****ing weather, 35 degrees+ on both days with not a cloud in the sky, many nods from non cruiser-type riders, and even a few thumbs up from random harley groups over taking us on the highway (L-plate trekkies rule!), but that only happened in the country areas.

    So now I'll definately be going into the P's test this saturday with great confidence (if i can navigate roadkill and cow shit at 80km/h I shouldn't have any problems with the cone weave), and I reckon the missus will be too...
  16. I love that you play 'yes dear' game. Wise man. My husband does that too. That altenative isn't even woth thinking about.

    Good luck with the P's test, and report back!
  17. Good luck with the P's test, after that ride, you should both breeze through, and btw, my hubby is automatically programmed to answer "yes dear yes dear" too, Ive trained him very well. :)
  18. PICKA, wheres the pics slanina? tell ya mrs merry christmas :)
  19. Again good job Mav what a top write up.