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The taste for touring

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Oldmaid, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. #1 Oldmaid, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
    So I managed to con my employer to let me ride my bike up to the Rural Health Medical School at Orange (and surrounds) for a week of rural problem based learning in population health.

    First time riding with luggage and to my dismay I found that being short and fat was not compatible with hoisting one's leg gracefully onto to said bike.

    So I found that the only way was to find something to let me gain a little height like a gutter then no probs. Prayed hard for no GI upsets lol or maybe no so much lol if it happened...
    Anyway i was sooooo excited to be doing my first big road trip and riding alone. The other trainees were driving up together and the thought of 3-4 hours in a car when you get to spend a week together...well i just whistled Wasabi and there she was!


    So going up I could have poked my eyes out with the nearset sharp object- bloody run through the mountains...sheeeeeeit will they ever stop working on the roads up there... they have been at it since the 1960s....seriously. i should've gone Bells but let myself get talked out of it.
    Anyway once past Mt Vic it was okay.

    So the fun part of my trip was going out to Lake Cargelligo. Holy Dooley.
    Once I got over those hills from Orange it was like nirvana had just appeared in front of me (not the grunge group...) it was so lovely and peaceful, The vista, whilst looking a bit too dry, was superb. I felt such a thrill and was beside myself to take it all in and just enjoy the ride.
    The road had enough action for me in the way of twistys and nearly everyone gave me a nod or raised three fingers off their steering wheel. Maybe they thought the village idiot had escaped because I am sure I was grinning like a loon from the pleasure.

    Ducked up Mt Canobolas after a long day to blow some steam...great views but a lot of antennae up there. Coming gingerly back down the dirt part of the road I was worried about roos. Bloody rabbits were the problem they scatter like marbles dropped on a concrete floor... bastard animals! Scarred the living daylights out of me.

    So through Condobolin or Condo out to Lake Cargelligo. We were going to meet with a local Aborignal Elder to discuss local health issues then out to Murrin Bridge,(to their Aboriginal Medcial Service), which is an Aboriginal Community about 45 mins out of the Lake.
    Good lordy...now that was an adventurous ride.
    Truck wash from a road train....eeeeeee har...thank goodness I had gained a bit of 'wind' experience even so nearly shat myself (the drivers also said they got one hell of a fright from the backwash).

    IMG_9834.JPG Lake Cargelligo
    Then in an almost biblical scenario, I started getting this pelting feeling on my legs and bonks on my helmet...WTF...moths...no bloody locusts. Not considered a swarm by locals but was akin to paintball pellets in the nude. Shit they hurt and this is my helmet and bike afterwards...locust bums smeared from one end of me to the other and bruises on my legs! At least it didn't rain frogs...
    Locust bum city...couldn't see anything but locust guts...

    Best part of the ride was the super long straights...I really gave it to Wasabi and bless her yoshi tail pipe we hit $1.56..elation all round but there was a mighty fierce cross wind. Sat on about $1.20 to $1.30 most of the time.
    The day was full of many ups and downs the downs of which are not really valid discussing on a bike forum.

    So back to Condo for the night and i had quite a few beers with the locals at the Railway Hotel was a great time! Bit dusty the next morning back to Orange.
    A highlight for me was Mt Panorama. I clicked over 9000km on little Wasabi up on Brock's Skyline.
    I did that track about 10 times and was getting the Esses going nicely in the end. Funny thing was, I just couldn't bring myself to do the track clockwise- it is a 2 way suburban road. First and only time i will be in pole position but hey I have the photograph ha!

    IMG_9908.JPG Wasabi on pole pos ha!

    IMG_9905.JPG Pit Lane

    Of course mixing business and pleasure is a rare working commodity these days and to have been able to do this ride plus the Bathurst Black Dog has been a real life changer for me.
    I have self diagnosed that I have incurable touringitis. The only treatment is to keep touring...I have found my new vice.

    PS if your bike gets smeared with locust bums I discovered that if you park your bike near to a flowering tree , the European Wasps happily cannabilise their relatives with indecent haste!!! I was lamenting how to clean my bike but I went into to study at Orange came out 8 hours later to a pristine bike go figure ... mother nature at her best!
    • Like Like x 22
  2. Nice write up..
  3. Good post Oldmaid, there is a sense of freedom you get with just you and the bike. Although my back is starting to protest touring and camping is another joy of mine. Waking up away from civilisation with just the early morning bird chorus is a great experience.
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  4. The elation of realising I was out there doing this was almost overwhelming...really got the bug bad now! I need to christen my tent but will have to examine how to load the bike and get on without needing a gutter or park bench lol!
  5. When the bike is heavily packed and high then sometimes standing facing the bike and lifting one leg up can get that leg over the low part of the saddle. Then you can swivel on to the seat. Even if you have to help that leg up with one hand.
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  6. OldmaidOldmaid - congrats on the touringitis. You're a GP and you've prescribed the cure, we expect regular health checks from here on!

    Re mounting packed bike, drive around until you find a low wall, park, climb off lol. Or pack small stepladder on top of the rest of the kit.... :)
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  7. Great write up Miss Jane!!!!
  8. Well done old girl. :)

    Having a pack attached to the rear seat does make mounting and dismounting something of a challenge which is why I fitted a proper top box and bracket.

    Have you tried putting your left foot on the peg and then swinging a leg over to get on the bike? It definitely makes it easier with a tail bag and no need for a gutter or step. You can also reverse the process for dismounting.
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  9. not asking how you know this one :angelic:
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  10. Great read, nicely done.

    I'm a little vertically challenged myself and find leaning forward over the tank and tucking right foot up is enough to get my right knee over the seat when I've got a tail bag on.
  11. #11 titus, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
    Yep, this is the right way IMO.
    Stand as far forward as the bars allow (next to tank), bend your right knee all the way (foot next to bum), lean waaay forward over the instruments, swivel hips so knee goes over the lowest part of the seat.

    edit. Should probably add a warning though. Don't get foot snagged. I saw a guy do this with a massively overloaded Triumph Trophy (and I am talking 100+kg of gear!). He got his foot snagged on the seat at the last minute and leaned too far over, overbalancing the whole outfit to the right. Three of us saw it in time and just managed to get under it before it went down. (It did take all three to stop the fall and get it upright again).
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  12. Very nice read.. sounds like you had a blast!
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  13. Yes mmmm have an image of me like one of those black beetles on its back with my little legs flailing in the air and wasabi 'keeping me warm' . Gave myself a fright trying to get off with out the extra height when my foot clipped the kriega...was a come to Jesus moment that i really thought was going to end in tears...and that was from the people laughing at me ! :)

    Truly was a blast had the Poobs not quite 4 months and so glad I seized the moment! Life changing honestly. More determined than ever to score a rural posting when I finish training in 2017 and I just have to get out touring on my bike with or without my tent. Was just wonderful...like a laxative for the soul...cleaned an awful lot of shit out for me! ;)
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  14. One thing I forgot to mention was the joys of truck/road train dust (sounds like a new drug nickname lol).

    I had cars full of colleagues in front and behind when a truck came towards us on the other side of road and went off on the shoulder full of white powdery silty sand and suddenly whiteooooooooout! Sheeeeeeit!
    I was actually praying that the guys in front of me wouldn't stop just ease off the accelerator and that the guys behind me would do like wise...was the longest 30-40 sec of my life. Couldn't see a thing at all then my visor had locust bum and dust and you guessed it...I wiped my visor with my clutch hand and was instant glaucoma!!

    Got through that then we ended up behind a road train that was really going at a fair clip. We dropped back a ways but it went slightly off the shoulder into that amazingly fine red dust and then I discovered a glimpse of hell!

    I am sure I saw something with horns and a tail...which turned out was cattle that was on the side of the road and not Lucifer!
    Now that was shart time as this was an extra dimension to contend with and this dust seemed to take a lot longer to settle.
    I couldn't have told you which side of the road I was on or if I was even still on the road but once again people in front and people behind so I just cranked off the speed but didn't stop as no way of knowing who or what was behind me.
    Cpuld have had a cow riding pillion on the tank with me for all I could see! ;)

    After the heart palpitations and flatulence diminished, I decided I was getting as much ground between myself and the other guys in the cars so I could manage future trucks without contending with two independent reactions from in front and behind me.

    Great experience if somewhat terrifying initially ha! :)
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  15. ALWAYS do Bells. Gotta make that stop at the Bilpin Fruit Bowl.

    Hope you came back that way. Kurrajong Hill. Oh Yeah.
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  16. There is nothing like touring on motorcycle. We did a couple of long weekends as a family years ago.

    I've got some photo's somewhere.
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  17. Excellent write up! But I have to ask how you managed that on a ninja 300. I have one and while I love it goddamn the seat is not kind to your arse on long trips!
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  18. Was my first time riding on Bells...was low cloud, misty rain, slick roads and in parts I reckon visibility was about 10-15 m ...it was friggin wonderful :) really pretty. A few dicey slips of the rear tyre but I didn't sweat it ! Well okay just a little clench of the buttocks oh and the knees ;)
    If I could have found somewhere to climb off my bike I would have taken squillions of photos. You could hear the bell birds pinging through the eucalypts ...really lovely. Was a surprise after sunshine and 30+ at Canonwindra!
    I eyed off the various apple places thinking to bring home an apple pie as a peace offering ha!
    Forgot about
    a) getting off the bike and,
    b) where to put said pie so it wasn't apple crumble by the time I got home :)
    Next ride on Bells sans half a wardrobe and the kitchen sink...