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Twin Peaks 2008

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Mrs Scumbag, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Soooooo, it’s the Christmas Holidays & time to start thinking of heading off on another motorcycle trip. Scumbag & I had been thinking about running a trip up & over both Hotham & Thredbo since coming back from Lapping the Map 07, hence the tour name of Twin Peaks.

    Ironically, the trip we did with CeJay & Boo in November (Tourismo 2007) literally replicated our planned route so a quick rethink was required prior to booking accommodation. We ended up opting to spend 3 nights at Thredbo including New Years Eve, with two days each side getting there & back. Given the likely temps and the fact that this was supposed to be a holiday not an endurance test, we kept the km’s per day pretty low (400km to 450km per day).

    Day 1 – Melb to Albury via the Spur, Taggerty, Thornton, Alexandra, Whitfield & then to Albury via C524 & C527
    Day 2 – Albury to Thredbo via B400, & the C546 (Granya Gap) & then The Alpine Way
    Day 3 – Thredbo
    Day 4 – Thredbo
    Day 5 – Thredbo to Bright via The Alpine Way, the C546, C531 & the C534
    Day 6 – Bright to Melbourne

    The Crew:
    Scumbag & Mrs Scumbag
    CeJay & Liz
    Black Betty

    Gorgeous Liz had expressed a desire to come along as a pillion during the planning stages. Thanks to the luggage carrying capacity of the Tuono & its pillion seat limitations, Liz wisely (bravely) opted for the comfort of the Super Tanker’s pillion seat.
    Unfortunately for Liz, thanks to sizing issues re helmets, it took quite a while for her to get all of her gear together; this then limited the number of practice pillion runs she could do with Scumbag to get a feel for what she had got herself into. In the end, Liz was on the back of the Super Tanker a grand total of twice !! before we headed off on our trip.

    All of us riding ran with leather pants & some form of lightweight Gortex jacket. Trial runs a few weeks prior experimenting with Dragins had left us all feeling that while they were fine for a quick blatt, long term protection & confidence is supplied via dead cow hide. We all had wet weather pants & a thermal top (just in case).
    Luggage was a mix of pannier style soft luggage, hard panniers, tie down bags & rack style luggage. Brother G kindly loaned me his zip together ventura bags so that I could loan Liz my gearsack. The Super Tanker ended up fully loaded, two up with two hard panniers & the gearsack on top.
  2. Day 1 – OMG its going to be HOT !!!
    Long range weather forecasts were promising great weather over the Alpine regions, unfortunately that meant HOT weather for the rest of the state. We set off around 10am, knowing full well that the forecast temps in Albury were a sunny 39.
    Picked up CeJay & a slightly nervous/excited Liz & then collected Black Betty from the BP at Lilydale.
    Given that we were leaving on a Sunday the run up through the Spur was relatively busy with holiday traffic, waved hello to Realm playing on the Spur & then headed up to Taggerty, turned right here & made for Thornton & Alexandra. This little detour is full of nice 70/80kmph marked sweepers that can lots of fun & goes some way to helping to alleviate the boredom of the transit leg from Narbethong to Mansfield.

    The run up to Whitfield was a load of fun & it became pretty apparent that Liz was taking to being a pillion like a duck to water. CeJay & Scumbag disappeared into the horizon at a rapid rate, leaving Black Betty & I to enjoy the scenery at a less frenzied pace. A quick ice cream break at Whitfield gave us the opportunity to cool down a bit & for me to head into my wet t-shirt & hair routine for the next leg to Milawa. (I have found the only way for me to stay cool on the bike on a really hot day is to ride with a soaking wet t-shirt & dripping wet hair. The evaporative effects are great & help keep the old core temp at reasonable levels).

    Stopped at Milawa for a drink break. Can highly recommend the Milawa Cheese Factory as a place for a break in this region, its air-conditioned (very handy when its 39 degrees), has great coffee & clean loo’s (sorry guys this is an important girl criteria)

    After Milawa we headed down the C522 & then turned onto one of the back roads to Beechworth (C527), this road is a nice little gem, it has quite a short, entertaining steep climb into Beechworth & then opens out into open sweeper country after the township itself. Lots of fun after some fairly open straight roads. Like most of the roads we had travelled, it’s a side road & not heavily trafficked so a suitable cruising speed was set.

    We arrived in Albury very hot & sticky. Fortunately the hotel we were staying at had a pool & air-conditioning. We made liberal use of both & feeling semi human – staggered to dinner & some well deserved drinks.

    Liz seemed to have enjoyed her first day as a pillion as she couldn’t stop grinning & telling us how much fun she was having. (either that or the heat had made her delirious)
  3. Day Two – Scenery, Scenery & more Scenery
    Wooot……another hot day, yay for summer. We left nice & early to try to get to the high country before it got to motorcyclist boiling point on the thermometer. After a quick coffee & breakfast at the local Maccas we headed out to Tallangatta & then at CeJays request turned left at the B400/C546 junction & launched into the Granya Gap road.

    This road is sweeeeeeet. You climb up & over Mt Granya (all 50/40/30kmph corners) & then end up following the road along the Hume Weir & the Murray river. The road swoops & dives around sweeping corners & as it isn’t the main throughfare, we could again maintain a sensible pace. The scenery is magnificent. All river, valley & mountains in the distance with the odd soaring eagle thrown in for good measure. This is one of those roads where you feel really connected to the road & at one with everything around you, just flowing from corner to corner.
    Can thoroughly recommend this as an alternative to the Murray Valley Hwy.

    We stopped at Corryong for a cool drink & a fuel stop & then started the climb over the Twowong gap to Khancoban. At Khancoban the boys decided to give Black Betty & myself a 20 min head start rather than stop & wait for us for ages at Dead Horse Gap.

    The climb to Thredbo is really two climbs & descents. The first climb is all sweeping 50kmph corners via a lot of cuttings, the road is not line marked & although in good condition, there was a lot of on coming traffic; enough for both of us to take wider lines than normal through the blind corners. The decent to Geehi is again fairly sweepy & not that tight, past Geehi, the road opens up somewhat as you travel along a ridge line surrounded by forest. Although shady & somewhat cooler, it was still noticeably warm.
    We stopped at Tom Groggin for a loo stop (we were all carrying Camelbacks & although it allows you to stay constantly hydrated, this does cause a bit of a problem re need for constant stops).
    The boys had caught up with us by this stage & once I had got myself comfortable again we headed off for the requisite photo op at Dead Horse Gap. The 2nd climb from Tom Groggin to Dead Horse Gap is a lot tighter & steeper, again lots of oncoming traffic so caution was still needed on the tighter, blind corners. All of us found that the high temps were having their usual impact on the Alpine tar mix, a quick check at Dead Horse Gap found that all of us had experienced a rear slide moment through the last section as we hit softening, slippery tar sections.

    Despite the conditions, this is a road that I could happily travel on over & over again. Its well surfaced, fun & scenic. Funny that every motorcyclist we passed on this road just didn’t nod at us, they waved, as if to say “how f*@$@ing fantastic is this !!â€,

    After some happy snaps were taken at Dead Horse Gap we rolled down the hill to Thredbo.

    Checked in to the apartment & got comfortable. Black Betty, Liz & I headed off to work out the most important bit of the trip, booking massages for all of us, while the boys headed off in search of lunch. That night was New Years Eve & with CeJays help I seemed to accidentally drink more beer than I had intended to. I think Liz had more wine than she thought too, but that could have just been my beer soaked imagination.
  4. Day 3 – exercise will cure a hangover
    After a fairly quiet breakfast we all headed out to walk off our respective hangovers. The original idea was to head up the main chair lift for a look around at the top & then go tobogganing. Well, once we got to the top of the chairlift we decided that the walk to the Kosciuszko lookout was worth attempting. It’s only 2km, how hard can that be ?? We all forgot that 2km at altitude requires a bit more of an effort than at sea level, we were all convinced by the time we reached the lookout that the sign posts were lying. However, all of the alpine flowers were out in bloom & the scenery was awesome, so what the hell, the effort was worth it.
    Once down on the ground, the boys went tobogganing & Black Betty & I decided to head off on a “gentle walk†around the river. The walk was pretty, but once again I think the signposts lied about the distance……..headed back to the apartment for a much needed cool shower. It was still remarkably warm, even by Alpine standards.

    As usual things had got competitive over at the toboggan run, CeJay & Scumbag were now into timing their runs, along with some of the younger holiday makers. Both the boys managed to come off on the run trying to get more speed, CeJay decided to use his knee as a brake & Scumbag used his elbow……..not recommended kiddies, especially when you need to put leathers back on over festering flesh wounds.
  5. Day 4 – a road discovered
    We decided on a bit of an explore & headed off to Charlottes Pass for a morning trip with lunch at Jindabyne before heading back to Thredbo.
    Well……what a road !! The contrast between the roads on either side of Thredbo couldn’t be more dramatic. Tight & twisty on the Khancoban side, open sweeper country on the Jindabyne side. The road down from Thredbo to Jindabyne was fairly busy, but with plenty of easy overtaking opportunities, this didn’t prove to be too much of a worry, particularly for Scumbag & CeJay. The climb up to Charlottes Pass was also a pearler, there were only a couple of corners with dodgy surfaces, the rest were just awesome. Amazing scenery just added the icing to the cake. We all arrived at the Charlottes Pass carpark giggling. If you are up this way, head up this road, you wont be disappointed.

    After a walk to the lookout & the obligatory happy snaps we headed back down to Jindabyne for lunch. The trip back down was just as much fun.

    By the time we had lunch & headed back to Thredbo we were again getting uncomfortably hot & sticky. Liz & I headed off for our massages & the boys voted to veg around in the relative cool of the apartment.

    One of the amazing things about the Alpine areas is the weather it breeds, we had watched each day as thunder clouds built & built over the mountains & then erupted into pretty awesome sound & light shows around 5pm each night, we even saw hail at one point.
  6. Day 5 – has anyone got a fog horn ??/something unexpected happens.
    Time to start heading home, we awoke to coolish weather & low cloud, so low you couldn’t see 20m in front of you…….the climb out of Thredbo to Tom Groggin was taken very cautiously & I now know what all those bright orange poles on the side of the roads are for. I was grateful that Black Betty was in front of me so I could follow her very bright tail lights up the mountain. The cloud had lifted by the time we got to Tom Groggin & we could start to move at a more suitable pace. Again, the heat climbed as we descended & although it wasn’t quite to the same point as Day 1, it was a warning of things to come.

    We voted to head back to Albury via the sublime C546 (Scumbag thinks its called the Murray River Way) & then via the Hume Weir, have lunch in Albury & then head down to Bright via Yackandandah, Dederang & the C534 via Happy Valley. Again the aim of the game was to stay off the more populated routes & keep to the side roads.

    I wanted to stop at Online Motorcycles in Albury & see if I could pick up a fuel filter for the monster, I had experienced a couple of fuel stoppage issues during the trip & thought that a filter change may help. Scumbag knew the team at Online & was confident that they would do all they could to help. Unfortunately they didn’t have the right filter but they did drain the tank for me & found about 800mm !!!! of water in it. Yipe !! no wonder my baby wasn’t totally happy.

    While the boys were tending my bike I purchased another one.

    After lunch we headed out to Bright. Again, the road less travelled tends to prove a better proposition than riding the standard routes. The road swept & flowed along the Kiewa Valley, with fantastic views of Mt Buffalo on one side & Mt Beauty & Hotham on the other. Little fun sweeper sections alternated with straighter stuff as we dodged & wove through the valley. The road to Ovens via Happy Valley again proved to be way much too fun with CeJay & Scumbag disappearing into the distance again. We all arrived at Ovens hot, but with big grins on our faces.

    Unfortunately the road into Bright is pretty busy & full of idiot car drivers on holidays. Fortunately the hotel we were staying at had a pool, Scumbag, myself & Black Betty all floated around until it was time to gather the crew & do the leisurely walk into town & the magnificent dinner at the Bright pub.

    Again, a good thunderstorm put on a show for us as we walked to Bright, no rain, just lots of noise & impressive clouds.
  7. Day 6 – homeward bound.
    Again an early start to try to get as much km done in relative cool as possible. The plan was to fuel up at Mansfield & then head to Marysville for lunch at Fragas café & then the home run to Lilydale. With forecasts for 38 in Melbourne we knew it was going to be another hot run.
    Whitfield to Mansfield was a total hoot again & we again diverted at Alexandra to head down to Taggerty via Thornton. Lunch at Marysville was leisurely & filled with that vague feeling of regret as we all knew that in approx 45 min, it would all be over, back to civilisation again & responsibilities……bummer.
    Everyone got a good run through the Spur, waved hello to Lil who looked like she was having fun & Realm who looked like she was waiting for people to join her in some fun.
    Man, the heat as you dropped out of the Spur & into Healsville was like hitting a wall.

    And that was it, we dropped CeJay & Liz back home & then headed back to Ringwood East ourselves. I think Liz truly enjoyed herself & for someone who was a pretty raw pillion & had never been on an extended motorcycle holiday before (or pillioned with Scumbag) she did an awesome job. She did such a great job I think we need to seriously look at fitting her up with a camera for the next trip.

    Tassie 2009, Liz !! start planning.
  8. Sounds like a good ol flog of the steed :grin:

    Glad the weather was good for you, as it was for me last easter :)

    This didn't slip my attention... And what would this one be? :p
  9. It might be a 2005 Monster S2R 800 Dark with 4500km on the clock :wink:
  10. Excellent report. Must have been a bugger in the heat but sounds like fun.

    Look forward to pictures of the Monster!

  11. So glad you guys made it all back safe n sound, and had a hoot to boot as well. :woot: Thanks for the trip report :) :cool: I did send a thought your way on NYE... when Jessies girl was sung for the 1millionth time... what a way for you guys to see in the year. Very very niiiicceee.

    So, any route maps to salivate over??

    Now, Mrs Scumbag, did I read right, you purchased another bike...???! Are you in possession of it already??? Do tell!!

    :grin: Can I come?? Hey, we should get together for the one year Tasfest anniversary... what do you think?
  12. Great excuse for a east/west catchup :grin:

    Have got my pics sorted re: twin peaks - just need to throw together a few well-chosen words :)
  13. Dont think I havent already thunk about a reunion/early plan session for Tasfest 2009. Keep an eye out for invites :grin:

    and yes, its true ! new bike :dance:

    cant pick it up until the weekend of the 19th of Jan (secret swiss bank accounts are taking their time releasing our hard earned cash). :roll:
  14. :eek:hno: :tantrum: :woot:

    can we, like, swap? :grin: :grin: :grin:
  15. Here's a link to the pics I took :)

    BB's pics
  16. And mine too
  17. Nice pics. Some excellent shots BB!
  18. Geeze, nearly a metre of water in the tank :p

    800mL perhaps :wink:

    Looks like you guys had fun and, although hot, the weather gods smiled upon you. :grin:
  19. Ok some trip notes from me.
    Hot very hot, all the days we travelled, even the cloudy morning leaving Thredbo became hot.
    The Thunderstorms in the evening were really cool and enjoyed immensely by me.
    Bike ran exceptionally well two up with luggage.
    Liz is a pillion GODDESS.
    I need a new rear tyre after 6500 km of two trips to the mountains and some stuff in between. I put new ones on in the first week of November.
    Way too much fun. thank goodness I had great people to share it with.
    Scumbag Out
  20. I bet youse b@st@rds missed a certain two alcoholics terribly...