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Vee have vays of enjoying a ride

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Well, as flagged in another thread, after a very successful two-day ride to Newcastle and back to test the limits of my brother's health and rehab from his major accident four years ago, I decided we'd do a big ride. Not Far-Riders-type big, as in distance or time, but big for him. So the plan was Melbourne and back, probably over five or six days.
    The plan was to travel down to Melbourne via the Princes Highway, and in order to make the trip as easy as possible given Phil's physical limitations, to break both the down trip and the return into two days each. So day one was to be from home to Cann River, day two to Melbourne, day three shopping and socialising in Melbourne, day four Melbourne to Jindabyne, and day five to home via Bega and the Princes Highway.
    Monday morning was the plan; after the expiry of the NSW Double Demerits period, and after most school-holiday trekkers had already trekked. And, because you can never sleep the night of a big ride, we decided we'd head of at about 5:30 am.
    Needles we were both awake at 4:30, and dismayed by the sound of rain. Since we had no strict timetable, we decided to wait.
    So, by 9:00 the rain has stopped and he arrives. Needless to say (and just as well, as it turned out) I needed to fuel up. Across the road to the servo, and Phil's gesticulating madly as I fill up; his left rear indicator is flashing wildly, usually an indication of a crook bulb. We buy a new bulb, still not fixed, I peeled back the rubber gaiter covering the wiring at the globe connection and the main wire broke off!
    Anyway, my mechanic is just around the corner, and he's just re-opened after his Christmas break, so one new spade connector and 20 minutes later we were finally on the road.
    Anyone riding through Batemans Bay will know the Batemans Bay Cake shop. The cakes are ok, the coffee is ok, but its big plus is that right out the front there are three motorcycle parking bays, so you can coffee and cake with your bike in full view! Other councils should take note. And, the parking bays are under a huge tree, so your seat doesn't get hot either.
    On the subject of seats, because Phil's right leg is both pinned and plated, and because his bike's seat is pretty-much sacked, I loaned him my small sheep-skin seat overlay. It made a big difference, but he does need to get his seat re-upholstered.
    I had actually ordered a pair of these ;http://motoskiveez.com/shop-page/sport-skiveez/ for myself, and for him as a Christmas present; needless to say they arrived in the letter box at home while we were having our coffee! If you could get your timing right in life, things would be much easier :LOL:
    The Princes Highway has ceased to be an enjoyable riding road over the years as the corners, as at the Conjola turnoff, and through Tilba, have been replaced with nanny-compliant straight bits, so, even though it meant making the ride longer, we got off it and did a detour through Bermagui and Tathra. Those of you who know this road will know what a breath of fresh air it as after miles of totally unnecessary double-unbroken lines on the Highway. As well, by now we had outrun the rain and the skies were mid-summer blue.
    Just out of Tathra we stopped again at a picnic area, and in the absence of anyone using it, rode right into the shelter-shed over the barbeques and rested and rehydrated.
    On the road again, it was getting time to eat, and I had a plan. We did the short hop over to Merimbula, and then, as I have always done since my first stop there, rode up onto the boardwalk of the Boardwalk café, right on the waterfront, and demolished a serving of their $10 pancakes with maple syrup and cream!
    20150105_152552. Many years ago the lady who owned this café always made riders welcome, as she herself was a rider. Sadly a few years back she went into hospital for some routine surgery, complications set in and she passed away, far too young, and her friendliness is much missed. The current young team made us very welcome too; nothing was said about our slightly illegal parking and two other families who stopped in after us were interested to hear of our ride and its plans.
    Crossing the border into Victoria I was again amused but disgusted with the State of Signs it has become: in the first 1 kilometre I counted nine separate and unrelated pieces of nanny-state nagware, the sole purpose of which, I suspect, is to get you watching them so you're not watching your speedo.
    A last road-side stop as we were being bored to death by the road, 20150105_165341.
    .. before we rolled into Cann River and booked into our motel. Some charming English folk were sitting outside their room next door, smoking and chatting. I didn't think too much about them, we showered and had a cuppa a lay down for a rest. Several hours later, with them still smoking and chatting and all but the take-away at the garage over the road closed, we woke up! A passable but utterly unmemorable hamburger later, we retired for the night. Even with earplugs in these Cockneys woke me up at 11:00, but they were at least apologetic, and moved their conversation indoors when I stuck my head around the corner and made it very clear that 'Some people are trying to sleep here, folks'.
    With regular stops Phil's leg held up well and emboldened us to believe that the trip was do-able and should be fun.

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  2. I have to wonder how much all the signage costs us taxpayers!!! Great read. So you didn't get to have a bacon and egg roll at Cann River? You missed out big time :)
  3. hornethornet so glad you and your bro are having a fab time of it and having a feed or three along the way(sounds like your bro would like my cake as well;))
    I love that Bermagui Tathra route as well...should have had a dip for me in the Blue Pool there...
    Cann River hope you put your Cold Chisel on :D
    Look forward to the next leg!
  4. The lamb shanks at the Cann River hotel were to die for a some years ago. I haven't been back for about ten years, don't know whether that still applies.
  5. With two sleeps under our belts we woke early-ish, and, fuelled up under grey skies we lit out of Cann River at 7:00am, aiming for Lakes Entrance for breakfast. Features notable by their absence on this trip were animals and Police; we saw only one live kangaroo on this leg, and only one Police car on the whole trip, booking some poor P Plater in Worri Yallock! Obviously the locals know this too; while obeying the speed limits were passed by dozens of cars and trucks who weren't!
    Parts of this leg are wonderful, around Orbost, but it soon flattens out to road that is as dull and boring as the Hume, which you try to avoid by going this way! By the time we got to Lake's Entrance we were glad to park up on the waterfront and enjoy breakfast of muesli and yoghurt, and great tea
    Some of you will remember Brian, who lived in Traralgon, I used to stay overnight at his place on my trips south, but when we called in we found the house owned by new occupants, and learned that he and his lovely wife had sold up and moved to Lake's Entrance!!! I wasn't going to go back to see him, so we pushed on..
    There's nothing to report about the road between there and Warragul, except that there's nothing to report about it; long boring straights that cry out for a cruise control, and crazy, almost incomprehensible intersections in the towns. We stopped again at the café next to the theatre complex in Warragul, for coffee and some ridiculously expensive fruit toast: I'm sure I've never paid $12:80 for a standard coffee and toast of any sort in the city, let alone in a country town. Anyway, we needed fortifying, because the plan was to get off the boring stuff right there, and head through to where I lived in the '80s, Yarra Junction. If you haven't done this route, it's C425/C426 in the map, and it's as exhilarating as the highway is boring! The advisory speed signs (as in the rest of Victoria, or at least where we rode) are idiotically inaccurate, but the road, narrow, tight, reasonably well-surfaced and lightly-trafficked, was a delight. Each time we stopped on the trip my first question to Phil was always "How's your leg?" When we stopped at Warragul the answer was, "OK"; when we finally stopped for coffee at Yarra Junction the answer was "What leg?"
    20150106_134632. (The guy in the Mitsubishi parked next to us was obviously a rep of some sort; he sat in the car with the engine running and the air-conditioning on for the whole 45 minutes we were sitting on the upstairs verandah of the café! I bet he wouldn't have done that if it had been his car!)
    The rest was easy; I had booked in for two nights at an Australian Home Away at Brushy Creek. $176 for two nights in what is really a single-bedroom house.
    We parked outside initially, but on inspection of the property we discovered a concrete-floored shed at the end of the driveway, and Brett, our charming host, was quite happy for us to park there. These people have chooks and a home veggie garden; we had fresh (that morning) eggs for breakfast on Wednesday morning, and home-made plum jam from their trees on our toast. All at no cost extra. I'd recommend this place to anyone for top-quality accommodation at a ridiculously low price.
    20150106_153513. 20150106_153541.
    So we watched the Test Cricket till stumps, devoured a superb burger at Rocco's (up on the corner of the highway and Exeter Road) 20150106_183826. and called in to see some old friends from the '80's, up the Valley. They live just behind there, and they invited us to have dinner with them on Wednesday night!
    Wednesday was the only disappointing day of the ride. The temperature was hot, from very early, and while there used to be about 5 bike shops along the frontage of the highway in Ringwood, now there's only A1 Motorcycles. The boss there was very hospitable, even though it was obvious we probably wasn't going to buy anything; he even offered us a test-ride on the new 2014 VFR-800! We thanked him, he gave us a bottle of cold water from his fridge and wished us well.
    So we headed into the shopping centre, found the bike parking area, wrestled our way out of jackets, back protectors, gloves and stuff, and prepared to do some shopping, only to find out that there is no provision for you to 'cloak' any sort of gear in the whole centre; no lockers, and no preparedness by the centre management to mind your stuff. I can understand why, but I still think that stinks. (When we got home, Mrs Hornet said "Why didn't you just go to the supermarket, get a trolley, stick your gear in that, and push it around while you were there?" Women; why are they so logical?)
    So we had a cup of coffee, in disgust, and went home to the flat, turned on the air and watched the cricket until it was time to go out for tea.
    My friend are wonderful people, and she's a super cook, so after a meal fit for a king we chatted for a few more hours and rode back to our flat. It was there that the only casualty of the trip occurred; while muscling the bike backwards into the shed (so it would be easy to ride out in the darkness of the next morning (no, you twits, I'd already paid!!) I managed to snap one of the mirrors off my bike! Rats, but it could always have been worse.
    The weather forecast for the next day, as Titus had flagged even before we left, was not promising; rain over Melbourne. Our look at the BOM radar seemed to show that it was heading south-east while we were going to be going north-east, but rain on the roof at 4:00am, and the prospect of riding up through Yarra Glenn in the dark, dodging possible wildlife AND rain was not appealing. But were both wide awake so we headed over to Lilydale, fuelled up, and headed north at 4:30am. And, to our great delight, we didn't see any animals of any sort, and by the time we got to Yarra Glenn we had out-run the rain as well.
    Another rest stop on the side of the road at Yea, and then into the brightening gleam of another perfect riding day, exhausts booming in the silence of the dawn, and off every cutting as we howled through.
    The plan was for this to be the longest leg, Jindabyne via the Alpine Highway, but as always, open to change depending on Phil's health and fitness. .
    Benalla to Wodonga is 112kms of pure misery, even with a road-side stop, and a coffee at Glenrowan.
    Phillip wasn't happy with how he rode the Alpine Highway, and a stop for water in the middle had him complaining for the first time about pain in his leg, but there was nowhere to stay long-term, so we walked around for a while and then mounted up again. Both of us were glad when the houses of Jindabyne appeared; I was still feeling ok, but when you're 'riding' for the other person as well, it adds to the level of stress, and the draining of your energy.
    This stop we hadn't planned accommodation, and, wouldn't you know it, as well as the usual tourist influx, there was both a speedboat carnival going on, and a mountain-bike event. Things were not looking good, but Kay, at the Tourist Information Centre rang around and got us a room at the Troldhaugen Lodge, $70 including continental breakfast!!! Caleb, our host, was wonderful; a whole story all of its own.
    The plan for day five was to go to Bega, just 176kms away, and then decide how far up the coast we would travel, depending on Phil's feelings. We had two choices of road there; up to Cooma via the ghastly-boring highway, or round to the south through Dalgety to pick up the road to Bega near the top of Brown Mountain. No contest; we had enough fuel for the trip to Bega, so we took off early. Again, it had rained in Jindabyne at night, but despite the roads being damp, there was no hint of rain in the air, and we enjoyed another lovely mountain "B" road.
    Before we hit Brown Mountain we stopped for one last nosh-up, at the famous Bemboka Cake Shop, (I can't post any more than 8 pictures, but you get the drift), fuel at Bega, and brother said, hang it, let's go home. We stopped for coffee and cake again at Bateman's Bay, coffee at the Coffee Garage at Wandandian, and ten minutes after we got home, it poured with rain.
    The most interesting observation of the trip is that despite the bikes being ostensibly identical, mine consistently used two litres of fuel more per tankful than did Phil's. Either he's running very lean, or I'm running too rich.
    Either way it was a great week on the road, and we'll certainly do it again, although we have both vowed never to go to Melbourne via the Princes Highway ever again......
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  6. We usualy have to do 100ks or so on it for the anual snowy run we do,yep its as bad as the Hume.
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  7. Thanks for that, hornet..... a great read, and inspiring......

    I haven't been for a decent ride for ages, and a wee wander down to Lakes Entrance sounds like just the ticket.

    Must apply to the Boss for a passout for a couple of nights. :)
  8. Looks great hornethornet , a fantastic experience to spend with your brother.
  9. Paul,

    Good read and great ride. Glad to hear your brother was able to do the full trip
  10. I'm just having dinner with him now: I asked him how he's pulled up after the trip and he said "Tired but not sore". I'm guessing that means we might do it again! !
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  11. Epic read Hornet.. That's how you ride, on an adventure!

    One day i shall do the same, wouldn't mind some group Tassie ride / tour or something along those lines...
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  12. Paul,

    You'll have to come along to our next VFR ride and bring Phil with you