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Thread: Three days in Feb Downunder

  1. #1
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Three days in Feb Downunder

    December through to March is summer in Australia. My work colleague Marty and I have had to work most of the summer this year – usually we take holidays and have some family time, then take a week extra after school returns to go motorcycle touring.

    This year we only had three days free. We hatched a plan to fit as many twisty roads in as we could in that time.



    Thursday 15 Feb I got up early and met Marty at the petrol station, we were ready to roll at 6.15am so as to miss the bumper to bumper commuter traffic entering Melbourne via the Westgate bridge.




    We stayed on the freeway all the way to Bairnsdale which is pretty boring trip of 360 kilometres. Stopped there and a bite to eat and a drink as the day was starting to get warm, approx 32 Celcius. We headed off the freeway to Orbost, via Bruthen. The road was terrific with open sweepers through the bush and virtually no traffic. Saw an Emu though! We stopped briefly at Orbost, a logging town at the gateway to what is referred to in Oz as “the High Country” for fuel and another drink. The temp had climbed into the high 30’s C and we were feeling it in full leathers with Dainese back protector underneath and full face helmets. Marty asked a local about the road to Bonang and I heard her reply that she hoped we had taken travel sickness pills because of all the ‘terrible” bends in the road awaiting us – perfect, just what we had come for.




    We headed out the Bonang Road which is legendary amongst motorcyclists for its 1038 bends in 90 kms.



    This is an awesome piece of road, climbing upwards mainly through the bush. Towards the end there were two gravel sections about 11 kms apart. The asphalt section between them was just amazing piece of high quite technical motorcycling road with decreasing radius corners, however, many of the corners were slightly banked and it was just brilliant. This is without doubt the very best road I have ever ridden.
    Last edited by Tarsnakes; 06-05-2008 at 05:09 AM.
    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

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  2. #2
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    Marty - stopped for a breather.





    Once up near the NSW border the trees disappeared and the storm clouds rolled in, now it was also really hot. We stopped at this replica of an early settlers hut.



    We pulled in the tiny town of Delegate (pop 450) and checked into the pub. It wasn’t very good. But by the time we showered and then had a few drinks and a good meal, things seemed pretty good actually. There was quite a bit of thunder and lightning during the night.



    We woke up to a beautiful morning, all blue sky and not a cloud in sight.

    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

  3. #3
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    The morning ride to Bombala, down the Monaro Hwy into Vic to Cann River was near perfect. We fueled the bikes at Cann river and then headed along the Princes Hwy back to Bruthen. Saw a heap of motorcycles heading the other way at warp speed on the big open sweepers. (“Frontline Tourers” a guy told me, which is the Police, Fireman and Paramedics MC club. We turned off onto the Great Alpine Road which runs along the Tambo River for a while then climbs up to the winter snow resorts of Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham and then descends rapidly down to the towards Harrietville and Bright. We have had a major drought in southern Australia and the Tambo was dried up to being a series of stagnant water holes in places. Last year we saw guys trout fishing in rapidly flowing water in this spot!



    We stopped at Mt Hotham for some pics, and once again the storm clouds began to move in rapidly. Man it was hot! We stepped up the pace quite a bit to try to get down the really steep, downhill twisties in the dry. Unfortunately we were too late and rode down in quite challenging wet conditions. It was too steep to stop and put wet weather gear on. As we approached Bright we could see lightning flashing every where ahead of us as we stopped to review our plan to ride some more twisties late in the day.
    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

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  4. #4
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    Views from Mt Hotham





    We decided to head straight to Beechworth and I suited up with wet gear over the damp leathers. As fate would have it, the rain stopped and I basted in my gear, the sweat not able to evaporate. I later learned that it was 39Celcius in Beechworth. We had pre-booked at a beautiful old pub that had been recently refurbished. There was a group of bikes, including some Blackbirds, a Fireblade and a K1200 BMW already out the back. They were on their way to Melbourne to catch the ferry to tour Tasmania the next day.



    We had a great meal, some nice red wine then spent the evening on the upstairs balcony talking to some other travellers and watching the spectacular fork lightning.
    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

  5. #5
    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    The next day was Saturday and again we awoke to quite a hot morning and a clear blue sky. We planned to head back to Geelong by keeping off the freeways and via another set of twisties.



    Unfortunately this area had really felt the full force of mother nature in the form of massive bushfires. What had been a beautiful mountain ride to Mansfield was a really forlorn sight now. We saw some homes burnt to the ground, and some burned tractors and farm machinery along the way. Amazingly some home had been saved and some places had “Thankyou fire-fighters” signs up. This place was one of the lucky ones.


    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

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    Gone away Tarsnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder



    We cruised through Mansfield then down to Yea and stopped for fuel of the bikes and us. There were lots of motorcycles out and about on such a glorious day, if you like hot weather that is.

    We got home about 4.30pm as once again storm clouds and high humidity prevailed, had a leisurely debrief chat, then home to our respective families. We only did a little over 1,600 klms (1,000 miles approx) in the 3 three days, but rode great roads, had no mishaps and had a bloody great “defrag” from work!

    Two more pics - typical afternoons, hot and humid.



    No GPS for us - though I'm not great with maps anyway!

    "Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary."

    http://tarsnakes.com.au

  7. #7
    Go ahead and pass me... Backmarker's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    YEA!! The Aussies are back!! Love to see the posts from Down Under. Sad to see the devastation from the fires though. Looks very much like SoCal when it gets hit by them. As well as here in AZ. I hope you guys can get some good storms come winter to fill those watering holes back up so folks can get fishing again and the plant life can get back to business of growing. It's such a beautiful place, hate to see it so brown and nasty.

    But despite the weather and temps not being completely cooperative it looks like y'all had a great ride on some wonderful roads. Thanks for posting. Trust me, you have been missed.

    Now Klavdy and Gazza, where are you?!
    Some people just don't know how to drive... I call these people "Everybody But Me."

  8. #8
    10% Angel 90% Hooligan demenshea's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    Great to read you Jules! As Renee said, you have been missed. Glad to see you guys out riding and sharing your fun ride tales and wonderful photos.

    I look forward to seeing some warmer temperatures, however know that sans the rainstorms, we will be in for some heat here in Nevada very soon. But for now we are sporting snow, ice and darn chilly temps! Our gerbing days are still with us!

    Thanks again for the report and pix...we are ready for more so we can ride vicariously with you.

    cheers,
    donna
    “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment." Papa-Ken



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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mike Benzon's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    Beautiful countryside, I can tell you must have been having way too much fun in the twisties because you didn't take any pictures in them.
    Mike Benzon
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  10. #10
    Super Member MegabyteBigE's Avatar
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    Re: Three days in Feb Downunder

    Those are some very nice pictures I wish it was summer hear.
    Cheaters never prosper...they get public office!

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