I’ve been waiting a while for this run, work had been nuts and there was that unfortunate business with the NSW constabulary which meant I’d been walking for 6 months. Not to worry, back on a bike and wanting to build ride fitness for a bigger ride I have planned for later in the year. The usual suspects, Glen and Ed were not available so I had to do my own ride log, plan and mapping. The nerve of some people!
The plan was a balance, just enough range crossings to make the ride interesting but not tax poor ride fitness and a still injured wrist too much. Either road to Bathurst is good fun from Canberra, taking in the Crookwell and Sofala public racetracks before running out through Mudgee to join the Newell and my rest stop in Boggabilla. At this point the overall average was 93 and the moving 96 for the first 900k. Not bad and I earned an extra hours kip.
The following morning the plan was an easy run to dawn and Tenterfield, then the mighty Bruxner twisties to Casino, up to Woodenbong and some of the tightest and most technical roads in Oz beyond that to rejoin the New England highway and on to Dalby. You know what they say about plans right? Well Skippy, Daisy and Babe were all out and about on the road to Tenterfield, making one think of the children and keeping speeds as low as 60km/h until sunrise. No worries got a bit of fat in the plan.
glorious sunlit memorial avenue in Tenterfield then push teh kiddies far from one’s mind on the Bruxner. Except that all that not riding has put a dent in my confidence, especially in the front wheel. I’d say I was riding like an old lady, but I know plenty of old ladies that can ride. If they’d been behind me they’d have been thinking “why is he braking there?” And “is that old codger going to get out of the way and let me through?” So I was riding like an old man from the Ullyses club that hasn’t been out for a while, looking to have those speed limits on the Bruxner reduced coz if I’m scared and can’t ride them fast, neither should anyone else.
we wobbled our way to Woodenbong, cursing the yoof of today and those maniac hooligans coming the other way, composing stern letters to my local member of parliament as I went. The tight stuff was actually still enjoyable, the scenery breathtaking, making me forget how poorly I was riding and actually flow a bit better. Isn’t that the way?
Which brings us to Toowoomba, Australia’s Bible Belt and home to some of the most homicidal Landcruiser drivers in Australia. I’m a praying man but I don’t think so many prayers for safety have been offered since the last time I was in Mumbai. At least the cows are sacred there, in Toowoomba the only sacred things on the road are those larger than you, which on a bike means just about everything. Granny drives a Kluger and you are just a speed bump on the way to the bowls club. No shortage of churches to hold my memorial service in should I become roadkill, so winning there.
out onto the Black soil plains of Dalby which while flat, will just about grow anything. Fitting place for an IBA Muster, our little group is growing nicely, about 50 or so there and lots of catchups with old mates. Big thanks to TJ, the helpers,the Mccruise guy and Wombattle for his presentation on fatigue. Speaking of, by about 9 I was shot, planned to go to bed, but just stopped in for a chinwag with ‘Drain and Col……great day, thanks to all who attended, sleep.
Sunday and one of the best parts of waking up in a caravan park 1600k from home with a bunch of distance riding crazies? Tire kicking! Shooting the breeze, swapping ride stories, lazy drinking for effect coffees and fond farewells. Tops. Phil, Gatey, another charming gentleman and I shared a late breakfast in town and plotted some ‘mental health’ rides for later in the year. A lot of us have known the bite of the black Dawg, so come along to one, even as a preventative.
Phil on the Dalby plains.
through the horrors of Toowoomba again and off to Drain’s place to meet Smugly, ogle the money waste…..er bevel drive Ducatis and Hoover some excellent Anzac bikkies. Col has a pretty neat yellow 600 monster for sale. You buy? Thanks Drains!
Smugly the Harley. Cunningly disguised as a trail bike, still slow and expensive.
which left us right on the doorstep of the Mt Lindsay Highway, so why wouldn’t you? Still not trusting the front wheel as I should, but riding well enough to enjoy myself, smooth and fast enough to keep Phil entertained. Good enough to have one of those good ride buzz sessions at Casino. Man I miss those! Thanks Phil.
Post buzz rollin’
Onto Grafton, where the old codgers caught the courtesy bus to the RSL to get a feed. Great day.
Codgers at the RSL.
Monday morning and up early to watch the dodgem car MotoGP and cheer Jack on. He was ripped off I tells ya! At one stage watching Marky catch Valarie I casually remarked “give Valarie a tap for me on the way through Marky” Opps! Much laughter ensued.
which is not a bad prelude to hitting the mighty nymbodia – Armidale Road. A little early morning mist, then into the tighter sections where things were finally starting to click for me, another awesome bit of road.
Nymbodia. How’s the serenity?
Phil had remarked on the Muppetry in Grafton, but on the New England to Tamworth we were treated to a couple more episodes of the Muppet show before mercifully leaving them to it and setting sail for Wellington.
Black stump with obligatory grey nomads
It was starting to warm up and the breaks were starting to come every hour or so, just reflecting on how good it was to be on the road and replay the better moments of the weekend with a mate.
35 in April is a bit rude!
I love riding the Escort Way between Wellington and Cowra. You spend a goodly amount of time on the spine of the range just watching the ridge lines roll away to the horizon. You get a sense of eternity riding those roads and it’s a good time to do a bit of reflecting.
We swapped bikes for a bit, Phil enjoying the cruise control on the Kato, while I got to ride a Sports tourer for the first time in ages. Honda make the Viffer Eight hunge so refIned and which such broad appeal, the KTM is for wide eyed crazy adventurers , what a contrast! We gave Wombattles suggestion of Chocolate milk for rehydration a run too, and the man is on the money, thanks!
Happy Russell and Phil are happy. He was quite taken with the cruise control
Fond farewells in Cowra and I raced the setting Sun to Boorawa, and lost.
Sunrise in the mists of Nymbodia, sunset on the rolling hills of Boorawa after a great day on the road with a mate. Distance riding, on my own, or with one or two others, parked with mates. Might just about keep me sane. See you next time folks.