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STOOKIE
25-10-2006, 03:16 PM
So it was 5am on Saturday morning and Im up before the alarm has gone off.Im very excited. We had packed the bikes up the night before and made sure we had everything set to go.
It wasn't a very nice day outside, the forecast had said light showers clearing in the morning, but it didn't clear all day. We left and headed down the South Gippsland highway and headed for Korumburra. We got as far as Cranbourne and Lil noticed a massive downpour about to happen so we pulled in at a servo just in time. The heavens opened and down it came. We had a crap servo coffee and waited for 20 min. The rain eased off so we got back on the road and again attempted to head for Korumburra. We turned off just after Lang-Lang and had a clear run through to Korumburra until roadworks and a large truck got in the way.
The roadworks had left a lot of shit all over the road and the truck in front was killing visibility bacause of all the silt and crap it was chucking up at us, we couldn't see a clear road ahead due to the truck so tryed to stay far enough back to see in front.
I was hanging back as I was getting used to the crap conditions and the extra weight on the bike. We came to an overtaking lane and hammered past the truck hoping it was not a short overtaking lane and we got through. we stopped in Korumburra for a macca's break and the weather was looking promising.

Off we set again now heading for Bairnsdale, this road was bloody boring. I was thankful for that all the same as twisty bits and sweepers where not what I was after due to the wet and the cold. Another quick stop in Yarram for fuel and a bottle of RAINEX.
That stuff is amazing....no more shit covered visors. We just got back on the bike and the rain started again, bugger it and off we went. We eventually get to Bairnsdale and have another Macca's break and lunch.
Now the next leg of the trip is Bruthen to Omeo, I was especially looking forward to this part as I had done it the previous year on my 250cc cruiser. That cruiser had such a flogging on that road i buggered the rear drum brake. This time I was on My VFR and I was ready for a better run. We stopped in Bruthen to see if the rain was going to stop but NO.....Fuckety fuck fuck-it.
we headed of at a very sedate pace, the road was very mysterious, the asphalt kept changing colour from dark to very light sandy shades. this was really throwing me as I was seeing as nice and dry and the rain had stopped. Excellent i though. So off I go and start to get a better pace going. BAD IDEA....slid my arse end round a left hander and the weight in the bike really made the bike slide out further. Pulled it back and then slowed right down......the road was wet and it was tricking me every change of colour.
We get into Omeo safe and I was pissed off, i loved that road but it just wasn't meant to be today. Another time.
We fill up again in Omeo. The VFR is getting about 300k per tank but the Duke on manages 200k so I fill up too.
Then, a big red flashing sign is warning ICE and SNOW on Hotham. We asked the lady in the servo whats going on here.
She tells us they had a very bad frost and snow last night and the top of the hill has a covering of snow. She warns us to be careful of the corners as they WILL have black ice on them. We grab a nice hot coffee and discuss what to do. Lil reckons we will be ok if we take it slow. Me Im not sure im up for that. Ive slid down the road at a slow pace and have 9 pins and a plate holding my shoulder together to remind me. "Im not doing it "I say. And as if by some guidance from the motorcycle gods a trailer with 2 bikes rolls past all smashed up.......a red VFR the same as mine. Well thats an Omen if ever i saw it.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/omeo.jpg
So we head over to the only caravan park and get a cabin as its going to be a bloody cold night.
the cabin was great and pretty cheap too. Great base for a few trips in the future.

Sunday shaped up to be a perfect day and we headed out for Bright at 8am. Hotham was perfect.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/hotham-1.jpg
No ice and a very quiet run up the mountain. Going down was pretty slow as its a steep decent and Lil was having a bit of bother with new braked and all the weight so i just followed slowly and made sure we got down safe. we got into brigh and had some tea and then decided we will get going and head for Tumbarumba.
We headed over Tawonga gap where I was off like a rocket, I love that bit of road and it didn't take long to shred away the chicken strips. we got to sullivans lookout where we sat and I proposed marriage to my Lil and she accepted promptly. More about the wedding later.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Sullivan.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Tawonga.jpg
Thenwe headed to redbank road which to be honest is boring. I suppose its off the main Highway and less likely to see the "old Bill" but boring none the less. Then it was over to Talangatta for a fuel stop and off round the Murray valley highway. We turned left after Bullioh up to Granya and that is an awesome road, I loved it so much i wanted to go back and do it again. We saw a lonely BMW rider parked up so we stopped to check he was ok and he waved us on......10 min later he was on our tail and we had some company to Walwa. We stopped and had a chat and he said he could catch my tail light through granya and i must be a local, sorry mate but Im as local as nessie. We chatted for a while and he told us the road from Jingellic to Muderoo was all sealed now an worth a visit next time. We had looked at that road before but noticed it was not sealed so gave it a miss. but the local knowlege assures its a great one so we will bear that in mind for next time.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Walwa.jpg

We head off for Towong and then left up to Tumbarumba, the road surface was very dodgy but it was the home straight so we kept at it. Its a very isolated road and the landscape was parched, in desperate need of some rain which wasn't coming.
Into Tumbarumba and it a bit bigger then expected. We stay at the Tumbarumba campsite right next to the creek.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Tumba.jpg

Lil parks up the Duke which takes 10 min to fall over , told her not to use tree bark for a base but nobody listens. Thats where the hatchet came in handy to give a better base for the stand. We wnt to the local cinema cafe and had great pizza and watched a movie and had the place all to ourselves.

Next morning we are up at 6am and off we head for the Kosciuszko national park and the Snowy mountain. Loads of fallen rocks and very tight narrow roads. At the top of the hill before the water dam we stop for a photo stop as the river looks green the as if out of nowhere a cement lorry and a car pulling a boat come to head right where we parked the bikes. the cement lorry stops with an almighty slide as Lil hails him to stop as a cars coming with a boat. Im waving furiously at the car as somebody was bound to take both bikes out. It passed without incident but it just goes to show you can get traffic where its not meant to be and thats all we saw on that road all day.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/kozzicorner.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Kozzi-1.jpg
We stopped at the damn and had a rest and a few more pictures. Then off up the Snowy mountains and the most amazing landscape I've seen in a long time. Green grass to burnt trees and a rugged land stretched out as far as you can focus.

We looked down to see an outrageous twisty road and wondered where it was and how do we get there, fortunately it was part of the road we where on but it looked so far away. We stopped at the Water dam and had another break. That road really took alot out of you. So much concentration was needed to focus on what lay ahead and not on the surrounding beauty.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Snowymountains.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a61/STOOKIE/Atthetop.jpg
We near the bottom and almost back to civilization and almost get wiped out by a 4x4 on a right hander. Lil almost gave birth and i looked on as he almost rolled bloody thing on top of us. i think he got as much of a fright as we did.
We reach Khancoban and decide we will head back to Bright. To many close calls and we are not covered by TAC in NSW. to many close calls and safety is the key as Im looking forward to getting married in January.
We do the other side of the Murray valley and back through redbank road and Back up Tawonga gap to Bright.
We set up camp and we are getting rather good at it and we both do our thing and are setup in no time.
We go to the Chinese restaurant for dinner. One bit of advice, don't eat there its really bad, well by my standards its pretty poor.
We go back to our camp and play Black Jack over a few glasses of red and a wine glass taken from the Chinese to substitute poor food. Hey, im scottish, if its not nailed down I'll only nick it !

Up again at 6am and we head into Bright for some brekkie. We head of Home via Whitfield, mansfield and into Alexandra just so we can fly through the Spur.
On the way through from Whitfield to Mansfield once corner had gravel and pebbles all through it and we noticed mid corner doing about 120k/ph. Lil almost lost the back end, well she did but recovered it just in time. What a woman ! I was sliding to but more worried about lil a Ive been there before and went home in an Ambulance. Made it through and i think i swallowed my asshole.
Back throught the Spur and Home safe and sound.........Phew !

As for the Camping thing we both had an absolute Ball of a time. We got on very well and worked in perfect harmony together. No arguments or debates and we didn't get lost really. Missed a few turns but knew straight away.
I loved the tent thing although a bigger tent would be great. One thing I must admit which we couldnt have done without.....the cigarette socket Nev advised me on......what a treat to charge the phone and ipod and Blow up the mattress.

And thats the Camping in October story, with a very happy ending.
lil and i are to be married on the 26th january (australia day) We are now planning for that and the honeymoon..........MMmmmmm Tawonga gap and the Murray valley I think......

Thanks for all the advice, we could'nt have been better organised without you help.

Stookie and Lil

Hytram
25-10-2006, 03:43 PM
Congratulations you guys, you got through your first tour together without killing each other.... oh congratulations on the engagement too :)

Granya Gap is one of my favs, but hey, all that area is one of my Favs

just one point, you are covered Australia wide with TAC is you are riding/pillioning a Victoria Reg vehicle, it doesn't even matter if it isn't yours...

and get this, you are covered by the TAC in Victoria on any states rego, no wonder we pay so much :(

top report, welcome to the reason we set this place up

mh

jo
25-10-2006, 04:06 PM
Stookie - great job on the report and engagement!!! Congratulation to you and 'Lil.


Jo.

glitch
25-10-2006, 04:16 PM
GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D
Just GREAT!!!! :D
And on Sullivans at that...what a place to pick for the proposal, congrats !!
Still can't believe she said YES though.... :P :P :P

And what a ride report :clap: :clap:
Sounds like you've had a good ride and seen some pretty special countryside.
:chug: :chug:

loz
25-10-2006, 04:31 PM
Well done stookie, ya got a keeper there!

lady-rider
25-10-2006, 04:49 PM
:chug: Fantastic :chug:
Congratulations to you Both
:wave:


I lived in Mt Beauty for a while
great countryside

Leon
25-10-2006, 06:58 PM
Great reoprt and great work!

Bike camping people are my kind of people! :D

Leon

gromit
25-10-2006, 07:59 PM
Congratulations, guys!!!!

:chug: :chug: :chug:

vbstubby
25-10-2006, 09:35 PM
A bike, tent and sleeping bag , you don't need much more to have some great memories.

Great report, fantastic pictures and congratulations on the upcoming wedding :chug:

lil
26-10-2006, 12:56 AM
WOW!! I just read that for the first time....the crazy Scot is full of suprises. That was a really good read and made me laugh!

What a fantastic weekend. I should have researched the TAC thing better. I didn't think of it until we were on the road to Khancoban where the 4WD nearly took us both out. I guess its better to be safe than sorry, though.

We took our HEMA Motorcycle Atlas with us and I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the recommended rides from the book and my opinion on each.

57 - South Gippsland Hwy from the Bass Hwy to Sale 210kms

Boring...wouldn't bother with the extra kays as I don't think its much more exciting than doing the Princes Hwy.

47 - Great Alpine Road from Bruthen to Bright 206km

Fantastic!! This is what riding is all about, mid twisties from Bruthen to around Ensay (log trucks are your enemies here), fast sweepers from there to the top of Hotham (watch for stock on the roads) and then incredibly tight and very downhill turns to Harrietville (again, watch for trucks, caravans and 4WDs that often seem to be on your side of the road). I always breathe a big sigh of relief when I've finished that part :oops:
This is one of my favourite rides (up until the side of Mt. Hotham :oops: )

55 - Redbank Road from Redbank to Tangambalanga 43kms

At the Redbank end of this road, there is a quite pretty and reasonably fun 10 kay stretch of road, but from then on, its mostly dead straight with a heap of cow poo on the road from stock crossing. The road surface is quite good and the few times I have been through, there has been nothing on the road (i.e. roadkill, debris, etc). There is a short section where the road narrows, but is still wide enough for two lanes of fast moving traffic. Very little traffic, especially on the weekends, although during the week there is a bit of slower moving local traffic. Probably the only reason to do this road is to avoid any blue attention....

53 - Murray Valley Hwy (east) from Wodonga to Corryong 121kms

We only rode this from around Tallangatta, but have ridden all of it in the past. Its a lesser version of the Murray Valley Road (next report), but a bit of fun in sections. Definately not challenging, with fast sweepers and good surface. There tends to be a lot more heavy traffic on this road and it can be difficult to get past the trucks and caravans in some sections. The local we met from Bullioh said that the boys in blue like to sit in the section around Berringama (where the pine plantation is) as it is a particularly fast and good fun section.

52 - Murray River Road from Bonegilla to Corryong 147kms

This has been a long time favourite of mine. Extremely fast, open road with good vision through most corners. The road surface is very good as it carries far less heavy traffic than the Hwy just to the south. I love it!

20 - Corryong to Tumut 146kms (we only rode to Tumbarumba 66kms)

OMG...what a crappy road! Boring, pretty poor surface with potholes, large, poorly patched sections, gravel and falling-away shoulders. Not interested in doing this one again. One really challenging road off this one is Elliot Way from 17kays south of Tumbarumba to Kiandra....quite a technical road with pretty much no traffic when we went through (admittedly it was early on a Monday morning). The only two problems with this one was the large amount of rocks on the road from the cliffs and the fantastic views into the valley and the Talbingo Reservoir (apparently a trout dam with reasonable camping area if you're into that sort of stuff! :wink: ).

23 - Kiandra to Khancoban 79kms

An excellent, if dangerous (at times!) road. Amazing scenery..we had a few photo stops on this road :D . The danger was mostly from vehicles coming in the opposite direction and some rocks (again) on the road. This is the road we had the close-encounter-of-the-old-blue-pajero-kind :evil: . We also had some hairy moments in bad places with very large trucks moving very quickly through pretty twisty sections. This road is quite narrow, but the surface was in reasonable condition. There was no roadkill that I came across and no debris on the road. I would like to do this road again.

49 - Whitfield to Mansfield 63kms

This is a good fun road!! For some reason, I have memories of this road being extremely tight, but its not really like that at all!! (...don't ask....my head is full of all sorts of rubbish most of the time! :lol: :roll: :oops: :lol: ). The last few times I went through, there was a bit of gravel on the slower corners, so we took it easy through there this time. Of course, there was no gravel, but it is something to be aware of if you haven't been through before. I don't know if it's just me, but I have difficulty with the corner that has the pylon at road level and nothing between you and the dropoff at the side of the road. I highly recommend this road, although its a fairly unexciting trip to get there from either direction. This is the road we came across the gravel in the very fast sweepers coming into Mansfield.

41 - The Black Spur Narbethong to Healesville 22kms

Need I say more???? I *really* enjoy this road when there is no traffic. We came through on Tuesday afternoon and pretty much had it to ourselves. Excellent surface pretty much all the way through. Only danger being the last bend before it slows to 80kays as you ride into Healesville. The inbound lane is deteriorating rapidly right on the good line and is difficult to see in the shade.

Some roads I would like to recommend that are not in the HEMA Motorcycling Atlas that we covered.

Tawonga Gap Road (C536) between Bright and Tawonga approx. 22kms

Apart from the fact that I was proposed to on this road :wink: , I think this is a great riding road. There are two lookouts which are well worth stopping at for photos, especially on a sunny day. The surface is great and the twisties are excellent fun! We make a special effort to cover that road at least a couple of times if we are in the area!!

Granya Gap Road (C546) between Bullioh and Granya approx. 15kms

A great way to get from the Murray Valley Hwy to the Murray Valley Road. Good surface, bugger all traffic and great fun twisties!

Elliot Way (no road number listed) between halfway between (I know that's really poor grammar :oops: ) Tooma/Tumbarumba and Kiandra approx. 45kms

See report for ride number 20 (Corryong to Tumut). Well worth a ride, but be careful!

I was also wondering whether anyone has ridden the road from Walwa to Shelley through Guy's Forest as an alternative to the Granya Gap Road. It looks pretty good on the map, but you never can tell! :wink:

Well....I think between the two of us we have covered everything!! :lol:

We are really looking forward to some more trips like this, although I think Tassie had best be next on the list of camping trips. I love it down there, but Jay is a Tassie virgin!!!

glitch
26-10-2006, 07:47 AM
I was also wondering whether anyone has ridden the road from Walwa to Shelley through Guy's Forest as an alternative to the Granya Gap Road. It looks pretty good on the map, but you never can tell! :wink:


but Jay is a Tassie virgin!!!


It's been some years and they might've sealed it by now, it used to be sealed between Walwa and Guy's Forest only and absolutely no match at all for the Granya Gap. Just about flat and level with a few gentle bends...scenery uninspiring.

Can't wrap my head around that virgin bit there :lol: but what the hell, it's only twisties... :D And lots of 'em. No quicker way to learn than getting into the best of it for week or 2 :lol: :lol:


And....you've gotta go back!! :lol: :lol:
You missed the Alpine Way Khancoban-Thredbo-Jindabyne....the stretch of Snowy Mtn Hwy between Kiandra and Adaminiby (now...there's a ripper of a rollercoaster, perfect for the rattletrap and smooth as a baby's bum)....Jindabyne-Charlotte's Pass and a few other worthwhile bits.

Stuart T
26-10-2006, 08:03 AM
I've seen some interesting ride reports before, but never has an engagement popped up in the middle of one! Congratulations :chug:

Your TAC concerns remind me of a friend from Melbourne who was taken out by "a f%^& blonde" near Canberra. After a few days in Canberra Hospital with badly broken elbow and leg, he was told that he was being released. Even after arguing the toss that he was stuck in Canberra with no support, they were still basically going to pop him in a wheelchair and roll him out the door.
After he made a phonecall to the TAC, they stepped in and flew him air ambulance back to Melbourne and straight to the Epworth for Rehab.

Note that he had to make the phone call, Canberra H didn't do anything.

moike
26-10-2006, 08:15 AM
Great reports, Stookie & Lil.

I tend to agree with your assessments.
Re Sth Gippy Hwy: Next time, take Macdonald's track fron Lang Lang to Nyora and Poowong, thrn on to the Warragul-Koruburra rd, to K'burra. Some nice sweepers and tight bits. Take the Hwy to Leongatha, then on the Road to Mirboo Nth, take the road off to the right about a k outof town. Follow your nose through some more great sweepers and twisties to Mirboo Nth.
At Mirboo Nth continue past the brewery for one of the nicest tight twisty roads anywhere. Boribg roads to Churchill nd Taralgon, then tke a left to follow the back roads to Cowarr, heyfield and Maffra. and Stratford . These are straight roads, but anything is better than the highway there.

Ahhh Towonga Gap. One of my favourites.
In a few weeks I'll be piloting a pushbike over that, and a few days later over the Whitfield-Mansfield road.

movin
26-10-2006, 08:36 AM
What a cool ride. :woot: Thats pretty much best roads you can ride in this state I reckon guys,and you seem to have ticked off most of them.Great Alpine road and Hotham and our Alps,makes me feel more alive than ANYWHERE else,when Im in those mountains.Think its something to do with the descended from highlands anscestry,genetic imprint or something?picture postcard stuff. :photo: Every weekend I can,during snow season,Im there.And its just as pretty,if not more,in summer.

As you said Lil,with Jay being a Tassie virgin,around cradle mountains even more like Scottish highlands terrain wise.Take him riding there around the time of your birthday or when you want a new bike or theres something your hearts set on.A tear wull cum tae hus aye,remembering ol country,and he will be all forlorn and he will say,
"Aye Lil,you buy it Lass,you buy that 60 thousand dollar MV Augusta."
What better place to ask your beautiful lassie for her hand in marriage,than in the highlands.Congratulations guys :chug:

lil
26-10-2006, 10:49 AM
It's been some years and they might've sealed it by now, it used to be sealed between Walwa and Guy's Forest only and absolutely no match at all for the Granya Gap. Just about flat and level with a few gentle bends...scenery uninspiring.

I'm glad we didn't bother, then 8)

Can't wrap my head around that virgin bit there :lol: but what the hell, it's only twisties... :D And lots of 'em. No quicker way to learn than getting into the best of it for week or 2 :lol: :lol:

Don't try :wink: !! That will be a trip for the coming year, I think. Looks like there's a lot on in the next 6 months with a wedding, and a likely trip to Scotland. :shock: :D


And....you've gotta go back!! :lol: :lol:
You missed the Alpine Way Khancoban-Thredbo-Jindabyne....the stretch of Snowy Mtn Hwy between Kiandra and Adaminiby (now...there's a ripper of a rollercoaster, perfect for the rattletrap and smooth as a baby's bum)....Jindabyne-Charlotte's Pass and a few other worthwhile bits.

We had actually booked a week off in early January to go back to Bright, but we may just do a bit more exploring in NSW. I would like to do those roads, so instead of hanging around the Victorian high country, we'll spend it in the NSW mountains instead!

Take him riding there around the time of your birthday or when you want a new bike or theres something your hearts set on.A tear wull cum tae hus aye,remembering ol country,and he will be all forlorn and he will say,
"Aye Lil,you buy it Lass,you buy that 60 thousand dollar MV Augusta."

:lol: :lol: :thumbs: I like that plan!!!!

What better place to ask your beautiful lassie for her hand in marriage,than in the highlands.Congratulations guys

I couldn't have thought of a better way for him to propose, either! I'm a lucky girl :woot: :dance:

seany
26-10-2006, 04:34 PM
Congrats Guys! :D

What a great trip! :D

iffracem
26-10-2006, 04:57 PM
aawwww aint that cute :chug:

Way to go guys, wish you every possible happiness.

JJ

glitch
26-10-2006, 05:54 PM
aawwww aint that cute :chug:

Way to go guys, wish you every possible happiness.

JJ

You're just jealous that Jay didn't propose to you :lollol: :lollol:
:lollol: :lollol:
:lollol: :lollol:

goodie
26-10-2006, 05:58 PM
hey stookie,
a little birdie told me you rehearsed that wedding proposal extensively while reassembling the front-end of a duke???!! :D

Congrats to both of you

STOOKIE
26-10-2006, 10:47 PM
hey stookie,
a little birdie told me you rehearsed that wedding proposal extensively while reassembling the front-end of a duke???!! :D

Congrats to both of you

Yeah and the funny thing was Pete BOSS also said "YES" just goes to show i can charm the ass off anything ...... :D

i know next time who can keep a secret..... :box:

nev
27-10-2006, 12:03 AM
hey stookie,
a little birdie told me you rehearsed that wedding proposal extensively while reassembling the front-end of a duke???!! :D

Congrats to both of you

Yeah and the funny thing was Pete BOSS also said "YES" just goes to show i can charm the ass off anything ...... :D

i know next time who can keep a secret..... :box:

Well, glitch did say Pete was cheap :)

nev
27-10-2006, 12:24 AM
Good story guys. Good to hear you had a great time.

Ahhh.. Sullivans lookout.. Moike and I stopped there for a look at the view down the valley during the 2003 bushfires....

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2003/highcountry/images/10_smokey_view_from_the_Mt_Beauty_lookout.JPG

Over the past couple of years Jo and I have ridden just about every one of the (sealed roads) in the Bear's top 100 in VIC, TAS NSW and SE QLD.. and I (and everyone else I know who has ever ridden up it) agree with your sentiments about the Redbank Road (Gundowring Road). I rode up there in 2004, as an alternative to the Hwy, before I had even seen it on Bear's top 50, and didn't understand what his attraction to it was... especially considering the quality of the roads to the north (Granya Gap and River Road) and the south (Tawonga Gap and Happy Valley Roads)

iffracem
27-10-2006, 06:38 AM
aawwww aint that cute :chug:

Way to go guys, wish you every possible happiness.

JJ

You're just jealous that Jay didn't propose to you :lollol: :lollol:
:lollol: :lollol:
:lollol: :lollol:

I resemble that remark!

:upyrs:

matt232
27-10-2006, 02:17 PM
Have a good one guys (see! It works for everything, birthdays, weekends, engagements you name it!!!)

groberts03
30-10-2006, 07:48 PM
lil and i are to be married on the 26th january (australia day) We are now planning for that and the honeymoon.
congrats , best wish's for your future together :D