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whitey
24-01-2007, 09:39 PM
Having completed levels 1 & 2 of Superbike School at Eastern Creek in 2006, I figured a road trip the Phillip Island for level 3 might be a cool thing. 8)

The plan was to pack the bike Thursday night, be up with the sparrows Friday morning, blat it to PI in one day, do the school on Saturday, then spend the next 3 days exploring some great Vic and NSW roads on the return leg.

DAY 1: Sydney-Goulburn-Batemans Bay-Bega-Bombala-Cann River-Stratford
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After packing the bike Friday morning, I headed off at 9:30AM. :roll: This was going to be an Iron Butt day for sure.

First leg of the journey had me slabbing it down the Hume Hwy. I left the Hume at Goulburn and headed towards the coast via Tarago and Braidwood. A very nice ride, with plenty of enjoyable sweepers on Kings Hwy before arriving in Batemans Bay.

Lunch by the bay in the sunshine.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/batemans2.jpg

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/batemans1.jpg


From Batemans Bay I headed south on the Princes Hwy to Narooma.

The view from the Narooma Golf Course looking North towards Batemans Bay...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/narooma1.jpg


The weather so far had been perfect but I could see thunderstorm cells forming out west. Maybe they'd miss me ?... yeah right !

By the time I got to Bega the storms were almost on me. I left the Princes Hwy at Candello and headed inland to Bombala in light rain.

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/bombala1.jpg

After 10kms or so, the bitumen was unexpectantly replaced by gravel. Note to self: Get a better map of NSW !
The surface was well graded and dry, so I pressed on. Good thing too, it was a very scenic road and for most part, the surface was good enough to allow a reasonable cruising speed. However, beware the bike-hating dog owned by the bloke who doesn't close his gate :shock:

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/bombala2.jpg


From Bombala, it's a sweet run down to Cann River where I rejoined the Princes Hwy. The clouds were building and as I came into Bairnsdale it started to rain. It seems I arrived in Victoria at the same time as a trough of low pressure. I rode in the rain until it got dark and pulled into a motel in Stratford - more than 200kms short of Phillip Island. :oops:

Stratford goes to bed early. The only thing open was the drive-thru liquor shop. A packet of potato chips and a 4-pack of JD & coke would have to suffice for dinner. Set the alarm for 5AM and hit the hay.


DAY 2: School Day
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, this isn't quite what I had planned. School day starts at 7AM and I have a 200km ride to get there. I hit the road in darkness and drizzling rain at 5:30AM. I get to PI fashionably late at 8AM, just in time for the first classroom session. The clouds are threatening rain but the track is dry. Looking good !

By the time we emerge from the classroom, it's raining again. Oh well, what would a trackday at PI be without some rain !

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/pi2.jpg

The budgie was taking a well earned rest today - I'd booked one of the school's hire bikes.

My steed awaits...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/pi1.jpg


After jumping off the budgie, the GSXR600 felt like a toothpick. Noticeably smaller even than the Triumph Daytonas (the older 600cc versions) which were the school hire bikes last year.

The off-and-on rain continued during the morning but stopped just before the lunch break. The track was almost completely dry when we went out for the first afternoon session. Time to twist that wrist !

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/pi4.jpg

Does my bum look big on this ?...

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/pi5.jpg

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/pi6.jpg

We get two dry sessions in before the rain returns. A classic Phillip Island mixed bag.

Schoolday ends at 5PM. I'm mentally and physically exhausted, but it was an awesome day on an awesome track. Worth the trip for sure !!!

I drop by Cowes for a feed before heading off to find accommodation in the nearby town of Inverloch. I sleep very well that night.


DAY 3: Inverloch-Bairnsdale-Mt Hotham-Bright-Mt Beauty-Wodonga-Holbrook
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~

Next day it's more relaxed. I've got 3 days to get back to Sydney and a lot of possibilities. The intermittant rain continued overnight but the forecast is clearing conditions. I decide to head back to Bairnsdale and take a run up the Great Alpine Road.

Pretty countryside near Inverloch...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/inverloch1.jpg

Heading up the Alpine Road...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/alpinehwy1.jpg

Even though the rain had stopped, there was still plenty of cloud about. As I approached Mt Hotham I rode into it.

Mt Hotham ski resort hiding in the mist...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/alpinehwy2.jpg

For a while I crawled along watching the lines on the road to determine where the road went. I came up behind a car and followed his tailights down the mountain - much less taxing. Eventually I popped out of the clouds and descended the yummy twisties towards the town of Bright. Lunch and caffeine in Bright.

Looking at the map, I could see that I could continue along the GAR to Wangaratta or alternatively, detour out to Mt Beauty and head up the Kiewa Valley Hwy to Wodonga. I chose Wodonga, so I backtracked to the Mt Beauty turn-off and experienced one of the best roads to be had anywhere - 40kms of non-stop twisties.

The road to Mt Beauty...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/mtbeauty_pan.jpg

The scenery's not bad either...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/mtbeauty2.jpg

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/mtbeauty3.jpg

The township of Mt Beauty...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/mtbeauty4.jpg


I arrive at Wodonga late in the day and continue north into NSW before calling it quits in Holbrook. A top day's riding on some of the best roads Vic has to offer. 8)

DAY 4: Holbrook-Jingellic-Khancoban-Adaminanby-Cooma-Goulburn-Sydney
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

I'd intended to head north out to Cowra and head back to Sydney via backroads, but looking at the map, I could see that the Snowy Mountains were close by. Change of plans.

I head for Jingellic in glorious sunshine and take the unsealed road into Khancoban.

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy1.jpg

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy2.jpg


I arrive in Khancoban on a slowly deflating rear tyre courtesy of a small nail embedded in it. I inflate it at the servo and have brekky at the local store. After brekky, I recheck the pressure. It's only lost 3 PSI - it's a slow enough leak, so I'm not too worried about it. Anyhow, I have a puncture repair kit under the seat if things get worse.

Khancoban Dam...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy3.jpg

Lake Khancoban. Hydro electricity pipes in the distance...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy4.jpg

The Alpine Way was unfortunatley closed due to fires. So, I head off for Cabramurra instead. This road is another great ride, but is a little treachorous until it climbs out of the trees. Narrow, lots of blind corners and wildlife.

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy5.jpg


Once the ridgetops are gained, the road remains narrow but becomes somewhat less demanding thanks to improved visibility.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy6.jpg

The road passes Mt Selwyn ski resort before intersecting with the Snowy Mountains Hwy. I turn right and head towards Adaminaby detouring briefly for a peek at Lake Eucumbene...

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy8.jpg

...and on to Cooma.

The township from the Mt Glorious lookout...
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy9.jpg

At this point I'm feeling well pleased after another day of top riding. I head home via the Monaro and Hume Hwys and arrive home at nightfall - one day early.

Next trip has to be back to the Vic alps to check out some of those minor roads I didn't follow.

glitch
25-01-2007, 04:29 PM
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/snowy6.jpg
.


Love THAT one ...it just stands for the whole area around there.
Man, you've done some serious mileage :shock: :shock: there...fore the next school-day we'll bottle you some dry tracktime :lol:



Next trip has to be back to the Vic alps to check out some of those minor roads I didn't follow.

Let us know beforehand....there are some crackers off the main roads...
Thanks for the write-up and the pics, thoroughly enjoyable !!
:chug: :chug:

glipschitz
25-01-2007, 09:55 PM
Great writeup Whitey.

:)

G

whitey
26-01-2007, 09:14 PM
Thanks lads.

Something worth mentioning...

Sections of the road between Khancoban and Cabramurra in the Kosciusko NP, appear to have been resurfaced recently. These sections are now covered with a layer of ball-bearing like stones. :shock: So, take care on corners if you're headed that way soon.

wobbler
27-01-2007, 08:54 AM
What a great trip. Good to see a road bike not afraid of a little dirt.

Looks like you had a little more visiblity here than I did in March.

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~g.whitehead/pics/pi2007/alpinehwy2.jpg

I let 2 cars go past and they disapeared

vbstubby
27-01-2007, 08:25 PM
Top write up and pics Whitey