View Full Version : After 3 months of no rides.....

24-03-2008, 11:06 AM
Three whole months without a ride. That’s how long it has been since I last went for a decent ride. Packing and then moving house took up at least half of the 3 months. So when Michael Barnes said he would be down in Sydney over Easter and would I like to ride back up to his neck of the woods how could I say no.

Being Easter Long weekend meant that Mr Plod is out in force issuing tickets that will incur double demerit points if you get caught being naughty on the roads. The weather forecast was for rain over the weekend too. Talk about trying to make me not want to venture out onto the black stuff.

Michael and I arranged to meet at Sylvania McDonalds at 8am. We would head south via the Royal National Park then further south to Macquarie Pass which would then take us inland and west. Then down to Goulburn, up through Taralga, onto Oberon where we would part and go to our homes.

Waking at 4:30am this morning I could not stay in bed till the alarm went off. I wanted my departure time to hurry up so bad. A full moon partly shrouded in cloud greeted me as I went to check the weather. There is lots of cloud. It will be full wet weather gear to start with today. Two shirts and a jumper will be needed to ward off the cold.

I am on the road by 6:45am. I have a good run from Epping to Sylvania. Just before Tom Uglies bridge an unmarked highway patrol car sits waiting to bounce on speedsters. 40 minutes it takes me to get to McDonalds. Our meeting time is 8am. At about 8:40 Michael arrives. Hehehe. He is very apologetic. He had been up till 1am drinking with his mate that he stayed with. He looks fine to me. But a Mac’ers breakfast and an Easter egg soon see him right.

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We head off to the Royal National Park. I still love this road so much. I love the sweeping bends through the rainforest section the most. The Traveller is made for a road like this. Both our bikes sound good as the sound from our mufflers revibrates back at us from the leafy canopy that over shadows the road in places. There is no moss on the road and vey little water run off after yesterday’s rain. Makes for some spirited riding by both of us.

Stanwell Tops attracts so many tourists. A bus takes up most of the parking. One of my childhood hero’s was Lawrence Hargraves (http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/hargrave_bio_large_print.html). He lived and experiment with his flying machines in Stanwell Park. A memorial has been erected to this pioneer. I just had to have a photo of the bike with the memorial.

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Time to move on and keep heading south for Macquarie Pass. After many traffic lights through Wollongong we finally get back onto the Princess Hwy and turn off at Albion Park and head inland. Up ahead is the escarpment that Macquarie Pass climbs up. We have a few cars in front of us and can’t get past them due to the oncoming traffic. This in no way stops us from having a ball. 35 and 25 kmh corners are taken with gusto. On high revs the Traveller muffler is making a lovely sound as a single does. Even through my ear plugs I can hear Michaels’ muffler. I have a grin from ear to ear as each sharp corner comes up and I throw the bike into the corner.

We stop for lunch at Robertson. The Pig and Whistle Café feeds Michael while I eat my packed lunch. We sit and chat bikes and rides and talk about how spookie the Marlborough Straight between Rockhampton and Mackay is. How I was warned not to stop for anyone on that road no matter what. The map comes out and we plot the next part of our ride. We have to do some of the Hume (read boring) Highway to get into Goulburn so we can turn north and head for Oberon via Taralga. This road was dirt for many years but in the last month the final section of tar has been laid. At first Michael was a bit concerned that what if my information was wrong. I assured him it is now tar.

We fuel up at one of those mega servos on the Hume Highway. The sun is blazing away and I am getting hot in all my clothing and wet weather gear. That will change soon.

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Just outside of Kenmore on the Taralga Rd is a sign that says our route has 72kms of unsealed road. Michael is going to hate me if this is right. It’s not that he can’t ride in the dirt. He just doesn’t want to waste time riding slowly through a long dirt road.

We reach Taralga and Michael is into the pub quick smart. He is off to check if the road is tarred up ahead. He comes back out giving me the thumbs up. At least now I am off the hook if it is dirt. The guy in the pub can take the blame. ;-)

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We have a short break in the pub. Watch a bit of TV. Michael has a cooling ale. Then we are off. The road is great. Fast sweepers. Superb views. Off south we see heavy rain coming down in big dark sheets from the black clouds. Glad we are not down that way. As we climb up from the Abercrombie river we see dark clouds gathering over us. How dare they come after us. We are now riding in rain. We have to pull over so Michael can don his wet weather gear. Murphy must also have a law for riders and rain. No sooner have you put your wets on and ride off that it stops to rain. That’s what it did to us.

I tried to get Michaels attention with flashing lights etc. I have to pull over, the top strap around my neck of my jacket is undone and being the crap out of me. I am at the top of a steep decent. I can see the road wind down and flow off into the distance. Michael is getting smaller and smaller the further away he gets from me. He has not yet seen I am not behind him. Now I have my work cut out for me trying to catch him. Not an easy task when you are on an identical bikes. Down the descent I ride. The corners are magnificent. Flowing as they hug the hills. I am flying. You can see well ahead in some parts so I use all of the road. Both sides. I know I have to go faster than Michael to catch him. This is the hardest I have ridden in along time. I can’t believe how good this road is. Newly surfaced and smooth as. There he is. I have just seen him going around a corner. A small dot ahead on the road. A few minutes later I am back in formation with him.

Soon the new bit of road is gone and we are on the old bitumen road with about 50ks to go to get to Oberon. The wind has been blasting us since Kenmore. Both of us at times have been blown around on the road. Just before Oberon we hit some road works. The road is chewed up and has bare dirt showing through. Nothing we can’t handle.

We say our goodbyes at the Shell Servo. It has been a great day and I have enjoyed Michaels company greatly. Michael will head off towards Blayney and then onto his home. I will as far as Mt Victoria and then cross over to the Bells Line of road and on to home.

Lots of cars are heading back to Sydney from the Jenolan Caves area. Utes with trail bikes strapped down on their trays. Mini Buses holding up the traffic. I play quick pass as I take them one by one.

On the Great Western Hwy for about 2 meters and I pull off to have a quick look at the historic village at Hartley (http://www.hartley-nsw.com/). The buildings are from the 1830s and are very well preserved. I would recommend stopping and having a look back at our past history as contained in this little village.

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Leaving there it is up Mt Victoria which is sign posted at 60kmh. How boring. But must remember that the cops are out in force this weekend. And what do I see up ahead as I come sweeping around one corner cranked right over. A paddy wagon with flashing lights on and a car that has gone into the armco fencing. No one is hurt so this won’t go against the stats for accidents that the news will be reporting on all weekend.

No way am I going down the Blue Mountains through Katoomba. Way too many traffic lights and it’s so slow. So from Mount Victoria I turn left and head for the Bells Line of Road. There is a misty rain in the air. And not much traffic. Turn right onto the Bells Road and I hit traffic. At least we are doing the posted 100kmh. I round up a white Peugeot. Pull away from him and then see the blue flashing lights. The poor Peugeot has been pulled for speeding. All the traffic now sticks right on the speed limit.

It is now a slow trip home. Too many plods around to do anything but follow the speed posted on the signs. I come off Windsor Rd onto the M2 and the rain comes down. By now I had shed most of my wets at North Richmond as it was warming up as soon as I dropped down out of the mountains. I don’t care that it is raining. I am that close to home. The fairing takes most of the eater away from my legs.

I pull in the drive way at around 7pm. I have had a ball. In total I have done around 560kms today. Fuel economy was as you get on a Traveller at touring speeds. Around 21km/l. Except for when I had to catch up to Michael. We both filled up and I used about 1 litre more than him. Plus I am heavier.

Thank you Michael for a great day out.

Photo credits: Myself and Michael.

25-03-2008, 12:44 AM
enjoyed that :so

25-03-2008, 11:42 AM
yeah always a good write up on the scorpion

25-03-2008, 12:03 PM
Bells Line of Road. There is a misty rain in the air. And not much traffic. Turn right onto the Bells Road and I hit traffic. At least we are doing .

That's the ONLY way we've ever ridden the "Bells"...in the wet.:???::???:
Mind....it was always dry either side of it. :doh::thumbs:

Thanks for the write-up....highly enjoyable, captivating and full of good pics and tips as always !!!:so:so:so:so
And that Taralga Rd. is one of my favorites...good SCHTUFFF :drool::drool:

25-03-2008, 07:50 PM
Glad you all liked it.

28-03-2008, 10:30 AM
Down the descent I ride. The corners are magnificent. Flowing as they hug the hills. I am flying. You can see well ahead in some parts so I use all of the road. Both sides....... I can’t believe how good this road is. Newly surfaced and smooth as.

There's one section in there, about 3km long, where the road leads through scattered bush, gum-plantation on the eastern side about 50-200 set back....and the asphalt looks like painted to the ground,following every dip and angle imaginable.
One can see the tar 50m ahead...then 100 ahead, another piece 200 ahead...but all the bits in between are invisible...bends and troughs where they shouldn't be....just a hell of a lot of fun :glu