PDA

View Full Version : Andrew made me do it too (Nev's first ADV ride)


nev
25-04-2008, 01:49 AM
So after 3 months of owning my Uly I decided i needed to get out and do some real adventure riding, rather than just scooting around the local hills.. so I packed the bike and off I went...
My new touratech tomtom mount was waiting for me at the post office so the day started with a trip to pick it up, then some installation (the mount for the Ulysses is like a meccano set). Loaded up and off I went.


Took the bitumen from Melbourne to Cambarville where I headed down the Woods Point road.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4785.JPG

I'd gone for a dayride to Woods Point in Jan not long after getting the bike, and the road wasn't too bad. A lot of the trip to Matlock that day was on smooth graded roads and in many sections on rockbase. But not today. The road is very dirty and gravelly.. churned up by the logging trucks I suppose.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4786.JPG

Anyway, finally I receive the sealed section.. (7km of sealed road in the middle of nowhere.. anyone know why?).. and take the Tanjil Bren turnoff.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4787.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4790.JPG

Some artists must have spend their new year up here

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4799.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4798.JPG

There's plenty of action along this road. Lots of earthmoving equipment cutting new fire breaks through the forest before the next fire season.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4793.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4801.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4802.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4804.JPG

This was a really nice road. Some of it had been freshly graded, there were other sections I didn't like that much which had fresh gravel dropped on them which the trucks hand't had a chance to compact into the road. The rest good quality dirt road well compacted by the logging trucks using it. Narrow in most places but fortunately the only time trucks came up the road towards me I was off the bike having a drink or taking a photo.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4807.JPG

The Whitelaw Tree.. diameter 5M and circumference of almost 17M.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4809.JPG

Got back onto the bitumen onto the Thomson Dam road. Unsure where I can fill up on 95RON which the Uly drinks so I take the trip to Tyers and back up to Walhalla, about 70km of sealed road with a detour past the Moondarra dam.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4821.JPG

Recently logged area

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4819.JPG

Found out the road north of Walhalla and the campground there is closed since the bridge over the Aberfeldy river north of town got washed away so I planned to camp at the free camping at the top of the Walhalla township and then tomorrow detour back to the Thomson Dam to join the road to Woods Point further on. some bolts on the sidestand foot were rattling loose and this BBQ table at my campsite came in handy..

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4823.JPG

After a late night round the campfire with a couple of trailbikers I slept pretty late so I didn't get much of a chance to look around the town in the morning but got an obligatory shot of the Walhalla train station.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4832.JPG

An inviting road out of town

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4833.JPG

I'm fascinated by 19th century railways. The logistics of surveying and building railways though the hills within the strict confines of the minimum turning and degrees of incline never cease to amaze me.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4834.JPG

Among the smoke the Thomson Dam is well below it's high water line.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4836.JPG

Junction of the Walhalla road

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4840.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4841.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4849.JPG

obligatory shot of the Woods Point petrol station

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4854.JPG

near Gaffney's creek

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4860.JPG

Lunch stop at the Kevington Hilton !
I highly recommend the hambuger with the lot and chips :)

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4861.JPG

left turn and round the back of Lake Eildon. lots of controlled burns going on here.. and lots of debris on the road where burnt stumps had fallen.

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4863.JPG

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4866.JPG

Most of the "lookout" were spoiled by smoke haze this week

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4864.JPG

I had intended to ride the highway home from Eildon, but when I got to the top of the Big River Rd, I made a snap decision to take this route back to Cumberland junction where I'd first hit the dirt yesterday. I'd been down the Big River road a few km from the other end about 15 years ago and remembered it being a big wide flat orange clay road. No problem I thought. The GPS told me it was 40km back to Cumberland Junction.
The road started off a bit rocky, but no problem..

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4873.JPG

after a few km I was on some night straight sections where I could sit on 60kph..

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4871.JPG

but then I started climbing a hill.. and the road turned into a goat track. Steep and very very rocky, very narrow with cliff on the left and quite a drop to the right. I really wasn't game to stop and there was no way for me to turn around so I followed this for a while, hoping i was on the right track still.

Powering up this road the bike was literally bouncing from one rock to the next and a few times I really thought I was going to go arse over. Anyhow after a few hairy moments on rocky ground, some more on soft dirt and a couple of small water crossings I finally got to some smoother, flatter roads, and a sign warning traffic heading the way I've come from that this is a 4WD track only.. no shit!

http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/slides/IMG_4878.JPG

The route to where the Big River road joined back to the Woods Point Road ended up being more like 55km, not 40km as I had thought, and for the first 45km of this I didn't see another person, though I did see a wallaby and a deer within 100m of each other..

It was quite a learning experience, I learned that I'm not up to that sort of riding, that my Uly is not the ideal bike to ride on such terrain, and also that the bikes abilities exceed mine by virtue of the fact that despite my best efforts it still managed to successfully navigate the terrain. I think travelling alone on such an unpopulated road without incident was very good luck on my part. I'm not sure how long I'd have had to walk, or wait for help if something had gone wrong.

All up my trip was quite enjoyable, and it was good getting out on some of those roads during the week when there aren't so many 4WDs hurtling up the other way because as I was warned, I met one or two who few around corners and only by virtue of the fact that I was sticking to my side of the road and keeping a keen eye out averting incident. I had a great time and loved being out in the bush, not necessarily a long way from civilisation, but the lack of other vehicles on the roads certainly makes it feel that way.

Edit: All of these photos plus a few more are at http://www.thisstupidurl.com/2008/NFAR/

jefflthomas
25-04-2008, 04:20 AM
NICE!! :so

andrew2
25-04-2008, 08:04 AM
Beautiful photos and nice report:clap:.Looks like I might have to go back down there later in the year and do some more exploring.

A2

Punisher
25-04-2008, 11:41 AM
well i dono how many times you have done oz by road, now you can do it by offroad nev ;-)

glitch
04-05-2008, 12:37 PM
It was quite a learning experience, I learned that I'm not up to that sort of riding, that my Uly is not the ideal bike to ride on such terrain, and also that the bikes abilities exceed mine by virtue of the fact that despite my best efforts it still managed to successfully navigate the terrain. I think travelling alone on such an unpopulated road without incident was very good luck on my part. I'm not sure how long I'd have had to walk, or wait for help if something had gone wrong.


Nev....thanks for a very enjoyable read !!!
Some great roads there...did you go out the north of Walhalla to Woods Point?

On the quote above.....
An even bigger thanks for those words....and let them be a little bit of a heads-up for everyone going out there.
May it be just for a ride, to test new gear or whatever the reason...it can get damn scary sometimes once one reflects on how things COULD'VE turned out.
Exactly what we found out taking the little posties across to Fraser.... more on that in the ride-report coming soon.

It really is better to have someone else along on rides like that...

nev
05-05-2008, 12:40 AM
Nev....thanks for a very enjoyable read !!!
Some great roads there...did you go out the north of Walhalla to Woods Point?

The road north of Walhalla is closed. Some locals told me that it is possible to head out that way using a few of the marked 4WD tracks, but I wasn't game to look. They seem to think that the washedout bridge may never be repaired and that the road may never reopen.
I took the bitumen out of Walhalla back through Rawson across the Thomson Dam and joined the Walhalla road further up there to Matlock, W.P etc..

Hytram
05-05-2008, 07:58 AM
It is closed.. but not, you should have looked

there is a gate at each end that bikes can get past and the bridge is out but there is a nice easy river crossing, I did it on Good Friday

nev
05-05-2008, 09:29 AM
It is closed.. but not, you should have looked


Nah, I wasn't game. Still trying to work out what is/isn't a 'good' road and how to interpret what other people think is/isn't a 'good' road. From my limited experience opinions differ wildly. On the Thomson River road I was speaking to a bloke holding the stop/slow sign at some roadworks and he was asking me 'how effing good was the top section of that road?', on which had recently been laid a layer of big, course rocks that the bike felt uneasy on, but was apparently great in a car, while I much preferred the plain, flat dirt natural road base, flattened and smoothed by all the log trucks and other vehicles they'd been taking in there to clear the fire breaks.

The locals in the Walhalla pub told me that there was an alternative route, up Binns Road and Army Track, but I'd already seen some photos of that track on a 4WD website when I was doing a bit of pre-trip research and that was a fair-dinkum 4WD track with ruts big enough to ride a motorcycle through.

Hytram
05-05-2008, 09:46 AM
it wasnt a good road.. but it was a road, not a track and it was trafficable by the Strom with Standard tyres...

I supose I had the hindsight of doing the road in my Car a couple of times before it was closed, the side tracks are a no-go zone

we ride dirt road bikes.. not MX