View Full Version : Apple Crumble Tour - Or Icecapades in Tassie

13-06-2006, 08:30 PM
Was it “Apple Crumble” or “Crapple Umble”? – You be the judge!

Day One Hobart to Mole Creek
After a week of near record cold nights at 9.30 AM on the Tasman Bridge it was a balmy 12! We had seen minus 11 at Liawenee (Great Lake) and within 1.3 hours that’s where we would be- is this nuts? …or just Icecapades Tassie style?

For the Strom lovers this one has some noice bar work

and a screen upgrade that was formed by a local plastics guy - not bad!

A sharp run up to Bothwell via the Lyell Hwy and the now green Derwent Valley across the python like Hamilton/Bothwell link (exit Lyell Hwy before Hamilton)


The sun was shining and we had no idea just how sharp the temp. would be within 24-48 hours. Nor could we predict that 3 bikes would kiss dirt 4 times.

Here we saw the Strom try to “mount and serve” Ingrid – the Bergman – watch for a new model of “stromman” on the road in about 9 months – it will be good for 20 kilos of groceries in it’s ass box when it grows up??

There is serious packing been done on these steeds


After coffee and snacks at the lovely Fat Doe we headed North on the A5 into lowering temps, by the Steppes it was down to 8 with patches of dampish frost visible.

Bruce leads the way to the Miena/Poatina split. Here the road crew descended to Poatina while the Dirt Crew headed for the Great Lake and a Golden Valley descent to Meander and then Mole Creek.

Before we leave the dirt we strike the first solid patch of hard frost and ice- one of the bikes nearly goes down but it’s all good 4 degs by this stage


We figured this must be Goblin Snot??

Anyone for gutter luge?

Nah! We're too busy doin' our nails - they will not dry in this damp air!!??

We saw this after we got past here – thanks sign man!

we farewelled Great Lake and the dirt for the day

tail end Charlie got in the frame....


and again as we dodged icy corners on the switchback descent


The views from this icy escarpment above Golden Valley are superb – despite having to use the whole road and some to avoid ice.


Quamby Bluff strikes a superior pose over us all

So we pose back!

At the base we duck left to Meander and wind our way to one of the top pubs in this bike Nirvana – The Mole Creek Pub! With host Steve happy to serve (not Ingrid)
Steve’s fab biker friendly Mole Creek Hotel – cold beers, hot fires, huge meals and warm beds – ahhh that’s a country pub orrright

To top it off he insist the bikes are just as comfy with all 12 safely stowed in the spare dining room – yep inside out of the cold – now that’s service!

http://sandford1337.gallery.netspace.net.au/albums/OldPics/IMG_1312.jpg...even room for Graham's massive Honda!

would you like a beer Yammy?

Day One ends with some big stories of Crappy Roads and the odd tUmble - yep this is surely the Crapple Umble Tour as one of the road crew had a slow low sider on Poatina and broke his shoulder – bit of gaffer and he’s back on it and away – too cold to feel pain??

Day Two – Mole Creek to Bridport via Central NE plateau

A nice breakfast and the Dirt crew head to Longford via Deloraine and Cluan (nice 1 laners) Re fuel at Longford and pick up Bruce (other red Capo) The Dirt crew flick via the back roads to Evandale and South to Nile and up into the hills to Deddington for morning tea with Tony and Lyn.

We get a clue of what is to come with snow glistening on Ben Lomond and Ragged Jack lit by the bright Easterly sun.


After a hot mug and some of Lyn’s peanut rock cakes – they are great! We have a short tour of the burial site of famous painter John Glover (buried next door to them!!)
We pretended the bikes were posties 1839 style???

The foundation of a convict gaol lies in a pit behind the gate- this place would be creepy after dark! c. 1840

Just outside of town we heard of the “twin pines” planted atop a hill when two sons went to Gallipoli – one tree lived and one son dies - the lone tree lives on for the surviving son - true story

http://sandford1337.gallery.netspace.net.au/albums/OldPics/IMG_1325.jpg (check the pine on the RHS)

The dirt roads cast their spell on us and we succumb - how could you refuse when you get hypnotized with these views?

This crest is sealed it’s too steep for the locals to cope with gravel and the view does not disappoint. Mt Young is due east and where we are headed.


Ragged Jack sits to the SW of Ben Lomond and both have an unseasonal dusting of powder – a BIG ski season could be in store?

Down into this valley for a quick run on tar past the Ben Lomond ski access road and up the Roses Tier (logging track) twisty bits and the temp plummets from 8 to less than 3degs as the dashboard warning flashes on and off basically saying you are nuts in some sort of modern morse code.

The Jacobs Ladder climb sneers down on us – come up here you wooses!!

Shite it’s cold enough here – check the road it’s frozen
and we are only at about 800m and we have still got to climb higher – the worst is yet to come. I stop to talk to a forester in a Ute and he says ice has not thawed in a week and to watch it as they lost 2 trucks on ice.

We turn North to head for the Ben Ridge Rd and the track is caked in frost, all potholes are full – of ice that is – solid lids of ice – no one is game to test them. We pick our way at about 40-60kmh for an hour through this – up and down hill in thick forest cover. We travel as ice breakers – no one has gone before us on these roads today.

Mt Victoria is regal in the back drop @ 1200m
Just South of Ringarooma we finally strike warmer conditions for the dirt crew - yep a whole 5degs steady and no more frost/ice. We push on briskly on the last dirt to Ringarooma then Legerwood and back on the dirt for the “snake gully” shortcut to the Scottsdale hwy. A nice late lunch (3pm) at Scottsdale and we decide to run straight on to Bridport arriving in time to see the road crew on their 2nd or third stubby!

The Bridport hotel fails to live up to the standard of the “much older” Mole Creek Pub. It lacks the personal touch but the meals were pretty good – not so the rooms and the shabby toilet/shower booth – it’s just not up to it sadly.

Day 3 Bridport – Hobart via both St Marys and Elephant passes
The weather has turned crisp, mild and sunny – we are truly blessed with a perfect day.
The Dirt crew get a head start as they have a large loop via the B82 NE tip just short of Ansons Bay and then the C843 before St Helens.
After a straight run to Gladstone the dirt starts – more luck - it has just been graded and the cold week has "set the dirt" so that our speed is very good and the surface has great bite.
Check the NE region from Gladstone to St Helens via this area map
The terrain is undulating and the sun is so bright ahead that we start to warm up for the first time in 3 days. It reaches 12 to 14 degs.


At the Ansons River the dirt crew re group and Bruce decides to plant his bike and see if it will grow some off spring – not a bad whack but still some scratches as the ground lets the stand flop. This gravel surface is super as well – lots of grip and not much dust so again we track on really well arriving about 20 mins behind the road crew who have taken up a nice coffee shop with the largest vases of coffee I have ever seen.
We decide to eat lunch at the St Mary’s pub. Here I declare an interest as my niece and her partner (ex SA) have the pub really pumping with all the treats plus the old pub charm as well.http://sandford1337.gallery.netspace.net.au/albums/OldPics/2006_06_12_13_27_14_0017.jpg
The next piece of brilliant timing the St Mary’s pass has had a complete re top of asphalt which is smooth and sticky – Noice! Plus most of the bends face North – dry hairpins at last!
A small lunch and both groups stay together for the run down the elephant pass to Bicheno.
even brother silver back comes along on his mighty Vulcan - all tar of course!

The pace down elephant Pass is very tender with every Sthn facing bend still thawing at 3PM! We re-fuel at Bicheno, and quickly move on South with the aim of making Hobart by 5pm (before the “apple” gets snap frozen yet again)

So ends the Apple Crumble tour but not before Alan proved the pulling power of his "Ingrid" ...best change scooters now Alan that is one ugly back pack you have!!!

It's hard to say which was best. If you ask the Crumble (dirt) crew they will have boastful tales of coping with glacial descents amid rock piles the size of Mt Merapi.
You ask the “Apple” road crew and they will say the road claimed one of theirs such was the extremes and challenges faced – whichever you believe it will soon become touring folklore and sure to keep the bike tongues wagging until the Tassie frost let’s go around October.

Maybe Roger (Tiger) has the last say?

"I forgot to add the stats from my GPS. The round trip from and to my home in Lauderdale (SE Hobart) was 918.7km. The average moving speed was 74.0k/hr (not bad considering all the very slow time spent negotiating icy tracks). The total moving time was 12hrs 24 minutes.

Thanks again for a great weekend."

Roger Harvey


14-06-2006, 08:16 AM
That looks a little cold.

I like the racks on the strom. I am planning on making some of those for my KTM.

14-06-2006, 03:17 PM
Jeez....one must be born there for doing that sort of thing... :shock: :lol: :lol:
Good stuff, nice pics, and what a bunch of loonies :lol:
How'd the Vendramini boots stack up?

14-06-2006, 03:21 PM
Was it “Apple Crumble” or “Crapple Umble”? – You be the judge!
Humble Crapper?

14-06-2006, 07:13 PM
Jeez....one must be born there for doing that sort of thing... :shock: :lol: :lol:
Good stuff, nice pics, and what a bunch of loonies :lol:
How'd the Vendramini boots stack up?

Having an empty skull helps heaps
Right on all 3 Poite!
Noice - toasted toes the whole trip - they were perfect for <3degs at <80kmh and >3 degs and >80 they were just as warm - so BIG thumbs up!

PS uploading balance tonight - check baclk later

14-06-2006, 07:16 PM
That looks a little cold.

I like the racks on the strom. I am planning on making some of those for my KTM.

Yes Leon, first time my dash has flashed below 3degs for about an hour or so. Racks are for soft luggage but double as guards - neat bit of stainless work on Leigh's new beastie. You got the 950, is their a pic on site?

14-06-2006, 07:37 PM
I want the racks for soft luggage aswell

Look here for some pics of my bike


14-06-2006, 10:01 PM
I want the racks for soft luggage aswell

Look here for some pics of my bike


Yes, I have seen that trip/post and although I have not done it I have been near a few of those spots. The 950 looks well phatt! I would have one if only I could reach terra firma - i'm just not long enough - maybe I will get one anyway?? Yes racks will suit that. I run without the rear saddle, lock a bag on and have not used the panniers for any of the dirt runs due to the chance of a flop/drop and it has been the right decision. Do not carry camping gear so travelling very light using pubs/cabins O/N.
Thanks for the link and pop some other runs you get to do for a future trip for our group mabee??

15-06-2006, 01:35 PM
Nice report Art! :)

Man those Apriliias are a nice looking bike, and good to see it getting dirty! I'm sure it's awesome on bitumen, would love to hear how they go on gravel and in more out of the way places - would love some more photos too! :wink:

15-06-2006, 02:42 PM
Nice report Art! :)

Man those Apriliias are a nice looking bike, and good to see it getting dirty! I'm sure it's awesome on bitumen, would love to hear how they go on gravel and in more out of the way places - would love some more photos too! :wink:

Thanks Leon - got a lot of support with pics from the group. Well you can either love or hate any look mate and this one has grown on me. Spot-on - I rate it as a better "rough tar" bike than a true AV tourer but hell it was the only Italian V twin I could get that would come close to what I ride on 95% of the time. Most remote and tricky work has been maybe Dargo High Plains or logging roads here - no deserts or sand - I'm just not big enough to cope with picking up 230kgs of red thing. What I looked at/for...can I ride this on just about any surface, keep up on the tar with many, not get tired after 600km + day runs and have enough technology to not also break the bank? The other Capo was ridden by Bruce and he is strong/big enough at about 2m tall...maybe my next mount will be closer to a true AV but there is not a lot to choose from as I fear the 950 KTM would look a wee bit daggy with about 100 mm cut out of it ;)) I will post/send some other pics but others are here - http://www.austouring.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=143&start=30
I have spent most of my riding time on enduro mounts of one sort or another.


15-06-2006, 06:45 PM
Sweet piece of work, Tim :D :D
Good story, great pics...more, more, more !!
OK, you've GOT the contract for the VINO, PASTA & TORNANTI report next year !!! :lol: :P :P

17-06-2006, 07:30 AM
Sweet piece of work, Tim :D :D
Good story, great pics...more, more, more !!
OK, you've GOT the contract for the VINO, PASTA & TORNANTI report next year !!! :lol: :P :P

ok i will do the Vino bit then??? :P

17-06-2006, 03:37 PM
ok i will do the Vino bit then??? :P

It only comes as a package deal :shock: :P