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Old 07-11-2006, 07:56 PM   #1
glitch
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Default '06 AusTouring-Rally Ride Reports

Great weather, plenty of warm sunshine, plenty of good miles and best of all....GREAT company and loads of laughs.
Graham (whitey) from Sydney, Dave(dmtl15) from Nowra and the bunch of clowns from down south.....it nearly turned out to be a V-Strom gathering....lumped with the 2 DR650s a Suzuki-tribe-meet....and adding in 2 Budgies and Beemer it was a riot.

The burn up the Alpine Way was a cracker....like the day before when a Strom and a DR went mental across the top from Kiandra in an effort to "shake the old fart" ....it nearly made the Postie-ride a few weeks ago pale in comparison :muscle:
Still can't shake the grin.
Thanks to all...and there should be some superb pics dribblin' out of them memory sticks....
Even better to hear that all made it home safe and sound.


__________________________________________________ ___________



Isn’t it nice when things work as planned?
Tim was there on the knocker and we locked the door on time…OUTTA here!
Across the Black Spur was a pain in the butt, a long, slow line of cages…. not even worth trying, things opening up on the boring, straight bits to Alexandra/ Yarck and Mansfield. Filled up at the servo, a possible meet SMS’ed with Marty earlier didn’t come good (the bugger was having too much fun somewhere else)… Across the ridge to Whitfield and finally into some fun twisties. Past the vineyards and down the first batch of bends before the slightly obscure turn onto the freshly graded and re-gravelled dirt to Myrhee….just for something different, but the going was slow, the gravel a bit too coarse, Goodie still a bit shaky on her first real trip on #051.

Long, gentle sweepers to Moyhu, then more cramping restraint on straight roads (after all, it was a sort of a long weekend in Vic) to Oxley and Milawa, the late afternoon sun steaming our backs. Nige, Moira and Billy welcomed us with a pack of ice-cold stubbies…ahhh, maaates!!…in Myrtleford.

Myrtleford Friday night




The town was packed, plenty of things going on…and just as we were starting to walk across to the pub, Marty shows up…. carrying plenty of evidence of where he’d been that day and boosting the contingent to 4Stroms and 2 DR650s.

A glorious morning crowned Heiner’s Bakery in town, straight into the tour-staple of bacon ‘n eggs before the deserted sweepers towards Yackandandah, Allens Flat and a couple of doglegs further, the Lockhard Gap twisties. Starting a pattern that’d last the next few days: Tim and Marty “dicing” at the front, that 650 showing some real teeth in the tight stuff, Marty trying to run away with a screaming single up his arse... running a far tighter line through the bends, making up all that’s lost on the short straights in between….what a sight !!

Quite unexpectedly, the Yabba Rd. along the MittaMitta River was fairly free of loose gravel…but filled with an impressively big group of veteran bikes coming the other way. A delightful stretch at the worst of times…. it was pure magic this morning… interspersed with the odd cloud of castor-oil-stink of a veteran at full-tilt…glorious!!

Granya Gap…and the Strom/DR combo is gone again right from the start …
Up the Murray at a quickish, loping pace, a drink at Jingelic, then the (now confirmed) sealed-road-all-the-way through to Tumbarumba for lunch…and just short of town Moira’s DR decides to quit. Sputter, fart, bang…finish.
Tim’s 30liter “tanker-DR” and the jiggler hose get her going again, the trees along the Main St. shady for a longer break out of the sun.
Time to move on, it’s onto the Elliott Way, the steepish drop into the valley has a few dirty bits and a real surprise: right in the middle of a tight, clean-looking, downhill leftie my front steps out, then catches again as the rear goes walkabouts for a second, Marty too close for a warning, Tim right up his clacker…we stop to warn the others.
A piece of real slippery pure bitumen, soft as custard, is the culprit…
Elliott Way ...Nige with Billy (pillioning) and Moira)



The stop at Tumut2 Powerstation…#051 trying to blow the hinges off the gates, the echo from deep out of the 2km long access tunnel is a traditional thing…

How LOW can a Strom go? Marty and the Sharkteeth


A photo-session in the steep twisties up to the main road before the quick hop into Cabramurra for another tradition: The mug of Hot Chocolate. Didn’t work out this time….. way too warm for it.

Then the triple-pack-screamer across the top…and it’s still having me grin stupidly right now.
Nearly traffic free, still a bit too early for “roo-time”…. it’s an absolute cracker, bend after bend… dips, hairpins and all…and even though they can’t get past, Tim and the howling DR stick to Marty and I like shit to a blanket,…looks like he slipped into a different skin, don’t know him like that on the KiloGix.

Not stupid, but good, quick fun…where the stomach fights for space in the boots through some of those dips…the type of riding one only does when trusting the others explicitly.
Tim and I swap bikes 20k’s out from Khancoban, around 400km on the DR’s standard-seat had created something red-raw….what an ironbutt !!!…I ‘m shifting the bum around after only 20k’s.

A golden, late afternoon in Khancoban…Nev and Jo are already pitched, Dave from Nowra coming in shortly after, another dust-caked Strom that’d seen some good roads that day.

Whitey from Sydney’s missing, no word from him…we’re off to the pub to fight our way through the diminishing menu choices…and finally Graham (Whitey) shows up, Yeeha ! Goodonya for flying across the top in the dark!!
Now we can really get started…while there’s plenty of lost souls in amongst that BMW-club meet happening around us. “Lost all the others at lunch”
“No idea where we were supposed to stay tonite, I got a room here at the pub”
“Saw another group this arvo, they didn’t know where they were and where to next…”
Germanic perfection took a looong break by the looks of it,


Another fine morning…pure magic for the intended loop. The BMW-crowd goes one way…we’ll go the other then. Up the Alpine Way and it’s instantly obvious that Dave and Graham are practiced, old-hands… merging seamlessly into a group that’s ridden 1000s of k’s together…great stuff.
A bit of a surprise to see Marty and his Canon at Tom Groggin, just before the climb through the hairpins…and another group of 12 or so sporties from the Victorian Sports-Touring Club…. which we finished up playing tag-team with all day from here on.

I’ll tack onto Nev for the tight stuff…how the hell does he make it look so easy, when I’m really working for it?…he drops me off as he slips by a couple of cars pulling out from a parking area…following him is always a highlight.



Pulling into the little picnic-area at the creek the others come flying by….obviously having a ball. Nige, Dave, Jo, Moira, Goodie….the body-language as they come down the hill says it all. I wait for Marty to catch up after packing up the camera stuff.

Graham


And then comes the repeat of yesterday afternoon’s cracker, this time I’m behind and what a sight it is !! …a redline-tango up the hill to Deadhorse Gap, 2 Stroms boogying for what they’re worth. Shit-Hot !!
The grin is painted on all through the break at the top….and gets even wider when Nige and Marty both have a spin on #051. Their grins are skull-crackers…
What a glorious moment when the red flash appears between the trees… and flies over the top towards Thredbo at full noise…Thanks for the spectacle, guys.
Then the clear-cut silhouette of Mt. Kosciusco from the top of Charlottes Pass, a magic return-carve through gentle sweepers and well worth the few bux National Park entrance fees, the high plains showing off their best angle….into Jindabyne for lunch and a somewhat sad and depressed chance-meeting with a small flock of Melbourne Netriders who’ve lost one of their riding-buddies in a bad accident the day before, Lenna currently fighting her way back from serious back-injuries.


Somehow an AusTouring sticker finds it’s way onto Matt’s Hire-BMW650GS…

The sweeping back roads to Dalgety and on to Berridale across the High Country are superb, views magnificent. Then add the boulder-studded but otherwise bare paddocks across to Adaminaby…and just before the T-junction with the Snowy Mtn. Hwy., coming over the top of a gently crested lefthander, we’re faced with another bike-crash which only could’ve happened a few minutes earlier. Crowded by his 2 riding mates and some car drivers, a guy lies at the side of the road, a totalled ZX14 a good stretch further. :cry: :cry:
He’s moving… but no telling what’s wrong, everything pretty much taken care off by those already there…. I’ve never before seen an empty wrist-watch-housing by itself with half an arm-band attached, but there it was, on top of the pile of bits that the bystanders were collecting….
We’re quietly pushing on to Adaminaby and Kiandra.
This time it’s Dave ahead of me for the run across the ridge to Kiandra…. and it might as well be Marty, hehe. Great fun watching!
Sheesh…another “flying Strom”!

Graham (whitey)


Dave (dmtl15) on the downhiller after Cabramurra


Another quick stop in Cabramurra, the mood has changed…it seems like everyone wants to drag out the afternoon as long as possible
Goodie and the #051


…the views are stunning, the light a little softer and things turn into a photo-session with a tootle in-between…all the way to Khancoban.

Jo cranking the Scarver


What a great day!! It had everything that makes motorcycling what it is…and it’s a lively dinner at the pub.


More sunshine as the ways are parting…Jo, Nev, Dave and Graham leaving in different directions, the rest takes some sweepers and backroads via Towong and Tintaldra down the Murray and across the Granya Gap, where the pace picks up again.
Up the MittaMitta valley and the sometimes sandy single-laner from Eskdale (MittaMitta North Rd.),….snaking along the river towards the Dartmouth Rd..
It’s on again for the twisties to the dam and back to the sun-drenched terrace of the Dartmouth Pub, across the Lockhard Gap and up the full length of the (now sealed all the way) Redbank road, the more recently sealed top-end near Mt. Beauty being quite nice and sweepy compared to the boring down-valley section.

Lucky to get the last 2 cabins at the caravan park, we meet Ron (Grey Gentry) and others there.
That first beer was heaven….

Overcast but dry, it’s a chase across Tawonga Gap… the last for a while.
Myrtleford/ Oxley/Whitfield…hmmmm…the usual….. and more of the same to Yarck for a pie. Skies turning solid-grey through Yea…Nige and Moira splitting here for their home-run to Ballarat…it’s getting nippier by the minute on the way past Glenburn, Toolangi and down Chum Creek Rd. into Healesville.
Within another 20km, Goodie and I carve our way through the red-soiled farm-country of Seville and Mt. Evelyn, 10 mins. from home.

Thanks to all and everyone….we enjoyed it immensely. The places, the company, the riding…it all came together like a dream.
AT-Rally ’07…here we come !!
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Old 15-11-2006, 09:47 PM   #2
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OK....

for all of you that went, please fell free to write up you own tales, I will slowly put mine up over the next week or so using my piccys

for all of you who didnt go, read, look and enjoy

Marty
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Old 15-11-2006, 09:47 PM   #3
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The morning was young, the air was crisp and the bed was too bloody warm to get out of...... but there was a riding to do.

I fell out of bed, finish the last lot of packing... wallet...check...camera..check....bike...check...b ike key...check...brass balls...check.......flat battery.......CHECK! bugger

I had left the ignition on the strom from servicing the night before and there was nothing.... not even a wurrrrrwuuurclick. Of came the panniers and I pushed the beast up next to the cage, on went the jumper leads and up she started. I went inside to grab the rest of the gear and came out to smoke smouldering up from the triple clamp area....... FFFFAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKK, I shut her down thinking that the wiring loom was cooking and my trip was ruined to realise it was just some oil on the headers from the service. Out came the jumper leads again and once again up she started. On with the panniers and off we go

First stop, the service station just around the corner to check the tyre pressure, I pulled up next to the hose and shut the bike down wurwurwur vroooooommm. lucky, the tyre were perfect and off we where once again.

Up via Gembrook from Frankston on the reasonably newly sealed Gembrook to Launching Place road which is almost totally clear of gravel and a nice starter for the day.

(exactly 100km from home, Yarra Junction)


(A stop at Warby Bakery for a Snot Block and a chocy milk)


Here is where I decided which way to go, up the Reefton? Up Mt Donna Buang, turn left across the top to Don Rd to Healesville or turn right and along the Acheron Way? The Acheron Way was the way it was and was it a way to go. Up the great climb of Mt Donna Buang to the gate and straight through onto the dirt of the Acheron Way. The day before had rained like it hadn't rained for a long time and I was expecting a slippery time, it couldn't be further from the truth. The first 5 or so Km was a tight compacted gravel road that was good for a fast blat, very grippy and no dust....magic. The middle section had a bit of loose stuff but was a hoot all the same and the last of the dirt was grippy but with enough give to let the back wonder out of the corners.

(a quick stop for a Kodak moment)


The rest of the Acheron Way is sealed, very narrow and not line marked but a beautiful bit of road, the corners just flow one to another, a flick one way then a flick the other way, one after another through the amazing tall gum trees


Onto the boring run up to Eildon on cop watch with the warm sun on my back and not a cloud in the sky, what a way to spend a day

Then is was the cautious run up the Jamieson Rd that for a long time now has been covered with way to much fine gravel for anyone's liking. I was perfect, the first 10km or so have been freshly seal and now gravel in sight

(perfect, blue skys, clean road and exactly 200km from home)


There is still 13 or so KM of dirt on the Jamieson road that is a little steep in parts but quite wide for a mountain dirt road, alot of the corners are quite corrugated but I soon realised that a full laden Strom would bounce of the top of the corrugations with a squirt of the wrist and a little weight off the front wheel helped too.....what a road

(a stop off at the top for a view to savour)



the run down the other side on the black stuff was on full reserve and I limped into Jamieson with a very empty tank and and very empty belly....lunch time

Setting amongst the trees in Jamieson with the sun filtering though was simply serene, what a way to spend a Friday not at work.

A SMS from Pete saying they would be in Mansfield at 3:45 wasn't going to leave me enough time to get to Craig's hut and back again so the decision was made to stuff them..

(on the road towards Mt Buller... 300km from home)


Craigs Hut was made for the Movie "The Man From Snowy River" based on the Banjo Paterson poem of the same name. It was just a movie set with a dirt floor, it fell in to disrepair in the 90s and was rebuilt by the Mansfield 4wd club with funds from the Victorian Government. The road up is all dirt or really rock, it was covered in golf ball sized triangle shaped rocks that made riding difficult and I was worried about punchers. It was slow and nervous going but after about 45mins I made it to the 4wd track that was the lasts km to the hut. There is now a "beautiful" 36 car carpark at the top, this is 4wd driving in the Torak Tractor at its finest...

but it was well worth it.

(click on pic for full size panorama)


(the hut)




(back on the boring Mansfield to Mt Buller Road...400KM from home)


A quick fuel up at Mansfield and then along the beautiful stretch of the Mansfield to Whitfield Rd. Magic as always

(oh look, someone put a sticker on a sign....naughty )


The final run into Myrtleford was boring and tiresome as usual, I wish they would hurry up and seal the Whitfield to Lake Buffalo Road... or for me to have more time in the day to do it unsealed.

I turned into the caravan park to the waves from Glitch, Goodie (Mock), Tim, Nigel (Stromboner) Moira and Billy.... Home for the night.
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Old 16-11-2006, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty H
OK....

for all of you that went, please fell free to write up you own tales, I will slowly put mine up over the next week or so using my piccys

for all of you who didnt go, read, look and enjoy

Marty
Good idea !!
Edited the thread-starter with the full version
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Old 17-11-2006, 07:54 PM   #5
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Friday 3rd November

We didn’t start our adventure until 3pm on Friday – Nev had to sleep off the night shift and I had to do enough hours to make up the quota.

We were planning to head towards Nagambie - I love the lake and the wooden bridge across Nagambie Lake. Nev’s tom-tom navigated us through Nagambie avoiding the Hume Highway. Around Broadford I think we crossed the highway about three times. Some of the road were just one lane but certainly interesting. We stopped at Goulburn Weir to check out the site. Water was flowing through the weir but not much. We went though the area 18 months ago but never stopped.





We made it through Shepparton and the tom-tom navigated us to the Art Centre. When we saw decorated cows we had to stop and take some tourist pictures! Some of the paint works were outstanding! I think I got some funny look as people drove past as we were so excited with the art work.



Yarrawonga was the final destination for the afternoon. We stayed in one of the local hotel/motel and enjoy the walk across Lake Mulwala. I never knew there was such a big lake in regional Victoria/NSW.



Saturday 4th November
On Saturday we’re heading to Khancoban only about 300k’s from Yarrawonga. As we made our way to Albury we stopped at a town called “Howlong”. It always bring a smile to my face when I see town name like that – always wondering how or why the town was name that way.

Just outside Albury we stopped at another water feature - Horsehoe Lagoon. You can’t do much at the lagoon!

The trip is getting a familiar them – inspection of our water resource!

The next water feature is Hume Weir. The water level is certain very low. As we head to Bellbridge we saw a sign “Bridge Closed between 10 -12pm every Saturday”! Not a good sign as it’s 10.15AM and it’s a Saturday. We still forge ahead hoping that the workmen still let us through. When we got to the foot of the bridge – we were relieved as the sign said “No road work 3-7th November”! The workmen were having a long weekend as well. We were there 6 months ago and a lot of progressed since then. They’ve replaced the steel structure and road. On some section we can the unsealed joins between 2 slabs of concrete and see right through to the water level!


We stopped at Kurrajong Gap Lookout and Nev claimed his new throne!

The view over Hume Weir and surrounding areas wasn’t bad either.


The aim was to follow the River Road all the way to Tintaldra. The effect of the drought has quite an affect along the river. We can see the “old fence” line because the water level is so low!


The ride along the river was great except for the occasional gravel patches. I saw my first live snake be by the side of the road – even though the snake was trying to get away from the road as we passed my feet was further away from the road than normal My previous encounter with snake was either in the car or they were dead! It still sends a shiver down my neck as I post this.

We arrived at Tintaldra at lunch time but no food! Since we were only 40k’s from Khancoban we decided to head straight to our destination and enjoy the “switchyard special”!
We set up the tent at the caravan park and it was getting hot. Not much shade around the camp area but managed to find a spot near a tree – only so I can sit under the shade and sleep! Nev wasn’t going to let me sleep the afternoon away so we decided to ride to Murray 1 power plant about 10 k’s from the town. The visitor centre was interesting but the ice-cream was much better


By the time we returned to camp the others still have not arrived and it was getting hotter still. I decided that the best way to deal with the heat was to lie under the shaded tree and listen to the ipod. What did you we before ipod came into our lives?!? A few other motorcycle groups were using Khancoban as a base for the weekend so any time a bike pass I would look-up but no-one we know. About 5pm a bike with an esky on the back confirmed it was Nigel thus Moira and the others have arrived. As we settled on the comfy chair Dave turn up – initially wondered if it was “Whitey”. “Whitey” didn’t turn up much later!

It turns out be a Suzuki get-together! Glith, Marty, Goodie, Nigel, Tim, Moira, Dave were on Suzuki. Whitey and Nev were both on Honda Blackbirds and lonely me on the beemer. I feel quite out of place as the Victoria BWM Motorcycle club was also there for the weekend.

Sunday 5th November
We woke to a beautiful Sunday morning. One of the things we wanted to on the trip was to test the Orikasi folding bowls. They work quite well with instant soup !


The bowl was stable as it sits on the grass. It was fairly but not more than any other type of bowls. Placing a piece of paper underneath works kept the heat to a manageable level. The best thing about it was how quickly it flattens out and clean.

Sunday was riding day as well and the group decided to do the loop but in the opposite direction to the BWM group ride. As we reached Dead Horse Gap it was getting quite chilly compare to the boiling heat in Khancoban. There was some snow up the mountains. While we stopped at the gap – Nigel and

then Marty took Goodie’s “g-strom” for a test ride.


We initially by-pass Jindabyne and made it to Charlotte Pass. Glitch tried to talk them out of charging us the $6 entry but to no-avail. Thanks Glitch for taking care of the fees as we all head straight to Charlotte Pass. We can be Mt Kosciusko but no plan to walk the 6k’s to get there! Even managed a group photo


... not sure what Marty was trying to point to us..

... the view was spectacular as always -


We stopped at Jindabyne for lunch. It was quite a surprised to see Loz and Co were also resting at the same spot. I was a bit depressed to hear that Lenna had an accident on the previous day at the Black Spur.

After lunch we continued to Berridale. Unfortunately between Berridale and Adaminably we stopped to see if we can assist a down-rider. His zx-14 was quite a mess on the left-hand side. The rider was lying on the grass but at least he was conscious and hands were moving. After assessing that we can’t do anything more as his friends and some locals were organizing ambulance we continued on. The news of a down rider and seeing first hand another rider down certain affected my riding for the afternoon.



We all stopped at Cabramurra and saw another group of riders already there. They were the same group we’ve encountered at each of our stops during the day. I wonder how the town managed to survive as there no one there apart from the store keeper.

Marty's trying to clean off the graffiti..


As we made our way back to camp the camera came out. I never knew when I get around a corner someone is lying beside the road with the camera in hand. I once didn’t see Goodie until I saw the flash went off.



I was looking forward to see Kangaroo by the side of the road but didn’t see any – only a very dead wombat with four paws pointed in the air.





Monday 6th November
It’s the end of our stay in Khancoban. Nev and I decided to take the coast back to Melbourne we were hoping to take the Bonang Highway. Whitey rode with us as far as Jindabyne. The change in weather was a bit of a disappointment as by the time we made it to Thredbo it was very cold and drizzling

We rested at Cooma and a few vintage cars were also stopping in the same town. Those vintage cars were quite a sight!


The plan was to get to Bombala before we decide if we would tackle to Bonag Highway as the weather was a bit unpredictable. Nev decided to take a detour to Brown Mountain but as we reached the top the road was a bit damp and there was quite a traffic jam. Apparently a ute had loss it way and head straight down the embankment.


We navigated to the front of the queue to wait for the road to clear. It was good timing as Nev can see a gap enough to get the bikes through. As we approach the gap the cop was still right in the middle of the gap and as we got closer he turned looking at us and casually walked out of the way to let us pass Since all the cars were stuck at the accident it was a smooth ride down the mountain. Shame the road was a bit wet due to the constant drizzle.

As we headed to Dalgety it looks like we were heading straight into the rain… better put on our wet gear while we’re still dry.
[img]http://www.thisstupidurl.com/KhancobanNov2006Jo/Khancoban161.jpg
[/img]
We must have been a site as the cows approach the gate as we put our gear on. Nev decided that he wants to get closer but the cows would not come any closer if we were at the gate. As we moved back to our bikes the cows would come closer to the gate.



Lunch at Dalgety was a quite one – there wasn’t much of a choice so decided to buy some bread, ham, cheese and tomatoes and make our own sandwich. The road through Wynyard to Bombala was a bit wet in some area. By the time we reach Bombala it was completely dry. As we fuel up we had to make a decision if we would take the Bonang Highway. The first time and only time I went through the highway it was wet and muddy at the dirt section. The corners were all churned up and trying to navigate through was quite a challenge. Since Bombala was dry I made the executive decision to risk it – I did promise Marty that I would place the Austouring sticker at the infamous “105 km” sign!



It was a good thing that we took the Bonang as it was dry and there were very little traffic. The 20 k’s of dirt was a bit dusty but nothing to worry about. The traffic was light and we also saw 4 cars along the way.




We made to Orbost and I was exhausted but very satisfied.
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