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Old 03-11-2015, 01:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Greensborough Vic
Posts: 3,579
Default Long weekend blast

A FarRider lunch meetup was scheduled for Oct 31. Destination was lunch in Texas, QLD, right on the NSW border, midway between the Newell and New England Highways.

Friday morning I left home and headed north, crossed the border into NSW at Tocumwal and stopped for lunch and fuel in Jerilderie. After lunch, up the Newell to my next fuel stop in Forbes. It was such a good run I did the entire 350km in a single hit without any stops. Storm clouds started brewing in the north, and in Parkes I stopped to don my wet weather gear. Hit a few storms and some rain between Parkes and tomingly, where I headed off the Newell into Narromine. I think this was a good move as all of the storm activity appeared to be occurring to my east, which is where I would have been had I stayed on the Newell.
In Narromine I took my only pic of the day, a statue to the hometown boy Glenn McGrath

Back onto the Newell at Eumungerie, and another brief storm, but then a dry run the rest of the way through Gilgandra to Coonabarabran where I pulled up stumps for the night and got some takeaway chinese food.

Saturday morning a brief storm went past at 5:30am when I woke up, but by 6:30 when I hit the road it was just overcast.

Heading north the last motel in Coona gives an insite into what passing drivers might have to contend with.

There were none about this morning though. I had planned to take the Newell to Narrabri then the Killarney Gap road across to Bingara, but a road crew at the intersection just north of Coona had the road closed signs out. There was a truck crash on the Newell and the road was closed. So I rode the Oxley out to Gunnedah, then Rushes Creek Road into Manilla and north up the Fossickers way to Bingara and then Warialda.

The day was perfect for riding and so were the roads. This road doesn't look like much on the map, but north of Barraba it's a great riding road.

In Barraba came across another FarRider from SA whose rear shock in his CanAm Spyder had done a seal and had lost all of it's oil all over the back of the bike. He was on the phone to the NRMA to get a tow truck to come get him.

Arrived in Texas right on lunchtime.

The main street was full of bikes, the pub was full of riders, and the local kinder ladies had put on a sausage sizzle to feed us all (around 100 rider/pillions arrived by midday), with all money raised going into the kinder.

The local war memorial hall has been maintained and restored wonderfully.

After lunch, I headed south again, into Inverell, Tingha, about 20km of dirt road out of there and then back onto the bitumen in Guyra, where it was freezing and bleak, as Guyra always is. From there out to Ebor, Dorrigo and down the Waterfall way to Bellingen, and south along the Pacific Hwy to Macksville. All afternoon the skies were threatening to rain, but they never did, and I never put on my wet weather gear.

A cheap motel on the outskirts of town, complemented by a cheap meal at the local Caltex roadhouse. I think in the evening it rained a bit. I had a good night's sleep and woke up to clear skies again. By 5:45am I was on the road again heading south. Fuelled up in Wauchope at 7am and heading up the Oxley Hwy which was a good run aside from some cloud in parts, and very little traffic on a Sunday morning.

Sunshine and green grass on the approach to Walcha

At 9am a quick stop to put on sunscreen in Walcha and then off again, this time south on Thunderbolts Way. More fuel in Gloucester then out the Dungog (on Australias worst road..but judging by the number of pothole patches, probably the best maintained road -one pothole at a time) and into Singleton. The forecast for the Putty road was afternoon showers/possible storms, and it was still only lunchtime, so I kept motoring on down the Putty Road, just a couple of stops, one for a bite to eat, and another at the old Halfway house, which hasn't improved much since the fire which burned it down about a decade ago, although some enterprising local is here selling bacon and egg rolls and sausages in bread to bikers on a Sunday.

My plan was to get to the bottom of the putty, call it a day there and then head off first thing Monday for the 890km run home down the Hume, but when I got into Windsor it was only 14:30 and the predicted storms had not yet appeared, so I decided to start my run home immediately.

About 150km south of Sydney I stopped for a break and checked the radar. The storms had arrived right on queue in Sydney so I'd done well to avoid them. From here the Hume heads west for about 200km and the entire time I'm watching clouds brewing in front of me, but apparently moving away from me at the same rate, so I am never catching them. Then just as I'm about to reach Gundagai they start looking very ominous.

This cemented my decision to stop in Gundagai for the night. The exit for Gundagai is about 1km on the left.

I'm due for a refuel but the storm is so close I ride straight past the servo to a motel right behind it. The motel has it's no vacancy sign out. bugger. There's another motel i've stayed here before at the other end of town. It's about a 3km ride back there. Within a minute the sky is black as if the sun has set. I ride past the caravan park and under the old railway bridge and the wind picks up and starts blowing branches and leaf litter at the road. A couple of drops of rain as i hit the main street.. and a very slow car in front of me. I arrive at the motel and turn into the drive. I notice he has a no vacancy sign out too. bugger. I stop under the shelter outside his office. I'm just about to turn the bike around and look for alternatives and the storm unleashes it's fury. Rain start pounding down. The motel owner is happy to let me shelter under his cover, and confirms he's full. The whole town is full he says. A local plant is closed for a refit and the construction crews have booked the whole town.

He rings the caravan park for me. Yeah they have a cabin. $139. Pass. He tries another motel in the main street. They have their no vacancy sign out but they have a room. They're right across the road from the local services club as well. I wait a while for the rain to ease but I still have to put my wet weather gear on for the 100 metre ride to the next motel.

Monday morning the rain has stopped. But it was raining throughout the night. Being in Gundagai has given me the option of a more interesting route home but with all the rain I decide to hit the Hume initially, as the roads through Tumut, Tumbarumba will be wet and not much fun.

The Hume has dried out well though.

After I cross the border into Vic I turn off the Hume at the Chiltern exit and head to Beechworth.

Such a pity they didn't go with the Roman numerals. I think 1888 is the longest string of Roman numerals (13) for any year on the AD calendar. MDCCCLXXXVIII

Near Milewa I found a goat, standing on stuff.

On the Whitfield Road the Austin 7 car club were out in force, at least 20 of them heading the other way.

Lunch at the Giddy Goat in Yarck then home by mid afternoon. Not a bad weekend for a 3 1/2 day trip. 3,614km all up. Now have 13607km on the Super Tenere and loving riding it even more.
'13 TR650 Terra
'14 XT1200ZE Super Ténéré
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:56 PM   #2
Pit Crew
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Melbourne
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Default Re: Long weekend blast

Impressive ride Nev, I sense there's a story on how you just "found the Goat" ?

Cheers Doug
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:49 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Patch, Vic
Posts: 942
Default Re: Long weekend blast

Big miles ! Those on-bike shots on the freeway with the blurred edges are quite effective.
.... Peter.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Location: Greensborough Vic
Posts: 3,579
Default Re: Long weekend blast

Not intentionally. I guess they're just an artefact of a point and shoot camera which was struggling in low light conditions.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:14 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Sunbury
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Default Re: Long weekend blast

Not just a hardcore 'Iron Butt' are you, but a deep thinker too:

I think 1888 is the longest string of Roman numerals (13) for any year on the AD calendar. MDCCCLXXXVIII
Seriously though mate - you figured that out all by yourself, or was it on the back of a napkin at the Diner

Very enjoyable ride- report regardless - Thanks!!
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