Mapping the next ride...
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6_peaks #3_tales…

The who and what:

Dave (Hobart) Trumpy Tiger
Tim (Tassie) (Hobart) CapoNord
Nigel (Ballarat) V- Strom (with TWO Eskies)
Alex (Newcastle) Navigator
Gail (Newcastle) Peg
Garry (Melb) Peg
Goodie (Melb) Peg
Stef (Melb) Peg (Flamethrower)
Pete (Melb) V-Strom
Clayton (Melb) Trumpy Trident
Chris (Melb) ZX6 (Swoopy)
John (Melb) R1
Sasha (Melb) CBR6
Suzie (Melb) ZR7
Tim Kwok (Melb) Kilo gixxer

9 Chookies, 2 Nekkids and 4 Sporties….and what a fun-bunch it was!!!
On his way from Ballarat to the meeting point in Pakenham, Nigel pried the 2 Taswegians out of Quarantine at Station Pier at 7.30am, there were some Visa-issues, but Stef was at hand as well to sort those out :))

Sasha made her way from Frankston, the rest of the bunch met at various points in and around the Dandenongs to ride to Pakenham together, Gail and Alex to join up in Jindabyne the following night, coming from Newcastle.

Blue skies, dry roads and sunshine for the whole week were ordered....and DELIVERED !!
Off we went, down the Princess to Yallourn, then via the backroads to Heyfield/ Maffra and Stratford.
From there to Bairnsdale via a little-known parallel-route to the Princess via Meerlieu, adding 10km to the Princess Hwy-stretch, but faaaar nicer to ride...
Onwards to Buchan, pulling in early at the Log-Cabins up-the-hill, time enough for a getting-to-know-eachother and the last Caves-tour of the day.




Transport section out of way, everyone looked forward to the next day, the twisties of the Buchan-Orbost backroad and the Bonang Hwy to delegate/Bombala.
The Cabins are cosy and the large verandahs invited everyone to hang-around and spread-some-bull.
Good fun :)

A sparkler of a morning and early get-up, each cabin-crew cooking their own bacon/eggs with the banter going from cabin-to-cabin.
Little did we know... It's a tricky bit of road, narrow, often gravelly in corners and always good for the odd surprise-encounter with farm-and wildlife.
The quicker-ones pulled out first, Suzie on the Kwaka7 the backmarker for the morning.
Some stopped as Gravel-markers along the way...until realizing that the blue Kwaka and a couple of others wouldn't show...upon return to Buchan, the reason was obvious.



Just out of town, Suzie had misjudged a double-apex lefthander badly, and literally ridden off-the-road, the Kwaka must've been airborne down the 4meter steep embankment, then sliding downhill into the paddock-fence. Thankfully Suze was up and mobile but in a lot of pain, the Kwak barely mobile, arse-first wedged under the fence, the gearsack shredded into panels and a weeks-worth of clothing and bits hanging off trees and fencing-wire...nasty!!

Some locals were at the scene and proved that country-folks deserve their reputation in full...
helping wherever they could, calling the local nurse in on a Sunday morning...just incredible.
After getting the bike up the steep bank, Suz was taken by the locals to the Bush-Nursing-Station in Buchan, the local cop came out in his Sunday's Best (shorts, thongs and singlet...another friendly soul) to make the report, Suz's pain was increasing by the minute and shock set in as well...a call went out for the ambos to get her to Bairnsdale Hospital.


Garry did his best contortionist imitation to roll/ride/pedal the Kwak back into town, the grossly bent front end and leaking brake hose didn't help...I'll never forget the 2 of us sitting at the side of the Buchan main road, sorting through the remaining good bits of Suz's gear for what she might need in hospital the next few days....


Split into 2 groups about 60km apart, the bunch in Orbost went ahead, up the Bonang Hwy and 20km of dirt in 2 sections. The group in Buchan left Suz as the ambos radioed in from Bruthen to say that they were on their way. Running over 2 hours late, Garry, Goodie and I decided to skip lunch in Orbost and keep going, following the main group to Bombala.

Then we lost Goodie along the way, she went (as planned) via Bonang, Garry and I goofed via Bendoc, both routes finishing up in Delegate. After the mornings happenings the 30 mins wait for Goodie in Delegate was agonizing, plenty of places for someone to come-off along that road...

Ready to split up, turn back and search both possible routes, she trundled into town...after a long wait for us in Bonang...it was turning into a rough day.
Bombala next and unbeknownst to us, the main group pulled out of town as we approached, mere minutes apart on their way to the overnight stop in Jindabyne.
Assuming that we were running late and loosing 1 hour of daylight due to Daylight-savings, we decided not to follow the "sheeted route" via Cooma, but take the shortcut via 24km dirt to Dalgety, and what a ripper that was.
Perfect stuff for the chookies, smooth dirt with little loose gravel on top, good for 100 and more....and with the whole of the Snowies as a backdrop, GREAT stuff. Sun sinking low, everything turned orange-red as we pulled into Jindabyne...surprised at being the first ones at the cabins.


Alex and Gail came next, 20 mins later the main group. Too late now for the planned boat-race (the C/P hires out 9.9hp dinghies), early enough to go shopping for bbq and drinks.

Bonang-Hwy tales galore, the slips, the dips, the slides, the dirt-sections...what a great piece of road it is, the 20km dirt well worth it.
Another pack-up early next morning (a fist against the aluminium-cladding of the cabins makes a hell of a boom inside, I was told :))...more sunshine for the ride to Smiggins/ Charlotte's Pass and getting some video-footage along the way.


Dave's Tiger screemed it's guts out in the repeated attempts to get to the head of the group and set up at the next location...can this guy boogie or what??
The bile-green paint-job came to haunt everyone for the next few days...with Tim on the gleaming red Capo right behind, snorting Staintunes and all, in a battle with Clayton's "old Trident", clapped-out suspenders or not, this guy could even make a Harley go around corners! Fast ! Very fast !! Impossibly fast !!! Great stuff to watch...usually from behind, though...and not for long.

Up to Thredbo for a wander-around (counting the Mercs and Porsches there had to be yet another tax-deductible Dentist-Convention in town), then up to Deadhorse Gap (plenty of horseshit on the road here...no shit !) for the Alpine Way into Khancoban, rip-snorter stuff down the mountain and past Geehi, a short break at Scammels Lookout, later some good tucker at the Kancoban Pub. Chris started to come down with the flu, which lateron spread through the group.

With Chris out for a rest-day, next morning's brilliant sunshine around Khancoban...


disappeared as we climbed toward Cabramurra and it got COLD. Blue lips and hot chocolate after all those twisties before it was of to Kiandra, then the Snowy Mtn. Hwy to Tumut for early lunch and some BBQ-shopping for the night. Big coughing-fits held back Sash somewhat, but she kept plugging on.
Back into the sunshine, the rest of the day was warm, the wets (against the cold) came off and we were on our way to Batlow/ Tumburumba and onto the Elliott Way.
Bridgeworks are still underway, the 2 diversions via COARSE gravel in the valley just before the climb to Tumut2-Powerstation were ROUGH and SLOW. The rest proved to be surprisingly gravel-free.


Too late for the Powerstation-Tour, we went on to Cabramurra for another stop and drinks, then more twisties for the 65km back to Khancoban which was buried in a haze of smoke after some burn-offs in the area that day.

What a day, 400-odd km of mainly twisties and great scenery, Tim cooked up another great BBQ, plenty of stories filling the night...
Dribs and drabs of news about Suzie started to come through, she was still in Bairnsdale Hospital with what looked like a ruptured spleen, no good at all :((


Another bright and sunny morning, into the wets again, it was off up the Alpine Way to Thredbo, twisties after twisties, a great piece of road. Brunch at the old Jindabyne Shopping Ctr. overlooking the lake, the bakery there is a good one and highly recommendable.
Undulating roads with plenty of blind crests to Dalgety and Berridale, nice and entertaining back-roads for sure, then off to Adaminiby.
Gail's rack holding the mounting plate of the Givi-box had broken, making the box flop around like a wet sock in a cyclone.
Emergency repairs got underway, this was beyond the usual duct-tape-fix.

Nigel pulled one of his pranks on Chris, shoving a toy-whistle of his exhaust....the results were......see below.




This time around, the Powerstation-Tour was booked out, no reason to press for time then.
Off to Kiandra and to Cabramurra once more, spending the rest of the afternoon between twisties and points-of-interest along that stretch of road. Plenty of stops, taking some pics and generally wasting time the nice way...



Off to the pub for tucker and this time things just didn't work there, waiting for grub for hours, getting the wrong stuff, the food was lousy, in the end the grog worked and we changed their "menu"-board to "wishlist" with the aid of the pools-chalk.
Garry tried to sit-in at someone else's table, proclaiming that it really was his steak the guy had and that they should share it...he could've well been right, too :).

More sunshine and an early pack-up after 3 nights in Khancoban, it was off via some small backroads to Tintaldra, a quick look at the famous pub (too early for grog), then down the Murray to Walwa and across the Granya Gap, a quick dogleg and towards MittaMitta, then up to the Dartmouth Dam.
Lunch on the sunny verandah of the Dartmouth Pub cooked up the idea of fixing one of the cameras to Clayton's Trumpy for some on-road footage.
Garry had lost his sunnies on the way down from the dam and rode straight over them on his way back up to look for them...

Some didn't realize the camera-bit and rode down to MittaMitta in the time-honoured staggered formation, then things started to dawn and everyone wanted to be ON-SCREEN, overtaking-mayhem resulted...
Up the Lockhard Gap towards Tangambalanga, then the backroad up the Kiewa Vally, missing a turnoff across to the main Hwy., resulting in another 2km dirt-section before the turn-off across the next bridge.
Into Mt. Beauty for a cuppa at the bakery, Tassie-Tim shooting through the roundabout despite corner-marker and up the hill to Falls Creek. Only took 30 mins to have him trundle back into town, remarking that it felt a bit lonely out there on his own :)

Camera rolling, it was on for young and old up the Tawonga Gap and down into Bright, the booked Holiday Units proving the best accomodation of the trip. Alex and Gail came shortly after, the emergency bush-welding hadn't last long and the rack broke again the previous night.
Both'd hung back in Khancoban for a more permanent fix and joined up in Bright again.

Hooking up the camera provided plenty of entertainment after a good meal out in one of Bright's restaurants.
Sarah called from Melbourne, she had news about Suz, the ruptured spleen had been confirmed but there was hardly any pain left, Suz being bed-bound and bored.

The last "full day" saw the group splitting up into 2, Stef and Clayton had to leave for Melbourne that morning. The Sporties left a bit later, doing Hotham/ Tawonga Gap and Falls Creek return-runs.
The Chookies went early to Harrietville for Breakfast, into the wets against the cold once more for the run into the brilliant sunshine up Mt. Hotham and towards Omeo.


A short break in Swifts Creek after the Cassilis road, then down the Omeo Hwy for more bends and twists to Bairnsdale for another short stop and fill-up.
Mid-afternoon saw us pulling into Dargo after another set of great twisties, everyone getting fairly tired by now.
Then came the "great" news that there are roadworks on the High-Plains-Road for about 14km after the asphalt ends and just recently a couple of sporties got decked in the deep ruts filled with fine dust.
Too late in the day to turn around, and 56km of dirt could'nt be that bad...
Oh shite, they were...and more.


Construction-and Timber trucks have rutted the road badly, pounding the surface into 2-6 inches of fine dust, with deep, underlaying ruts. It wasn't fun and Christ, it was dirty !!
Oncoming trucks made the sun go down, not 2 foot of track to see ahead, fanning the clutch and paddling the feet for what seemed like hours.
Finally the ground got firmer, still broken by the odd patch of loose stuff.
After that it became pretty rocky and everyone was happy to see the end of it just before the Hotham ridge.
With mobile reception again, we called to Bright and the Sporties-Crew to ask them to do the shopping, still being about an hour out of Bright, creeping towards the end of daylight.

What should've been a leisurley tootle down the mountain finished up quite a quick run, empty roads and the low light tinging the side of the mountain.
Pulling into Bright we found Sasha on the ground in front of the Bottle Shop, waiting for ambos and cops. Fallen over with the bike landing on top of her had one foot swell like a balloon, time for X-rays. Very few marks on the CBR6 though (no surprise, with her underneath...).

It all turned out ok, if painfull, at least nothing broken.
Another one of Tim's great cook-ups on the BBQ, more movie-watching, exchanging the day's stories... great night.

Again up early and more sunshine, this was too good to be true. After packing up it was up Mt. Buffalo before the toll-collector opened up, Sasha pillioning on the lime-green Tiger, leaving her bike in Porepunkah. The last 2 klicks to The Horn are dirt, and this time they were ROUGH, the Sporties stopped at the looks of the first few meters. It got worse the further up we went, Nige eventually dropping the EskyMobil at stillstand on the top carpark.
Still, the views were breathtaking from up there, a yellowish haze in the far distance looking like there was some burning-off going on.
Back to the Chalet for another look from there, then down the twisties again, picking up Sasha's bike along the way to Myrtleford Bakery for a laaate breakfast.


Gail and Alex left for Canberra from here, the rest via Oxley and Whitfield, enjoying the last batch of twisties into Mansfield, fill-up and drinks.
Back home via Yea (where John split off) then Yarra Glen (where Tim split) was a stifling bore, sitting on the limit on those roads is a pain, particularly after all the great roads over the last few days.

The remainder of the group stayed for coffee, the 2 Hobart-boys staying for the night to catch their ferry on Sun night. Big bike-cleanup on Sunday, Sash and Tim came across for the Video to Hard-drive transfers, a total of nearly 4 hrs with more than 1 hour of on-road footage.

Great ride, great group, lotsa fun, dry roads and sunshine all the way, the only real thorn was Suzie's off and having to leave her in Bairnsdale.

...and a BIG THANKS to all for making it the trip it was!!
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