Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Magic Monday

I had set my alarm for 4am on Monday morning so that I could get up early to watch the Indianapolis MotoGP. The alarm didn't go off for some reason and I awake around 4:30am. I looked at the clock and it blinked back at me. It's to early and cold to get up I told myself as I drifted back to sleep. I'll have to get myself a hard disk recorder so I can watch it at a decent hour.

I finally got up just after 8am, a sleep-in in my books, but I was quick to get ready. Why was it a magic Monday you ask. Three sweet little letters. R.D.O. Yep it was my rostered day off and come hell or high water I wasn't going to spend it doing the 40 million chores I have around the house at the moment. 'Fuck that' I said to myself it's time to ride.

I wasn't sure where I was going to go but I was getting my shit together so I could get the hell out of here. I was thinking of a run out to Oberon and back but thought against that as it might be a bit on the brisk side in the Blue Mountains being winter and all so I took of and headed for the low ground down to the Old Road and then the Wisemans Ferry loop.

First stop was at the bottom of Galston Gorge to let some traffic go so I could have a clear run.

Galston Gorge has some of the tightest switch backs I've ever ridden. Not my favourite road but twisty all the same.

Turn off after the gorge was a quick trip up to Berowra and a stop for a splash of fuel as there's not much on the way around to Wisemans Ferry. The winter sun gods were smiling down on us today and there were quite a few bikes out on the Old road not to mention the HWP. With a recent spat of accidents requiring 2 heli lifts in 2 weekends the HWP are foaming at the gib to book people which is pretty easy with the ridiculously low speed limit on the old road.

The stretch of tarmac from the Pie in the Sky down the hill to Brooklyn has to be some of the best set of twisties around. Super smooth surface, wide twisting road with great views. What else could a biker ask for.

Eddies Corner

Stopping in at the estuary cafe there was nobody there and it was closed, so it was a quick photo stop then onto the Road warrior cafe for a drink and check out if there were any bikes there. Turns out there was a few and I ended up chatting with a guy with the new R1. We got to talking about settings, suspension and mods. It was an interesting chat that's for sure, we both had similar views on the bike.

Another crossplane beauty

Here's my arty shot for the day, why? because I can.

I got the full old road experience today and even took some pics of the new bike in the tunnel. Didn't know there's a tunnel on the old road? You've not had the full Old road tour then.

Leaving the old road behind I'd decided it was time to get cracking and hit up the pub at wisemans ferry for lunch. It was already 1pm and I'd only done less than half the trip. The wisemans ferry road flows through the mangroves and low hills and around the Hawkesbury river. There are a couple of small villages along the way.

Spencer Wharf
I meet a couple of guys out for a run in their sports cars, who when they saw my bike came over and had a chat. Turns out they were both bike riders owning beemers.

The river was beautifully still today, with not a skerrick of wind to disturb the waters surface. Temp was about 20°C(68F). Did I happen to mention it was Monday and most of you lot were working whilst I was riding in perfect conditions. "Muuhahahhahah" - Dr Evil.

There was a short line up for the ferry of about 5 vehicles. We had to wait for the ferry to cross and pick us up. It was half way across by the time I got my camera out.

Wisemans Ferry

The township of Wisemans Ferry is right on the other side from where I'd boarded the ferry so it was only a stones throw until lunch. I was famished by now as I didn't both with breakfast this morning and I didn't stop for a Pie on the old road either. I love the really old stone work in this pub, its a fantastic little stop. 

I'd ordered the last pot pie for the day and got a icy cold beer. I'd not long sat down to indulge in this bliss and another guy on a bike sat at the next table. We inevitably sat down there shooting the breeze about bikes, beers, roads and divorce. I'm sure this is how it all starts anyway.

The pot pie tasted as good as it looks in the pic and topped off with a 150 lashes Pale Ale. Does it get any better than this.
Maybe I could call in sick tomorrow and just keep riding?

Technology, the old and the new.
After an hour at the pub relaxing with a nice meal and talking bikes it was time to get going if I was going to beat the traffic back into Sydney's burbs. The climb up the hill out of wisemans revealed a bit of a hidden cave right at the top of the climb. I'd not noticed before now as I'd normally be zooming along bloody fast..... er I mean carefully paying attention to the road.

I was home about an hour later, helmet cleaned, gear put away, bike safely stored away in the garage ready for the next outing. I love RDO Monday's.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Suzuka 8 hours 2015 2nd hour highlights

Casey Stoners return to racing didn't go quite as expected at the Suzuka 8 hour but whats even worse than his crash was the pasting he's coped in social media and some press around the world stating outstanding quotes like

"Whats the moaner going to blame this on"

"Did your ambition outweighed your talent again Casey?"

To the Stoner knockers you can all go and fuck off. He's a 2 time world Motogp champion. Fucken keyboard warriors and they probably can't ride for shit.
Casey said the throttle stuck open, and you can clearly see he has a problem at 1:02 pulls in the clutch and you can hear the engine bouncing off the rev limiter. Honda later confirmed that the throttle was stuck at 27%.

Get well soon Casey, wishing you all the best here from the Road to Nowhere.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Got out for a ride and didn't run out of fuel

Bushpig suggested a ride on Saturday and the winter weather finally decided to play ball and put on a brilliant sunny 20°C(68°F) day. I was busting to get out for a ride, buying a new bike in the middle of winter is probably not the best idea if you want to ride it. The last couple of weekends have been bitterly cold with snow in the Blue Mountains closing the Great Western Highway and the Bells Line and not really inspiring me to get out for a ride.

Stewie and Bushpig met at my place and we headed for Mcgraths Hill maccas to meet up with Doctor Kwok. A quick coffee and breaky for some and we were under way heading up to the Putty Rd. I tweaked the suspension to soften it up a bit a couple of weeks ago, so I would get to see if they have made any difference in making for a smoother ride. I'd also changed the ride mode on the dash from A(race mode) to B mode. It was instantly a more tractable bike to ride. Throttle response in A mode is pretty brutal and it really seemed to be heavy on fuel consumption. Bushpig threatened me if I run out again I'd be walking so I made sure I filled up when needed.

Coming up the twisties at Colo river I'd rounded a bend and encountered a car doing about 60kmh, a little hard braking later and I decided to pull over to let them go. Also my first opportunity for a photo stop. It didn't take long and a large group of bikes roared past with Stewie and Dr Kwok stuck firmly in the middle. We caught up quickly and getting stuck in the group saw us doing 80kmh in places. Annoying to say the least

Dr Kwok
A quick fuel stop for me and Bushpig at Colo Heights and we were under way again. I would get to check the fuel trip meters along here as we rode up to Broke, in the Hunter Valley for lunch. It wasn't long before we were stopped again and saying our goodbye's to Dr Kwok. He had an appointment and had to turn around and go back.

The strumpet

Live long and Prosper
This will be the first time through the ten mile section on the new bike. There was quite a bit of water on the road today even though it was a warm day some sections along the river do not get any sun on them and the road stays wet and has moss growing on it. We were all taking it pretty easily because of the damp sections. So it came as a surprise to me when I touched my knee down on the road on one of the bends without really trying. It just goes to show how good the new R1 is and how sticky the bridgestone tyres really are. I don't think these tyre will see much more than 2000 km's to be honest, you can see the rubber peeling off them.

We turned off the main road and headed across to Broke for lunch and check on how much fuel I had used. It's quite beautiful country across this section where the road sweeps through the vineyards.

There were a lot of bikes out today, like these bunch of guys' on their L's and P's out racing each other on their little 300's. It was funny coming up behind them and watching them come out of the bends and laying on the tank and opening up the throttle. It seemed like they just made more noise but weren't actually accelerating. I bet they can't wait till they can get something with a bit bigger capacity. Keep it up boy's you looked like you were having lots of fun.
Hunter Valley Vineyards

There was a queue for petrol so we decided to order lunch. 3 works burgers were hungrily dispatched in no time. The burgers were pretty good here. After filling up I had used 8.3 litres for 125km's. I decided to put some in anyway, by my calculation if it used the same on the way back I would use 16.6 litres for 250km's with only 400ml of fuel left. That's not a lot in case of anything going wrong. We were very lucky on the way back across the milbrodale road with the local constabulary looking for more fresh victims, luckily we dodge that bullet. 

Praying at the altar to the road god's

We were soon back in Colo heights and I fueled up to check and I had used the same 8.35 litres for 125kms. I could have made it back but there would have only been fumes left and it's better to be safe than run out again. A pretty good winter day's run out. The suspension was a lot more compliant than before but the rear still needs the spring preload softening up a little. I can't complain really, if you want a race bike on the road you can't expect it to be really comfortable, after all it is a track based machine. And that 200hp engine is very addictive.

A lovely monster

Sunday morning rolled around was much like Saturday, beautiful weather again. I'd given the bike its first wash after yesterdays outing. I thought I'd get out to fill up and just put a few more km on before I book in the first service. I picked up Brad on the way and we did some local back streets around eastern creek. We found two buildings like this one. The warehouse had collapsed in a freak hail storm a couple of months back, apparently there was about 10cm of hail. Obviously the warehouse roof couldn't take all that extra weight and it just caved in. Time to book in the 1000km service now that I've got 980kms on the dial.