Every wondered how riders like Rossi, Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo back it into the bends at god like speed while we marvel at their skill and daring? Wonder no more as Wayne Maxwell from Stay Upright motorcycle training shows us how its done.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Friday, December 25, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
We awoke the next morning to a winter chill in the air, it was about 12°C after yesterday's heat it seemed bitterly cold in comparison. We hit the bakery for coffee's and breakfast before mounting our steads and heading out of Boorowa. Riding from Boorowa through the little towns in between reminded me one of the reasons I left Forbes in the first place. Most of the roads out here are to straight and boring to have any fun, although it got more interesting the closer we got to Crookwell and Taralga which is on the verge of the Great Dividing Range.
Steve decided he wanted to try my R1 along here to which I got to test out his Triumph 675. He'd had the suspension set up by none other than Glen Alerton the legendary aussie superbike racer. His bike handled very sweetly and turned sharper than the R1 but was a little under powered for my liking, that's not to say it was slow far from it as it would hum along at a very fast clip, it just didn't have the punch of the litre bike.
Stopping in Taralga to warm up a bit I saw a sight I thought I'd never see. Bushpig had a coffee at the pub and not a beer. We I guess there's a first time for everything. From Taralga we made our way up to Oberon via shooters hill road and stopped in at the Monkey Bean cafe for a spot of lunch.
It was along here that I thought our route leader Slomax must be lost as he started to head back towards Taralga instead of Bathurst which was in the opposite direction. Little did I know he had a little back road in mind for coming into the back of Bathurst through a little town called Rockley. We stopped in for a quick ale(lemon squash for me) at the Pub here, the pub was under new management and it looks like they had spent a bit of money doing the place up. Could be interesting for an overnighter here some time in the future. This trip is starting to sound like one gigantic pub crawl by now.
|Patrick & Wayne at the Rockley Hotel|
Heading into Bathurst from Rockley was a nice little roller coaster ride through the hills which was thoroughly enjoyable as the roads were deserted. It brought us right into the back of Bathurst next to Mt Panorama one of Australia's world class motor racing circuits. They only race cars here now because it's deemed to dangerous for bike racing these days, Might Mick Doohan won the superbike race here back in the late 80's.
|Steve, Wayne & Patrick conquer the Mountain|
|Jeff & Patrick|
|Jeff praying at the alter to the gods of speed|
It was only a short 30 minute trip from Sofala to Rylestone and the other guys were already there when we got into the pub. The last 20 km's into Rylestone saw some of the most chopped up roughest road I had ridden on in the last 2500kms. I was starting to get a sore back after the last 20kms. I was having second thoughts on completing the last days ride around Bylong Valley way and down the Putty to Sydney. It seems I wasn't the only one a Bushpig and Wayne also took the most direct route home on day 6. I didn't bother to take any pictures as it was just the comute home. All up a fantastic tour over 6 days with a great bunch of blokes and over some of this country's most scenic motorcycle roads. I think for next years tour another day in the high country would be a better option and dropping off the Rylestone part as this is close enough to Sydney to do as a day ride. However Jeff's mate Patrick was out from Hong Kong for the trip and he was showing him around. I believe he loved every minute of the trip as did we. I'm already looking forward to next years snow ride.
Day 5 Map Reference
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Today's forecast was for very hot weather and it was already 25°C(77°F) at breakfast time. Lucky for us there was some light cloud cover and we were at fairly high altitude so that kept it cool until around midday.
First up was the ride from Khancoban up through the mountains to the Tooma Dam and Tumut Pond which are part of the Snowy Mountain scheme.First stop was at Tooma Dam where we regrouped and took a round of photos whilst taking in the coolish weather whilst it lasted. The roads through here are narrow and winding with lots of forest that come right up to the edge of the road, just have to be careful of wildlife through here but it is motorcycling heaven.
|Bushpig at Tooma Dam|
Setting off from Tooma Dam and heading up higher into the mountains towards Tumut Pond there was all sorts of bends on this bit of road from long sweepers to twisty sections up and down through the mountains. I was having a ball through this section as the fuel consumption gauge will attest to as I'd used 8 litres for 67 kms. I did stop several times to take some photos along the way and wait for the others to ride past so I could take an action snap of them.
|Bushpig and Slomax|
Coming down from the top of the plateau the road winds its way down the mountain and you can see the vast waters of Tumut Pondage in the distance looming up large in between the hills. I just passed Wayne coming down the twisties and was about to go for it but I thought I'd let Wayne stay with me to help him out in the twisties as he could use me as a braking marker. It must be pretty hard riding these roads with only one eye, so Wayne has my full respect for doing what he does.
|Tumut Pond Reservoir|
|Wayne and the BMW K100|
Leaving from Tumut Pond Reservoir and the road winds its way back up into the hills again with all different types of bends, glorious sweepers, straights up hill and down dale. It didn't take long and we'd gotten into Cabramurra. I thought I get a splash of fuel here but the petrol bowser was out of order. I'd have to get some in Talbingo. So we rode on out and up to Kiandra which is on the snowy mountains highway. Kiandra is just a name on the map as there is nothing at all there, just the turn off sign below.
|Snowy Mountains Highway|
As we came up to the end of the plateau that is the snowy mountains the road drops down Talbingo mountain in a steep section of 8kms of twisty tarmac. The faster we descended the mountain you could feel the temperature rising and that blasting dry heat. The temperature had risen to 41°C(106°F). We stopped in Tumut for lunch at the Woolpack Hotel. The airconditioning was a godsend just sitting there with an ice cold lemon squash out of the heat.
Then Steve came up with a totally absurd idea of going down to the river for a swim. I didn't think that I'd like to get out of all my gear just to go for a swim, but after getting back out into the heat and down by the river it looked quite inviting actually. So there were about 5-6 of us that stripped down and decided that we go in. It sure was a shock to the system going from 41°C air into water that was probably less than 10°C, the water was coming down from the snowy mountains from melted snow after all. Refreshing.
|Slomax enjoying the cold Tumut River|
After our swim in the river it was time to make tracks and head for our digs for the night at the Boorowa Hotel. This was only about an hour and a half distance from my old home town, kind of familiar territory for me. The ride in the heat was starting to get tiring and i was feeling like just getting there. No time for stopping, no time for photos, just get there get out of the heat and have an ice cold beer at the bar.
It was so good to get inside the cool pub and get out of our hot bike gear. The food at the Boorowa Hotel was top notch for a little country town pub. I highly recommend staying here if your travelling through and looking for somewhere.
Day 4 map reference
Friday, December 11, 2015
The following morning we were up and ready for breaky, everyone was here except one. Where was York? There was a surprised look on our faces when we found out he was in Omeo Hospital. Did he crash in the night or in the morning before we got up?
No he had a severe bout of kidney stones. Ouch I am lead to believe these are extremely painful. So we waited around for more info, in the mean time we decided to wash the mud off of the bikes that we had ridden through the previous day on the Princess Hwy. To say the bikes were filthy would be an understatement. I've seen less mud on some dirt bikes.
With York not being able to continue we safely stored his gear at the pub and the bike at the servo across the road ready for when he got better(which was about 3 days later as it turned out). We continued on now leaving late near about 10:30-11am. We took the main route up over Mt Hotham. I hadn't been up this way for quite a few years now and was looking forward to it. The mountain views were spectacular as everyone stopped along the way to take in the views.......
|The Bomber at Hotham Central|
Here's a short video of the view from Danny's lookout
|Our fearless group captain and all round good bloke Jeff|
|Petrol tank selfy goodness|
|Me at Hotham|
|Slomax & Bushpig on Hotham|
|Mountain Twisty Goodness|
Coming down from Hotham was a blast and we had to pick our way through a whole bunch of cyclists that were riding/racing quite quickly down the mountain. Luckily they weren't riding 2 abreast around some of the blind corners.
We stopped in at Harrietville for a cool drink as it was getting hotter and hotter as we descended down the mountain. I was glad to stop and have a cool drink it was now getting up into the high 30's and was becoming uncomfortable.
Once our group had regrouped so to speak and refreshed we were soon on our way again and onwards to another one of my favourite bike roads, the Tawonga gap. I so much wanted to stop and take some photo's along here but was having to much fun, it wasn't until I was down the otherside at the lookout that I finally pulled in to take in the views of Mt Beauty and Mt Bogong in the background. Can't have asked for a better day really.
Day 3 map refrence