Friday, February 24, 2012

24 February - Loch and Philip Island

A cool and overcast morning, but the bureau had forecast clearing fog and a hot sunny day. Rode off on the Honda this morning at about 10:00 towards Mirboo Nth, Leongatha and Korrmumburra with the intention of having lunch in the little village of Loch. This is a tiny historic town on the South Gippsland Highway renowned for its antique shops, cafes and restaurants. Could have picked from a number of attractive cafes but the one that caught my eye was called "La Rosa" - how could I go wrong.

Had a terrific lunch and a great coffee and a nice chat with some of the locals. Continued on my way to San Remo and Philip Island and realised something was up - there were motorbikes everywhere - it wasn't until I approached San Remo that I saw the signs advertising this weekend's Superbike races that I realised what all the bikes were doing there. Stopped off at Biker's Gear in Cowes and bought a terrific pair of leather riding boots at a bargain price. The return trip was through Wonthaggi, Cape Patterson, Inverloch, Leongatha and Korrumburra where I took a coffee break at the "Bullock Dray" cafe - a favourite. Got home at 4:30 pm after a fantastic day out.

Total Distance 365 km.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

18 February - Dandenongs

The forecast today promised early drizzle and a warm day. Left home at 10:00 on the Honda for a ride to Olinda via Pakenham, Cockatoo, Emerald and Belgrave. The conditions were almost perfect, no wind and the cloud cover disappeared as the day wore on. Spent a couple of hours in Olinda with lunch at the Olinda Cafe. It was very busy and the carparks were full but there's always somewhere to park a bike. The return trip was through Kalorama, Lilydale, Yarra Junction and Noojee, and by then the sky was completely clear. The ride between Powelltown and Willow Grove was just spectacular. Got home around 4:30 after a perfect day on the bike.

Total Distance 330km.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

11 February - Grand Ridge Road (continued)

Despite a weather forecast of rain and possible storms skies in Traralgon looked reasonable and so, out came the KLX for a trip to the last part of the Grand Ridge Road from Mirboo Nth to Seaview. All went well until about halfway down the Grand Ridge Rd. As I stopped to take this picture I could see the rain approaching so on with the wet weather gear. That worked a treat because it stopped raining immediately. Had a very pleasant run into Korumburra and as I stopped for lunch at the bakery cafe I ran into three local Ullysians who invited me to join them at their table. We had a great chat over lunch, and I was almost convinced that I should be riding to Mildura in March for the Ulysses AGM. After lunch, the wet weather gear was packed away again and once again it had the expected affect. Between Mirboo North and Boolarra the sky turned black with streaks of lightning. Nowhere to stop to don the gear until I got to Boolarra. This time I was glad I put it on - it poured all the way to Churchill and quite a few lightning flashed too. Despite the deterioration in the weather the ride was very enjoyable. I can certainly recommend this bit of the Grand Ridge Road even on a road bike. There are a couple of stretches of gravel but these are quite manageable.

Total Distance 225km.

Monday, February 6, 2012

4 February - The Grand Ridge Road

Zane and I met in Traralgon South and rode to Balook with the aim of travelling the Grand Ridge Road to  Mirboo North on our KLX's. Shortly after Balook this winding road through the Strzelecki Ranges reverts to  gravel with some of it quite challenging. Mostly it winds through forests of mountain ash and occasionally there are glimpses of rolling hills and farm land. After passing the occasional car eventually it's pretty clear there's not another person around for miles. Definitely a road I would not travel alone - a flat tire here could mean a long walk or a long wait and most likely a night spent in the bush. Eventually though, the bitumen resumes and it's an easy ride into Mirboo North, where we stopped for coffee and cake at the Bullock Dray. A great ride - some time soon we'll complete the next leg which runs from Mirboo Nth to Seaview.

Total Distance 190km.