Wednesday, March 31, 2010

31 Mar 10 - Mt Baw Baw

Set off at 11:00 this morning for Mt Baw Baw, via Hill End, Icy Creek and Tanjil Bren. The road from Icy Creek up is twisty but very spectacular. The last 10km into Baw Baw village is very steep and it was second gear all the way up and all the way down. Haven't been to Baw Baw for 30 years and it has changed a lot in that time. Lots of development - accommodation, bars, cafes etc, although no one seems to serve food during the week. On the way back I called in to check out the Red Parrot Cafe in Noojee which was recommended to me by a friend. A real cosy spot that serves excellent food and coffee. It was a real find and I would recommend it to anyone travelling through Noojee. Altogether a spectacular day.

Distance covered 260 km.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

30 Mar 10 - Yarram, Tarra Valley

Home from work and the weather was fine. Topped up the tank on the Honda ($7) and headed over to Yarram via Gormandale. The bakery cafe was still open and a coffee and apple crumble later we were heading up the south side of the Strzeleckies into Tarra Valley National Park. Stopped briefly at the Tarra Valley caravan park (which is already full with tents and vans for Easter) to take a photo of the Tarra River. Then a leisurely trip home via Mt Tassie and Red Hill Rd. Absolutely perfect ride.

Distance travelled - 130km.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

27 Mar 07 - Top of Strzeleckis

Out for most of the day and only got home at 4:30. Although it was quite overcast and getting cool it didn't look like rain and decided a quick trip to the top of the Strzelecki's was in order. The air was very still, and hardly any traffic and so the climb up the hills was magical. Everywhere you look is the evidence of the major bushfires in Feb 09 and the extent of it becomes obvious when you reach the top which in my case was a kilometer short of Mt Tassie. On the return trip it was getting very cool. I'm going to need warmer gloves (or maybe grip heaters) and something to cover up the neck, as we move into the cooler weather. Only a short trip but very memorable particularly the smells from the burnt vegetation.

Distance covered 75km.

Friday, March 26, 2010

26 Mar 10 - Noojee Trestle Bridge

Today it's exactly 1 month since I got my L's and the bike. As it was a beautiful morning I took a ride to Noojee, via Willow Grove and Hill End and Neerim South (lunch and coffee).

Apart from riding through spectacular countryside and forests of mountain ash, a special highlight was a visit to the Noojee trestle bridge.


This in the only survivor of a series of 7 bridges which formed part of a rail line used to transport timber from Noojee to Warragul. The bridge has been recently refurbished. Altogether a very interesting ride.

Total distance travelled 205 km

Monday, March 22, 2010

22 Apr 10 - Tarra Valley

Ordered a windscreen from Eagle Screens Australia last week. Paid for it one day and it arrived by courier the next - not bad from Perth. Today was quite a windy day so I decided to take a quick trip to test out the screen. It obviously does not stop wind from the side but it is pretty effective at stopping the continuing wind pressure on the chest which made me feel like I had to hang on to the handle bars.

The trip to Tarra Valley was magnificent in the late afternoon light. I think all the practice is paying off. Despite windy conditions and some narrow winding roads I felt totally relaxed and in control. One of the most enjoyable rides I've had.

Total Distance Travelled - 92 km.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

18 Mar 10 - Phillip Island

After a few days of short rides and practice sessions I thought it was time to tackle a longer ride.
Set off this morning at 10:00 for a ride to Cowes via Mirboo North, Leongatha, Korrumburra and Wonthaggi. Apart from being an interesting trip I also wanted to visit the shop of Bikers Gear Australia in Cowes. This company, which has a web site, sells gear and clothing at about half the price of other bike stores. Wanted to check it out for myself and found they had a terrific range of excellent biker gear. I bought a two piece rain suit (top and bottom) for $69.
It was quite warm in Cowes and after a pleasant lunch and coffee I started off on the return trip through Wonthaggi, Cape Patterson, Inverloch, Leongatha and Mirboo North. Got home at 4:45 after a very pleasant day.

Total distance travelled 350km.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

13 Mar 10 - Mirboo Nth, Thorpdale, Trafalgar, Willow Grove

Rode with Zane. Mirboo Nth via  Boolarra and Grand Ridge Rd. Narrowly avoided running over a black snake. Coffee and cake in Mirboo Nth.

Start odometer 1150. End Odometer 1319.  Distance travelled 169 km.

12 Mar - Callignee, Koornalla

Quick trip to have a look at areas devastated by last year's bushfires. Lots of new building and rebuilding going on. Called into Nicole and Zane's for a cup of tea and then home.

Start Odometer 1074. End Odometer 1150. Distance travelled 76 km.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

11 Mar 10 - Walhalla and Moondarra Reservoir

Picked the bike up this morning from its first (1000km) service. All was good, had to adjust the rear brake pedal a little, and fitted the backrest/rack which I ordered with the bike but not available at the time. That means I now have room for luggage for longer trips. Took a quick trip to Walhalla and Moondarra Reservoir to check it out.

Start Odometer 930 km. End Odometer 1074. Distance travelled 144 km.

Monday, March 8, 2010

8 Mar 10 - Moe, Blue Rock Dam, Trafalgar

After the bad weather of the last couple of days it was a pleasant surprise to wake up to a fine morning.
Out on the bike by 10:00 and headed to Moe via Yallourn Nth and the back of Lake Narracan. Then up the Erica road and turned left towards Willow Grove for a drive across the Blue Rock dam wall. The weather was still holding out and pointed the bike to Willow Grove and then south to Trafalgar. Very good coffee and banana muffin at the Roseberry Cafe in Traf and sat outside enjoying the sunshine. Back to Moe along the back road, and headed home past Yallourn power station, Yallourn North and Tyers. The usual practice session in the Crematorium carpark. Getting much better at the slow turns and figure 8's.

Starting Odometer 801 km, End Odometer 927 km. Distance travelled 126 km. Bike is due for the 1000km service on Wed morning.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

6 Mar 10 - Boolarra, Mirboo North

Headed up to Mirboo North via the road with the most bends - through Boolarra. Forecast for today is rain and possible storms but in the morning it was sunny and still. The ride from Boolarra to Mirboo North was great as was the coffee I had in a little cafe in the main street. I think it was called to Bullock Dray cafe or something like that.

On the return trip I turned right at Boolarra and followed a sign to Bulga Park. I remembered that some of this road was dirt but in the end the unsealed section was far longer and in far worse shape than I remembered it. Consequently the trip took about an hour longer than planned but I certainly got the opportunity to test my skills on a pretty bad surface.

Start Odometer 643, End Odometer 801. Distance travelled 158 km

Expect to hit the 1000 km mark soon - booked the bike in for first service next week.

5 Mar 10 - Rawson and Thompson Dam

Another great day, with rain forecast in the afternoon. Headed up through Tyers and Rawson and rode across the Thompson River dam wall. As the photo shows, the water levels are well down and I think it's been awhile since there was water over the spillway. Finished a nice ride with the usual practice session in the car park.

Start Odometer 524, End Odometer 643. Distance covered 119 km.

04 March 10 - Mt Tassie, Balook and Gormandale

Having acquired a taste for hills and twisty roads, headed off to Mt Tassie and Balook. Once again, great weather and the road was in good shape. Getting better at handling the cornering. On the trip up I was really looking forward to a coffee at the Tea Rooms in Balook but unfortunately it was closed - for good I think. No coffee. Headed back along the Grand Ridge road because I wanted to practice riding on dirt roads, and stopped at Gormandale. The bike created a fair bit of interest from the locals. Headed back to Traralgon and more figure 8's in the car park.

Start Odometer 423, End Odometer, 524. Distance travelled 101 km.

13 Mar 10 - Walhalla

After travelling approximately 300km on straight roads, I felt it was time to get some practice on twisty roads, so travelled to Walhalla on the Tyers - Walhalla Rd. Once again a week day and therefore light traffic only. Had plenty of time to put the 'counter steering' lessons into practice and adjusted to it pretty quickly. The final bit from Rawson to Walhalla is very winding with some bends down to 25km/h. Arrived without any major scares in Walhalla on a glorious day. Had a nice coffee at the Star Hotel and after chatting with a couple visiting from Perth (on a Triumph), made the return trip and encountered all the bends going the other way. On the way back I actually started to enjoy it.

Start Odometer 322, End Odometer 423. Distance travelled 101 km.

Glenmaggie Weir - 02 March 10

Nice ride today to Glenmaggie Weir. The weather was great and very few cars on the road. Travelled through Toongabbie, Cowarr and Heyfield and then rode along the foreshore of the lake. Due to the low water levels, it was difficult to relate the scenery to the childhood memories when we visited Glenmaggie with Mum and Dad and the family. Then rode to visit the actual dam wall. Unlike years ago this is now closed off and the public can't actually walk over the structure. Years ago you could actually walk through the tunnels inside the dam wall. After a short rest, made the return trip to Traralgon for some slow turn practice in the carpark.

Start Odometer 178, End Odometer 322. Distance travelled 144 km

28 Feb 10

Short day today. A bit of practice in the carpark and then a trip to Morwell.

Start Odometer 135, End Odometer 174. Distance travelled 39 km.