Sunday, January 30, 2011

29 January 2011 - Walhalla and Thomson Dam

Another great day and all the chores done. Fired up 'the Shadow' and headed up to Walhalla. The road and the town turned out to be busy - I guess everyone else thought it was a great idea too. After a milkshake in a local cafe it was time for the next destination - the Thomson Dam. It was almost a year since the last visit there and on that occasion it was a dismal picture as the water level was very low. Now, while it is still far from full, there is a great deal more water, but plenty of room for more. Had a look at the overflow spillway - not sure if it has ever been used.

Stretched the legs, and the right arm which still gets a bit sore, and then headed for home, back through Rawson and Tyers. Altogether a great outing and captured some fine video on the Drift HD170 as well.

Total Distance 124 km.

Friday, January 28, 2011

28 January 2011 - Mirboo North

Fantastic sunny weather today and so it was time for a leisurely cruise over the Strzelecki's to Mirboo Nth. Spotted a different cafe on the last ride through so decided to give it a try. It's called Dalliance (Chocolaterie and Cafe) and it's fantastic. Best coffee I've had in months. The choice of light meals etc looked great too as did the outside eating area. After a relaxing half hour here it was time for the return trip via the twistier road through Boolarra. Took it nice and easy as I'd had enough heel and peg scraping last weekend through Reefton Spur. Very relaxing and very enjoyable.

Total Distance 125 km.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

23 January - Ulysses Club Ride to Marysville via Reefton Spur

First ride with Ulysses Club this year. Left Traralgon at 09:30 and rode along the Princes Highway to Yarragon. Then a right turn into the hills with a whistle stop at Powelltown. The weather started cool and overcast but by mid morning it was blue skies and warming up rapidly. Beautiful ride through the hills to Warburton and then along the Reefton Spur. Enough twisties to keep anyone happy. Arrived at Marysville by 1 pm. It is less than two years since this town was almost totally destroyed by bushfire, but today it was one of the busiest places I've ever visited. Rebuilding is well underway and there were cars and motorcycles everywhere. The famous bakery was one of the few buildings not destroyed, and it was busier than ever. Eventually managed to buy a ham and salad roll and find a shady tree to eat in under. An hour later it was back in the saddle for the return trip down the Black Spur. A petrol stop at Healesville and then home via Woori Yallock and Pakenham. A final get together for coffee at Yarragon was the end of the official ride. From here an easy cruise back to Traralgon along the back roads ended a very enjoyable ride and a great day.

Total Distance 411 km.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

15 January 2011 - Yarram, Tarra Valley, Mt Tassie

After the damp weather of the past week, today finally showed some promise. Wanted to experiment some more with the HD170 action camera on a road with plenty of twists so I headed of to Yarram with the aim of returning through Tarra Valley and over Mt Tassie. The camera itself performs very well but it is difficult to find a mounting position on the bike which minimises vibration. For this trip the camera was mounted on the right hand side roll bar with some degree of success. At this stage though the helmet mount provides the best results provided it's not too windy. Booked the trip to Tasmania this week. Due to sail on 23 Feb, and departing Devonport on 3 March. Not too many sleeps now. Anyway it was nice to get out in the sunshine for a few hours.

Total Distance 130 km.

Friday, January 7, 2011

4 - 7 January 2010 - Wandiligong Grand Tour

Tuesday 4 Jan.

Marcus (on his Ducati Monster) and I left Traralgon at 10:00 and headed for Bright via Mt Hotham. First stop was coffee at Wa-De-Lok cafe and Winery in Stratford. Beautiful sunny day but quite a strong wind. Next leg was to Bruthen for petrol and then up the Great Alpine Road. Next stop was Omeo and lunch at the bakery. The pies etc at the Omeo bakery are outstanding as was my sausage roll. From Omeo the road climbs steadily and when you reach the orange snow poles at the side of the road you know we're up in the high country. Within the hour we were cruising through the Mt Hotham village ready for the descent on the other side.

The run down into Harrietville has all the 'twisties' anyone would want in any one day. We arrived at the Wandi Holiday Village at around 4 pm for a welcome beer or two. After catching up with all the family Marcus and I walked to the Wandi Pub for dinner. A great evening and a nice way to finish a great day's riding.

Wednesday 5 Jan.

Sunny calm weather again and we started the day with a very nice breakfast in Bright. Having breakfast squared away we headed to Porepunkah and up Mt Buffalo. A very clear day, traffic not too bad and an enjoyable ride. Great views from the top.

From Mt Buffalo we headed to Myrtleford and on to Beechworth with the world famous bakery being the main attraction. Once again a nice lunch and coffees on the upstairs verandah which for once was totally deserted. From here we decided to ride to Yackandandah and back to Bright via the Tawonga Gap. Returned to Wandi late afternoon for a well earned beer or two and joined the family and guests for a fantastic chicken vegetable soup (well done Leah) and Dutch pancakes (complement John and Marie). More beers and cigars and chatting until fatigue eventually had its way. Another great day.

Thursday 6 Jan.

Time to head home. Another fine day which promised to become quite warm during the day.
Left Wandiligong at around 10:00 without breakfast which we planned to have in Oxley.
The planned route was via King Valley, Mansfield, Alexandra and Healesville. The road between Oxley  and Mansfield crosses the mountains which surround the King Valley and this section of the ride was particularly spectacular. Filled the bikes with petrol in Mansfield and then pushed on to Alexandra. Crossing the bridge at Bonnie Doone (you could feel the serenity) proved a pleasant experience - Lake Eildon is full of water again at the moment - and there were plenty of holiday makers and boats taking advantage of this rare event.  Pushed on to Alexandra for a well earned rest and lunch at a very nice cafe in the main street. Hadn't been here for some years and was pleasantly surprised how busy and attractive it looked - lots of nice eateries and interesting shops.

After lunch it was time to head to Healesville via the Black Spur.

Took a break in Mooroolbark at a friend's place before finally arriving in Port Melbourne at Marcus' house. Dinner at our favourite Indian place (Spirit of India) in South Melbourne. A great meal greatly improved by a number of ice cold Kingfisher beers and the end of our ride together.

Friday 7 Jan. 

Left Marcus' at 10:00 for the return trip to Traralgon. First half of the trip was in gale force winds which is interesting on a busy multilane highway. When I reached Officer on the Pakenham bypass I noticed a police car following me. After a kilometer or two the red and blue lights came on and we pulled over. Pretty sure I hadn't done anything stupid but it turned out it was part of a campaign to have a chat with motorcyclist. After chatting about the trip for a while and a compliment about the bike and my riding I was on my way again. The high winds gradually abated and I finally arrived home in Traralgon at 12:20.
Altogether a very memorable trip.

Total Distance 1180 km.