Wednesday, March 30, 2011

29 March - Walhalla

When I left work this afternoon it was still sunny and quite mild. A perfect opportunity for a short ride. Headed up to Walhalla not expecting anything to be open. I passed my usual coffee stop and sure enough it was closed but on the way back out of town the lady who runs the cafe came out to see if I wanted a coffee. What a stroke of luck. Had my usual, chatted with a bunch of guys who were very interested in the bike, and then a very relaxing ride home.

Total Distance 100 km.

27 March - Traffic Management, Farmworld and Noojee

Today the annual Latrobe Regional Hospital Fun Run was held in Kay St Traralgon. Every intersection on Kay Street was closed from 07:00 to 10:30 and each intersection had to be manned by a Traffic Management Volunteer. Our branch of the Ulysses Club usually pitches in so this morning I fronted at 06:30 (in darkness) for the briefing prior to manning my post at Lafayette/Kay St at 07:00. By 10:00 all the competitors had completed the 10km run/walk and we were able to remove the barrier and stand down.

By now the ambient temperature had risen to a level you'd want to ride in and I rode to Lardner Park to catch up with Zane and Nicole and the kids at Farm World which is an annual exhibition held there on the last week of March each year. There's lots to look at even if you don't live on a farm. Sian and Isabella also joined us later. When I got back to the bike with the aim of riding home the long way I immediately knew something was wrong when the handlebar grips felt warm - yes I'd forgotten to switch the heaters off and the battery was just about dead flat. Fortunately I quickly found a couple of helpful guys at one of the display stands who had a vehicle and jumper leads and I was soon on my way. I must rewire the heaters to switch off with the ignition.

So, back to my original plan and a very pleasant ride home through Neerim Sth, Noojee and Willow Grove.

Total Distance: 180 km

Sunday, March 20, 2011

20 March - Walhalla, Willow Grove, Trafalgar, Thorpdale, Churchill

Finished extending our pergola yesterday (98%) and couldn't face climbing a ladder today so I decided to take advantage of a fabulous day to take a leisurely ride along some of the best roads around. Started with coffee in Walhalla sitting beside Stringer's Creek and then headed back through Erica and turned right to Willow Grove. From there through some wonderful farming country (everything is green this year) to Trafalgar and then into the hills to Thorpdale. Finally headed back through Churchill and got home at 4 pm which left time to clean up all the tools etc from the extension work. One of those 'golden' days.

Total Distance 190 km.

Monday, March 14, 2011

14 March - Mirboo North

First ride after the Tasmania Trip. Took a break from some construction work around the house to take advantage of the great weather for a quick ride to Mirboo North. A bite to eat and a great coffee at Dallianace and a beautiful ride back down through Boolarra in brilliant sunshine. I noticed this door, presumably in the middle of renovation job, where I parked my bike and snapped it with the iPhone.

Total Distance 108 km.

Friday, March 4, 2011

4 March 2011 - Back on the Mainland

After a late departure last night, we endured a fairly rocky crossing of Bass Strait. It certainly made for a fitful sleep and just as things calmed down, around 4 am as the ferry entered the heads, it seemed like a very short time before the PA announcement that we we would need to man our vehicles in the next 45 minutes. Melbourne looked grey and damp from our port hole but as we rode off the ship it was still dry. However by the time I reached the Pakenham bypass the rain had pretty well settled in and continued until Traralgon. Got fuel and breakfast on the BP before Drouin and then rode the rest of the way home, arriving just on 10:30.

Well that's the end of an adventure planned, in my head, more than 12 months ago, in fact a large part of the decision to buy a bike and start riding. And what an adventure it was - we circled the island of Tasmania in an anti clockwise direction and with Marcus' experience and guidance managed to travel some of the best motorcycle roads in Australia. We avoided most of the rain had no breakdowns or mishaps and enjoyed great views and a lot of memorable moments. Now comes the sorting of the photos and videos.

Total Distance for the trip: 2,285 km

3 March 2011 - Day 8 of Tasmania Trip

Our last day in Tassie today. We arranged a late checkout at our hotel the Grand Chancellor ( yes we did look a bit out in our leathers) as Devonport is not far and the ferry did not depart until 9:00 pm. We eventually set off around 12:30 and headed for Devonport the long way around. Our route through Westbury,  Deloiraine, Mole Creek and Paradise took us up and down several mountains and a number of weather systems. Arrived in Devonport around 5pm, killed an hour in an Irish pub before dining at the Indian Affair restaurant. Then onto the ferry assembly area to join a large group of motorcyles, cars and campers to wait to board the Spirit of Tasmania 2. Although we waited in the freezing cold it could have been worse - it could have rained.

Finally got on board just after 9:00 had a quick drink and off to bed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2 March 2011 - Day 7 of Tasmania Trip

Our second day  in Launceston. Got up early to take the bike in for its 18,000km service at the local Honda dealer here in town. Had breakfast in the city while waiting for the service and by 10:45 I was back at the hotel ready for a ride. The weather was a bit chilly and fairly strong winds but, we're here to ride so we headed up to the central highlands lake area via Perth, Longford and Poatina. The road up the mountains is a fantastic set of S curves. The temperature decreased rapidly as the altitude increased and at the top even snow wouldn't have been a surprise. We were glad to come down again to sea level and what now seemed like much warmer conditions. After a bit of a rest in the hotel we headed out to La Cantina Italian restaurant around the corner and had dinner.

Tomorrow is our last day in Tasmania. If the weather is fine we'll find a round about way to get to Devonport where the ferry is due to leave at 9pm.

Total Distance for trip 1950 km.

1 March 2011 - Day 6 of Tasmania Trip

Left Bicheno this morning in the rain. Quite cold too. Decided to head for Launceston through the Elephant Pass. Had breakfast at Elephant Hill Pancakes before heading West to the A1. The rain was intermittent by now but it was very windy riding across the open plains. As we approached Launceston the rain became heavier. Very happy to get to our hotel and a hot shower. Dinner at the Prickly Cactus Mexican restaurant followed by a movie at the Village.

Total distance since home : 1750 km