Sunday, October 23, 2011

23 October - Tidal River, Wilson's Prom

The weather bureau promised a great day so I decided to re-visit Tidal River on Wilson's Prom. You may recall from a previous blog that the last time I attempted this I rode down all the way to the park entrance only to be told that the road was still being repaired after the floods earlier in the year. The first stop was Mirboo Nth for fuel, and had a chat with this interesting couple travelling on a home made trike, which features amongst other things a Holden V8 engine. This thing is so big that the steering is operated by a series of links from the driver position to the handlebars. Both of them take turns at the controls and I'm reliably informed it has no trouble reaching 200 km/k... not that you would of course.

This time the ride down the prom was a sheer joy. Even though a lot of the bush has been destroyed by fire in recent times, the skeletons of the trees provide a stunning but starkly beautiful landscape and as you travel further south the glimpses of the ocean provide further excitement.

Tidal River seems to be in full swing again with the shop, the cafe and the caravan park all fully operational. I had forgotten how beautiful this area is and I'm now keen to take the caravan down for a few days.

There were plenty of visitors on day trips and a few campers as well. The return trip was via Yarram so I could stock up on a range of goodies from the bakery there.

Total Distance 338 km.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

13 October - Barry Sheene Memorial Ride

The Barry Sheene Memorial ride is held each year to coincide with the MotoGP at Philip Island. The ride starts in Bairnsdale and proceeds to Philip Island via Sale, Traralgon, Morwell, Leongatha, Inverloch and San Remo. This year Zane and I participated and Bryce joined us as a pillion on Zane's Harley. We left Traralgon at 07:00 this morning for the ride to Bairnsdale. This turned out to be quite a challenge due to the heavy fog in some places and the sun shining directly into our eyes. Once in Bairnsdale you have to register and have your bike scrutinised before you're issued with a sticker which allows you to participate and to complete one lap around the Philip Island circuit. This ride is a huge event - there must have been around a thousand bikes of all shapes and sizes - and every town we passed through was crammed with people waving flags and cheering us on. All the intersections are temporarily closed and so you can ignore all other traffic and red lights. Having said that keeping a safe distance from all those bikes around you is quite a task. The first stop was Morwell where we pulled up at Kernott Hall where various service clubs had prepared hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs etc for lunch. As I approached Morwell I happened to pull up alongside Zane and Bryce - it is quite difficult to stay together.

After a one hour lunch, toilet and fuel break we were off again this time heading for San Remo. We got there about 3 pm  and by 3:25 we were off across the San Remo bridge on our way to the Philip Island Race track.

As you can imagine, lining all these bikes up for an orderly circuit of the track was a daunting task but in the end managed very efficiently. It was quite a thrill riding around the track even if shared with all those other bikes. Within minutes we were done and the ride was officially over. Met up with Zane and Bryce in San Remo for coffee, hot chocolate and cakes - well deserved - and another toilet stop. From there all that remained was the trip home which we completed by 7 pm. The biggest day ever on the bike.

Total Distance 572km.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

8 October - Licola Ride with Zane

Another forecast batch of rain didn't eventuate so Zane and I rode to Licola, one of my favourite rides. Zane rode his KLX250 and I rode the Honda. The weather was mild and mostly sunny and the scenery all the way to Licola was clad in a brilliant green colour. I usually travel this road during the week when there is hardly any traffic but today was quite busy which probably due to the fine weather and the school holidays. After a quick look around Licola - must check the options for a long weekend here - a refuel for the riders and Zane's bike we headed for home with the Drift HD170 mounted on the back of my bike to get some footage of Zane riding over the mountains. Captured about 90 minutes of video and edited it down to a 20 minute DVD which came out quite well.  Another great ride.
Total Distance 181 km.

Friday, October 7, 2011

7 October - Walhalla, Moondarra

The thunderstorms forecast for today didn't eventuate so I fired up the Kawasaki for a trip up the old back road from Cowarr to Walhalla. This old dirt road is one I wouldn't dream of trying on the Honda, but it was a lot of fun on the little motard. After a coffee I travelled through Erica on the road to Moe and turned  left to Moondarra Reservoir. This water storage is overflowing at the moment - haven't seen that for a few years. I then took the back road over the dam wall back to the Tyers-Rawson road and then back home. Great fun.
Total Distance 136 km.

Monday, October 3, 2011

3 October - Paynesville

Woke up this morning to the first decent day since we returned from our holiday last Friday. A good long ride was in order and so I took the Honda to Paynesville to visit John and Sandra to say hello and to take a look at John's new boat. The back road via Meerlieu and Bengworden is a picturesque and peaceful ride and it only took about 1:40 hrs to reach the Esplanade in Paynesville. Checked out the boat and enjoyed lunch with John, Sandra and the family. The good weather held out on the way back and stopped for a coffee at Wa De Lock cafe in Stratford before completing the trip home by 4 pm.

Total Distance 284 km.