Thursday, May 31, 2012

31 May - Metung and Lakes Entrance

Today, the last day of autumn, was a beauty. Clear skies, no wind and everything seemed to sparkle. Left home around 10:00 am and rode east, with the first coffee stop in Stratford. Sitting in the park in the sun, sipping my latte and chatting with a fellow traveller was just the perfect start to the day. The next segment was Stratford to Metung. Once again, sitting at the water's edge, sharing my lunch with some very aggressive seagulls and watching a few people mucking about in boats - as good as it gets. After lunch a quick trip into Lakes Entrance where conditions were just as brilliant.

Being a week day, Lakes was almost abandoned. After stopping for a photo of the entrance I commenced the homeward journey, still in perfect conditions. No wind and the temperature gauge reading 16.5˚.
As I rode through Stratford I noticed a Dutch coffee shop. Had to check that out of course and so afternoon tea consisted of Dutch Apple Cake and another coffee. Very nice !

Total Distance 333 km.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

27 May - Ulysses Club Ride to Inverloch

After the appalling weather of the last few days I was not hopeful for the monthly Ulysses club ride today but despite a heavy overcast sky, the radar showed no rain. We left the Ice Creamery at 10:00 this morning and rode to Mirboo Nth via Boollara and Boolarra South. An interesting mix of bikes including a couple of Gold Wings. Morning coffee at a nice little cafe in the main street of Mirboo Nth before heading off to Leongatha along a road I had never used before - interesting. The area surrounding Leongatha was showing signs of extensive flooding and thankfully none of our roads were affected. Carried on straight through Leongatha to Inverloch which was the planned break for lunch. After a very pleasant lunch break the sky had darkened a lot when we emerged and many riders, including myself opted to don the wet weather gear for the return trip. This worked like magic - never saw a drop all the way home. Not a great day but still a terrific ride.

Total Distance 255 km.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

23 May - Tidal River - Wilsons Prom

A bright sunny day today and decided to ride the BMW to Wilsons Prom. Rode nonstop through Mirboo Nth, Meenyian, Fish Creek and Yanakie and turned the video camera on in Yanakie to capture the beautiful ride down the prom and into Tidal River. The prom and the Tidal river area were badly affected by floods last year and some parts are still closed to visitors. But the camping area around Tidal River looks fantastic. The caravan park has nice grassy sites and some of them are powered now - will try the caravan down there soon. Had lunch at the General Store and as soon I sat down to my hamburger I was joined by a dozen or so very colourful rosellas which are obviously quite accustomed to humans. In no time they were on my shoulders and down my arms trying to take the food out of my hands. I switched on my camera and caught these cheeky guys in action. Rode home the same way with a coffee stop in Mirboo North.

Total Distance 395km.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

17 May - Warburton, Reefton Spur, Marysville, Black Spur and Healesville

An unusually sunny day today and the forecast looked good. Headed up through Nilma, Neerim and Powelltown with the first stop - for fuel - in Warburton. I wanted to visit Marysville which was almost totally destroyed in the 2009 fires - only 11 buildings remained standing. Riding down into Marysville from Reefton Spur is an amazing experience. The bush, which is obviously fire affected is now cloaked in green regrowth and as you enter the town the only sign of the utter devastation is the fact that nearly every building is brand new. Fortunately, one of the survivors is the Bakery Cafe which was a welcome stop for lunch, and for once, not very busy.

Many parks and gardens have been fully restored and many of the old deciduous trees along the main street seem to have survived as well. Many shops, cafes and a new petrol station are all in full swing and there seems to be no shortage of visitors, and as you sit here basking in the sun it is difficult to imagine the inferno and the destruction suffered here such a short time ago.

After leaving Marysville the return trip was down the Black Spur into Healesville and then back to the Princes Highway via Cockatoo, Gembrook and Pakenham.

Altogether a most enjoyable ride.

Total Distance 390 km.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

9 May - Update on Dargo Ride

During my recent ride to Dargo, the Secretary of our Ulysses branch snapped a picture of my bike for the club newsletter. I received a copy of it the other day and here it is - me and the BMW in front of the Dargo pub.

Monday, May 7, 2012

6 May - Warburton for Lunch

The weather forecast for today was "some showers". Looked out the window and it was pretty bleak. As I was deciding whether to ride or not the phone rang. Zane wanted to ride and we arranged to leave from our house at 10:30 for a ride to Warburton via Noojee, Powelltown and Yarra Junction. On with the thermal underwear as the top forecast temperature was 15 °. By the time we reached Willow Grove it was raining, not hard but steady and the skies ahead were dark grey - not too promising. Riding through the forest on the approach to Noojee the temperature had dropped to 9 ° and the drizzle continued.. Thankfully the grip heaters were switched to high.  After a quick diversion to Neerim Junction for fuel for Zane's bike we decided to push on. Reached Warburton around 1 pm and settled in for lunch at Three Sugars - which had a blazing wood fire going. By the time we reached Warburton the temperature had risen to a balmy 12 ° and the rain had stopped. After a very pleasant lunch we rode back to Neerim Junction for another fuel stop and then continued home along the Old Sale Road. Despite the marginal weather it was an enjoyable ride and we reached home around 3:45.

Total Distance 277 km.