Tuesday, April 9, 2013

9 April, Day 1, Traralgon to Batemans Bay

Woke up at 08:00 this morning and suddenly remembered, it's Day 1 of the big ride. Got away at 08:40 on a mild but overcast day. First stop was coffee at Stratford and a chance to check that everything on the bike was OK. The day warmed from 17ºC to 20.5ºC as I travelled through Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance. The sun tried to break through but the air was very smokey, not sure if it was from backburns or from actual bush fires. Reached Cann River at 12:45 and stopped for a sweet chilli vegetable pastie and an OJ at Shortty's Little Pie Shop. Also filled the BMW with fuel. Just on a whim I asked the service station proprietor which of his fuels were 'enhanced' with ethanol - only the 91 octane wasn't - lucky I asked.

A half hour later with my backside and concentration back to pristine conditions we headed north once again. The aim was to get to Batemans Bay which I reached at 4:45 pm after another leg stretch and ice-cream in Bega. Reluctantly had dinner at the Hog's Breath Cafe next door and found the beer to be great. The steak has not improved since my last visit 6 years ago.

The right hand has been fine, no hindrance at all, and on balance today's 600km stretch was accomplished with no drama. The infamous BMW seat proved to be much better than I expected, partly because of some extra padding in the cordura pants I'm wearing. A few minutes off the bike every couple of hours and a little stand up on the pegs going through towns also makes a huge difference.

The aim tomorrow is to get as far north of Sydney as possible so that I can reach the Gold Coast on Thursday.

Total Distance 590 km.

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