Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22 January - South Gippsland and Moss Vale Park

Another glorious day and no sign of the forecast rain. A Beemer kind of day and lunch in Foster at Brommleys on Main seemed a good destination. If you're familiar with my part of the world you'll know that any trip south from my house in Traralgon takes you over one of a number winding roads over the Strzelecki ranges which always presents a great motorbike outing. This time the trip was via Mirboo Nth and Meenyian to Foster. After a relaxing lunch at an outside table the detour home was via Fish Creek, Meenyian, Koonwarra and Leongatha. On the road between Leongatha and Mirboo North I decided to detour to Moss Vale Park which I hadn't visited in more than 20 years. This park which features playgrounds and picnic areas features a number of very large oak and other trees - a really beautiful spot. There is also a small soundstage, and the park features an annual music festival. I'm glad I checked it out.

The total trip was 230 km of pure enjoyment.

A number of readers have emailed me to advise that they were no longer able to leave comments without a Google+ account. After a lot of confusing research I discovered that even though my blog is not connected with a Google+ profile, the comment section was. I have no idea how this happened but after some more searching I worked out how to return it to the previous set up where anyone can comment. I had noticed that no comments were coming through but I just assumed everyone was on holidays or something - so keep your comments coming, I enjoy reading them.

Now for something completely different. I recently found an interesting BBC documentary on YouTube called "The Glory Days of British Motorcycles"

See below for this interesting video.

Monday, January 20, 2014

20 January - Woodside, Sale and Glenmaggie

After last week's massive heat wave it has been much cooler the past few days which is quite a relief. The BOM had forecast an 80 to 90% probability of rain for the next few day, and although it was cloudy the radar showed no rain at all. With the mild temperature it seemed like the perfect day for a ride and so it was the Honda's turn for a spin. Headed over the Strzelecki's to take a look at Woodside a little community located at the start of the 90 mile beach. I expected it to be quite busy but when I reached the beach a solitary life guard was keeping an eye on about 10-20 swimmers. The sky had cleared and with little wind it all looked very peaceful.

From Woodside I decided to head east towards Longford and Sale. Today was one of those days where being on a bike is just sheer enjoyment. Good roads, little traffic and no wind. I found myself thinking up a route which would extend the fun a bit further and so at Sale I continued home through Maffra, Tinamba, Glenmaggie and Cowarr. The Honda just purred away, it is such an enjoyable bike to ride on these perfect days.

Total Distance 230 km.

15 January - Carrum Downs and Philip Island

Today was predicted to be the second day of a 5 day heat wave with temperatures expected to exceed 40ºC. I had a 10:30 appointment in Carrum Downs with a financial adviser and I usually use the bike for these as it is such a pleasant ride through the Gippsland countryside. At 08:30, leaving home on the BMW, the temperature was already in the mid 30's, and expected a hot and uncomfortable ride (2 hours each way). By the time I arrived the temperature was 39ºC and it was nice to shed all the bike gear and sit in an air-conditioned office. I decided to take the South Gippsland highway home with the intention of diverting to Cowes (Philip Island) if I felt OK at the turn off to San Remo. Fortunately the road was relatively clear and with the ability to keep the speed and the airflow up I made the decision to turn towards Cowes. At this stage the temperature was still below 40ºC and no sign of overheating the bike or myself. At Cowes I downed the largest thick shake I've ever had before even thinking about lunch. Then after a pleasant lunch at a 'healthy burger' place, it was time for the hot ride home, hoping to beat the thunderstorms predicted for later in the day. Ride home was fine except, the further I got from the coast, the hotter it got. By the time I reached Mirboo North, the temperature had climbed to 43ºC and I was starting to feel seriously hot and uncomfortable even at 100 kph. Finally reached home and had to down a couple of cold drinks before I could even say hello properly. I've come to the conclusion that riding on a day of 40+ temperatures is probably not a great idea with the clothing I have. I will need to look into buying a mesh jacket with full airflow. A bit of a challenge but all rides are good rides.

Total Distance 395 km.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

8 January - Gippsland Roundabout.

Felt like a long ride today on the Beemer. The sun was out, and for once the wind was down.
Rode to Sale via Maffra with the aim of continuing down to Yarram for a coffee at the bakery. Once that was out of the way I was not yet ready to head for home so instead I stuck to the South Gippsland Highway to enjoy the beautiful views of South Gippsland. To the left were the mountains of Wilsons Prom, and to the right the gently rolling hills of the Strzeleckis. Stopped briefly to take a photo of the Toora Windfarm, and then then completed the trip home via Meenyian, Dumbalk, Boolarra and Churchill. It was such a fantastic ride that it made me think about how fortunate I am to ride a great bike, through beautiful surroundings on a sunny day. It's an experience that non riders will never be able to appreciate. It certainly cleared the cobwebs.

Total Distance 300 km.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

3 January - First ride for 2014

Well over a week since my last ride and with the Christmas arrangements out of the way an outing on the bike was overdue. Last June I reported on the sad demise of the Bullock Dray Cafe in Mirboo North. Losing a great cafe or restaurant that not only serves great food and coffee but also has friendly staff who welcome you back each time, is a sad business and I certainly missed the old Bullock Dray. Mirboo North is en route for many of my rides and riding past the empty premises for the past six months has been a reminder of the loss. However, I heard recently that a new cafe has been established on the site and so the plan for today was to check it out.

Well it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. First of all, the colour scheme is almost a perfect match for the colour of my BMW - imagine that. Oh, and the coffee is great. Didn't eat there as I had only just finished a big breakfast but next time... glad to see someone else having a go.

The return ride home was via Thorpdale, Trafalgar, Willow Grove, Yallourn Nth and Tyers. Not a huge ride but a nice way to set the scene for 2014.

Total Distance 150 km.