This year, I was quite excited to be able to go away on the ‘snowy ride’.
It was the first decent ride I had done on the new scooter and I had a great time.
We left Friday morning at about 9am, then had to immediately stop to get everyone fueled up and tires checked. It was decent weather but as it had been raining all week, we were prepared for some rain. Because of this, we decided to go out via Picton road rather than up Macquarie pass as we normally would. The plan was to just get out of the coastal areas as soon as possible and the weather should be better inland a bit.
Well, It started raining while we were on Picton road and got progressively heavier. The scooter is good as its somewhat protected but I was still wet. Only your pants really get wet as the jacket is water proof, and the helmet fits nicely over the the collar. I had gloves on and heated hand grips to it wasn’t too bad. By the time we got to Golburn, we stopped for fuel and something to eat (breakfast).
John didn’t arrive (I was only with Aldo) and after a few calls/messages we discovered he had gone further to eagles nest and we would meet him there.
This was also the first ride where I had setup my helmet comms (normally just blue-tooth for phone calls) to also play music from my i-pod. It was fantastic and made the whole weekend much more fun. I normally listen to audio books but while on the bike, needing to concentrate is important so music was the only sensible choice. Many people ask if its harder to hear traffic etc with music on and the answer is pretty much ‘you haven’t been on a bike much have you’. Once in the wind, you can’t hear much anyway and at slow speeds, where traffic is important, you can still hear it.
After meeting up with John and Marina, we went on to michaelago for more fuel (for John) and then on to cooma to pick up our passes and get some lunch. It was quite cool to see all the bikes everywhere.
We then made the short leg (60km or so) to Berridale and went to the pub there for a while. When gearing up for this leg, the sky looked menacing so I was thinking about putting on the wet weather pants. ‘How wet could it possibly get’ I said quite stupidly. Well, on that leg, we were riding through the heaviest rain all day and lightening was hitting all around us. I was thinking about how much worse this could get then noticed the rain started to hurt (my elbows stick out). On looking down, I noticed hail stones hitting my arms and hands and bouncing off and sitting over the instruments on the bike. They were only about 1cm long but they still hurt. My pants were very wet.
Once at the Pub, I decided to get fuel (the 20km fuel on reserve meeter said I’d done about 10k) but due to the weather, they had no power. We rode to Gabes farm to see if he had spare fuel but found out he had none. He was just loading his tank (yes a tank, you know, the army things) onto a low loader to take to the cooma auto show the next day. He also had a very nice open fire going so we could dry out some gear (like gloves, helmets, jackets, boots, and pants)
After a while, the power returned so we left and went back to Berridale to get fuel. After this, its only a short trip (another 60k or so) to Jyndabine where it was still raining (so much for the weather forecasts). We picked up our keys for the accommodation and went to move in. Its kind of nice with only what you can carry as its easy to get everything organised. I had the under seat storage, top box, 2 saddle bags and another bag where the pillian passenger would sit. With this, I had so much room I could still put all bike gear away when we stopped.
We went out for dinner and to a pub for some drinks then walked home.
In the morning we went back to town for some breakfast then started the ‘snowy ride’ component. We decided to only do a few stops and the weather was fantastic. The riding all day was great, heaps of bikes around but not too many and not having any time pressure was great. In the afternoon, we had to go to Thredbo to put in our cards (stamped at each checkpoint) to win the goldwing. I took the chair lift up to the top to get some photos (see below)
After coming back down, We had coffee in a local cafe and decided to get back out of Thredbo before all the other bikes. On leaving, we were apparently the last out before the ‘mass ride’. This ‘mass ride’ goes from the ski tube entry to Thredbo but only about 350 bikes decided to do it (with police escort). It was great to be going the other direction and see them all.
Then, it was just back to Jyndabine for dinner, live music and then back home again.
On Sunday, we had decided to get up early and head over to Gabes farm for breakfast. This was quite an easy leg and the weather was still great. After a nice relaxing breakfast, we started the ride back (This time, John was staying down there so it was only Aldo and myself). We took some back roads etc and had a great ride. It was about 1600 when we got back to Kanahooka (Aldo lives at Dapto) and then had to unpack and get everything clean. It would appear that all the rain encouraged the bugs to come out and at almost every stop on Saturday and Sunday, we were cleaning helmets of bug guts.
Anyway, heres another photo of Dalgety (the bridge that seems specifically designed to annoy riders)
Obviously, with these photos, I was playing a little and shot them all in HDR.
Heres some more general photos from the trip (not done in HDR obviously).
My scooter (Yamaha T-MAX 500) in the middle amongst real bikes (Thats Aldo’s on the left)
John and Marina on the Ducatti ST3s (1000cc)
Aldo on his Suzuki (900cc)
I think I’ve decided to try to do a longer ride and this will require a new bike. Currently I’m thinking of a BMW RT1200.
Heres the current plan….
Doing the great ocean road, then on to Adelaide, then on the Gahn to Alice for a week. Then ship the bikes home and fly back.
the following year, fly to Alice (get the bikes shipped to Darwin) and get the Gahn to Darwin (I’ve always wanted to do the train trip) pick up the bikes from Darwin, Ride across to Cairns, Townsville and then on back down the coast.