The Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association posted a ride calendar on Facebook and listed a ride that I had been meaning to do for some time. A ride that I had not done but the bike had done before when Paul, the previous owner took the bike to Taralga and beyond. The group were intending to ride from Mittagong to Taralga via the Wombeyan Caves road and back via Swallow Tail Pass and through to the Highway via the Canyonleigh Road.
The idea is to carry one full of water for washing up when camping and the other with spare fuel.
These attach using Rotopax style holders that fit through the jerry can and have a t-bar bolt to secure them.
I also fitted the leather panniers I bought with my Classic 500 years ago from Motociclo to use as tool/spares bags.
I have a compressor and a jump starter on one side and a tube, a tyre repair kit and spare clutch and brake levers in the other.
The pillion seat rack I bought from Glen off the Himalayan Facebook group holds the tool roll and tyre levers etc.
DSMRA is a national club with branches in most states and sub branches in major cities. They run graded Enduro and Adventure/Dual Sport rides and hold an annual premier event in Canberra called the Kowen Forest Ride which attracts around 850 riders. Now that I have done my complimentary ride with them I think I will join up and try to fit in a few ADV rides in between all the other stuff I do.
So I spoke to the ride organiser Tim Clarke who happened to live in Baulkham Hills. We decided to meet at Norwest Maccas at 630am and jump onto the M7 from there. I initially intended to trailer the bike to Mittagong and save the boring 100 kilometres each way of the Hume Hwy. Riding @ 5000 rpm sitting just on 100ks on the clock (93 on the GPS) and getting passed by trucks and learners isn’t my cup of tea, but since Tim was riding a Dual Sport bike as well, a KTM 640 Adventure, he wasn’t in a hurry we decided to ride down together.
We arrived at Mittagong at about 745am and topped up fuel at the first servo in town and then headed to Maccas to meet the other riders at about 8am. There were about 9 in the group, from memory a BMW F800, BMW F650, KTM790, KTM640, KTM390, AFRICA, WRF250, HUSABERG, and the Himalayan.
After a coffee we started out and headed to Wombeyan Caves road and regrouped at the Bullio tunnel.
The road was dirt from just before the tunnel which lies at approx. 764m ASL and descends via a rough fire trail with switch back corners down a ridgeline into the valley to the Wollondilly River Ford at about 200m elevation where we stopped again to stretch the legs and get out of the heat.
We climbed up away from the river towards the caves with some more interesting and challenging terrain which was tackled standing up for most of the sections and then detoured onto Langs Rd and then back onto the Wombeyan Caves road which by then was a fast gravel road almost all the way to the Taralga Rd.
We got to Taralga at about 11am and we had lunch at the café as it was too early for the Pub Bistro.
The trip home was via Swallow Tail Pass which winds down to the Terlo River and back up through farmland along the Canyonleigh Rd to the Highway and then home.
The off road riding was a mix of low speed 2nd gear 20kmph on climbs and descents and up to 60kmph on the open fire trials and about 80kmph on gravel roads.
The Himalayan went really well in the dirt considering the extra weight I was carrying, approx. 10kg on the front and similar again on the rear. I didn’t bottom out the rear shock too badly despite some big potholes and a very soft spring. The front took some hard bumps too which didn’t seem to faze it. It was the first time riding the new Mitas E-07s on dry dirt and not mud like last time. They performed quite well and I only had a few issues mainly some lock ups due to overenthusiastic rear braking and a bit of a sketchy front on what seemed like fine power on hard pack, from time to time the dirt would build up into mounds on the road, due to cars tyres, where changing lines around corners was a little un-nerving. On the gravel they were great. I was pretty impressed that the bike kept up with the group only getting passed by a few of the bigger bikes on the straights and by some of the smaller more off-road oriented bikes on some of the uphills. It did not miss a beat.
It was a long day but worth it, If I did it again I would probably take the slow way down via the old Hume Hwy (which makes it an even longer day) or trailer the bike to Mittagong and enjoy the ride home in the truck in airconditioned comfort as the bike is just not suited to hours of freeway riding.
A great ride with a new club and a nice bunch of people.
This year a few of our members having purchased bikes from them, were invited to attend the One Ride organised by John from Motociclo one of the Sydney Royal Enfield Dealers.
The One Ride is a Royal Enfield global ride day and is typically arranged by dealers as a way of inviting their customers for a ride.
There were 4 bikes from the Royal Enfield Club of Australia, Bruce, Roger and Narelle, Trevor and Heather and Craig plus about 8 of Johns other customers making a dozen or so which was a good group for a Sunday ride.
We met at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels at Tempe where we were given our One Ride T-shirts and posed for a group photo
From there we followed the Princes Highway south on our way to Sublime Point Lookout but did not get very far before the traffic stopped dead with an accident not far up ahead holding things up.
It wasn’t long before we were moving again
We stopped a few times to re-group along the way but soon we were out of the city traffic and on the highway
Sublime Point has a cafe and picnic area servicing the visitors who arrive either by motor vehicles or via the walking tracks that terminate there.
The lookout is 415m ASL so the views from the escarpment down to the Illawarra coast are fantastic
An excellent Sunday ride with fellow Royal Enfield owners
Thanks goes to John from Motociclo for organising the ride
Thredbo – Anzac Weekend 2016 Scroll down for latest posts
Since it was the end of school holidays combined with Anzac day, Angus and I thought it was a good opportunity to have a last ride on the mountain before it closes for winter on the 1st of May. Craig Martin was coming down after work and another mate Chris Curtis was also riding this weekend who I was keen to catch up for a ride with. I used to ride cross country at Lake Parramatta with Chris but have not ridden downhill with him.
We left home about 430pm and had a quick trip being a Thursday, stopped for the obligatory Maccas, this time at Goulburn and then stopped again at Cooma to clean the windscreen and stretch the legs.
Slight rain had activated my rain sensing wipers smooshing all the bugs that we ran into on this balmy autumn night to the point that it was becoming difficult to see properly. It was 28 deg.C when we were stuck in some traffic on the M7 and about 20 deg. C when we got to Goulburn at about 7pm.
I wanted to have good vision for what I knew was waiting for us on this unusually hot night as we approached our destination of Kosciusko National Park. In fact we didn’t have to wait that long as the first roo jumped out on us somewhere between Berridale and Jindy.
From then on it was like a video game, Angus was spotting for me calling out roos in the darkness of the paddocks and ones lurking in the shadows on the side of the road. Then we hit Penderlea and all hell broke loose with deer running everywhere. I slowed down untill we got into the park proper where the terrain was too steep on either side of the road for them to be a menace.
We made it to Thredbo safely in the end and went to sleep about 11pm. I was woken about 4am with heavy-ish rain.
I got out of bed at about 630 to re-check the weather, the rain had eased but the BOM forecast didn’t impress me so I took a few photos and turned on the laptop.
Not the best thing for mountain biking.
I can see a Cascades breakfast coming on !
Mid Morning Update
The mornings weather didn’t improve but the rain did reduce to a slight drizzle We were worried the weekend was a write-off however I was assured by Craig Martin that the rain would produce some “hero dirt” So we headed to Cascades and had breaky as expected As an experiment I wanted to attempt a blog update via mobile device Being Google affiliated Blogger does not support the browser on my iPhone – kel surpris So I used my work phone a Samsung Note running Android and it was an absolute pain in the arse and made my breakfast get cold. Long live Windows. I will need to get a Microsoft Surface.
Eggs Benedict is my weakness
No bikes on those lifts
We finished off breakfast and went over the bridge to check out VT. ( Valley Terminal)
There was no one in sight, the first person I bump into is Old Mate the chef from Avalanche Cafe, cheery as usual. Then we walked up to the lift concourse and again it was empty so it was back down to the bike shop to talk to Dan.
I asked about the track conditions and luckily enough he had just ridden and opened the Flow track. He said it was a bit greasy in parts but OK. I immediately purchased a new back tyre a Maxxis Minion DHF 26 x 2.5 57 DUR (nice and sticky) since mine had been given to me by cousin Dibble about three-quarters of a decade ago and had gone hard like a piece of chewy from under a school desk and all the centre knobs had ripped off. The new one had the consistency of brand new bubblegum, just what the doctor ordered.
We headed back to the van and fitted the tyre and geared up. The rain had abated and the track had a chance to dry out a bit so we we looking forward to a ride. The temp was still cool as there was no warming sunlight, even so we dressed lightly, Angus re-attached the bottoms of his MX pants and I put on some Skins and a thermal T-shirt under my DH jersey, summer gear basically.
In the end it wasn’t that cold and from time to time we were encapsulated in the clouds which saturated us in a fine mist.
A few runs necessitated a re-fuel so back to the van for some home cooked health food.
After lunch the sun came out and we set up the GoPro on the chest mount. Every time I use the GoPro it involves a bit of experimenting to get the angles right and it always seems to be pointing at the ground. It is hard with the chest mount to get the aim right particularly since your body position changes when you bend over etc if affects the view angle. The fish-eye lens also makes things look further away and if you are following someone riding a bike or skiing you have to be right on their back-side to get good video. This one is an old Hero2 HD and takes video in 1080P at 30fps and 720P at 60fps so I’m not about to upgrade in a hurry. However, I was talking to some Thredbo locals in the pub last night and one mentioned that the Hero2 is fish-eye and the newer ones have a normal lens that doesn’t cause that problem. I don’t really want to upgrade, notwithstanding Angus’ cheap $99 Jaycar GoPro copy gave up the ghost so he may inherit mine if I deem a better device is required for this type of filming. I had to chop the footage into two segments to upload it due to 100mb limit
So a storm came through on Thursday afternoon and persisted into the night, it lifted Steve’s tarp and pull pegs and we had to scramble to secure his site.
The onshore nature of the weather event straightened the predominantly south swell and allowed some size and power to make its way around the headland and produce some waves at the point.
The kids had an early surf, we usually pack up and leave on Friday afternoon but we decided to stay till Saturday so we thought we do some tidying up and let some water get under the waves.
We headed down for a surf mid morning and were pleasantly met with double the swell we had experienced most of the week. It was about 3ft plus producing head high sets. Emma and I went out for a surf whilst a mate went for a swim.
After a few waves I noticed he had swam out to the point to watch the wave action. I paddled over and asked if he wanted a go on my board as my arms were getting tired from all the paddling I’d done this week and since the larger waves were breaking further out I needed a break. I had a swim as he surfed.
It was a beautiful day to be floating in the warm ocean, sunny, blue sky, crystal clear water, fish were appearing in the waves, sea birds were diving and catching fish. There were seagulls chasing a bait ball and fish striking it from below. I kept my eye on it as it ebbed and flowed behind the waves.
Then a helicopter appeared, the one that passed by every day over the beaches, an unmarked Robinson, I had assumed it was a sight seeing operation until it stopped and hovered for a while behind the break. It got lower, spun around, had another look and moved up and did the same again.
This isn’t good, that was no sight seeing joy-ride, they were shark spotting!
A few guys paddled past and mentioned the chopper and I joked about the close proximity of the bait ball and that if the water turns red and my hat floats by it was a shark. I was used to this situation ; bait ball comes in, seagulls land on the water, fish strike from below, potentially attracts the attention of sharks so Lifeguards/Lifesavers go out in IRB to investigate and hit shark alarm if warranted. No shark alarm no panic I thought.
Just then a Lifeguard paddled past and says “get out of the water, the chopper has spotted a shark”. I immediately head for the reef where there are submerged rocks and stood on one about knee deep in the water. I got my mates attention and told him what was happening, then yelled at Emma to attract her attention and gave the danger and return to shore signals. The guard had enough to do as there was no shark alarm sounding at all so he had to paddle to the end of the point to alert the surfers whilst the other guard closed the beach by dropping the flags and getting all the swimmers out of the water from the flagged area.
At this point we were back in the shallows and identified ourselves as Lifesavers and got a bit of a de-briefing from the Lifeguard. The Chopper had spotted a 2.5m “sea creature” 80m from shore, that was deemed to be “threatening” and advised the Lifeguards to “GET EVERYONE OUT OF THE WATER NOW”.
The local Police arrived and took over the management of the situation. They and the Lifeguards watched from the upper level of the club with binoculars for about 30mins or more trying to make a risk determination. Meanwhile the instant crowd had dispersed due to lack of excitement or the necessity for a latte or kale shake.
It was like the holidays were over and the punters had all gone back to Newcastle or Avalon. Only a few surfers, the Lifeguards, the Police and us remained at the patrol tent watching the ocean for signs of the critter. We listened inintently on the conversation between the Police and the Lifeguards. It was a bit like “buggered if I know” and “if you think it’s OK we’re Ok with it” and the cops were gone.
The Lifeguard then turned to me and I asked “Beach open?” He had hardly said “Yep” and I was of and running down the steps to the rocks, ran over the rocks and paddled out to the break and had the best session of the holidays getting some head high sets from the point to the beach, then across the flags in a nose ride section.
Here is the link to the Ripcurl site where you can replay the surf session
My already too tired arms hated it but I would not give up, the conditions were good for about 2 hours then the incoming tide started to reduce the wave quality to the point that all I thought about was beer.
I paddled in and since my arms were like noodles and the tide was coming in, as you can see from the GPS tracking on the satellite image, I just floated up the creek so I didn’t have to carry the board as far.
With a total of 23 waves in 2 sessions and the added excitement the day brought I slept well that night and did not bother surfing on Saturday.
We packed up camp and left at lunchtime and we were back in Sydney by nightfall with another Crescent Head adventure under our belts.
Thursday April 14th
There was a small wave at the Point on Thursday so we all paddled out to the Club House break again as this was the only place that was not crowded.
I took out my 7S Superfish XL that i have had for a few years now as mentioned in my Blog where I demoed the Isaac Fields model longboard ( see link below)
This is a great watch that Jenny I bought me for my birthday. It is where all the satellite images come from overlayed with the wave and paddling data. You can sync the watch to your phone or PC and then upload your surfs to the Ripcurl Cloud and Facebook. There is a website where you can share them and all the stats. You can also follow other surfers and see their sessions. Here is a link to the one of mine. http://searchgps.ripcurl.com/#/logbook/following/5710234e5001c00c24bb12a6 As the satellite picture shows I went all the way back to the campsite and swapped boards.
When I got back to the beach Jenny was at the club house again with the camera.
This time I was my on my 9’8″ and managed to get a few more waves.
In the afternoon Jenny went up to the skate park to take some shots of the kids
Wednesday April 13th
The lack of waves again made us go swimming, IRBing and SUPing.
Jenny had a ride in the IRB with Cynthia
Connor and Alan took the boys out for a ride on the ski-biscuit then the others all had a turn
Steve caught some waves near the flags and jenny waded out with the camera to take a sequence of shots that I made into a video.
Ron and I did some more IRB training, we went down the the corner again where the waves were bigger and I actually had a go at driving in the surf zone. An IRB has a tiller control not a steering wheel and a twist throttle like a motor bike, however it is all in reverse. (I always thought those IRB guys were a little backwards LOL 😉 This means to turn left you push right and vice versa and to speed up you twist forward and to slow down you twist backwards the opposite of a motorcycle. So we were in the surf, a wave comes in, Ron says “Go Go Go” and points right towards the shore. I turn left (towards the wave) and shut off the throttle instead of accelerating, had a panic attack and the next thing you know we are surfing an IRB backwards down a 4 foot wave. We then spin around. I’m driving but end up at the front so we almost nose dive, Ron yells “QUICK GET OUT” so I bail, calm as ever he takes over, does a spin and picks me up. I take over again and drive back like nothing happened !!!! I think I need a little more training and practice before taking on the surf.
Harley and I both had a go on my Naish 9’6″ SUP
Big Al took out Steve’s SUP sans paddle to catch a few waves. He said “It was thooper thanks for athking”
With a further drop in swell we had breakfast and hung around the camp site for a while then we all went for a swim.
High tide was around 1pm so after having lunch we let the tide go out a bit and headed to the point for some fun waves.
Jenny sat in front of the club house on the picnic tables with her camera and big lens. She had forgotten the tripod and used the table to steady the 500mm Sigma lens required to get a better photo from that distance.
I brought down 2 boards, my Stand Up Paddle board, an 11 foot Bennett and also my 9’8″ nose rider log just in case there were some decent waves.
Angus took out my 6’8″ 7S Superfish XL as his little board would not like the conditions. It is a bit big for him, hence the weird body position. I will need to teach him to ride it like a long board rather than adopt the “poo-dance” stance.
Emma commandeered my Myerhoffer 9’2″ hybrid mal / short board and attached her GoPro. Her 6’2″ short board would also not cut it on such a small and weak swell. This is a board designed by Thomas Myerhoffer a renowned Swedish innovator and designer who created such things as helmet compatible ski-goggles, Flow rear-entry snowboard bindings and funky chairs.
Harley also had his GoPro and was getting a lot of waves but also struggled with the swell size and power.
Steve had been practising his pop-ups, the action of jumping up on the surfboard in one fluid motion rather than the 3 step process of one knee then the other then standing. He wanted to come out to the point and get a wave there as most of the waves on offer at the beach break were white-wash and went straight. He was keen to get a ride on a “green-water” wave.
Connor and I helped Steve get in position and he picked up a few waves He got a few himself on both his 9′ BIC mal and my SUP.
Charlotte took out Emma’s Race mal and Big Al had Steve’s 10 foot BIC and got one or two.
Monday Arvo Update
Ron and Allan put the IRB in at the boat ramp and brought along a ski-tube and a ski-biscuit to tow the kids along behind the boat.
Everyone was keen to have a go and “The Twins” Alex and Daniel, Will, Charlotte were waiting in anticipation. At the same time Connor, Emma, Harley Angus and myself had returned from a surf.
Jenny was there as usual behind the camera.
Before hooking up the biscuit for the kids, Ron and Connor took a few people for ride in the boat.
Will and Charlotte went out with Ron
Then Alan and Connor had a go. Al was having a ball and kept calling it “Bay Watch”
Ron was keen to take me down the beach and do some unofficial IRB training.
Being the Club’s IRB Captain he has a lot of experience and interest in the operation of IRBs or Rubber Duckies (for those who dont know IRB is an acronym for Inshore Rescue Boat).
This IRB is his own personal boat retired from service by the club which he uses to take the boys out on the lake etc. Connor has his boat licence and also has a great interest in boating having secured a job in a marina.
They are designed for rescuing people within the surf zone and have sharp turn handling and the ability to outrun the waves.
I started my IRB Crew Course at Dee Why, the surf club we all belong to however due to other commitments I was unable to complete it. Working on Patrols and running Water Safety at Nippers meant that I was familiar with IRB operations. I had helped launch and retrieve them many times and also had helped change motors. As Water Safety Co-ordinator one aspect of my position is to control the IRB via radio but due to Surf Life Saving rules I could not crew or drive the club’s IRBs until I had the correct qualifications.
I received a run through on the correct body position and foot placement in order not to be thrown out of the boat and we set off.
We went out through the channel and were met by a small wave which we jumped over. Woo Hoo – not a jet-ski but I could see where this was going!
As mentioned the surf was fairly small at the point, however due to the direction it was coming in to the bay further down the beach the waves were considerably larger so Ron set a course across the bay to the middle of the beach which was more open to the ocean swell.
Once there we ran along the backs of some waves which Ron explained was the safest position in the surf-zone as being almost on top of one wave meant your are the farthest possible distance away from the next incoming wave.
Part of the job as IRB crew is to assist the handling of the boat by leaning in and out of the boat, in as you turn left and out as you turn right. I felt a bit like a monkey in a side-car outfit on a motorcycle. Practising this involved some tight figure of eight turns.
We then proceeded into the surf proper. Being on the ball and having the ability to read the surf and the drivers mind helped me stay in the boat. I was really starting to get this IRB stuff.
When jumping waves or crashing through them the crew member has to get their weight over the front of the boat, almost in the foetal position, to prevent it flipping over backwards. It also helps you stay in position using the foot straps and rope handle otherwise the wave could was you onto the drivers lap!
After some fun outrunning waves and jumping white-wash it was my turn to drive. I elected not to put us and the boat in danger by entering the surf zone. I figured that we were too far away from anyone, had no radios, and would incur the wrath of the local Surf Life Savers ( who would have to rescue us) if anything went wrong.
I drove back across the bay to the creek mouth and asked if I could bring the boat in to shore this time. Ron advised to run up on the back of the wave in front of us and “easy as she goes” bring the boat up to the beach avoiding swimmers and board paddlers.
They then loaded up the inflatable ski biscuit and took the kids for some fun
At about half tide the beach break north of the flags starts to link up with another bank producing a nose ride section close to the beach.
So rather than fight for 1 footers with a million grommets on short boards and their dads on Stand Up Paddle boards, I thought this break would be perfect for honing my skills on the 9’8″ nose rider which is my largest board apart from the Stand Ups.
With its tucked in nose, wide hips and tail-rocker its an easy board to nose ride but also a bit harder to paddle, but the weight of the thing gives it some momentum, once moving it just glides onto waves.
As I started to paddle out I noticed Connor paddling in from the point who said it was crap (as I expected!) and had too many people to which I replied lets go down the beach a bit.
Being school holidays and very busy it is nice some times to just get away from the crowd and have a break to yourself.
We paddled north past the flags and saw Emma on her race mal and we all went to have some fun on the aforementioned break. Harley and Angus soon joined us as well.
The set waves seemed more frequent there as it was catching a bit more swell than the point. Connor and I were sharing the set waves and a few dads were pushing their kids onto the smaller ones. We had to do a bit of navigation around these punters who, along with all the grommets and grom-ettes, dont paddle out of the way when they clearly see you coming on a wave. The only people who did were two mums riding mals who obviously appreciated that when standing on the nose of the board its a bit hard to steer around people.
Anyway, I was able to break my record of number of waves per hour this holiday at about 12 per hour or one every five minutes.
When we had had enough we walked back to the creek mouth and Ron had brought down the IRB again.
I will do another update and post some IRB photos after a swim – its hot and i’m hungover
Jenny took a million photos and i will write up something about the IRB
There is no surf today and its windy so I may not have a day 4 blog except for this unfortunately
The surf was a bit smaller on the incoming tide today so I took the larger 9’8″ Barry Bennett “Isaac Fields Model” out to the Clubhouse break which I surfed until the higher tide kicked-in and forced me out of the reef, relegated to the beach break with holiday makers I caught a few waves with my mate Steve and then headed back to the van for a second breakfast.
After Breakfast we put the IRB in for a bit of fun. Ron took the kids for a spin and then Alan and I got in with him filled with trepidation. We jumped a few waves for a while and then he let me have a drive and since I have a boat licence and its a private vessel, it was all kosher. I may now be enticed to do my crew course and thenmy drivers certification so I can get in the boat whilst on patrol.
Saturday Arvo Update
After the surf I was invited to check out Crescent Head’s new Surf Life Saving Club.
The old club was one of those iconic sandy beige-coloured surf clubs with a smelly old brick and tile toilets / change shed from the 60’s behind it.
Last year they had demolished the old one and had commenced construction of the new one and I was intrigued to find out what it would look like upon completion.
The new one is an architecturally designed modern building with a smelly old brick and tile toilets / change shed from the 60’s behind it.
Excellent views, commercial kitchen upstairs, kiosk outside, however not much storage for the equipment.
On the first day of our annual autumn holiday at Crescent Head we were met with an early morning high and 2 foot surf so we waited for the tide to turn and then headed out to the Clubhouse Break. The board I chose was the 9’2″ the smaller of my 2 Barry Bennett “Isaac Fields” Models
Upon purchasing my new Royal Enfield motorcycle I was given a years subscription to the RECOAINC in other words the Royal Enfield Club of Australia. The Club meets once a month at an inner city pub and usually arranges a monthly ride.
Due to timing of buying the bike and Fathers Day Fun Night commitments at Cubs I had missed the August and September meetings but was invited along on a club ride.
Having never been in a motorcycle club before I wasn’t sure what to expect but went along with an open mind and thought if anything I would get some more miles on the bike and a bit more experience in road riding.
I was to meet the group around 900-930 at McGrath’s Hill McDonald’s as the rest of the group were starting at Sydney Park in St Peters near the Royal Enfield Dealer Motociclo. I got there early and had some breakfast. There were heaps of bikes around but I could not identify any Royal Enfields. Eventually a guy on a Harley(Peter) turned up who was there to meet up with Bruce the NSW President and do part of the ride, and another guy from up the mountains (Doug) who was going to ride to the Jenolan turn off and head home. They were staring to wonder where the rest of the group was. I thought, maybe no-one showed up in the city or someone broke down etc….?
Oh well if they dont show I’ll ride up the mountains with these two guys and then drop in and see my mate Jim who has a Triumph and go for a quick ride out to Bathurst or somewhere with him if he had time.
Shortly after they turned up a few at a time and after introductions and a coffee etc we took off for the mountains, through Richmond and up the Bells line of road.
Photo courtesy of Doug (taken from the Enfield Forum)
We pulled over before Bell for a break and to let everyone know we were going to turn off at the Causeway and go to MT Vic.
The two big Enfields Mike’s Carberry 1070 V-Twin and Doug’s 1968 Interceptor 750 Twin
The two big super bikes that “tagged along” can be seen behind the red Carberry Kevin’s BMW S 1000 RR and Pauls Kawasaki Ninja 1100
In this picture you can see my bike and all the junk I brought and Alistair’s bike on the right with no saddlebags and him with only a small back pack for the trip.
I was the newbie and not experienced in motorcycle touring and as such I had 2 panniers and a set of saddle bags and I seemingly found myself continually opening and closing the bags, looking for things and either getting things out or putting things away every time we stopped.
I am now tempted to remove my pillion seat ( Jenny refuses to ride on the back anyway )
That way I wont be able to run panniers or saddle bags and wont be able to take anything “on the bike”. Not only does the bike look cleaner the less room you have the less crap you can bring.
I think a leather tool roll and a puncture repair kit should do it and I’ll run that slime stuff in my tubes so I don’t have to carry a spare one.Then a back pack with some undies and a toothbrush should be sufficient for an overnight trip.
We’ll see next trip whether I’ll be eating my words but the clean look of the bike is a big incentive ! Note – UPDATE – the pillion seat is now off along with the saddle baggage !!!!
Next we went through Mt Victoria and down Victoria Pass to the Full Throttle Cafe and had some morning tea.
They had delicious home made pies and “motorcycling themed” burgers etc.
Peter and Pat look at Peter’s 2006 Harley along with Alistair’s very tidy Enfield
Notice the Suzuki on the roof
Next it was off to Jenolan Caves, a road side sign informed us of fallen trees and since the wind was gusting during the Blue Mountains leg I knew what to expect as we turned south. Fortunately we passed an SES truck and 4WD on their way out so we assumed the road would now be clear, along the way the road itself was littered with gum leaves branches and sawdust – a tell-tale sign of the SES’s good work, with many fallen trees visible on the roadside.
We didn’t stop long at Jenolan as we wanted to get to Taralga before it got too late and the roos came out and / or it started to rain.
We left Jenolan via the back road to Edith and then to Oberon where we had a beer at the Royal Hotel and those who needed to re-fuelled their bikes too.
I put on another thermal top and some inner thermal gloves and debated whether I should put on my wet weather gear as the sky was looking ominous.
Sure enough on the Oberon-Taralga road it started to rain slightly, Roger stopped to put on some rain gear ( washing up gloves over woolly thermal inners and a nylon over jacket) and at one point we pondered whether we heard sleet on our helmet’s visors. I pulled over too since we were the last two riders of the group. I decided to soldier on in my jeans but took the opportunity to un-drink which made me slightly more comfortable.
By the time we got to the pub we were freezing, I could not feel my knee caps and all I could think was I’m glad I bought a full face helmet for this trip and looked at those with lexan screens with envy. After finding our rooms and dumping our gear Roger needed to have a shower to thaw out but I decided a beer by the fire was the go as my knees were damp.(well that was my excuse)
We were met at the pub by Stewart and his wife Terry from Bowral and Mick and Helen from Bungendore along with Gary also from Bungendore.
After sufficient re-fulling we made our way to the dinning room and had dinner after which some retired to bed and others adjourned to the pool room.
The 9am ETD in the morning gave me time to take some photos as I am an early riser I had a shower, a cup of coffee and some toast (provided at the pub’s self serve ktichenette) and headed out to take some photos of the town with Mike.
Enfields only this end
Taralga Hotel Est 1876
The Pub was built in four stages by the looks
The original front section in 1876
The rear section in stone in 1911
The grey painted brick section on the left probably 50’s or 60’s etc
and the Cafe styled beer garden outdoor area with storm clears more recently
Post office apparently made in 2580 !!!
Lookout a car!
Cute little bank
Art Deco RSL Club
We left Taralga and headed to Goulburn for breakfast, after ditching the Bakery as it was too busy we ended up at the Green Grocer Cycling Cafe which was a hybrid of a up-market bicycle shop, a green grocer and a cafe (which took up most of the floor space). Hanging above the counter was a carbon frame ticketed at $9500 “can I have a hamburger with egg and a can of coke” “would you like fries with that?” “no but I’ll have that carbon frame and a kilo of carrots please …..do you take AM-EX?” After another excellent feed we headed off to the Southern Highlands and said good bye to the Bungendorians. We went along Mountain Ash Rd to Bungonia then back to the Hume for a short while to Highland Way to Tallong Wingello Penrose to Bundanoon
Bundanoon Railway Station
The last stop for the whole group
After a quick break at Bundanoon the group split as from here people headed toward their final destinations via different routes.
Bruce and I decided to continue through the Southern Highlands and onto the Camden Valley passing through Exeter, Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong, Yerrinbool, Bomaderry, Yanderra, and a final stop at Bargo for a drink and un-drink and to take all our thermals off etc as we were approaching sea level and it was getting warm.
As we were talking Ian, Roger and Alistair turned up and asked “how did you guys get in front of us?”
Turns out Stewart (a local) took them on a more scenic route but I cant recall which way they went.
So the five of us left Bargo, Ian departed the group first then Roger and Alistair peeled of towards the M5’s direction, Bruce lead me through Tahmoor Picton Razorback Camden Park and then to Narellan where we made our way back via Camden Valley way to Cowpasture Rd then to Ferrers Rd to Eastern Creek.
From there we went along the Great Western to the Prospect Hwy then to Seven hills and said our goodbyes as he detoured to Baulkham Hills as I crossed Winston Hills home to Northmead.
What a trip !
Thanks again to all the guys for making it such a memorable first Royal Enfield Club trip.