First winter ride for 2009

Took my first ride for winter. The roads were dry, the traffic moderate (long weekend) and I
was desperate for some “motorcycle therapy”.I left early and it was pretty chilly – there was still some frost about inland.

Breakfast here, but no Prickly Moses when I’m riding!

Saw a fly!
Saw way too much of this unfortunately.

One of my favorite places. The Aire River on the Great Ocean Road inland section. First looking North of the bridge.
Then looking South of the bridge.

There were even a few spots of rain on the way home, but I managed to stay warm & dry. The new textile riding pants were excellent.

Stimulus package on Elizabeth St Melbourne

I went to Melbourne this morning to collect my Dainese Galvestone textile pants that I’d had on order from Peter Stevens motorcycles in Elizabeth Street. Thanks for the stimulus package $’s Kevin Rudd! For those not familiar with Melbourne, Elizabeth St in downtown Melbourne has a strip with 105 year history of motorcycle shops.

It was great dealing with a salesman named Bill, who was knowledgeable about their products and had an approach that appealed to a mature rider like myself. I find some of the younger guys seem to think that their customers have to be “kewl” to be worthy of their attention. I’ve noticed at the big dealerships these young guys are often on traineeships and don’t last long anyway.

First textile pants I’ve ever purchased – should be good now that winter is upon us here in the southern hemisphere.
Gortex whats more!
Maybe I’ll get the matching jacket if I get a decent tax return, check out the Gator.

I wandered down to Peter Stevens new store in A’Beckett St. This houses the Hardley Ableson, Triumph & MV Agusta dealerships as well as a “clearance centre”. This place is big & kinda like K Mart.

I’d quite like to take this for a run.

Lotsa Triumphs – this is but a few of them.

Weekday ride

We were on strike today so no work for us. It was the perfect opportunity to ride the Otways & Great Ocean Road with very little traffic & reasonable weather before winter sets in.

Marty’s ZX9R in front of the Gellibrand store. This was our hot drink stop.

VFR800 & ZX9R
It was so quiet – virtually no traffic at all. Here’s the view looking northwards.

Two short rides

On Saturday afternoon Mrs Tarsnakes and I took a quick run down the Great Ocean Road from Geelong to Lorne (Vic). It was her first pillion ride in 19 years and she did great – just like old times!

Sunday morning I headed for the Otways, but some drizzle & black clouds over the ranges had me thinking about whether I really wanted a drenching or not. I saw a heap of motorcycles at Dean’s Marsh, (including a Spyder that I had seen in Geelong on Saturday). I didn’t stop at Dean’s Marsh as I really wanted to head a bit further on. I resolved the weather issue over a delicious breakfast at the Otway Estate vineyard just past Colac. I ended up heading for home and had dry roads all the way. So, a weekend of two short, but enjoyable rides.

Every time that I ride past this “renovators delight” I think that I should stop and take a picture – so today I did. Now that the fire season is over, farmers have been burning off, so unfortunately there was quite a bit of smoke about.

Vines amongst the eucalyptus

Main building – much nicer inside than the exterior would suggest.

The weather wasn’t the greatest, but there wasn’t much traffic and the roads were dry so it was OK for riding.

Chopper flight over Melbourne

I took a flight over Melbourne Saturday. I got to ride up front & it was an excellent experience, although the atmosphere was a bit murky and there was no sunshine.

We flew from Essendon Airport down towards Flemington racecourse, over Westgate bridge, then over to Port Melbourne, along the beach to St Kilda, then towards the city over Albert park, then the MCG, Telstra Dome,over the city then back to Essendon. The whole trip was at 1,000 feet or less, so good views of everything.

Robinson Helicopter

Port Melbourne

Melbourne city centre

Telstra Dome, now re-badged as Etihad stadium.

Albert Park

The G

Close up of the instruments.

This thing is small!

I took some video from the point & shoot camera which came out really well, see YouTube

Princetown & Turton’s Track

Marty & I took a ride today down towards the 12 Apostles. It got quite gusty down there so we turned around at Princetown (literally a 2 store town)then headed back inland along Turton’s track. The weather was perfect as was the riding.

Marty’s ZX9R

Easter Classics

Mrs Tarsnakes & I took a trip to the inaugural Easter historic bike bonanza at Broadford (Vic). Here is a small selection of shots that I took today.

I used to have a Kawasaki Z1R exactly like this one.

I’ve also owned two Honda CB750’s like the one on the left.

Again, my interests lean towards the Japanese superbikes of the 1970’s rather than the really classic older bikes. I’d love to have one of these – Honda 6 CBX 1000.

This 6 cylinder Honda CBX motor is a thing of beauty!

What’s an event without an MV Agusta?

Manx Norton up close.

Ex Mike Hailwood Ducati

Mandy Beales, the current Australian champion, period 3 (1946-1962) historic.

One of her beautifully presented ’62 Honda CB72/77 racers.

All tracks at the complex were in use. Here’s a shot from the Speedway.

Classic Racing

Andy, Marty & I took a trip to the Victorian Motorcycle complex at Broadford to watch the Victorian Historic championships. The was also BEARS racing and forgotten era racing. The post classic & Forgotton era T Rex Hondas were particularly impressive as were all the sidecar classes.

A spectator’s Ducati GT750 – the same as Andy once had.

Snowy Mountains 2009

Marty, Bill and I headed off for 4 days riding in northern Victoria & the Snowy Mountains of NSW. I covered 2,239 kilometers much of it comprised quite “technical” mountain roads, often in heat of up to 40C. The VFR ran flawlessly, as did Marty’s Kawasaki ZX9 and Bill’s Kawasaki ZZR1200.

Sunday Feb 1, 2009: Day 1 – 618 Ks, Geelong Vic to Bombala NSW. Marty & I travelled in misty rain via the Princes Hwy to Bairnsdale where we hooked up with Bill who had ridden down there the day before. Fortunately the smoke from the bushfire at Churchill was blowing in the other direction and didn’t trouble us at all.

Marty & Bill at the start of the Bonang Hwy – famous for 1038 curves in this 90 klm stretch from Orbost to Delegate NSW.

This map shows most of the areas we rode in the Snowys.

Old settlers hut just over the border into NSW near Delatite.

Day 2 – 550 Ks Bombala to Corryong via a figure 8 tour of some twisty roads in southern NSW (including the Mt Imlay Rd, & Brown Mountain Rd), then Cooma & the Snowy Mountains. Bill offered me a spin on his ZZR1200 which was quite an experience, however, I was glad I handed it back before all the really twisty downhill stuff on the road to Wyndham!

Piper’s Lookout towards the top of Brown Mountain.

Pic courtesy Marty

A smaller fire fighting chopper which buzzed us & the scooped up water from a dam just behind us.

Day 3 – 510 Ks, A big day trip loop of the Snowys, taking in the Alpine Hwy etc. Stayed 2 nights at the Courthouse Hotel Corryong.

Warning! Warning!

Lunch at Tumut. A bargain at $6.50, not so the parking ticket at $189 – ouch!
NSW Parking Tickets

Site of Australia 1st commercial aviation disaster in 1931. Six passengers and 2 pilots lost enroute Sydney to Melbourne.

It was really hot by now, about 38C, when we stopped to take these pics.

Day 4 – Corryong back via the Keiwa Valley Hwy to Myrtelford, then through the vineyards to Whitfield, and on to Mansfield for lunch. Bill & I said our goodbyes and I travelled back towards the Hume Hwy via Yea. Bill turned off towards Alexandra to travel into Melbourne via the “spurs”.

Me sitting on the ZZR1200 on the Whitfield road.