Dodging the rain

Originally this ride was planned as a visit to an old friend near Ballarat, however, we postponed that when one of the ‘Proctastinators’ couldn’t make it. The weather has been unusually warm for Autumn (ie. that’s March Downunder), but unfortunately a cool change with some rain was forecast for around lunch time on Saturday. We decided to head inland for the best chance of avoiding rain, however, the price paid for that route was hardly any twisty roads.

Our route for the day

Marty & I rode from Geelong to Colac and met Steve at his place. The three of us then headed inland towards Ballarat. The first section was an unremarkable, featureless ride (ie. boring!) with quite a lot of side-on wind buffeting.

We skirted around Ballarat and stopped at the tiny township of Smythesdale for lunch.

Lunch stop at Smythesdale. Marty with his ZX9R

Steve and his 1970’s Norton Commando

A woman and her daughter pulled up in their car, had a good look at Steve’s Norton and then approached Steve as we walked back to the bikes. She proceeded to relate a sad story of how her husband had been restoring a Commando, but literally dropped dead unexpectedly as he was working on it. What can one say when confronted out of the blue with such a thing?

From Smythesdale we traveled via Snake Valley to the lovely little town of Beaufort. I took some shots of Steve’s bike in front of the picturesque old fire station, we fueled up and then pretty much headed off. We really should have spent a little more time there as it’s a pretty little town.

Steve in front of the fire station.

From here we debated whether to head for Avoca and make a long day of it, but eventually decided to head back towards Colac via Skipton and Cressy. The Commando used a bit more fuel than planned in the strong winds, which led to Steve running out of gas about 3kms from his home. A problem we easily resolved via a pillion ride home for Steve on the back of the ZX14.

Marty & I back at Steve’s.

We sat around and talked motorcycles for ages, then Marty and I headed back to Geelong along Hwy1. All up Marty & I had done 408 kms – and none of it in rain!

I will have had my ZX14 for a year on 2nd April and I’ve managed to do a bit over 10,000 kms in that time – which is about average for me in a year – as well as doing 3,500kms on a rental bike in New Zealand. So a total of around 13,600kms of trouble free riding pleasure for the last 12 months. I feel well pleased with that.




Art for art’s sake

We went looking at art today. Some was from iconic Australian painters like Tom Roberts, Aurthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Sidney Nolan & Russell Drysdale. It’s at Federation Square in Melbourne & admission is free.

Some was iconic Italian art!

I tried to interest Mrs Tarsnakes in buying this as an investment in an Italian masterpiece – to be mounted in our lounge room at home. But alas ………………….

They say that old habits die hard, she did have to feel what the throttle response felt like though!

Plan B = the ride to Maldon

Mrs Tarsnakes and I took a run just a few weeks ago, just before summer officially finished and it was a ‘scorcher’. It was forecast to be 38C so we took off early and headed towards Forrest for a short ride, but abandoned that plan at Dean’s Marsh and headed for Lorne on the GOR. The ride through the bush on the twisty road to Lorne ended up being the best part of the day. By 11.00am in Lorne it was around 35C, so we headed for home. Kind of frustrating to be beaten by weather that was too hot!

Overlooking Lorne main beach

I’ve been itching for a ride since then, but haven’t been able to get out due to some important family functions. So today’s ride with Marty was much anticipated as the weather forecast was for an ideal Autumn day – around 22C and sunny. Unfortunately we awoke to clouds and drizzle.  A ‘phone call from Marty and ‘Plan B” was activated – namely wait an hour and see what happens with the weather!

By an hour later I had checked all the weather sites and rain radar and reckoned that  a trip inland to the historic town of Maldon in central Victoria would offer the best chance of sunny skies – which it did.

Here’s our route

We stopped for a short break at Newstead, just before Maldon.

I saw this lovely old MG sedan in Newstead. Like many such vehicles now, on club rego.