A new low ….

… temp for me to start a ride in this morning!

I wound up doing around 365 kms for the day, all in sub 7 C temps.

Lunch at the Moto-Bean cafe Malmsbury, (see prior post) then later that day at Mt Alexander with the Ulysses Club members. Fellow Ulyssian from Melbourne (and former prolific blogger) Raymond Herd met us at Ballan for morning tea and then rode to the cafe with us. Just as we were leaving when another friend and Ulyssian from Bendigo, Rob H, showed up. Sorry we didn’t really get a chance to have much of a chat Rob!

Rob’s Victory has a heated seat as well as grips. A luxury touring machine.

Grassy’s new Honda CTX 1300

Unfortunately it was a boring run home from Newstead onwards, however, I wanted to get us back as quickly as possible as the temperature had remained under 8C for virtually all of the trip and there were a couple of new riders who were feeling the pinch with the combination of the distance and cool temps.

 

Freezing but fine

I took a solo run today to scout out a ride that I’m leading in a couple of weeks time. The average temp for the day was around 5C, and was hovering around 3C for quite a while in the early am. All up it was around 415 kms, which was about 50 kms too much in those low temps! Just a few pic for now but some more words to follow.

The Moto Bean cafe

Big barn doors for running cars into the building.

A juicy burger. Not cheap at $17.50 though.

A view from Mt Alexander, near Harcourt Vic. A chilly 3C – 4C up there. Great views of orchards on the ride in and of vineyards on the ride out.

Burger, beans and bridges

I took advantage of an improved weather forecast for Thursday 21 August and took run inland to central Victoria to visit the Moto Bean café as recommended by Raymond Herd, on his excellent Sandgropher motorcycle travel blog.

Again it was a fairly cold, around 7C for most of the morning, however, it is still winter I guess. My route was from Geelong to Ballan, then Daylesford and on to Malmsbury – specifically the Moto Bean café.

You may have guessed that the Moto Bean café is a moto themed café. It is a new purpose built building and rather than following the ‘1960’s diner’ theme, the owners have opted for a slightly industrial /warehouse style – and have pulled it off really well. The place is spacious, warm and inviting – especially for motoring enthusiasts of any discipline – but also generic enough not to scare off non moto enthusiast patrons. However, it’s certainly great to go to a café that has magazines lying about that are of interest – namely a good selection of motorcycle magazines.

As is my habit duty, I sampled a tasty burger which the chef was happy to cook for me even though it wasn’t quite time for the lunch menu to commence. I also had a very friendly, welcoming chat with George (who is one of the owners), who took the time to explain the background of some of the display bikes, the construction of the café and some local scenic rides.   Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Mt Alexander, but will be back to check out the area soon.

Did I mention that they also roast their own beans?

Have a close look at the motor grafted into this K0 series Honda Four.

Malmsbury is also home to a large brick and masonry arched bridge built between 1858 and 1860, known as the Malmsbury Viaduct. Its just a walk through the park from the café.

As I was leaving the cafe, a friendly patron suggested that I should also check out the historic Taradale Viaduct which is just a few kilometres down the old Calder Hwy. I was lucky enough to snap a train traveling over it – just as in the pic on the history info plaque. Now compare and contrast the bridge itself in the following two pics.

I’m guessing that you noticed that in the 1862 pic the bridge is constructed of only masonry columns and no iron work. The iron columns were added much later in the 1930’s to cope with heavier trains.

After taking some shots of the bridge I headed over to the pretty Sutton Grange road and from there over to Castlemaine for some fuel, then home to Geelong via Maldon (out of my way a little I know), Newstead, Creswick and Lal Lal –skirting around Ballarat.

For all the pictures, click HERE (then press ‘Slideshow’)

All up, a grand day out riding. A new venue, enjoying some tasty food and hospitality, some new roads to explore, with a little history thrown in to add interest.