Maldon day trip

I took a solo run inland to avoid the Otways because of debris on the roads from all the recent heavy rain. I left Geelong under a cloudy sky with the temp around 16C, but expected better weather inland.  I headed through the tourist trap town of Daylesford (having been tailed for around 5 klm by a marked police vehicle) to go to the historic former goldmining town of Maldon via the back roads through Newstead. The day quickly warmed up and before too long I had to pull over and remove some layers.

Here’s the route

Pic below is between Ballan and Daylesford

The ‘roos are a problem and behave much like deer in the USA.

Once past Daylesford I pretty much had the roads to myself. There was some minor road damage evident near Newstead from the flooding of the Loddon River, which peaked late on Friday.

Looks to me like the layer of asphalt was too thin in the first place.

River debris. There were flood warnings for nearby Maryborough so I kept clear.


I had a bit of a walk around but it was so humid and I was overheating, it would have been nice in shorts and a T- shirt, like the ‘fella below actually!

Saw this guy go bye in his “Queensland leathers” on a lovely old Vincent Comet single.
It started first kick after he stopped at a nearby shop.

Said g’day to the dog!

As I was leaving a couple pulled up in an immaculate old Mercedes 190 two-door.

This thing was pristine.

Always some surprises in the store windows in the country – a solar powered snake deterrent!

It was hot and humid and the shady verandas are perfect. There’s a historic vehicle museum in Maldon, but a cast of guys on Harleys with beards like they play in ZZTop were there so I continued on.

VFR resting in the shade

An uncommon color for an Australian Wing.

Two up through the Otways

Mrs T and I took a leisurely loop from Geelong to Forrest, Apollo Bay, Lavers Hill, Gellibrand, Birregurra and back to Geelong.

Total distance 305 kilometers

First stop was Forrest (Vic) for coffee.

1960 Morris Minor

 Second stop was Apollo Bay for art exhibition

I quite liked this Melbourne streetscape

This pastel portrait was good

 The run from Apollo Bay to Laver’s Hill is via the Great Ocean Road. Much of it in this section is actually inland through eucalyptus forest. Lovely big open sweepers for the most part and one section of quite tight curves. Despite being summer holidays the traffic traveling along the GOR from Apollo Bay towards the 12 Apostles wasn’t too bad.

We stopped in Laver’s Hill at Blackwood Gully  for lunch. It has a great outdoor deck area.

 Great lunches.

 From there we traveled inland through the bush and farming land via the back roads to Geelong. The weather was mostly sunny and at around 22C was a nice temp for riding.We need to stop reasonably often as Mrs T gets some vibration via one of the pillion footpegs which eventually makes her foot numb. I haven’t been able to solve this problem yet despite replacing the rubber bush in the footpeg mount recently.

News Year’s Day 2011

The West Coast Procrastinators finally got their act together to reprise our NYD 2008 run. The route differed slightly, but still involved the same guys, the 12 Apostles, two old Norton Commandos, two Japanese motorcycles and plenty of time spent chatting over a tasty lunch together. Let me tell you a little about my riding buddies.

In addition to his Norton Commando, Andy has numerous other motorcycles. Complete and running are a 500cc BSA twin, a lovel and newly acquired 1972 T250 Suzuki Hustler, and an old 350cc Panther single. Under restoration is a 450 Ducati and another BSA. I’ve probably missed some, as there are numerous other motorcycles in various states of completion.

Other than his Comando, Steve has another complete and rideable Norton 500cc single,  a 1970’s RD350 Yamaha (which he rode to some of the most remote parts of Australia on back in 1979) and currently has a 500cc twin cylinder Norton Dominator under restoration. He also kindly houses my wife’s rideable, but incomplete, early 1970’s 175 Yamaha dirt bike and some other miscellaneous motorcycles and parts of Andy’s. Both of these guys were my mates from our teenage years, when we came together with motorcycles and riding as our common bond.

Neither Marty nor I are are into restoring old motorcycles. He’s my main touring buddy (and features in most rides reports on this blog) and we’ve been great friends for the past 25 years.

We headed off from our rendezvous point in Colac (Vic) which is approx 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Melbourne. Our lunch destination turned out to be the cafe at a distillery in the tiny Western District township of Timboon (Victoria). This is quite close to the famous 12 Apostles and the gas processing plant for the Casino Natural Gas off shore rigs.

Here’s a map of our route starting in Colac at Steve’s place, which is approx 80 klm (50 miles) from my home.

Map of ride from our rendezvous point in Colac (Vic).

Andy’s ’69 Commando
Steve’s ’71 Commando
The VFR and ZX9

A distillery-restaurant makes a nice point of difference from all the microbreweries that are popping up everywhere

Lunch on the deck was excellent

Visitors’ centre at the 12 Apostles
Two of these and another large helicopter were sitting idle. NY’s  day seems to be a slow day for scenic flights!

Stop for drinks at the Gellibrand store

This was a very laid back ride in near perfect motorcycling weather and a great start to 2011. Here’s hoping for many more great rides in 2011!

Ride safe everyone.

Cabin fever

Having some decent weather at last gave me the opportunity to take a quick run down to Colac to visit Steve and then head home via Beech Forest and Turton’s track. I didn’t take too many pics, but here’s a few.

This is a close up of the display behind my Honda in the avatar picture for this blog.

Views from the deck of the Ridge Cafe at Beech Forest

Today’s run was a spur of the moment thing, but I’m really  looking forward to tomorrow’s New Years Eve run to the 12 Apostles with the West Coast Procrastinators. The forecast temp is 38C for Friday. Some summer at last!

Another Sunday ride two-up

Mrs Tarsnakes and I took a short run to Forrest (Vic) for coffee. We stopped in at ‘Martians’ cafe at Deans Marsh and took a few shots of some historic motorcycles parked there.

What particularly caught my eye was an old twin cylinder Norton, as my mate Steve is rebuilding a 500cc twin Dominator at present. There was also a well used Honda CBX1000 present, which is right at the top of the list of post classic motorcycles that I’d like to have.

Nice pipes, alloy rims,  rearsets, ?? featherbed frame & belt primary – nicely done!

Modified primary drive. The chain drives always seem to leak oil, this is the clean belt alternative.
Don’t know much about beezas- I’m guessing it’s a 650
Rifles tank badge

An older Ducati

How I’d love one of these!

Moto Guzzi S3

Montesa road bikes must be pretty rare. This is a 350cc twin.

 We only stopped at Martians  briefly as it was pretty hot and very humid – not good in full leathers!

Mrs T in her new Vespa T.

 From Forrest we headed down to Colac and dropped in to see how Steve’s Domi resto is progressing. Well actually we dropped in to pay a pre-Christmas visit, but Steve and I often seek the company of Nortons and Jimi Hendrix in the shed!

All up, another grand afternoon out.

Kawasaki Z1000SX or Ninja 1000 in Oz.

This is worth a look. It’s aimed at those who don’t want a pure sports bike. The claimed weight is 231 kg wet. Seat height 821 mm (hope they have a lowering option). Fuel tank 19 litres. Engine: 1043cc transverse four. The price Downunder has not been announced yet, but the motorcycle is due for release anytime now.


Spring Down Under

For the first time in ages we’ve had two consecutive days of magnificent Spring weather on the weekend – just ideal conditions for motorcycling. I’ve been able to get out for a decent ride both days!

Yesterday Marty and I rode and today (Sunday) it was just Mrs Tarsnakes & I. We pulled in to a new micro brewery & cafe in Forrest (Vic); TheForrest Brewing Company. There were some great Clubman cars parked out front and a lovely old Morris Minor converted to a ute.

Clubmans at Forrest Vic

These things go around corners like nothing else. They weigh less than 800 kilograms, typically have 1.6 – 2 litre motors

Mrs Tarsnakes awaiting coffee.

Nicely done!

We then headed along Turton’s track (very slowly) to Beech Forest.

The grim one himself.

A grand weekend of riding twisty roads, approx 550 kilometers all up.