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.

Neil Young

Although this blog is all about my motorcycling experiences, I must make an exception and post some pics from the Neil Young concert we went to last night at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. What a show! Neil was in fine form and his vocals and guitar playing exceeded my expectations by a very long margin. It was very much a rock, electric guitar show with very few ballads. Here is a highly pixelated pic taken with my little Canon point and shoot (didn’t take the SLR). We are in the middle of a heat wave and it was around 41C (105F) when we arrived at 7.00pm. With the Australian Open tennis on right next door, the traffic in Melbourne was horrendous.

Incidentally, it was still 33C when we left at 11.00pm and we had an overnight low of 28C (82F) – extreme stuff. Expecting a top of 44C (111F) today & 40 Friday.

Songs he played included Cinnamon Girl, Just Singing a Song, Won’t Change the World, Unknown Legend, Light a Candle (which was beautiful), Mother Earth, Four Strong Winds. Cortez was a standout though. Of the acoustic numbers The Needle and the Damage Done & One of These Days were my favorites.

The encore of the Beatles song, A Day in the Life was a bit strange though.

Thanks for a great night Karlo & Jen.

Twilight Ride

Hot on the heals of yesterday’s solo ride, Marty & I did a twilight run to Apollo Bay via Forrest, then back towards Geelong along the GOR as far as Lorne, then to Geelong inland via Dean’s Marsh.

The good news was that the heat of early morning had been blown away by a dry, cool change during the day. Unfortunately there were roadworks on the the Apollo Bay road, with new asphalt being put down. We had for follow an escort vehile for a few klms over fresh gravel on bitumen. I will have to spend some time tomorrow getting the tar off the rims!

We had a brilliant run along the GOR and the trip up through the eucalypts from Lorne to Dean’s Marsh was surreal, gliding along through the curves in as the sun got lower. It was a lovely time of the evening to be riding. No pics today, it was too much fun riding.

Summer at last

After an unusually cool (but dry) start to summer we are finally getting some hot weather. Top of 38C (100F) today. 39C forecast for tomorrow. After some initial procrastination I decided to go for a ride despite the heat. It was quite OK for most of the trip as I left eary enough to be in the Otways before it got too hot, then ran along the coast from Apollo Bay to Lorne with a cooling breeze from the ocean. Only mistake I made was heading inland from Lorne to get back to Geelong via Dean’s Marsh – damn it was hot! I was glad I was wearing my new Draggin jeans (Christmas present) rather than full leathers.

First stop from Geelong was Gellibrand for a cool drink.

Being a week day there were a few log trucks about.

View from Laver’s Hill – ocean in the distance.

Had an excellent run along the Great Ocean Road from Apollo Bay to Lorne despite being holidays. The main beach at Lorne was packed.

Next up is a twilight ride with Marty tomorrow. However, the weather forecast is for 39C (102F) !

Post script: woke up at 6.00am 14th Jan, temp is already 30C (86F) and an unpleasant, hot northerly wind blowing. These are really bad bushfire conditions.

Otways & Great Ocean Road

I’m making the most of the good weather and holidays. Headed off at 7.45am in sunshine for a lap of the Otways and a small, but favorite, section of the Great Ocean Road (GOR). It’s the section between Lavers Hill & Apollo Bay – which actually runs through eucalypt forests inland rather than following the coastline. This section has everything a motorcyclist could want – big open high speed sweepers and tight, technical curves and stunning bush scenery along the way.

Via the township of Forrest (Vic)

Turned up Turton’s (treacherous) Track again towards Beech Forest.

From Beech Forest to Laver’s Hill, then onto the GOR from Laver’s Hill to Apollo Bay. Had an excellent run at a good pace and although there was a lot of traffic coming towards me, not much was going in my direction.

Apollo Bay was swarming with holiday makers displaying zero driving ability! From Apollo Bay I headed to Scenes Creek then turned left off the GOR inland back towards Forrest. Again, I had a really good run and the few cars I caught up with I was able to overtake between the curvy bits.

View from Apollo Bay
Just prior to Forrest is the West Barwon Dam – which is very low.

All up 311 kms (without refuelling) with lots of curves, in glorious sunshine and on dry grippy pavement – just brilliant!

First ride for 2009!

Headed off at 7.30 am for a short 240 k morning ride, my first for the holidays after some frustrating past weeks. Seemed to photograph lots of signs today.

Fire season.

Shearing shed near Dean’s Marsh

Geelong to Forrest via Dean’s Marsh, then right turn onto Turton’s track. This was signposted at 40 kph limit along the first few K’s. It’s very narrow, twisy & covered in leaf litter and rubble. Beautiful scenery, but sports riding it is not!

You’ve been warned.

Timber heritage area

View from the deck of a new cafe at Beech Forrest. I was their 1st customer – they opened 10 mins before I arrived.

No petrol here!


The VFR ran beautifully in the cool morning air. There’s nothing quite like the gentle pulsations of a V4 motor – good for the soul!