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.

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.