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!

Bikes by the Bay

“Bikes by the Bay” is an annual fundraiser run by the Williamstown MCC. Unfortunately the weather was aweful and so attendance of motorcycles and spectators was well down. DP & I actually went in the car! The theme was club registered motorcycles, so some some classics were to be expected. Williamstown is a really picturesque spot with a historic streetscape on one side of the park and a view over Hobson’s Bay to Melbourne city on the other.

Took a few pics of some of my favourites despite the poor turnout.

Vincent HRD in Norton frame = Norvin

I’ve owned two of these Honda 750’s in the past.

I like these!

and these

Old Indian outfit.

‘Rust never sleeps’ (Apologies to Neil Young fans)

Hobson’s Bay, looking toward Melbourne
Some of Williamstown’s streetscape

Don’t you get sick of it?

… is what my son asked when I said that we had yet another enjoyable 320ks of the Otway’s winding roads today (Geelong, Colac via back roads, Laver’s Hill, Apollo Bay, inland via Forrest back to Geelong).

“Not at all, it’s different every time depending on the weather, time of day, people we meet, traffic & whether I’m in the zone for riding or not”.

Today was all about the smell of eucalypt, bugs on the visor and a great feeling of freedom. No pics as we were enjoying the ride too much.

He wasn’t convinced ….

Gellibrand for a Coke

Just had a quick solo run today down to Gellibrand. Unfortunately my favorite store had no diet Coke!!

The Gelli pub is under new ownership. A group of people have bought it, including the owners of the Otway vineyard. They are planning a gradual renovation, ramping up the quality of meals and maybe some accomodation in the future.

Nice bush view from the beer garden.
Gratuitous VFRpic

Friday night we went to Melbourne for the Motorcycle Expo. Some pics below.

Iconic Honda VFR750 RC30

My favourite – MV Agusta. No one does style like the Italians!

Marty’s new Duke?

Another MV, just $180K, but you get a watch & jacket valued at $20K thrown in!

One for you Bill, they didn’t have the new K1300S here though.

12 Apostles

Yesterday the “West Coast Procrastinators” took a run to the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road (Vic) in excellent Spring conditions. Our route was Geelong, Colac, Gellibrand, Lavers Hill then to the Apostles via the Great Ocean Road. From there we headed inland along some interesting backroads; Simpson (no fuel available), Kennedy’s Creek, and the very pretty run through the bush from Carlisle River back to Colac. A previous post at CLICK HERE shows some pics of these backroads. The lack of traffic on these backroads is great, though I did have a ‘roo stand up in the shade on the side of the road as I approached!

Lunch stop at Blackwood Gully, Lavers Hill.

There was quite a bit of salt spray in the air making it difficult to get crisp shots.

Andy aboard the ’69 Commando 750

Steve’s Commando 750

Here’s a map of some of the route we took.

What could be more cute?