The idea was to be up and out of home by around 0830 and as with most planning, that simply did not happen as for once I was able to sleep in and not wake up at the usual time, and so it was that I headed out just after 0900.
With the day already quite warm the decision was made to simply slab it to Geurie and save the dirt tracks that lead there for the return journey. Took the right in Geurie and headed around the hill and down towards the river, stopping at the bridge for a small photo or five, and yes I do like bridges for some reason
From here it was remain on the tar for the short ride to the left turn on to River Road and a quick check of the flood levels of years past really does open your eyes at times to the sheer volume of water that must have been flowing.
From here is was just follow the road and see what may be around the next bend or over the hill.
These guys were watching me with interest ….......... but were not about to give up their shade.
A nice little view.
A little further along River Road.
With a few more spectators …............. and again, they did not want to leave the shade.
The road ahead just kept inviting me to ride more and more
The surface was forever changing just as I have found most roads this way seem to and so it was until the road became blacktop as it headed into and over the small range, but not before one of the locals learnt that it is best to look both ways when leaving their driveway. Lucky for me I had seen then from a distance and was watching their head and not once did it look my way so I was a little prepared when he turned across and then just started down my side of the road. Mind you, after a very quick blast of the horn the farmer corrected and nearly ran off the other side of the road whilst apologising profusely. No harm, no foul and it was not going to ruin the day.
Now, as for the tar, it was fun and while bumpy was a good little find for those days when I want to return to the old road riding roots and have a few feel good corners. This little piece of road was what I would describe as a bit of a hidden gem, sure it is bumpy and way to short but you wind through a small valley beside a creek on a rock and tree lined road which is always good, before emerging at Wellington.
After a quick refuel of both bike and body, then attending to a work phone call (the fun of being on call during the holidays) it was off to Goolma Road before turning to Twelve Mile Road in search of more side track, roads and returns of which there would be a few today.
So to the first deviation which was an unnamed road on a right turn beside two dams …........ well that was how it looked on Google Maps anyway and actually enough that was how it turned out and so it was off to explore and see where things headed …............. or didn't head as it proved to be.
I came across these guys on the way and knowing how they react decided to stop, take a few pictures and allow them off the road.
Basically, I followed the road and saw a small signpost so took it but found myself at a cattle grid where a sign made it reasonable clear that this was private property, but did not clearly state whether or not I could continue …........... after all, the signpost looked official and the name was familiar to one of the roads I was after. Anyway, the sign at the property stated that all visitors should report to the managers office and so I headed that way, but before I could get there I ran into the property owner who politely and clearly advised that I was on the wrong path.
As it turned out, the signpost was correct in one way, the property I was now on was the same name as the road I was after, but the road itself was further north and could not be reached from that property. Roy (the owner …......... he introduced himself so we became mates :) ) did say that the original road I was on does go through but would be blocked at the river due to a release of water from the dam that had caused the river height to rise appreciably, so he advised to head back to Twelve Mile Road and turn right for fun. Roy was a bloody nice guy and gave a few good tips, but his parting comment was perhaps the most appreciated when he simply said 'next time you come out this way, head up the house and I will give you heaps of track information'. You won't get this on the coast …............. or at least I never did.
A few pics from the signpost spot, some of this will be explored more another day
And so back track to Twelve Mile it would be before taking one of the turns Roy had mentioned, although being fair to Roy here he had advised me that it did not go through either, but did I listen …......... well yes and no.
The first road had some nice little views.
What Roy had said was entirely true, the road did not go through but as he had said, as long as I took the right turns I would be fine, and so it proved …............ well, so it proved after I took a wrong turn.
The wrong turn did was a good piece of road, shame it went never went through.
And a video or two.
Eventually after backtracking and trying my luck on another road, I emerged again onto Twelve Mile Road with Roy's words ringing in my ears …................... Turn left at the bright house …........... I had initially turned right and whilst it ended in a dead end it was a fantastic little piece of road.
Back on Twelve Mile road I quickly noticed that the wind had picked up as small branches blew across the road and even a large branch fell into the drain beside the road just before I got to the spot on the road, so I was a little on edge so to speak. With it getting a little gnarly I decided to just stay on Twelve Mile Road and follow it back to Goolma Road, although I didn't know just how far I had to go, and for some reason simply did not care either so just rode and enjoyed
Found this beside Twelve Mile Road
Was quite a nice steep little piece of road in a way as it wound down to the valley.
Would not want to be here in heavy rains, the watercourse would be, well, ermm, interesting
So the road winds to the bottom of the valley and whilst I call it steep, many would not as it is after all a full public road and not a fire trail but soon enough we find the valley bottom and then just meander along. Again the road is fun with a good surface although plenty of live stock around that you need to take into consideration as this is their country so you need to ride with care.
A few videos of some hazards
After a while I came to a T intersection and immediately recognised some of the road names involved, one being the opposite end to my wrong turn of earlier, so this end will yet be explored another day as well. Just down the road however was another of these little bridges that I do like and so it was a small side track for a picture or three.
The pictures were taken from a little causeway that I had walked out onto, and whilst riding it was tempting the moss on the base was around an inch think and simply walking had me sliding, so wimp that I was I decided to use the bridge after all and continue on the merry way to Goolma Road.
Now, the wind was really howling and I was struggling at times to ride in a straight line, and given that I have extensive levels of on-board ballast it was at times a battle, but would not diminish the fun one bit, although this bloody corner nearly did.
The road here was reasonable and so I came into the corner in fourth gear and started to power out when the front just hit a rock, near threw me off the seat and off the road but all recovered quickly, and so I decided a little drink was in order and a rest to lose the boy racer that was starting to build :)
And so, eventually I found my way back to Goolma Road and had a quick stop to check the time only to find that it was near enough to 3pm which meant almost six hours out an about and I was not even half way through. No wonder my bloody ass was starting to say enough of this seat already and so I decided to head back on home using the blacktop and save the other side roads for another day. Almost ….....
I had already explored a bit around Wongarbon and Geurie but there were still some tracks to be explored and so at Geurie I left the highway to try one such track that proved to be somewhat testing with the ruts and surface that had 2 inch wide cracks in places. Needless to say I did have a little excursion into the bush (all on bloody video) before emerging onto the road into town.
All up, was a damn good ride but one that has whetted the appetite for more exploring of the region and surrounds even if that exploring turns up more dead ends and means more back tracks