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Old 04-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #1
MudratinOz OP
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To Bingara we go, (NSW Australia)

A ride to the 2012 Stromtroopers Gathering In Bingara, NSW, the long way

the route


Day 1 - Heatherbrae to Walcha
As planned V-Chops and I meet AstroBob at Heatherbrae Golden Arches and after a quick coffee and finetuning of our UHF set-ups we headed of for Karuah with the threat of a shower or two overhead
The plan was to ride to Gloucester via The Branch Lane, Old Inn Rd Markwell and Waukivory, but a light shower just as we arrived at Branch lane seen the Strom riders head back to the Bucketts way.
one of the drier sections

the 9 storey "house" on Girvan estate,

the start of Old Inn Rd

the Crawford River crossing was higher than the trip I did through here a fortnight earlier,

We regrouped at Gloucester as planned and after a hearty lunch at Roadies cafe we headed for Walcha, Astro had had a big night the night before and was feeling a little tired so left us just after Nowendoc (Topdale Rd) to slab it the rest of the way and Chops and I continued on via Weabonga, Limbri, Woolbrook to Walcha.
a quick stops at Carsons lookout to help look for Malcom (Nadin), must have helped heard, on the news that night they'd captured him not long after we left


Just as we left the tar of Topdale Rd we can across a interesting sign, but this was an adventure ride so onward we went

V-chops in the groove

wasn't long before we came to Sherritts Bridge and the reason for the sign

but not to worry there's an crossing right below it,

unfortunately it had seen little or no traffic and had a nice layer of slime waiting to catch the unwary, which in this case was chops.
No real harm done apart from a bent brake lever and a wet rear end
Ktm tool kit to the rescue

we continued on to Walcha without incident through some great country meeting Bob at the Apsley Arms Hotel which were our digs for the night. great little pub with good food, but $60 a night was the dearest I've paid for a pub bed for quite a while, but it was the cheapest option in town so what do you do.
a rock slip and some more flood damaged road, reminded me a lot of the Bridle track, but without the elevation


some sections of the road where just built for big adv. bikes, this section coming into Limbri was just kilometre after kilometre of sweeping corners, yeeeHAh



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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)

MudratinOz screwed with this post 04-16-2012 at 12:01 AM
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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Day 2 - Walcha to Nymboida

After a quick brekky at the hotel, we headed East for a quick look at Apsley Falls

Off all the falls along the Waterfall Way (yes I know Apsley falls in on the Oxley) these are my favourite, really a sight to see when there's decent water flowing.
Unfortunately not too much this day, which is surprising give the weather we'd had.


the surrounding gorge is pretty impressive too

its a fair hike down to the bottom viewing platform, especially in bike garb.

the plan was to head on back roads to Gostwyck ( via East lynne Rd and Moona Rd), then up to Armidale, but after a wrong turn and the odd farm house we decided time was getting away from us so opted to slab it to Armidale and Dorrigo

another quick stop to stretch the legs this time at Ebor Falls

Ebor Falls consists of the Upper and Lower Falls, this pics of the Upper falls, not a enough time to walk down to the lower falls

looking towards the lower falls

Quite A nice spot and I could'nt help thinking about I article I'd read about the Falls freezing over in the winter of 2007
http://www.weatherarmidale.com/images1.html
Chops wanted to stop in Dorrigo to catch up with an old friend, so time for a coffee at the worlds smallest motorcycle museum.
[
the coffee and food are great, as are the bikes on display, Juan's a nutter, and Argentinean nutter at that and if you happen to go there for gods sake don't call him "sir" or mention the Falkland's.

Time was getting away from us and the weather was closing in so a quick dash down the mountain to Thora for fuel ( Dorrigo Servo closed down the day before we got there) and then back up again before head to Nymboida,

just a we descended down the mountain the heavens opened, so what would have been a ball in the dry turned into a bit of a mission just to stay rubber side down, for me at least, the stroms where running tourances etc.
but off-road tyres, rain and 25klm corners are never a good combo.
We arrived at the Coaching Station Inn a little damp around the gills, but in one piece no less.

We'd hoped to arrive before the Museum ( the Museum of interesting things) shut at 3, but missed that by a long shot, but there was plenty to look at in the pub


Highly recommended for anyone in the area friendly staff and great food and atmosphere.
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:52 PM   #3
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Day 3 - Nymboida to Bingara

The Old Grafton to Glen Innes road has been on my ride list for quite a while so I was looking forward to today's ride, but a couple of heavy showers overnight had me a little worried about the height of the river and road conditions.
but first the obligatory photo overlooking the Nymboida river


the publican told us that during the recent floods in the area the water was 2mtrs from the platform.


Stroms' at the junction of Glens Ck Rd and the Old Grafton Rd


while the strom riders adjusted there tyre pressures for the 100 ks of dirt ahead, I checked out the Glens Ck


and a local enjoying the sun


our first crossing of the Nymboida River at Buccarumbi , according to the locals as gone under quite a lot lately



the road heading toward Dalmorton



Arriving at the tunnel, built by convicts in 1866,



just after the tunnel towards Newton Boyd

a bit closer to Newton Boyd

time for a stretch and a muesli bar

what better way to finish such a glorious ride than with 8 ks of black top twisties through Mann River Nature reserve, sorry no pics was having waaaay to much fun to stop.
While regrouping at the Gwydir Hwy Junction, V-chops found his rear tyre was in a sad state and decided to slab it straight into Inverell to get a replacement, Unfortunately that meant we'd have to forgo a intended route through Ben Lomond and Tingha.
Astro and I stopped in Glen Innes for fuel then continued on to Inverell to meet Chops. who must have rode like the wind for he was all but ready to ride when we arrived at Vince Strang's (renowned Suzuki dealer in Inverell). A quick bite to eat at the Golden Arches ( only because we were short on time, again. ) and we were on our way to Bingara via Copeton Dam.
At three times the water volume of Sydney Harbour, and at 99.9 % capacity atm it was quite a sight.



The run from the Dam to Bingara was a bit of a surprise, nice flowing sweeper corners, hot afternoon sun, warm sticky tyres, time to hook in, knobbies and all :)
After settling into our digs at the Bingara caravan Park, it was time for a refreshing ale or three and BBQ with the assembled V-Strommers , life's tough on the road
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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Day 4

A bit of a lazy day today, time to take in the area and catch up on some bike maintenance. After a mid morning walk into town first thing on the agenda was brunch, not bad for $9.


One of the highlights of the mainstreet is the fully restored Roxy theatre. Biult in the late 1950's by Greek brothers.


On Chops suggestion we paid the $5 for a guided tour of the theatre, glad we did some of the plaster work is amazing.




I had promised the rellies in nearby Gravesend I'd visit while in the area, so headed of along the Elcombe Road
this look like a nice spot for rest ( looking towards Warialda and Delungra)


Gravesend Mountain overlooks, the local area and my brother-in-laws property, so decided I'd take a run-up to the top for a look around
if you look closely you can just see the road at the top

bit of a challenge up near the top

but the view was worth it, overlooking Gravesend with Bingara away in the distance

looking west towards Moree


After a quick hello with the rellies and some country cooking it was time to get back to town for the annual V-strom Gathering at the Imperial Hotel.



the Hard Luck award -for running out of fuel, still think Chops should have got it for his brake lever and tyre issues

but he didnt leave empty hand got the longest distance travelled award

What happens when you stick a camera in someone face that's had a few too many ales
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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Day 5 - Bingara to Coolah

Time to hit the road again, but first an early Brekkie, run by the local Loins club no less


and of course customary at Strom Gatherings, the group bike pic.
48 stroms all in a row


and one European masterpiece

whoops wrong photo, Astro seemed to think they had a lot in common, jealously really in a curse you know.


After saying goodbye to Bingara, we headed for Narrabri, past the turn off to Sawn Rocks and Waa Gorge which I hope to visit sometime soon, thats if they re open the roads.
lots of boring black top, but the scenery was good



A quick refuel for bikes and bodies in Boggabri

the road from Boggabri to Mullaley is 50 odd klms of quartz river gravel, some of which is the size of golf balls, all well and good if you can stay in the wheels tracks, but drift out and the stuff was 200mm deep in places, add to that the odd B double cattle truck the travel at warp speed, move over for nobody and blanket the entire area with a fog off dust thats impossible to see through and thinks soon start to get "interesting"


I was in these conditions the inevitable happened, V-chops managed to puncture his new rear tyre, "not happy Jan" is a bit off an understatement.

after and hour or so we had it plugged and re inflated, once back on the tar we made a beeline for the Tambar Springs Hotel for a refreshing drink in the shade.
Astro managed to do a great forward roll getting off his bike much to our amusement, a few scratches but no harm done.
From Tambar Springs we headed for Blackville via Spring Ridge to link up with the eastern route to Pandoras Pass.
Chops and Astro enroute to Spring Ridge

Not sure where this one was taken, think its between Spring Ridge and Blackville

Between Blackville and Bundella there are a number of creek crossings with concrete causeways, most were fairly dry and innocuous , but one of the larger ones had seen little use and the big pumpkin thought it a good spot for a cooling lay down.

would have to be one of the slipperiest causeways I've ever uncounted, it was an effort just trying to stand up.
Good thing I'd washed of a lot speed on entry (to the causeway) I was probably doing around 20ks, before the rear wheel had entered the water line, I was down, sliding backwards through the water ,stopping on the opposite ramp facing the direction Id entered from. no harm to bike or rider apart from a wet rear end.
the strom made it across without incident, much to the merriment of their respective riders, but to be fair they did cross in the river bed not the causeway.

Wasn't long and we arrive at Pandoras Pass


looking back (north) to where we'd come from

looking south


not far up the road is Cunninghams Camp site,


it was a pleasant afternoon ride heading into Coolah, and the sight of the Coolah Valley Hotel (the top pub) was a welcome sight after a big day out.
another top pub for bikers looking for a bed for the night.
$35 a single, fanstastic food and a nice quite place to end the day
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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Day 6 - time to go home

The plan for our last day on the road was to get to Broke before lunch, as Astro had to get home to the Central Coast and Chops to the Gong. We had planned to go by way of Ringwood Rd and the Bylong Valley Way, but the road closed sign just after the turn off to Ringwood Rd, didn't give use much hope just as we entered the start of the dirt the heavens opened and the freshly graded dirt was quickly turning into a mud bath.
an executive decision was made by all and sundry, to "get the hell out of Dodge" and back onto the black top. So we rode back into Merriwa in light drizzle, the stroms were in need of some chain adjustments, so we took the opportunity to sample the fine wares at the Merriwa Pie Shop.
From Merriwa it was pretty much a slab ride to Broke following the Golden Highway and then Wallaby Scrub Road. before the mines get there way and close it, seems there's a nice pocket of black gold under the road.
We said our goodbye at Broke over lunch before heading our seperate ways.
hopefully we can do it again next year, but with the Strom Gathering is destined for Tassie in 2013, I'd need a lifetime of brownie points for that ride.
I arrived home mid-afternoon tired and a little damp around the gills, but reveling in a great few days on the road,.
I'd travelled just under 2000ks, used 116 ltrs of fuel and averaged 6.3ltr/100, enjoyed great company and eaten some lovely meals and can't wait till I can do it all again.
Thanx to Astro and Chops for a great few days on the road
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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That looked like an awesome ride.well written story too.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:51 AM   #8
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G'day Mudrat

The country side is looking good after the rain OZ has had lately.
Just completed the Old Grafton road myself this past week, west to east.
First time I've done it on a bike, loved it.

Photos Here
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudratinOz View Post
A quick refuel for bikes and bodies in Boggabri
My uncle had the bakery in Boggabri many moons ago. I remember going to visit when I was a kidlet!

Thanks for sharing what was obviously a great ride...
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:29 AM   #10
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Great ride report muddy

Catch up again sooner or later

Cheers, badmanners aka wanderlost.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:39 AM   #11
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Another ride report that is eating at me!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Phrog View Post
G'day Mudrat

The country side is looking good after the rain OZ has had lately.
Just completed the Old Grafton road myself this past week, west to east.
First time I've done it on a bike, loved it.

Photos Here
West to East would have been "interesting" coming down the twisties through Mann River Reserve.
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The orange does grow on you. You will not notice it at first..but it starts with a few innocent KTM stickers,.progresses to a KTM key ring, to KTM coffee mug and next thing you know, you have gone completely mad and start wearing orange tee shirts.It is a very bad infection..is this yeast infection (Bronx)
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:58 AM   #13
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Laugh

Had some fun on that causeway coming home on the 660 from Hill End over Easter myself. Standing up at 80ks in 5th and the rear came around for the length of the water but the front stayed on line, then she straightened up, good thing I was on the pegs I think. Was one of those laugh in your helmet moments. Yep slippery..
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MudratinOz View Post
West to East would have been "interesting" coming down the twisties through Mann River Reserve.
It was easter monday, late in the afternoon, had 4wds with camper trailers coming the other way & the tar section was wet after a shower.... it was "interesting"
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #15
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