|01-21-2014, 11:21 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Stretch49 and badmanners go for a ride.
It had been too long. Like a queue at a public convenience or a bad reality television show it had been far too long since the stretch monster and myself had caught up for a ride.
Stretch49 had escaped Australia's largest cities stupidity and bailed to the New South Wales south coast which had meant catching up for a ride would become an event requiring a bit of planning rather than the "What are you up to this weekend?" call.
Boxing day afternoon I took to the road (hope the rellies forgive me), but there were bigger, more primal needs at stake.
A excruciating trip via Kiama where the traffic at all times becomes an absolute pain combined with a downpour meant I arrived only a couple of hours late after being drenched in my ventilated riding gear (It is summer down here). A few reds where enjoyed, but mostly it was an early night catching up.
The next morning dawned a little hazy but clearly the bikes where raring to go as seen here;
So it was off down the highway for a brunch stop at Pambula, tummy was crying by now a very acceptable coffee and a Roghan Josh pie was enjoyed, stretch had the first of many apple pies. Continue via a back road which led us to this point ( amongst the flowers :ymca)
Further south we headed to beyond Eden and beautiful Twofold Bay to sample an untried road which heads north west towards Bombala with an enticing name;
Didn't see any snakes; too busy watching which way the road went, mostly dirt, narrow, smooth and winding it was a ball tearer, a well earned rest;
But on we went, and it became Towumba Rd before eventually becoming Big Jack Mountain Rd. Not sure why he was called "Big" Jack but local advice was that Jill was rarely seen without a smile on her face.
Not a lot goes on out here I'd reckon but it was one of those days which made you so pleased to be out on a bike especially when you see sight like this;
Most 'armless I suspect!
Big Jack Mountain Rd just went up and up, sealed for the last bit, could have kept riding it forever, just perfect but soon we had hit the Mount Darragh Rd and it was a drone into Bombala for a coffee and formulate a plan for a bed that night. Not sure stretch had an apple pie here but safe to assume he did.
It was decided that Delegate Hotel would be it and rooms where booked. A good meal, acceptable rooms, didn't win anything in the bar raffles, but crikey that beer tasted good after a warm days ride, well it wasn't going to come to us.
Next morning we ended up heading back to Bombala (45 km's away) as we didn't know if we where likely to get either fuel or breakfast at sleepy Delegate, both where required urgently and of course by the time we back tracked through Delegate everything was open.
The plan was to head down the wonderful Bonang Hwy and then towards McKillops Bridge and across further dirt towards Benambra, we set off with full bellies and Camelbaks, but it was warm to hot, stretch saw a reading of over 40*C and he was dressed in full riding gear, not a vent available anywhere, I didn't have too many problems but it should be remembered that you don't make too much of a breeze at 40 kmh.
Must be said that we made the fundamental mistake of heading off into the bush with insufficient water and NO FOOD!!
Stretch was in a bad way by the time we got to the bridge, neither of us had much water left and we had a long way to go before we could get some. A sound dunking in the river for him helped a lot and a good rest saw us ready to go again after we realised the Benambra option was a no go and it was vital we got water and food. A steady run along the western end of McKillop Rd, another rest and soon we where heading south towards Seldom Seen which revealed even less than it's name prepared you for and nothing else for it but down towards Buchan, fortunately we didn't have to head that far and we replenished at Gelantipy, pleased we had dodged a bullet and a sage lesson learned.
We were keen to get over to the Great Alpine Rd so I plotted a ride via some more dirt optimistically listed on my map as a "major unsealed road" which turned out to be anything but, started off ok but soon became a very up and down, rough, loose track and the decision was made to bail out and head abck towards the safety of the sealed road. Unfortunately stretch found the limits of his Shinko 705's and this was the result;
As usual the road is a LOT steeper than it appears in that pic.
A bit of minor damage, a whole lot of swearing and we where running a bit later still, most importantly the bike was rideable and the big fella unharmed.
Down to Buchan to take any room we could get, at $95 for a room with NO AIR CONDITIONING and only 1 channel on the op shop telly it could not be called value, but a bed it was and neither of us were in a mood to ride further. Early enough we were to catch the excellent cafe in the main street for a coffee and, guess what, an apple pie . It was that good we returned for breakfast in the morning, the meal in the pub was serviceable, but that's all. A fair few much more hard core riders lobbed into the Motel we where staying at, they had the same complaint of spending a lot of time back tracking as things got too rough in the high country tracks.
The baristas at the cafe, a very serious dirt rider, had done the Simpson desert solo unsupported (wish I could remember it's name, it deserves a plug ) gave some very good advice about the road we SHOULD have taken and even the apprehensive stretch was modifying his position of "No more dirt for me this trip" (understandable) to "I guess we could have a look".
I have to add that I don't have Mitas E-10's fitted because I like seeing how much the rear has worn between fuel stops!
So off we went following the directions given to us, with a threat to the Baristas that we would come looking for him if he is taking the piss and a very pleasant ride ensued, after a stop here;
we worked out that we would have only had to continue another 3-4 km's the previous day and it would have been sweet, hindsight's a wonderful thing.
A little further along I stopped and waited for stretch to join me and he was laughing asking me "Don't you know where we are?" Me, none the wiser, said "Yeah Victoria, Australia" (What a wit hey? An answer for everything!) to which he explained that we were on a road we had done on a previous ride and had stopped at almost the exact same spot. D'oh!
Back on the tar at Ensay and it was decided to push on to Omeo for a nibble, a pie for me and oddly an apple pie for stretch. Warm again but the superb Omeo Highway beckoned and it was off to Mitta Mitta where a lunch was enjoyed in the busy little general store. It was decided that we would head off to Tallangatta on the river to get us a little closer for the home run the following day.
A rest in the park at Tallangatta and it was decided to push on a bit, it was a beautiful day, there was no traffic, hours of day light and Walwa pub had both beds and a beer garden. And aren't we the unlucky ones the Murray Valley highway would take us there. An outlook like this would have to bring a feeling of contentment.
A great run in, well taken care of by the publican and the cooks, beer in the garden and more than acceptable rooms. Definitely recommend the hotel if your in the area.
Next morning we we're up early as we both had some distance to do, stretch back to the coast and myself to Sydney up over the mountains, weather was warm again so best get on with it. Over to Kanchoban for fuel and goodbye's it had been a great ride doing some untried roads and some we just didn't recognise, so that makes them new doesn't it?
I went up to Kiandra and Adaminaby, took the Tharwa Rd and the Angles Crossing in the ACT to get my feet wet and cool, from there pretty much a drone through Queenbeyan and onto Tarago, dirt to Bundanoon and home.
Thanks to stretch for his company, all it does is remind me I should do this more often.
I'm not the suppository of all wisdom.
|01-21-2014, 11:57 PM||#2|
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: 34.9290° S, 138.6010° E
Great report thanks for sharing
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
|01-22-2014, 12:56 AM||#3|
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Camperdown NSW
The crew at Gelantipy saved my bacon a few years ago. My gs had a fail to proceed about 30 ks the jindabyne side of seldom seen. We got to Gelantipy and got a good feed and bed as well as help to organise the bike retrieval. All done with a smile and cheaply.
|01-22-2014, 02:23 PM||#4|
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Thanks for that - made the train ride into work seem OK! I suspect all of us are thinking the same, we should do this more often.
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