Monday, November 12, 2012

Melbourne Cup adventure ride - day 1

A three day ride through the Snowy Mountains was just what I needed to really get the bug for biking again. It was an excellent trip with a huge variety of riding types. I'm going to break it up into days because I caught a fair whack of it on video.
Day One we departed from a pull off on Plenty Road and headed out through the suburbs into Whittlesea and onto Yea. I love stretch of road. I've said it before but it'd mad to have it closed off for a Hill Climb race. There is something about fast sweeping uphill riding, it feels like flying. Pity about the 80km speed limit but it was a late afternoon (3pm) departure so this was the perfect way to kick it off and really the only way to escape Melbourne without too much drone freeway riding. I'm terrible navigating unless I am in total control so I let the boys lead and was happy to just be out on the bike. We kept going through those towns heading for our first fuel stop at Mansefield. It's a great stop Mansefield as you can usually find a bunch of varied bikers making the same trip in different directions. I caught up with two guys from Ducati Owners Club Victoria and had a good perve at their bikes and swapped travel notes before heading on.
Couple of lads from Ducati Owners Club Victoria hitting the twisties too

The goal was to get to Myrtleford and make our way to Harrietville before daylight ran out ... so the boys found a short cut. Short cuts lead by Murphy on a BMW 1200 GS always mean awesome dirt tracks and I was super keen to see what the new rubber was like. The last experience on the dirt was the ADR this year running the Pirelli Super Corsa SPs was a nightmare with zero feel and just a whole lot of wobblyness that never inspired me.


Touring Hypermotard of radness

This year with new Michellin Pilot Road 3s on it was a whole different story. What great tyres! We had perfect weather with a  26 degree day providing nice warm roads and maybe an hour an a half in the saddle to settle in before we tackled  the dirt

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Made it! Dirty and oh so very happy


The road Murphy found cut off a big chunk of pointless up and back down navigation so we hit it and separated so as not to get caught in each others dust trail. The road cut through a small town (?) called Cheshunt and took you right through to Myrtleford and was maybe 30 - 40 kms long.

 It was super dusty. Lightly graded and plenty of tracks cut by cars to dodge in and out of, I found plenty of traction and really enjoyed working up to an average 80-90kmph in the dirt with plenty of confidence. I never felt the front give as much as I expected while the back was all torque slides and power the whole way. I don't think I got above fourth gear, but I did get a bit too close to Wombat just ahead of me, as you can see by the dust plumes left by the 'Bike Of The Year' (I had to say that or he'd tear me a new one) in the video below. I had hours of footage which looked pretty boring to me, just endless dusty roads so I cut it back to a minute, just give you a feel for it. It was much more exciting than it looks in retrospect.
 From there it was a really nice run down the Great Alpine Road through a few small towns into Harrietville where we bunkered down for the night.
Quick snap of Mt Beauty


I was stoked with the ride and mix of roads for the first day, especially knowing that the next morning we would ride up The Barry Way into Jindabyne which is entirely unsealed dirt roads. I'll cover that one with some more pics and videos in the next instalment. Until then, stay upright.  
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