Thursday, November 15, 2012

Melbourne Cup adventure ride – Day 2, part 1

Day two of the Melbourne Cup Ride and we're up and in the saddle early leaving Harrietville behind to climb up and over Mount Beauty.

That is a stunning ride. More hairpins for breakfast, ahh no better way to wake up. The best thing about the roads in the Snowy mountians are the road surfaces and their yellow lines. Okay that's two things but I like both of them. Most of the roads are very well kept and have great forward visibility. I think the tar they use must be different to normal roads to give extra traction in the snow? Don't know to be honest but to me it feels extra grippy and I am gunning it.


 I'm a big fan of yellow lines, never really thought about it until now, but it helps focus on the apex of corners, it's helps me pick a good line and get out of a corner fast. I'm practising different cornering techniques and I can't remember feeling this excited or happy for a long time. I'm twenty years old again riding my RGV 250 like a lunatic through the Adelaide Hills.
Stunning 27 degree day and snow capped mountains behind us


From Mt Beauty I think we picked up the Great Alpine Road somehow and ended up on top of Mt Hotham where I actually saw the snow for the first time in my life. That was cool, there was a quick stop for a snow fight and a general stomp around before heading on. That road is freaking awesome. Fast and bright lines with wide roads so you can see what is coming easily and what your next corner looks like. I felt like Valentino flicking the Hyper around from left to right, hanging off the seat and getting my knee out wide (I'm sure it touched down at some point :D ) loading up the opposing pegs preparing for the next switch. That was a new trick for my book too, thanks Captain Murphy, something I was doing instinctively to a degree but when told about using my feet to pull the bike up straight again in the opposite direction, felt really good, nice and controlled on the serrated pegs. I found later on cruising some main road straights that I could actually control a whole of the bikes steering by just pushing toes down. Kewl. It is probably my favourite ride in all of Oz (so far) and I think the air cooled Hyper engine enjoys the higher altitude, because it was on fire-ya sucking up that cold air and pushing me forward faster and faster, stacks deafening me and urging me ever upwards and onwards.
Yes, because to the left there is nothing but an abyss

I'd been reading about cornering techniques and was keen to try a few things out and this seemed like the perfect time. The main thing I was focussed on was keeping it smooth, relaxed and trying to flow in finding a rhythm and not make jerky sudden movements on the throttle, brakes, pegs and bars. With that said I was keeping a fairly active style of riding, getting off the seat properly, using my weight to lean, keeping the bike as upright as possible. It was working, I reckon I rode that section the fastest I ever have. The big bars on the Hyper help, I was getting stuck right in the moment and felt I was flying through those corners,  that induction roar urging me on. Third gear, around 4,000RPM and twisting the throttle gently on pulling hard out of a corner while climbing a hill, is the most insane sensation ever. Best time of my life right here I remember thinking, this is magic stuff. I think I blinked and lost myself in the moment because next thing I know we're back down the mountain and heading through Omeo and onto Bruthen for fuel. Couldn't care less, it was already one of the best days of my life. From there we started to head up through the centre of the Snowy River National Park heading for Brumby, following the Snowy River Road into Suggan Buggan. Here's some video footage of that ride up over the mountain, probably not as exciting to watch as it felt, but there ya go.
 
This is some of the most beautiful Australian countryside to see, it's absolutely stunning. And even better on two wheels of course. It's also the start of the infamous Barry Way.


The first part of Barry Way over, time to water a tree at the top[/caption] Day 2, part 2 to go, until then stay upright.

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