Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Great Alpine Road adventure 2012 part II and the last blog of 2012

A slower start to the day and a leisurely pack up from our Hotel and three metres down the road for brekky before trekking off, day two was looking much like the one before it, perfect riding weather. Completely awesome.


We were headed up the road toward Myrtleford, but first we were taking the scenic route and one of my favourite Alpine Roads, the Tawonga Gap road up to the top of Mt Beauty.


 It is seriously such a beautiful part of Australia to see on two wheels. A short trip to the top followed by a run back down and joining back up with the GAR was an absolute ripper start to the morning. This was possibly my favourite road this trip, a great surface, plenty of forward vision and nice windy corners up to the top of the mountain. I really like hill-climbs it seems. Tight and uphill suit the Hyper very well. I absolutely blasted my way to the top with my heart in my throat, absolutely perfect conditions and not too many cyclists on the road, loving every minute of it before pulling over at the top for Steve. Took a cheesy hero shot at the top, of course.


From there we wound our way back down the Kiewa Highway and took the turn off to Happy Valley, another excellent mountain road of 65 and 75km corners and some amazing dead flat stretches of road where you could see for miles. A good place to do a highspeed run. Across through Myrtleford and up to a childhood memory of Steves, and the Historic Gold Dredge in Eldorado. Bit of an adventure on the adventure. This ship thing is huge. It's a farkin behemoth of a thing just lodged in this river up there in Eldorado. It used to dredge for gold all up and down the river flats in Eldorado in the early 1900s.

 
Old Historic gold dredge at Eldorado


Decision making time. How were we going to tackle the ride home? As always, and without reason, I start planning the fastest way home trying to make best of time I made a big mistake. I agreed to get on the Hume and slab it to Euroa. For some reason we thought that it was going to add too much time to take the good road - we jumped on the Hume just before Wangarratta and made our way for the agreed turn off Euroa for lunch. Damn shayum. The freeway drone started to suck the soul of this motorcyclist immediately. The Hyper isn't a highway cruiser anyway you look at it and trying to chunk off anything over 100kms on one is just painful. A good headwind had also developed and my head was getting ripped back by the beak on the (now) cursed Arai XD4. It was a painful 75kms trip to the turn off, I had my whinge about it (no-one listened) and settled in for a counter meal consisting of the traditional chicken parma and chips. Luckily Steve had some good bits up his sleeve and recommended we take the trip to Merton from Euroa which turned out to be a really, really nice stretch of undulating corners that breathed some life back into the ole girl.
Charge!

 From there we pretty much headed for home, or Healseville at least, taking a point that we could each split off for home  easily enough, me back down the Maroondah Highway, Steve off up over the Warburton Highway. We took in the obligatory Black Spurs coming down from Narbethong and to be honest they just seemed over rated to me after the Alpine Road adventure we'd just come from. Over policed and 80kms an hour. Suddenly, the adventure was over and all the riding done with the regret setting in immediately. I did it again, rushed it too much and it was over before I let myself enjoy it. Silly boy. I'll learn to breathe and take it all in one day (maybe when I get a Harley).

The last random mountain shot before we got home


It was my first proper ride with Steve since we met back in February of this year when he owned a Hyper, can't believe it took us all that long to actually organise a decent run together - and in between he turned to the dark side and got on a belt drive bobber so I'll never really know who was quicker on a Hyper hehehe... With a total run on the clock of 1,200kms and $89.30 worth of rocket fuel consumed I bade the big man a fond farewell and headed for home. A fitting way to finish off the year for the blog too, a fine couple of days riding with a new mate I made via this very blog which, coincidentally turns one year old tomorrow.

 I published this very blog on January 1 of this year, 2012 and through doing so have met many friends, published well over 100 posts, been to launch parties and interviewed people from all over the world talking about the common thread that binds us, Ducati ownership. I've travelled almost 12,000kms to the clock and spent thousands of dollars, literally thousands I tell you playing around with, upgrading, honing and hooning around on the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO SP. The best thing I've doen you ask? The WaspWorks PUK without a doubt. Nothing makes me smile more than that fantastic induction roar when you crack open the throttle. What a blast this year has been and who knows what 2013 will bring for me, and for you, maybe a new Ducati or two? Thanks for tuning in, in 2012, and stick around for more biking action in 2013, I'm just getting started. Until then kids, stay upright.