Omeo ride - Dec. 2009
Barb & Bill together with Brian left Holbrook for an overnight stay at Omeo (and a catch up with old friends) via the newly sealed Bogong High Plains road. B & B riding a BMW R1200RT and Brian riding his newly purchased Honda ST1300. Leaving around 1.30pm we headed via Kiewa Valley Highway and Redbank Road for Mt Beauty where we filled the bellies with a cuppa and cream filled delicacies. From Mt Beauty we scaled the hill to Falls Creek, a great ride any time, and continued along the Bogong High Plains road. Very picturesque, perfect weather and little traffic. Bill was not too keen on the High Plains road due to loose gravel in places. Brian did not seem to mind at all. At the intersection with the Omeo Highway we turned left to visit the cemetary at Glen Willis, just a short distance past the end of the bitumen. After a quick look see and much waving of the hands (bloody flies) we headed back towards Omeo.
Several other riders out and about in this area, and who could blame them. We rode past the Blue Duck Inn, enjoyed the sweeping bends in the road and arrived at Omeo before 6pm. We checked into the Hilltop Hotel and waited for our friends to arrive.
Alan and Helen were riding a BMW R1200GS with a group of other GS riders that had travelled the previous day from Warragul, up to Jindabyne for the night, and then down to Omeo via Kiandra, Khancoban and Tom Groggin. This group drifted into Omeo about half an hour after us. Tired and dirty, but happy. After a late dinner B & B and Alan & Helen wandered down the street in search of a cup of coffee and finished up at the Golden Age, where several of the GS group were staying. Here Bill caught up with a friend of a friend and reminisced about enduro riding 30 years ago. Trudging back up the hill we then retired for the night.
Next morning saw us up bright and early, although we had to wait till 8am for breakfast to be served. After much laughter and hot food we packed up and headed down the hill to fuel up for the ride home. Many bikes in the street, many road bikes arriving from Mt Hotham direction and many dirt bikes arriving from the opposite direction. Servo was really busy. Word went around that an unmarked police car was in the vicinity so all eyes were peeled. After saying our goodbyes (GS bikes heading down to Dargo) we headed out the road to Swifts Creek and looped around through Cassilis (very nice ride) and back onto the Great Alpine Road heading for Dinner Plain and a cuppa. Nothing open at Dinner Plain (except real estate office) so we continued to Mt Hotham. Hundreds of pushbike riders had overtaken Mt Hotham (big road ride) so we fought our way through and attempted to descend the mountain.
In the midst of this struggle with bike riders and accompanying vehicles we rode over something. Didnt see it but sure felt it and sure enough a short distance later we had to pull over with a puncture to the rear tyre. Finding a safe place was not easy and we ended up parking on the inside corner, on the wrong side of the road, next to the armco railing. Good thing we hadnt mouthed off out loud at the pushbike riders because they passed by us while repairs were being undertaken. Thankyou to the fellow motorcycle riders who offered us assistance. Repairs completed we were on our way again, only to be held up with lots of traffic and even had a pushbike rider overtake us on the way down. Im sorry if this offends but I have to say it - d***h**d.
Harrietville was crawling with
pushbike riders and their entourage so we continued onto Bright for
a very nice lunch. During lunch we noticed some riders come through
that had also been at Omeo the night before. We believe they did the
opposite loop to us. Prior to leaving Bright we checked the tyre at
the servo and continued on our way. We headed towards Myrtleford before
detouring across to Rosewhite and again dropping down on to Redbank
Road. Approaching the end of this road the tyre deflated again and another
attempt at plugging was undertaken. Repairs completed we headed
off with Barb now a pillion behind Brian giving the damaged tyre some
relief. At Wodonga more plugs were purchased, repairs made again,
and we set off for home. The tyre finally had enough by the time we
crested the new hill at Bowna, so Barb jumped back on the Honda for
the quick trip home to return with the car. Barb then stayed with the
bike on the side of the freeway while Bill returned to Holbrook to replace
the tyre. Meantime Barb had a visit from the local constabulary to see
if things were ok, he was assured everything was under control and a
half-hour later Bill returned with rear wheel. We eventually arrived
home around 6.40pm and had travelled around 630 klms. Seemed like we
had been gone for a week and not just over 24 hours!
Things we learnt:
- If you think the tyre might need replacing before you leave Do it, especially if you are riding two up. Although the puncture was in the tread and may not have made any difference if it was a new tyre fitted.
- Photos turn out pretty good while hanging off the back of the bike.
- There is a reason why pushbike riders get such a bad name on the road.