Mt. Buller 16.11.2008

Holbrook – Corowa – Wangaratta – Mansfield – Mt Buller – Milawa – Wangaratta – Holbrook

A perfect day, weather wise, for a ride was beckoning so - Bill+Barb, Murray+Ange, Greg+Raelene, Brian H, Brian F, and Peter departed Holbrook at 8.10 on Sunday morning for Mt Buller.

At Howlong we met up with Brett and continued on to Corowa where we turned off and headed for Wangaratta where we stopped for morning tea and waffling. Several other bike riders with same idea had already stopped at Wang.

Some of us fueled up at Wang before heading down to Whitfield, mixing with the fine food and wine tourist traffic, before heading up the hill for our first taste of ‘corner heaven’. We stopped at the top of the hill and waited for Brian F on his Harley to arrive. After 15 mins or so we continued on to Mansfield for re-fueling and lunch. Once again many bike riders with the same idea.

From Mansfield we headed for Mt Buller, most of us have not been here before and were impressed with the scenery and the ride up Buller itself. We were fascinated by the black tyre marks all over the road on Mt Buller (apparently from a car rally) and especially by those that went right to the corners. Mt Buller was fairly quiet traffic wise and quite fresh with a strong wind gusting. The scenery to the south was very rugged and very beautiful.

At 3pm (or thereabouts) we headed down the mountain for the return trip home. Near Merijig as we entered open country we were struck by some very strong gusts of wind, which made it interesting to say the least. At Mansfield fuel was taken on board again by some of us. We returned again along the Whitfield road stopping at Powers Lookout (where Brian F left us to continue on home).

Between Whitfield and Wangaratta we were stopped for breath testing by a police officer parked in the middle of the road, with lights flashing. Some of us were tested but because a traffic jam was forming some were let through without being tested. We detoured to Milawa for a much need rest and cuppa at 5.30 before heading up to Eldorado to view the gold dredge.

Greg needed fuel, not available at Eldorado – too late, so we headed back to Wangaratta where we all fueled up and then departed separately for home. Greg+Raelene to pick up their kids at Wodonga.  Brian and Peter to a meal waiting at home, and the others to various destinations.

After covering a very enjoyable 695 kms Bill and Barb arrived home at 9pm.

**More photos from the ride can be seen in the photo gallery under 'Mt.Buller 16.11.2008' thanks to Barb & Raelene for the use of their photos.**

Bright 9.11.2008

Holbrook – Yackandandah –Bright – Mt. Beauty – Bonegilla – Albury – Holbrook


Bill+Barb and Peter left Holbrook at approx 8.30 for a quick trip to Bright to see the Street Rod/Hot Rod Run.


We arrived at a very quiet Yackandandah for morning tea. After regaling each other with our latest escapades for an hour (Peter - sailing on the ocean and a B+B trip to Melbourne) we then geared up and headed for Bright.


Again we detoured to Dederang and headed south before again detouring back across the hills through Rosewhite and joining the highway, and traffic, just south of Myrtleford.


While heading to Bright along the Great Alpine Road we passed many street rod cars headed the other way. Barb was beginning to wonder if there would be any left at Bright when we got there. (Not to worry though because over 800 cars were at the Show and Shine)


Bright, needless to say, was very busy. Many ‘rod cars’ parked in the street alongside everyday cars and many bikes. We managed to park our bikes in the middle of town and meandered up to the bakery for lunch. We sat on a bench alongside the footpath to eat our lunch and had a birds-eye view of the street parade.


The cars were many and varied (use your imagination because we didn’t take the camera) and most, if not all, would have taken many, many hours to complete. There were some really beautiful paint jobs and one that was still wearing its undercoat. There was an old bus (think Lucy and Dezi road trip) and even a Mercedes sedan with a glittery roof. Several cars had child seats in the back (which although essential just looked plain wrong).


After much oohing and aahing (and we had one of those) we geared up and headed to Mt Beauty over the Gap road.


When we entered Mt Beauty we arrived with about a dozen dirt riders, also looking to get fuel. Turns out these riders were from Wagga. After Bill had a quick chat we left and headed back towards Wodonga along Red Bank road, passing several other bike riders out enjoying themselves.


At Bonegilla Peter turned off and headed for home (farm work was beckoning) and Bill+Barb continued on to Wodonga/Albury for a quick stop at the auto shop for bits and pieces before also heading for home.


We arrived home around 3.30 and had covered over 350 kms. (No sore bums)

1.11.2008 - 2.11.2008

Holbrook–Harrietville-Mt Hotham-Omeo-Traralgon-Melbourne-Healesville-Mansfield-Wangaratta-Holbrook 
Bill+Barb and Brian decided to head to Melbourne for the Motorcycle Show and make a weekend of it. 
We set off at 10.20 Saturday morning, after attending to a few things at work, and arrived at Harrietville for lunch.

Very friendly people there who informed us to ride carefully up Hotham as a motorcyclist had just had an accident on the way up. While were eating lunch outside, the ambulance/rescue helicopter flew overhead and landed nearby. Around the same time a car and trailer with the Harley on the back arrived at the cafe. A bent exhaust seemed to be the only damage to the bike and apparently the rider broke his leg. 
After lunch we proceeded up Hotham behind traffic, but halfway up we were able to overtake and ride in the manner we have become accustomed to. Patches of snow still at the top of the mountain in gullies, quite cool too. A few bikes around but overall pretty quiet. We continued on to Omeo, in lovely weather, to refuel and rest bums. 
At Omeo we were greeted by a 'mob' of riders from the ‘Tramps' motorcycle club also getting fuel, along with several ‘normal’ motorcyclists. We didn’t hang around too long and left Omeo ahead of the ‘Tramps’ and continued down to Bruthen, alongside the Tambo River. A very nice ride through here although the Tambo looks pretty sad in places. 
After a rest/drink stop at Bruthen we headed through Bairnsdale, Sale and onto Traralgon to spend the night, arriving just after 6pm. We enjoyed a very nice meal at the Traralgon RSL before returning to our motel for a welcoming hot shower and sleep.  
We left Traralgon at 8am for a quick look at open cut at Yallourn, followed by a quick visit to family and friends at Moe. West Gippsland is Bill and Barb’s old stomping ground. 
From Moe we headed straight to Melbourne (and traffic) and the motorcycle show in 'Jeff’s shed’. After several attempts we eventually found out how to get there after following some other riders. 
After parking on the footpath, with the hundred or so other bikes, we checked out the show, which was okay but would not be rushing back. The show would be perfect for someone interested in purchasing a bike, as there were a great variety of bikes to compare with similar bikes. Brian purchased an  ‘Airhawk seat’ and Bill purchased a summer weight jacket. 
It was rather hot (in bike gear) when we left the city and headed for Healesville. (we were not going home the quick and easy way up the highway)

 At Healesville we had a rest/drink stop (we were buggered and still had a long way to go). A BMW the same as Bill+Barb’s also pulled up alongside for rest/drink stop while we were there. After consumption of cool drinks we fuelled up and headed up the mountain through Buxton, Taggerty, Alexandra and on to Mansfield. Along this road we had passed a ‘normal’ 4WD parked on the side of the road that just happened to contain one of those lovely cameras that the police like to use when you are ‘enjoying’ yourself on your bike. We had been ‘flashed’ so we were forewarned! Thankyou! We donned the full wet gear at Mansfield as we had already been through some light showers and could see some heavier ones in the distance. 
From Mansfield we headed to Whitfield (what a fantastic section of road - a pity it was wet - will definitely come back when it is dry) and on to Wangaratta for tea at McCafe. 
We left Wangaratta at 8.30 with light drizzle falling and darkness setting in. Between Wangaratta and Albury we could see several areas of lightning out to the west. We were all hoping that we would not encounter these storms (although it was sheet lightning and not fork lightning), as we couldn't see what rain was in them. 
We arrived safely at Albury for refuelling in steady drizzle. At the service station a truck driver said it was a good thing we had our wet gear on because he had come from Canberra and there was heavy rain just south of Holbrook. We thought - oh crap!  After entering back on to the highway we saw lightning ahead - bloody fork lightning! The rain got heavier after just leaving Albury, the sky was lighting up and we pressed on.

Just as we were riding past the works site office area for the road works - all the lights went out (blackout) it was really weird. One minute the lights are all on and the next second they were all off.  
We followed a semi-trailer all the way home (at a distance) and needless to say as we got closer to Holbrook the rain got heavier and heavier. 
I had water running down my nose (came in at the top of the visor) and the rain was getting louder and louder on the helmet. (our mp3 got a flat battery just before Whitfield - so we were listening to the sounds of the weather).   
We arrived home at 9.40 pm and had just opened the front door when the sky lit up and at the same time an almighty clap of thunder scared the daylights out of us (or me at least). WELCOME HOME!!!!! lol. That was the end of the thunderstorms for the night. How appropriate!!! 
We covered over 1200klm and overall were very lucky with the weather. We had expected rain on the Sunday and apart from Albury to home it was not too bad. 
We had no dramas the whole trip and overall a fantastic time was had by all three of us (and would do it again in a heartbeat). 
Thank goodness the next day was windy and fine and we could dry all our gear out.


18.10.2008 - 19.10.2008

Holbrook – Geehi – Tom Groggin – Khancoban - Holbrook 

At 12.30 pm on Saturday Bill+Barb and Peter left Holbrook for Geehi as the BMW bike club were holding a rally 
there and we wanted to 'sticky beak'. After a very pleasant ride to Khancoban we fuelled up and headed to Geehi. Lots of bikes, lots of corners, lots of bugs and lots of fun.

Arriving at Geehi there was approx 40 other bikes/riders camped along the river. Not all were BMW bikes. 
We spoke to the head honcho (who rides a BMW the next step up from ours - 1200RT which has a reverse gear - cos it is so big) who expected up to 80 bikes for the weekend. The rally has been running for 25 years and on occasion they have had 700-800 bikes attend at one time.

After gas bagging and waffling we continued past Geehi to Tom Groggin station down the road. Bill wanted to see the manager there about some fuel for a dirt bike ride planned at a later date. Tom Groggin Station sits amongst some of the most beautiful scenery around. It even has the Murray River at its gateway. 
Leaving Tom Groggin we headed back to Khancoban. Before we reached Geehi we came up behind a bike with a sidecar, which we followed for a couple of kilometres. I don't think I would like to be in the sidecar - too low to the ground and too close to the white posts on the side of the road.

At Khancoban we had a cuppa (and Peter had lunch - he hadn't said that he hadn't eaten since breakfast). We left Khancoban around 5.30 pm arriving home around 7 pm. 
Holbrook – Tumut – Wee Jasper – Jugiong – Gundagai – Tumut – Rosewood - Holbrook 
The next day Bill+Barb (Bill was going to go dirt riding with Murray etc but bike seat problems meant he couldn't go) decided to try our luck at getting to Wee Jasper through the back of Tumut.  On the way to Tumut through Rosewood we dodged some light showers. We stopped at Tumut for a cuppa and then headed 'to the end of the bitumen' to attempt the Wee Jasper Forest Road.

For the first 5 klms after the bitumen ends we rode on 'ball bearing gravel’. We even stopped part 
way along as it was very difficult to ride on (with a road bike) but decided to persist for a few more corners and sure enough the gravel ended and we were then on a 'normal' dirt road. Along this road are pine plantations and forestry and not much else. 
At the end of the Forest Road we turned onto a narrow road that continued through forest and gradually opened up to farming land. In places the road is very tight (would hate to see two 4wd's try and pass each other) with lots of corners but eventually drops down to a creek and camping ground with Wee Jasper just down the road. 
After lunch at Wee Jasper we decided to visit some caves about 6 klms away. When we arrived for the guided tour a couple of other people were already there and several more arrived after we did. The time of the tour we wanted was 1.30 pm - (or soon after!! as the sign at the front stated). The kiosk was shut (it was hot and we all could have done with an ice-cream, drink etc) and at 1.45 pm we gave up waiting and left! 
From Wee Jasper we headed to Yass (very nice countryside on the way) and down the Highway to Jugiong for fuel and drink stop.

We continued on to Gundagai where we then headed out the back way to Tumut  (the air was a bit cooler than riding down the highway). We returned home from here the way we came in the morning, also riding through a couple of light showers. We had to stop to rest our bums along the Rosewood Road before continuing on arriving home around 7.15 pm. 
All up this weekend we rode approximately 900 klms. No wonder our bums hurt. 
We haven't had many 'volunteers' come riding with us for some months now. It was mentioned to us that we scare too many with our long rides (some think a ride to Khancoban is a good ride) and we have discovered that 400 klms seems to be the optimum length for 'comfort of the nether region', either that or make sure to fill the Airhawk seat correctly.


Holbrook – Yackandandah – Mt Buffalo – Mt Beauty – Tallangatta – Tintaldra – Holbrook  

Once again we were blessed with another beautiful clear blue sky, sunny Sunday (albeit a cold start). 
David, Peter and Bill+Barb headed off around 9 am for Yackandandah and, you guessed it, the local 
bakery where we warmed up with a hot cuppa and fresh baked goods. 
From Yack we detoured to Dederang and headed south on Kiewa Valley Highway towards Mt Beauty (stunning scenery with snow capped mountains in the distance) before detouring back across hills through Rosewhite and coming out onto Great Alpine Road south of Myrtleford. We then continued south and enquired at the Mt Buffalo park entrance as to whether we would be able to safely scale the mountain. We were informed there was no snow on road but ice could be a problem so we made the wise choice and left it for another day. We returned to Porepunkah for pit stop and chat before heading to Mt Beauty for lunch and fuel. We stopped at Sullivan's Lookout, along the way, for photo opportunity after another thrilling ride up the gap road.


While dining at our 'regular' we were entertained with a glider soaring overhead, good food and conversation, and light entertainment provided by David when he missed his chair when he went to sit down lol.   
Gearing up we decided to head to Cudgewa (near Corryong). We left Mt Beauty and dropped down onto Redbank Road which runs parallel to Kiewa Valley Highway but on other side of river. A quieter road than the highway: and much more fun too. 
Unfortunately we encountered an "oh shit" moment that was actually more like a "far-out fruit-cake" moment if you will pardon my French.

Along this road are many farms so we are always aware of 'farm traffic’ etc. 

As we were nearing the end of this road we came across a couple of older kids on push bikes (riding on the left hand side of road) and one other child that had just entered a farm gateway on the right hand side. 

So we were both watching the kids to make sure they didn't cross over in front of us, at the same time we were approaching a little rise in the road when we spotted 'farmer brown' approaching us on a quad bike (on his correct side of the road). 

At the last minute we spotted his dark coloured dog trotting up the road ................on our side of the road...........well...........Barb gripped Bill rather tightly.......................thankfully the dog stopped................…….we braked ...................and swerved between dog and quad bike.  

If Barb were catholic she would have ‘crossed herself’ or similar but instead she swore! 

Thank goodness when David and Peter came past the dog was on the same side of the road as the owner. The farmer wasn't moving stock at the time (or we would have been more aware). 
After getting the heart rate back to normal we continued past Tallangatta and stopped to have a look at the old 
railway trestle bridge (which can be seen from the road) near Koetong, very impressive.

We continued on past Shelley where we got our first glimpse of NSW Mountains covered with snow. We continued through Cudgewa, with a much better view of mountains, to Tintaldra.

From Tintaldra we turned west and headed for home, into the sun and cold, cold air in the shady spots. We arrived home just after 5 pm.