Monday, November 26, 2012

R is for Riding

And the 1? It might be for the number of times I get to ride it per year! Well, almost.

I actually managed to up the ride percentages for the year today. After a quick mountain bike ride early this morning, I came home to pat the kids on the head before shipping them off to school. I then sat down to a coffee and nutted out a ride route.

I had been thinking about a lap of the dams. That is, out to Fernvale-Esk-Kilkoy-Mt Mee and back but the prospect of doing Fernvale-Esk so soon after last weekend wasn't overly appealing. Neither was filtering my way through Brisbane from the north side.

I have been avoiding the Gold Coast hinterland due to constant whispers that the Police have a heavy handed presence when dealing with motorcyclists. I guess they want to keep them off the Advancetown road. It is a very sweet piece of and I am sure plenty of wanna-be racers have wiped themselves out on it over the years. But, it is a Monday. It is a bit showery looking, so not a very inviting day for riding. Perfect!

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 I must say, after gearing up it was nice to thumb the starter button and have the engine turn over at a rapid rate before bursting into life. The new battery seems to be doing the job.

The other nice thing I noticed was that it finally felt natural to sit on the bike. The controls fell readily to hand, my throttle control was pretty good and it felt normal to tip it into the first few corners. As I have mentioned before, I was slightly afraid that after 7 years off the road bikes I may have fried the brain cell that was responsible for co-ordinated riding but it seems he was just slacking off, possibly watching the cricket while downing a tinny or two.

Getting the boring bit out of the way didn't take long at all. I took it easy along the Advancetown road to get my eye in and to just have a recce of the place. I hadn't been along here for a few years and while the road surface was a bit choppier than I remember it still had the wide surface with the fun, tightening 40km/h (25mph) bends that can catch the unwary out. But I was fine because I am very wary these days.

Moving along through Natural Bridge I noticed that the cafe' was closed, but that could just be because it was a Monday morning. I was soon at the border crossing into New South Wales. The old tick gate is there but these days the surveillance is done by fixed cameras. Human contact has gone. I guess if you break the law they just send you a fine at their convenience.

Across the border the road deteriorated into a bumpy goat track. Pretty much what you expect when you ride in NSW these days. But it was still fun.

At Chillingham I turned right onto the Tyalgum Rd. This was new territory for me. I am pretty sure I have never ridden through Tyalgum before. It gets a good mention on the local motorcycle forums so I thought I had better see what all the hype was about!

The road into town was twisty, narrow and a bit bumpy. It was however, deserted. This made for a fun ride and the 13km to Tyalgum were dispatched quickly. A quick look around town and it was either the pub or a "mumsy" looking little coffee shop for morning tea. 

Can you guess which one I took?

Yep, too early for the pub and I was after a nice coffee.

Consulting Mr Thoeming's and Hemma's conglomeration over some raisin toast and a cuppa was very pleasant indeed, despite the rising humidity this morning.

I was still a bit undecided on the route (despite what I said above) and finally decided to head down to the Kyogle road and duck out to Uki for a look. This bit of road is another gem of northern NSW. Today the traffic was against me and I basically trickled along, stuck behind various trucks and cars for the ride out and back.

I made my way back through Murwillumbah and headed out the Chillingham road to retrace my path across the border. This is a very pleasant little ride, despite being stuck behind traffic most of the way. From Chillingham to the Springbrook turn off the roads were pleasantly deserted.

The short link across to the Springbrook road is very nice. Unfortunately it is signposted at 60km/h making it a very "watchful" section of the ride.

The Springbrook road itself is just how I remember it. No, it is even better! Many of the corners have been repaired and are now superb "hot mix" ashphalt, making them as smooth as a racetrack! 

Even though I was going downhill and I dislike downhill bends, I was having a ball again. Well, until I caught a conga line of cars. This time I just pulled over and waited for them to get away from me. Then as the next car that was coming along behind me appeared around a bend, I headed off again. Not perfect flow, but I was working with what I had and it was nice.

From Mudgeeraba it was onto the motorway for the trudge back home. I must say, I think this is the sort of sport bike riding that I can handle. About 4 or 5 hours of saddle time or 260km(163mi) interspersed with coffee and photo stops seemed to work well and stops my various bits from complaining too much.

So, two rides for the day. One motorised and one humanised(?). Perhaps the perfect balance? That should see me through the next few days at work. 

Now its time to put my personal bike washer to work.



  1. That sounds like a fun day out. Two trips on two wheels.

    It is never as good when stuck behind traffic. We too have pulled over to let them get far enough ahead as to make the twisties more enjoyable.

    Nice pic of the bike washer too. Fun for both of you.

    1. Win, win. I get to ride and he gets a ride into the shed for washing the bike. Am I creating another little motorcyclist?

  2. Yeay a motorcycle related story. Looks like a good ride out there too. No flat battery no whinging like a wally and you got the bike washed too.

  3. Better bring your bike up for a week and I will show you around. Another good excuse for me to get out for a ride as well.


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