Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next

That line - beautiful one day, perfect the next - has been the tag line for Queensland tourism for as long as I can remember. I recall it as a boy, growing up in country New South Wales so it goes back at least as far as the early '80s. While it might not be strictly correct every day of the year, it certainly describes Autumn here in South East Queensland. We have cool mornings, in the region of 13C(55F) and getting up to a very pleasant 25C(77F) during the day. What makes it especially pleasant is that the humidity is gone, making it feel 5 degrees cooler. 
Perfect riding weather!

So, after an early start where a mate and I bashed out 60km on our road bikes (bicycles), I came home and wheeled the R1 out of the shed. It had been (quite) a few years (5+!!) since I had rolled down to Tyalgum in northern NSW for a coffee and today was too good of a day not to ride.

I had a quick faff around with my new GoPro 6. I took it off charge and it decided that it wanted to keep turning itself on after about 10 seconds! After 30-45 minutes of searching the interwebs for a fix and some swearing at it, the little bugger was sorted! Bloody half baked technology.....

I would be taking the Advancetown road from Nerang as it is a sweet, if heavily policed, slice of motorcycling heaven. I planned on just tootling along so the prescence of mobile revenue collectors didn't worry me too much.

Once off the motorway and through Nerang it was a pleasure to tip into the never-ending corners that weave their way around the western side of Hinze dam. The surface is mostly good and while I was a little rusty, skills wise, I wasn't anywhere near boy-racer mode so really enjoyed the cruise.

I stopped in Numinbah for a quick photo outside the local hall and noticed that the cafe' seems to be operational again. A good reason to come back.

Crossing the border into NSW, the little parking area at the viewpoint was chockas with bikes and cars so I continued on down the mountainside. This section of road is narrow and bumpy and it was still wet (as usual) after overnight showers. This section of NSW gets the highest rainfall with 2300mm (92inches) per annum on average. Hence, the strip of green moss in the centre of the lane....... I was being extra careful !!

After a bumpy but fun ride I rolled into Tyalgum. There seemed to be more options for food than 5 years ago (was it really that long since I had been here?!!) but it was still too early for the pub (I don't drink when riding-hard and fast rule) and the "mumsy" cafe' didn't appeal. The general store looked very inviting so I decided to check it out.

It was a good choice as inside there was a little bit of everything from groceries to a cafe'! I grabbed a chicken salad roll and a coffee, then retired to the bench out the front to soak up the glorious morning and read the local newsletter.

I was having such a nice time on the bike I decided to extend the ride over to Murwillumbah, then loop around through Chillingham and then back over Natural Bridge and the Advancetown Rd to home. More glorious miles ensued.

Climbing back up to the border crossing and the little viewing area was clear, so I stopped in for an overview of northern NSW. It is a cracking view! (not really relayed in a photo)

Looking from QLD across the border into NSW, this is the view.

Retracing my steps from here I had a pretty good run with almost no traffic until I got to the sweet section of bends on the western side of Hinze dam, where I got stuck behind a caravan and several cars. Oh, well, it had been a mostly traffic free day, with zero mobile revenue collectors spotted, so I couldn't complain.

The 50km of motorway was over fairly quickly and painlessly and I was home about four hours after setting out. Another 260km (161mi) was on the odometer.
Funnily enough, it had been 2 years and 2 months since I was sitting at that border crossing lookout with my brother and his mates and come to the realisation that my suspension was shot and needed rebuilding. That process took about 6 months (long story) but the funny (sad) thing is that this is the first real ride I have taken the bike on since that rebuild! I have been worried, thinking I would need to set it up for me but I guess Teknic set it to my weight and specs when they rebuilt it because it handled really well today. I don't ride enough to know where it needs tweaking but for now it is good enough.
Good enough will do.........



  1. Nice one - a proper bike riding tale. Although you did seem to have to mention pushies...

    Looks like a nice day too - looking forward to some of those...

    1. Both have two wheels = important. Only one allows you to 1) get a 2 wheel fix, 2) chat to a mate and 3) get exercise all at the same time. The one with a motor comes a poor second on the “what gives most bang for time invested” scale.

  2. Nice run Dave! Did you feel really rusty or did you dial in quite quickly? If I haven't ridden for a couple of weeks, I always give myself an out-loud commentary for the first 10 minutes or so and that seems to help a lot.

    Now stop mucking about and tell us how you got on in the US - itching to know!!!

    1. Rusty from a “judging corner entry speed” perspective - yes, otherwise I didn’t feel too bad. I have been tootling around h9me a bit so the basics are ok. Clearly judging entry speeds is pretty important so I just erred very much on the low side initially which is somewhat frustrating when you take a few bites at the correct line(like a newby) but I was much smoother on the way home. I just need to get out more. ;)


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