Thursday, May 5, 2022

Not A Mid Life Crisis, Just An Extended Tour (Part XXII) - The Adelaide Exploration Begins

 DAY 29

A bit of a sleep in again today but I was on the road by 0900. It looked like being a bit wet in places today but I would play it by ear as to the route selection for the day. I was favouring the northern end of the Hills and started out with a lap up Norton Summit road, then back down, then back up...just because I could.

I planned on a late breakfast at Lobethal but there were a few other roads I wanted to explore before I got there. I had picked up a new cable for the GPS and it was working a treat this morning. That would be handy as I wanted to find the infamous Corkscrew road and the roads here in the hills are spiderweb-like.

Turning onto Marble Hill road I was immersed in full on Autumn colours. The road was a bit damp but smooth and grippy so I just poked along taking in the scenery.

Marble Hill road turned into Montacute road and before long I saw the Corkscrew Road sign. I don't know how I never rode this road when I lived here but today I was to discover many roads that I didn't know existed.
I dropped down the corkscrew then turned around for a photo by the houses at the bottom.

On the way back up I stopped for a couple of photos. Yes, it is steep. Yes, it is narrow. Yes, there was much clutch slipping to get the big Twin around the last switchback! 😏

Back on the Lobethal road I was soon riding through the delightful Basket Range locality. The road really twists and turns around the hillsides here. Not really the place for fast shenanigans, it is simply too stunning to whizz by.

There was virtually no traffic this morning so I just ambled along, looking around. Passing the Forest Range Hall I noticed a car parked by the side of the road. As I drew alongside I noticed a little speed camera sign strapped to the stobie pole in front of the car. 
I didn't know the speed limit as this is one of those areas it goes from 60 to 70 to 80 to 60 to 70 to 80 to get the idea. I wasn't going fast but yanked on the anchors anyway. So far, so good as far as thinly veiled taxation via the mail goes....
Rolling into Lobethal I stopped at the Amberlight Cafe'. It is moto friendly and on this cool, drizzly morning I had it to myself. I ordered a coffee and scrambled eggs, settling in to peruse my road map. The plate of scrambled eggs was as big as my rear wheel and I struggled to down it, only just coming out victorious.

From here I decided to head out Cudlee Creek road to Gorge road, where I would turn right and head for Birdwood. Cudlee Creek road was waaay better than I remember it being but at least I did remember it vaguely. 
Gorge road winds it's way along the mighty Torrens river and is a fine bit of fun. The surface was dry too!

Birdwood was originally named Blumberg by the German settlers who founded it back in the 1850s but was hastily renamed Birdwood after the Allied General during World War I. Who says political correctness is a modern invention? Birdwood is also home to the awesome National Motor Museum - which I didn't stop at today. No, the skies were looking a bit bleak north of here but as I wanted to check out some roads I had never ridden before, so I pressed on into the gloom.
Mt Pleasant and Springton were quickly dispatched. I stopped briefly for a photo of the church in Eden Valley. Little did I know that I could have taken that road to the left of the church to get to my ultimate destination....

The rain persisted but only lightly. Not even enough to get the liners out for my suit. I stopped by the Yalumba wines vineyard as I entered Angaston to check my map. Being this far north didn't seem quite right.

I decided not to do any dirt today. 5mm of rain turned this to muck and I didn't need that much excitement today.

I finally found the Sedan road and headed out east on it. It was a nice ride with open fields and a gum tree lined roadway.

I eventually came to the "drop off" where the road drops down off The Hills escarpment to the hundreds of kilometres of flat plains that make up eastern South Australia. The rock wall lined road added to the sense of anticipation.

The rock wall was even cooler close up. Rock is something that South Australia has in abundance and has been put to great use in many, many of the early settler's buildings.

The road was quite wet which was a shame as this was one of the few wide, well surfaced roads that I have seen since being here in South Australia. All of the other roads look, quite frankly, old and very tired from a surface condition point of view.

I was soon in Sedan. No, not the Sedan in France. I bet the Frogs don't have a fine establishment like this....

Sedan is a real crossroads and I watched quite a few road trains roll through, headed to Mannum and possibly the main highway climb up into the Hills?

The Pilgrims Of Zion church is a fine example of the rock work the early South Aussie settlers were renowned for.

After a quick light beer on the veranda of the pub I was off again.

Just out the road was a renovator's delight. I wonder how much they want for 'er?

The climb back up into The Hills was partly dry but it began to rain mid way up so the full potential of cornering goodness couldn't be realised. Oh well, I'll just have to come back. 😉

I didn't really stop for quite a while now. I had an appointment to meet one of the guys from the Netrider forum, Jason, who was going to show me around some of the best roads in the Hills. I had done about 250 kilometres up until this point.

We met up in Elizabeth (named after The Queen) and he proceeded to drag me around what felt like every corner in the Hills! More roads that I had no idea existed. We rode for almost three hours with just two short stops. The first being at Upper Hermitage to look out over the northern suburbs.

His KTM 990 Superduke certainly had some poke and looked like it steered like a scalpel. Well, a sharp knife anyway unlike my rusty-bush-saw Twin. 😄

The next stop was on Gorge road to tighten one of his mirrors that had worked loose. I resisted the urge to rib him about KTM engineering quality... as I had only just met him, I showed great restraint.😆
We dropped off the Hills just after dark to see if any of the other Netrider locals wanted to join us for dinner. No takers, so we headed back up into the hills for dinner at the Woodside Hotel. It was steak night and Jason VERY kindly shouted me dinner! I reciprocated with a couple of Coopers Stouts from the tap. Both the steak, the beer and the company were outstanding! Turns out Jason has ties to the aviation industry too.😎

We went home via Cudlee Creek and Gorge road again. Man, I haven't done this much night riding in 20+ years! Thank Dog my lights are awesome. Even my tired old eyes could see where we were going.
We had an encounter with a big Eastern grey kangaroo on the narrow bit of Gorge road toward the city. There was a rock wall on the left and armco on the right and not a blade of grass to be seen, so I don't know what the hell it was doing there but at least it just stood still and didn't jump into us. It sure got the heart rate going though!

I got back to base at 10pm after about 420 kilometres. There were more roads ridden in the Ashton/Basket Range/Uraidla area but honestly I have no idea what roads. We just kept going around and around with always a new road at every turn!  That is a 13 hour day out on the bike on unfamiliar, wet, twisty roads. What a day!! To say I slept well is an understatement.

I won't call the next day a RIDE DAY as all I did was wash the bike and finally throw on the Pivot Pegs that had come with the bike waaay back when I bought it. They are considerably larger in surface area which I like the look of.

 I only rode to the airport with them fitted but I must say, they are VERY different feeling. I am not sure if I like the feeling of my feet just rocking back and forward like that but I will give it a couple of hundred kilometres before I come to any conclusion. I can always weld them solid...or sell them.

It was back home today as I have to work today and it is also number 1 daughter's 20th birthday! Can't miss that..... even for this......

Au revoir Adelaide. 

To be continued.....


  1. Muck is good my man!

    Looks like more decent riding and a nice steak!

    1. Not when you are 2000km from home and have limited ability to service your bike it isn't.
      Steak was very nice. :)

  2. Looks fantastic even with the rain. Hope I can ride there some day.

    1. Definitely put it on the list. There are also something like 400 cellar doors within 1 hour of Adelaide.


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