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Old 04-27-2014, 05:49 AM   #1
Dirty3 OP
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Great Alpine Road

I decided to take a ride over the great Alpine Road in north east Victoria.
We had planned a trip to friends in the Gippsland town of Swan Reach for Easter & so the plan was hatched from there.

My wife gave me a reprieve of 3 days and that was plenty enough for me to do what I wanted. The plan was to ride to Swan Reach, chill for a few days then on the G.A.R. through Omeo, Mt.Hotham and camp the first night in Bright.

Day 1 - Avon River, Stratford

Day 2 - Tambo River


The ride day was projected with good weather, but the morning was overcast and very cold. Riding through to Omeo I stopped at Swifts Creek to warm up. I had bought some thin merino gloves before I left for this trip so I put them on, man what a difference a couple of degrees warmer makes.
I was then able to soldier on to Omeo, a meat pie to eat and a nice coffee.
I was ready to venture on to Mt. Hotham.

Needless to say that at this point I have not had lots of experience on long distance trips. The realisation that i was on only my second ever multi day trip and by myself, was initially daunting but at the same time exhilarating.

Anyway, the climb up Mt. Hotham from Omeo is a nice easy long ascent, winding road with generally good surface although i did hit some patches where gravel has been laid over potholes etc on corners. This proved to be eye opening at speed when coming around a bend to notice the distinctive grey/blue stones. Fortunately most of these hazards were sign posted, but still the short warning on some got my on the brakes quick, but not to the point to slide. I decided I was in no rush and that slowing down a little wont hurt, plus any cars behind my arse, I was quickly able to dust off when the coast was clear…….in the end I just let some pass me by.

Main Street Omeo

Mt. Hotham Views





The road to Bright, through Harrietville was much more steep and the descent very quick over a much shorter distance than ascending rom Omeo.
By the time i got to Bright for my first camp night i was buggered from being dogged by dicks in 4 wheel drives. I don't want to lump them into one category, but there is a small moron group of 4 wheel drivers that give me the shits. They usually are younger knobs that will overtake on steep bends, sit up your arse etc. You know what i mean. I drive a 4 wheel drive also, and i use it too, but I also am respectful of others especially bikes.

Anyway, a good feed and a few beers at the Bright brewery settled me in for a good night sleep if but a little cold. It got down to about 3 degrees in town.
Bright is known for it's beautiful Autumnal displays, but unfortunately they turning of the leaves was but a few weeks away. I did manage to see some great displays of the many European trees, Oaks, Elms, Pines etc starting to turn, but did not capture many pics.


Kids have busy with constructing a river sculpture over the holidays




I left Bright to travel via Lake Buffalo, following the valley once known for its crops of Tobacco, now long since replaced by Hops. local micro breweries in the area have an abundance of fresh alpine water and local grown hops, so it makes for some pretty good beers.
I followed the road past Lake Buffalo till I hit the dirt for about 40 km's to Whitfield township. This area of the King Valley once too grew tobacco but now is renowned for it's many vineyards.





I stopped for coffee & cake, then headed off along the Mansfield road, steep climb up to the top of the range with many twisties and fuckwit drivers. Then the shit hit.

RAIN
Well, i have had limited experience with wet roads and rain. Sure i have ridden it but generally avoided it or put off riding in it. Ah, i thought, what now?
So i had no choice but to push on. Many road sigs were warning of impending doom for motorcyclists, warning of slippery when wet signs, motorcycle black spot signs, did nothing to quell my nerves. Visibility was bad, my hands were fucking freezing, but I was at least dry.

I pulled over at Tolmie to dry out, rest and get my head straight. Once i'd warmed up, put on my ,merino gloves again I decided to drink a cup of concrete, grit my teeth and push on once again.

I thought about this little bit of inspiration before the trip & it got me motivated again.


This time I was much more in the mood for enjoying what lay ahead. By the time i got to Mansfield I decided to head for home as it was only 3 hours away and who knows what tomorrow held in terms of weather, i mean it couldn't get worse, but i had many more hours of dirt ahead, so i decided to take the easy option and head for home. Mistake No.2

This decision once started was ok for the first hour, till I decided to head via Alexandria & the Black Spur. More fucking rain, low light, shit visibility, more moron drivers, did i say more rain? I usually shit myself going down the Black Spur in good weather, let alone rain. It was not easy getting my head straight for this, but I resisted the temptation to be defeated. I could see the oil spots on the road, spreading their slick veins into my line all the way down. Luckily I had no cars behind me for this leg. Finally safe and sound in Healesville, I grabbed a strong coffee and started chatting to a local guy that had the same bike as me.
I had an hour to go, just out of Healesville the speedo stopped working!!
So it was drive by Tacho all the way home in the never ending rain, approaching dusk and suburban peak hour traffic. Excellent.

Finally safe and sound at home, every muscle aching, I stopped to think for a minute whilst unloading my gear, cleaning my bike and drying out. I had a big grin on my face. Now I cant wait to plan the next trip. This time I will make sure I take all the time allocated, slow down a little more, stop more often, take more photo's, but I know the feeling will be the same, it's hard to explain it to someone that doesn't ride, doesn't understand. Those here will of course know what i'm talking about.

Neil.
Home at last
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Dirty3 screwed with this post 04-27-2014 at 06:16 AM
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:03 AM   #2
Pratt
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Very nice. You could have used a nice windshield I bet. Sounds like you had a good time.

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Old 04-27-2014, 09:16 PM   #3
DazRSV
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Nice pics Dirty , looks like you could see your tent from the pub , that caravan park is always busy.
I bet the 640 kept pulling towards the dirt like a dog on heat , how did you find the stock seat ? I swapped mine out to a Concepts seat as the stock one has teeth.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:38 PM   #4
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Nice pics + RR.



Thanks!

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazRSV View Post
Nice pics Dirty , looks like you could see your tent from the pub , that caravan park is always busy.
I bet the 640 kept pulling towards the dirt like a dog on heat , how did you find the stock seat ? I swapped mine out to a Concepts seat as the stock one has teeth.
Hey Daz,

Yep, i was but a short walk away from the brewery, so nice and handy campground.
This bike surely does love the dirt, even loaded up. Seat is ok, i didn't really notice but i took a few breaks along the way so that might have helped.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:10 AM   #6
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Great ride report. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:24 AM   #7
Captain115
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Great writing, and I really enjoyed the photos.
God those 640's look awesome, I think it's the dual headlights under the rally fairing.

Hope to read another one of your reports soon mate.

Cheers
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:53 AM   #8
Dirty3 OP
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Thanks to all above for the comments and encouragement.
I hope to continue with more ride reports as the opportunity presents plus I usually take some video of rides but this time I just plain forgot, even though I had the gear with me. It takes time to edit but adds another dimension.

Cheers,
Neil.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:19 AM   #9
Theflyingwelshmen
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Great report and pics mate, fancy doing that run myself one day
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:44 PM   #10
AusGoFar
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Mate - you're going to have to change your ADV name from Dirty3 to Clean3. I don't think I've ever seen a bike come home as clean as that one.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:16 AM   #11
Dirty3 OP
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Mate - you're going to have to change your ADV name from Dirty3 to Clean3. I don't think I've ever seen a bike come home as clean as that one.
Good point. I try to keep it looking good. I hadn't reached the dirt by that stage the pics were taken, but all the rain washed the dirt away anyhow.
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