Surprise snow in spring... on a motard! 2 day trip through Vic high country

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by tompee, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Greetings ADV,
    I recently had my most interesting (probably) and best photographed (definitely!) adventure ride, which I thought I'd share and introduce myself with.

    My bike is a WR250X. It might seem silly to take it into the places you'll see below, but it's my commuter as well and 95% of the km I've done on it have been on the bitumen.... I just have to make it do this stuff occasionaly ;-)

    This is the path I took (from Melbourne to Mt Buller and back), I reroad a lot of the same tarmac as originally I was just going from A to B and back. ~500km all up.
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    The background of the ride - earlier this week I decided to do some hiking in the alpine country, hoping to meet Spring weather and just a little of the melting remnants of winter's snow. There was some unseasonally wild weather, however, and I ended up getting stuck up in my cheap off-season room on Mt Buller. I tried to wait it out another day but it got worse!

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    The forecast was for minus temperatures all weekend, for all I know the snow still hasn't melted, so I decided to make a run for it. The morning's -7C and moderate snowfall was actually easier to handle than the previous days heavy rain and wind - grip was obviously terrible, but at least my visor wasn't fogging up, and my cheap riding gear seemed to be able to keep the snow out better than the rain.

    This is what met me where I had left a soggy bike at a much balmier temperature the previous evening:
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    I had to spray WD40 down the ignition barrel just to be able to turn the key, as it was frozen solid. The front tyre was also frozen stuck, dragging the bike backwards only dragged the wheel along the ground. I didn't want to spray WD40 all over my disk brake, or pour more water on the thing to freeze up in the -7C conditions, so I just had to persevere with it until I broke the ice and the wheel turned.
    Once the bike was started, it was missing a lot and running rough until I got it warmed up.

    I started off pretty unsure of the conditions, but slowly got more adventurous, despite these being pretty much the worst tyres I could have shod on the day:

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    When I had ridden up the mountain, there was lots of evidence of Spring's presence, but coming back down the flowers were frozen. Not many of my macro shots turned out, the frozen wattle was OK though:
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    About 40 minutes riding and it was a different world, down in Ancona. The only sign of rain and snow was the frothy, dirty creek:
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    This is where the day took a very special turn, however. Still heading home to Melbourne, I saw that the cold snap had brought snow down on the hills in much lower country (it doesn't usually snow here, even in winter). The contrast between lush looking paddocks with cattle or sheep grazing in them, and snow on the hills just behind and not that far above was amazing. There were people pulling over on the road to take photo's, so it wasn't just me! This is just heading into Molesworth:
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    Following my nose, I took the turnoff at Molesworth to Whanregarwen and came to one paddock that extended up to the snow falls. One of my favourite shots of the day, or at least one of the best spots I stood in all day:
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    I kept heading towards Whanregarwen and took the Scrubby Creek Rd turnoff up into the Black Range national park, where snow could be seen on the ground between the trees in the distance:
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    Once up in the Black Range, I spent a few hours exploring and forgot to take photo's of a lot of the interesting stuff. The trails were sloshy and very slippery. Yeah, I came off once, somehow caught the front end probably a dozen times more as it tried to wash out. Crossing fallen saplings and trees, with everything so cold and wet and slippery (and with motard wheels), required perfect right-angle intersections, being even slightly off caused big movement which was not pleasant, and I don't know how I didn't come off more. I had to go bush to get around some of the trees. I realised I was enjoying the scenery a lot less after a while and was more focussed on mere survival, which was an experience in itself but not quite as relaxing as the day had been so far. That's probably why I took less photo's. Here's a few though:
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    The sun was now getting a bit lower and my extremities a little colder and number thanks to scattered showers and icy wind, so I made (mostly legal) haste back through Flowerdale, Strath Creek, Broadford (no MX bikes on the track as I rolled off to have a look on the way past!), and down the Hume freeway to Melbourne. Got a few nice pictures between Flowerdale and Strath Creek. Again, idyllic looking country only minutes from what seemed like Winter in some place other than Australia ;-)
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    And finally, one of my favourites for the day:
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    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Things look a lot better in green than in white :thumb
    #2
  3. Riff

    Riff Been here awhile

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    Cumberland, MD Twisties Heaven in any direction
    Welcome to the ADV neighborhood. Great Pics and wild ride report. Keep them coming. From one NOOb to another.
    #3
  4. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

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    For me, the novelty of the white was something, we don't encounter snow a lot around here!
    Cheers mate, I will. Hope to see some reports from you as well!
    #4
  5. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    Hey, nice tires for snow...
    #5
  6. gtbensley

    gtbensley Been here awhile

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    The difference in conditions is pretty cool looking through those pictures. I am surprised you could even move in the snow with those tires.
    #6
  7. steve_k

    steve_k Long timer

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    Great bike and pics!
    #7
  8. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    Very nice ride, Aussie's definite know how to live!
    #8
  9. Jamie

    Jamie .

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    Great photos! That bike-ride combo would have been a little outside of my comfort level.:huh
    #9
  10. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

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    Haha, yeah, they were swell :muutt

    Yeah the contrasts in different conditions was amazing that day... it would only have been a couple of hours riding west to see some really arid country too.
    Re the tyres, most of the tracks I left in the snow were not just tyre marks, but two footprints touching down every few metres on either side ;-) At one point I had to get off and walk beside it. But knowing I could be away from the snow in half an hour if I got sick of it kind of made it easier to bear

    Thanks mate, I certainly am chuffed with the bike, and yeah, some of the pics turned out alright! With modern digital camera's everyone is a photographer ;-)

    Well, on that particular weekend this Aussie did, anyway ;-) Glad you liked the pics

    I wasn't exactly chillaxing either, eh! But it got me there and back, so I can't complain too much
    #10
  11. Goosefeather

    Goosefeather Captain Slow

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    Tough ride - Great shots!

    I've taken the liberty of linking here from the Aussie ride report page - hope you don't mind!
    #11
  12. tksmith

    tksmith Another GS Freak

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    +1 :eek2
    #12
  13. craig525

    craig525 No longer a member

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    Top stuff:freaky
    #13
  14. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

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    Thanks goosefeather, don't mind at all! I didn't realise there was an Aussie rides thread, will link there in the future!
    #14
  15. Vince_WA

    Vince_WA Rides badly :)

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    Tapping, WA
    Great ride report and awesome photo's - cool stuff !!!!! :clap
    #15
  16. Linhares

    Linhares OSM addicted

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    From snow to rainbow - amazing!

    You know, I was watching (again) the Lord of the Rings movie last night. Your first shot of the green hills quite reminded me of the Shire! :D

    Abraços,
    Linhares
    #16
  17. BigFella44

    BigFella44 Been here awhile

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    Port Stephens NSW Australia
    Hey great rr and fantastic photos!
    Thanks for taking the time to take us along for the ride!
    And some of your shots are simply breathtaking, well done!
    #17
  18. Droopy

    Droopy Born to Droop

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    Townsville Qld AU
    Wow man...Awesome write up thanks.....
    #18
  19. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

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    Melbourne, Australia
    That's really funny Linhares, that thought actually crosses my mind when I ride out there! I'm a big fan of Tolkien and always remember what he wrote in an essay about the "essence of a far-off tree", how a tree seen from a long way away can be more beautiful than when you see it up close. Those shots I posted at the end, with the tree on the hill, I was thinking of this concept as I took them.
    #19
  20. tompee

    tompee Adventurer

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    @Bigfella and droopy, thanks for the comments fella's, only too happy to share and I'm glad others enjoy the pics as well!
    #20