Mid-Life Blues; Lets Go Riding, first up Australia.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Happyidiot, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Mate that is huge. You & your friend covered a lot of country over 2 weeks, it would have been great fun. Jen & I are traveling a bit slower, but that's more our style these days. We have pushed out some big kilometre days in the past, but only in the car ( which I know is a lot different...oh we did have the 3 tiddlywinks & the dog in the back seat usually ). Just so many sights to see out there !
    We are really enjoying the ride I must say. Even today from Melbourne to Sale, ~265kms in temperatures down to 11C while trying to dodge the rain we loved it. Great too be back on our bikes.

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    Nice to see our bikes are still there & in one piece after a month away, both Bikes started straight away.

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    Though we did have too stop for fuel after about 180kms, seemed like an opportune while a storm in front drifted past.
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  2. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    I said 2 weeks, we actually took 3 weeks but we spent a week in Alice hence I said 2 weeks (actually 13 days travelling).

    [​IMG]
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  3. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Day 60 of traveling was the first day of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere, we spent it in the Victorian town of Sale. The previous day we rode 260kms from Melbourne Airport to get there. Jen & I decided to spend an extra day at our friend Alan's place & catch up on business, organise the next section of our Oz ride, tidy up our bike gear that we had just shoved onto our Bikes in our haste to escape Melbourne. Overall it was an easy day, but gee it was cold, overcast & a max temperature of only 13C.


    Today...Friday the 2nd of June, Sale to Eden via Lakes Entrance. 360kms.

    We left Al's place in Sale at our preferred winter travel starting time of 10am. Both of us had rugged up well for the cold ride ahead.

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    Interesting Old Fargo Ute at Lakes Entrance, Vic. I wonder what year it is ? When it took off, it was obviously powered by a V8.


    Generally we followed the A1 Highway, which was pretty quiet. We stopped in Lakes Entrance to drink our thermos coffee. At Nowa Nowa, as we rode through town, we were stopped by an unmarked Police Car & both breath tested for alcohol. It came up all clear & we were wished a happy trip. The ride through the State Forest & National Parks along the A1 was excellent. Twisty roads in places & very scenic. One of the State Forests was even named after me !!!

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    I have been searching the world for a place to call Home, finally I find it but it's too cold. :doh

    There was a quick fuel & late lunch stop at Cann River, we hung around for about 30 minutes while we waited for a drizzle shower to pass. Soon after, saw us crossing the Victorian/New South Wales (Vic/NSW) State Border. Last time we were traveling in NSW was over 16 years ago. Onwards we continued, enjoying our cold ride through the forest and at 4pm we arrived into Eden, which is a small coastal town in NSW.

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    The old Pub at Cann River, the brick balustrading on the second story is a very unusual feature.

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    Happyidiots ride into a new State....NSW.

    Right now we are staying in the Eden Motel for $70p/n, it's clean & tidy though at bit 70'ish in decor. There is also a small kitchenette, Jenny whipped up a nice Green Chicken Curry for dinner.


    Neither of us are really enjoying the cold winters weather, luckily we only have 7 - 10 more days of it until we are in Queensland (Qld) & north of Brisbane ... can't wait !
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  4. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    DAY 62, Sat, 3/06 Eden to Canberra via Bega & Cooma, 305kms

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    DAY 59 to 63, Wednesday 31/05 to Sunday 4/06. 1175kms. Melbourne to Nowra, via Sale & Canberra.

    I'm starting to develop a Head Cold or something, I have a raspy cough & feel low on energy. Even though I don't feel that great we have to push onto Sydney. I have both bikes book in for a service at Bikebiz in Parramatta & getting them in there was a struggle. The first place I tried said they were too busy & fully booked due too an up & coming long weekend ?? We need to get to Sydney on Monday...

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    Sun is shining, time to head for the hills. Eden Motel, best value on our tour so far.

    Neither Jenny or I were that keen on going to Canberra, but we have a Nephew there who is studying at Uni, and since we would pass less then 1.5 hours ride from there we thought it would be nice to stop in for the night.

    The ride up to Canberra turned out to be great, clear sky's, twisty roads, then highland plains. At Fred Piper Lookout which we stopped at for a look, there was a bloke in an older model, Holden (GM), Commodore Wagon with a flat battery. He had some jumper leads & the motor was still lazily turning over. I didn't think the Tenere would have much chance jump starting a 3.6 Litre V6 & it turned out I was right, so we bid him farewell, leaving him waiting for the next motorist to stop.

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    At least I tried, didn't hold much hope for a successful outcome.

    Once we were up on top of the Great Dividing Range (elevation 1110m) the temperature dropped to 10C, in the distance you could see snow on the mountains. Bbbrrr it's a little nippy, but we are well rugged up, some heated hand grips would be nice !

    The ride along the Monaro Highway was interesting & it was difficult too keep the speed at 100km/h, quite a few cars were flashing their lights at us & sure enough a bit further on, approximately 50kms out of Cooma there was a mobile Speed Camera waiting to nab unsuspecting motorists. Some fuel taken on board at Cooma a quick lunch break at Bredbo, where we also booked a half price room in Canberra's CBD at the Novotel. Once into Canberra I noticed the chain on Jenny's CB500X was seriously loose.....whoops l should have picked that up earlier. I've been regularly lubing it with some aerosol chain lube but hadn't noticed how slack it was.

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    On top of the Great Dividing Range, riding along the Monaro Highway towards Cooma.

    Once we were settled into our room I ducked down to the Novotel basement car park where our bikes were parked & rectified the slack chain problem. Sorry Jen...

    We then caught up with our Nephew & his GF, took them out to dinner at Shorty's & we were back at our room by 10pm. I was really feeling knackered now and happily went to bed. During the night the temperature dropped to -3C, glad we aren't staying in our 3 season tent or sleeping bags.
  5. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Some More photos from Saturday the 3rd of June.


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    Jenny leads the way heading for the top of the GDR after leaving Bega.

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    Fred Piper Lookout, looking East towards Bega.

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    Downtown Cooma on a good winters day.

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    Uncle & Aunty Happyidiots with Jackson & Shaye, Canberra.
  6. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    DAY 63, Sun,4/06, Canberra to Nowra, via Oallen, 248km,

    Leaving Canberra at 10am, the skies were clear, it was cold but nice enough. As we got to the edge of the city we were enveloped in fog for about 30kms. We rode along the M23 Federal Hwy for about 85kms........Boring....just before Goulburn we took to the backroads for the remainder of our ride to Nowra.

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    Getting out of Canberra, traffic is light, drivers seem of average ability, Jen & I have been here three times before & seen the sights. We need too keep moving, we need too get North, I'm feeling crook.... FYI Our favourite sights in Canberra from our past visits, Parliament House, Australian War Memorial & National Art Gallery.

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    All you Advrider's out there already know, the best roads are the backroads ! About 100kms from Nowra.

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    30 minutes out of Nowra, still enjoying the ride, zoom into my speedo & just above the number 7 you'll see the ambient temperature is 10 degrees C, whoa my hands are feeling cold.

    We were obviously on the right road now, because numerous other motorcycles out on a Sunday ride, past us heading the opposite direction. At 2.30pm we rolled into Nowra, both bikes now had their fuel lights flashing so finding a Servo was our first job, then lunch & yet another cheapish (by Aussie standards) Motel.

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    We have arrived into Nowra & find a quiet spot on the Shoalhaven River for a late lunch.

    Right now I feel "shithouse" the dry raspy cough is worse and I feel worn out. Can't even be bothered having a beer or dinner, Jenny reckons I have a severe case of Man Flew. Hopefully I'm on top of my game for our ride tomorrow into Sydney. Australia's largest city is an absolute Monster these days from what I hear !!

    NB: Back at Alan's, in Sale, I borrowed his PC to uninstall, reinstall & update the maps on the Garmin GPS that we purchased back in Geelong, so far so good, fingers crossed.
  7. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Hope you feel better soon mate

    S
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  8. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    G'day Will, was wondering where you and Jenny were. Man Flu sucks, hope you are feeling better quickly. It's a little warmer here in Coffs Harbour we are getting around 21 during the day with lows of 6 or 7 overnight, of course go away from the coast and that changes. When are you thinking you will be up this way?
    Garry
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  9. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    5th to 7th June.

    I woke up on Monday morning at the Best Western Motel, Nowra, the sun was shining & it was a perfect day to ride the bikes along the coast up to Sydney. The only issue was how unwell I felt. If it wasn't for the fact that lots of rain is predicted for Tuesday & the Bikes are booked in for servicing I could easily stay another day here & get some rest. Jenny gets me up and motivated, we have a complementary breakfast at the Motel Restaurant, load up the bikes & head off at 9.30am

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    We weren't the only ones out enjoying the winter sunshine, 5 exotic supercars & a bunch of other bikes passed us heading the other way.

    It turns out to be an easy 171km ride up to Drummoyne (Sydney). Jen & I rode along the famous Sea Cliff Bridge between Coalcliff & Stanwell Park For any Aussies or Kiwi's reading this it's the one that all the car companies use in their TV Adverts. You know the one that juts out into the ocean...

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    While we rode across the Sea Cliff Bridge I thought the GoPro was going but I was wrong, so this ended up being one of the only photos we took of it.

    Then we took the very scenic Royal National Park road that eventually links back up with the M1. Unfortunately no pictures as the GoPro micro SD card ran out of memory. The family catching up continues & we find our way to Liz's place where will stay for a few days while the Bikes are sorted out.

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    Jenny also snapped this one with the Nikon Coolpix, while we rode through the Royal National Park.

    Apart from that not much else exciting, except for riding the bikes over to Bikebiz in Parramatta in peak traffic, then returning two up on a small loan bike. A Yamaha MT7, now that was interesting, both our butts could barely fit on it. Definitely not complaining as it's a loan bike & I think it's very good of Bikebiz to lend us one.

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    Our Bikebiz Loan Bike, if you can try & imagine two well built Happyidiots riding on it through the Sydney peak hour. Note the lack of hand holds for the pillion.

    Today (7/06/17, Wednesday) more resting up, while listening too the rain come down outside. Jenny borrowed Liz's Toyota Kluger & took me to the Doctors. The Doc can't be certain without an X-ray but I've most likely got Bronchitis or Pneumonia, I'm now on a strong course of antibiotics, I've got too get better soon as we have to retrieve our bikes & get out of the Big Smoke of Sydney.
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  10. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    T
    Thanks Shane, it sucks getting sick while traveling especially when you have to keep pushing on. I've got the good pills now, so should be good soon.
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  11. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Hi Garry, our plans aren't quite coming together as hoped for. The bikes won't be ready until Friday. The CB500X is in need of a set of new Sprockets & Chain. I knew about the rear sprocket being worn & the couple of seized links in the chain so I believe them. It's got about 17500kms on it now & while I do maintain it for Jenny, I could have done better.
    These antibiotics should sort out my "Manflu" quick smart. We guess 2 easy days riding until Coffs Harbour once we leave Sydney.
    Look forward to catching up with you once we arrive there possibly next Monday......Will
  12. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    lol the 1 day I may not be available, unless it rains I'm taking Mum to the Orara Valley Fair.
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  13. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Good pills are good mate

    Good on you for touching it out and getting the bikes to the shop on time

    Best wishes from Fiji (for the night)

    Cheers

    S
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  14. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Hey Garry,
    The way this massive rain/storm front is going we probably won't get to Coffs until after Monday & we may spend a couple of days there. Aiming on a Sunday departure from Sydney at this stage.
    Will
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  15. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Wow, heard about it on the news. it's a bit dull here and cool but no sign of rain, might be able to do something Tuesday or Wednesday
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  16. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    OK I'm set for Tuesday, Wednesday. If you want a suggestion for how to get to Coffs (other than the obvious Highway) and you have never done the Oxley it's a must do. Map http://tinyurl.com/ya8n4e3y



    [​IMG]

    The National Motorcycle Museum at Nabiac is worth a look for a couple of hours.

    Call into Gingers Creek Roadhouse near the top of the mountain for a coffee / hot chocolate / snack. Stay at Walcha or Bendemeer Pub (great feed)

    Fusspots at Ebor is a nice stop over on the lovely Waterfall Way or just keep going to Dorrigo If you want a good pub lunch the Heritage Hotel does a great lunch. Down the fun 11km twisty mountain (get there before the school traffic) to Bellingen and back onto the Highway to Coffs Harbour. I'll PM you my phone number if you want to know anything else before you get here. Enjoy the ride.

    P.S. It's a long weekend in NSW, double demerits apply and there will be plenty of traffic.
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  17. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    I nipped down to Tauranga today to pick up a new (old) bike....here's what the weather was like here today... maybe you should come back???

    Attached Files:

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  18. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    10/06/17, Saturday.

    Finally the "Planets Have Aligned", Happyidiots escape from the clutches of Old Sydney Town tomorrow. Hooray !!

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    On Friday (yesterday) I dropped off the MT07 Loan Bike & rode the Tenere back to where we are staying, about 30 minutes ride away in moderate traffic. Jenny wasn't too keen to be Pillion again on the little Yamaha MT07. Then this morning we both hopped on the Tenere & rode back to Bikebiz to pick up the Honda.

    The Bikes are both serviced & repaired, my Tenere now has a set of Altrider Crash Bars, Jenny's CB500X has a fresh set of sprockets & new chain (I had better take care of this set, live & learn). Overall very happy with Bikebiz in Parramatta, Craig & the Staff were all friendly & in the end delivered as promised. There was a little bit of nervousness by me yesterday around lunch time when I learnt the Honda Sprockets were still MIA, but in the end it all turned out good.

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    Some additional insurance, Altrider, Engine Crash Bars. The reason I never fitted any prior to departing home was because there were no Black ones in Australia only Silver (and I didn't want to paint them with a spray can of black). I've discovered that Adventure Moto in Dural, Sydney, is the only agent in Oz for Altrider.

    My Man Flu has also improved enough for me to take too the road, I'm still coughing a lot but the antibiotics have helped heaps. We have been staying at Jenny's cousin & her hubby's place in Drummoyne & even though we have been here nearly a week I don't think we have overstayed our welcome, which is a relief.

    We haven't done totally nothing while in Sydney, on Thursday Jen & I went into the city centre to view the Vivid Light Show, it was quite amazing. Vivid goes for 2 weeks & only has a few nights left too go. Some how we jagged a great night with no rain, full moon & quite warm temperatures. We ate dinner in The Rocks at Wolfies while trying to take in the light show that was flickering on the Opera House, Harbour Bridge & many other structures. Well worth the effort.

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    It's a 30 minute Ferry ride to Circular Quay. We loved it.

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    The old Sydney "Coat Hanger" from memory it was constructed in the early 1930's.

    So tomorrow, Sunday the 11th our ride north continues the week of torrential rain has eased right up, so with a bit of luck we may even keep dry.
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  19. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Some of the photos from our trip into Sydney's city centre last Thursday to see the Vivid Light Show.

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    Time to head back "home" on the Ferry.
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  20. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Thanks for these route tips MaverickAus !!

    They are a big help, we will check them out closer tonight before heading off tomorrow (Sunday). Should arrive into Coffs Tuesday ? I'll PM you along the way once we know a reasonably eta for time/day.

    Will.