From the Blog

Back on the road

It’s been a while since I’ve had a long run on the bike; stuff keeps getting in the way. On Tuesday the forecast looked good so I headed off early, like 0630 early. Despite it now being “normal” time, it was still light though it was a little cool. The forecast said a maximum of 23 degrees but I knew that would be mid-afternoon so I wasn’t surprised to see the ambient temp gauge on the bike showing 11 degrees as I headed up the mountain into Picton.

With that in mind I had prepared by putting the liner in my Summer jacket and swapping out my Summer gloves for my mid-season ones. A long-sleeved t shirt finished off the warming that needed to be done though I do confess to using the heated hand grips for about half an hour around the Oaks. As is usual at that time of the day, the road was virtually deserted and I made great time. I started out with half a tank of gas, planning to fill up at Silverdale where the petrol is always much cheaper than my usual first stop, Wilberforce. A very easy run through Penrith, some hold-ups at Windsor where they are putting in the new bridge and it was looking good. Heading down into Colo Valley I was (very) rapidly caught by a solo rider on and MT10 Yammy but he didn’t stay behind for long and I didn’t expect to see him again. Pearler of a run up through Colo Heights and out the other side onto the long boring bits and into Grey Gum in well under three hours.

Kimmie had just finished cleaning out John’s shipping container and she was pretty fragile. You feel so helpless in situations like this. A B&ER and a coffee and northwards to the Ten Mile. Oh oh, roadworks signs everywhere. At least half of the distance was being worked on all at the same time. ARMCO replacements as well as new hot mix in a whole heap of sections. Stop/Go persons directing traffic everywhere, of course and, even with filtering to the front, it didn’t really avail much as, no sooner had you got into the clear, you hit the next 40km/h zone.

Long before I had reached the tree I had decided that I’d not brave the Ten Mile again but head on into Broke, drop in and see Lenny and do the southern leg down through Wollombi and home. However, the best laid plans, etc. By the time I got towards Milbrodale my attention was focussed on a huge, dirty, black cloud that was hanging over the road, getting darker the further north I went. It’s always a toss of a coin. Yes, I did have my “wets” in the top box but I still hate riding in the rain, so at the school, I did a U Turn and gritted my teeth for another dreary run down through the Ten Mile.

At the second stoppage I dribbled up to the head of the queue where two riders on Monsters were waiting, “Hey, didn’t we just see you heading north?” the first rider asked. I answered yes and that I was now heading home. Needless to say, at the show of the green, they took off and I didn’t catch them up until just before GGC where I stopped for a quick pit stop and they kept going.

By Wilberforce I had to get gas even though it was stupidly expensive (Easter weekend coming up, of course). Good run through Windsor and an equally easy run through Penrith. Home down the back way and Picton Road, Mt Keira and into the driveway at 1530. c.600kms in 9 hours, not too bad a run at all. Coffee with the gang in town on Tuesday night and a thorough bike clean-up job on Wednesday morning to clear the build-up of bugs that I had encountered out on the road.

Incidentally, anyone want to identify the location of the photo at the head and the tail of this article? A rather unusual angle.

As noted, I’ve been busy. Last Saturday I spent the morning at Wakefield Park watching the 2nd round of the St George Clubman Series and catching up with a whole heap of kids who’ve graduated from MotoStars and who are now racing in grown-up company. Then, at night I was on the mike at Goulburn Speedway for the big $5000 for the winner Super Sedan show. The track was in the best shape that I’ve seen for a long time and the big, booming V8’s turned on a spectacular show. This weekend they’re at Moama, near Echuca for their Australian Title meet, it should be a cracker.

I’d love to have gone away in the camper this weekend but, school holidays and Easter means that it would have been crowded wherever we went. Added to which, I’m on duty at my local track on Saturday, calling the Australian Compact Speedcar title, our last meeting of the season.

Next weekend, however, I WILL be on the road, heading down to the new complex at Tailem Bend in South Australia for the next round of MotoStars and the Australian Supermoto championships. While the ASBK races will be being held on the big track in the daytime, “our” races will be held on the “Stadium” track (go-Karts) from 1700 to 2200 Friday and Saturday night UNDER LIGHTS!! Yes, just like the big boys do at Qatar, MotoStars will be racing at night. I can’t wait. We’re taking the camper and taking our time getting there and back, it’s going to be a big weekend.

So that’s about it at the moment. I will confess to not having watched any of the MotoGp races so far, I’m getting old and getting out of bed in the middle of the night to watch the races isn’t as attractive a proposition as it used to be. Now that the circus is heading back to Europe and you can watch then have a decent night’s sleep afterwards, I’ll start taking notice again.

So, about the location of the featured pic. Here is the same spot looking the other way, any ideas?

Thanks for reading, catch you soon.