Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Some nice roads within Brisbane suburbs

Not everyone is experienced to ride a long distance, new riders may enjoy something close by to ride.

There are a few nice little roads for riding scattered about the suburbs. I dont know alot however I will post up some and ask for further suggestions to be made. So feel free to add some comments.

The most obvious that springs to mind is Mt Gravatt Lookout. A short but fun little climb up the hill that dominates the area with a great view from the top.

Another easy pick would be Mt Cootha Lookout. Nice ride over the hill and the best views of Brisbane.

The road to Upper Brookfield is a nice twisty one with alot of new surface making it a great ride.

Same area also starting around Kenmore the road west to Mt Crosby isnt a bad run.

On the northside Bunya Rd is good and you can continue on Eatons Crossing Rd.

Add in adjacent Clear Mt road and you have some great riding without going very far.

New additions:

The Jinker Track is a great bit of road - seems the Northside is out in front so far.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Suggested one day rides # 4

North - West

The most popular ride from Brisbane is Mt Glorious that lies to the west of the city. The roads north and further west are often combined so I will make a couple of suggestions along these lines.

First of all I dont ride Mt Glorious on a weekend as I dont want to be harrased by police - so ride at your own risk if you have a aftermarket muffler or under seat number plate etc.

A short ride might be up Waterworks road - over Nebo and Mt Glorious, then along past Somerset dam and on to Kilcoy. Then over to Woodford and back over Mt Mee to Dayboro and home for brunch. Or ride it in reverse order.

A longer ride might be over Clear Mtn on to Dayboro and over Mt Mee. Ride onto Woodford and then over to Kilcoy. From Kilcoy ride up the Jimna rd and back and then on to Somerset Dam and along Split Yard crk to Fernvale. Then return over Split Yard to the turnoff to Mt Glorious and ride over it and Nebo and back to City.

And for a real big day do as above but from Kilcoy ride to Esk then up the range to Hampton and return and then from Esk to Fernvale and as above or simply home via Ipswich h-way.

Lots more info about each of these roads with lots of pics can be found in the individual roads posted on the right side bar of the blog!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Suggested one day rides #3 - North.

Northern Hinterland

A great selection of very enjoyable motorbike roads lies within easy reach north of Brisbane.

Many riders talk of rides on the northside from Dayboro. To get there I prefer to exit the city via Clear Mtn but there are other options and also depends where you are coming from.

Look up the individual roads/areas in my other posts for maps or more exact details.

Short ride options:

To start make you way to Dayboro, now ride over the popular Mt Mee and on to Woodford. Then ride on to Maleny, then perhaps have a coffee and brunch and ride back to Brisbane.
OR then ride to Landsborough and then to Peachester and then back via Woodford and Mt Mee. OR ride to Peachester via Bald Knob Rd then return to city.
OR ride back to Woodford then go west to Kilcoy and then south to bottom/western side of Mt Glorious then ride back over that to come back into the city on Waterworks Rd at The Gap.

Longer ride:

As above to Maleny then west to Kenilworth and then east to Mapelton then return via Montville.
OR from Mapleton ride on to Palmwoods via the Dulong Rd decent then back up the range on Palmwoods-Montville Rd. Then return via any option from Maleny listed above.

Easy to make a 1/2 day ride on the northern roads from Brisbane. The distances are less than south which is perhaps why the north is more popular. You could ride most roads listed here in a day and not get back home too late - good stuff!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Earplug Winner

The winners round one on the road were the Moldex Rockets. (see my earlier article for more info)

The QB200's were by far more comfortable but would become dis-lodged when I put the helmet on or with movement of the helmet on the road. They may work fine with a firmer fit helmet, and I have just such a item sitting around so will try them both again but at this stage the Rockets so far are the only ones I can get to fit properly every time and not work their way loose.

If there is one thing about the Buell XB that I find bothersome is the resonance that hits the rider having the muffler underneath the bike. It works well there balance,weight,looks wise but means that a lot of noise comes up off the road to the rider. I had a louder muffler on my old Triumph Speed Triple but the noise didn't come back to the rider with it placed out the back up high on bike.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Federal - Clunes NSW

Federal - Clunes

Continues from the previous article Billinudgel to Federal 

From Mullumbimby you can ride a second route to Federal as follows:

This follows a very twisty route that is under the canopy of trees for much of the ride before you burst out in the middle of some spectacular rolling hills that the area is so famous for.

At the town of Federal you come to a T junction, turn right (if riding the above route otherwise ride straight on if you have come over Coolamon scenic drive) ride through some more scenic countryside along the ridges overlooking valleys. Lots of easy sweeping corners to enjoy in this district known as Eureka. You will come to a Junction - turn left and shortly after come to the T junction of the Bangalow-Lismore road where you turn right to the village of Clunes. There is a good cafe at Clunes and just beyond Clunes is the road to Eltham where you can get a good lunch at the pub.

Great motorbike roads #26

Stokers Siding

This needs a post by itself. I had mentioned the village of Stokers Siding before in my post about Burringbah but this little town offers a good ride in 3 directions.

From Murwillumbah ride towards Uki, and just before you enter the township turn left towards the saw mill and there is a great scenic ride on this back road over to Stokers.
Also from Murwillumbah you can ride south on the old highway and turn right just prior to leaving the outskirts and then follow this road down over a creek and turn left to go to Stokers.
From Stokers itself having arrived frome either of the above you will follow the signs to ride on south to Burrinbah and Mooball.

Whichever way you ride all three of these roads are terrific twisty backroads in mostly good shape and with a small ridge to ride over on each section! I am told to try the old post office cafe for coffee - will let you know how I get on.

Nearby Bakers Rd

Twisty rating: 2.
Surface quality: C.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Suggested Rides #2 - South/West Loop.

The scenic and twisty Mt Lindsey road.

From Brisbane there is a superb day ride south/west that you can do in two directions - does that make it two rides? - almost as its very different but equally great each way.

Most common southern loop:

Brisbane-Beaudesert-Mt Lindsey-Summerland Way-Kyogle-Uki-Muwillumbah-Currumbin Valley-Brisbane.

This would be the quickest route. You can come back via Numinbah valley and Advancetown to Nerang if you want to extend and of course you can visit Boonah from Beaudesert and return back to Rathdowney, both of these options makes it a much longer ride time wise but why not if you are enjoying it. Try fueling up at Beaudesert and Kyogle and back on the M1 north. Macca's at Beaudesert is popular for breakfast and meeting others. Uki Pub does a good lunch (dont forget daylight saving time in NSW for counter meals etc if on QLD time in summer) or easy to make it to Murwillumbah for lunch.

Reverse option:

Brisbane-Mudgeeraba-Springbrook-Numinbah Valley-Muwillumbah-Uki-Kyogle-Summerland Way-Lions Rd-Rathdowney-Brisbane.

You can vary it also ie from Numinbah valley ride via Tyalgum to Uki also you can skip the Lions Rd and ride over Mt Lindsey - its a great ride I simply think it runs better north to south on option 1 and the Lions rides best south to north on option 2.

For fuel try Mudgeeraba then Kyogle then Beaudesert. You really wont need fuel that often (nor riding option 1 ride - just suggested rest/fuel/drink stops) Rathdownety Pub does a reasonable burger - not much else until back to Beaudesert.

Check each road on my previous posts for further info and pictures.

A coffee at Kunghur Cafe is allways good - great food also.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ear Plug Shootout

The purple/yellow Moldex Rocket plugs, then clockwise, yellow generic plugs, orange 1110 plugs from 3M, then the pink/yellow Lazer Lite plugs, QB200HYG orange/grey plug - both from Howard Leight, next is Air Soft blue/red rocket type plug and Max orange plug also both from Howard Leight, and last in the middle is yellow super soft plug made by Uvex.

Ever noticed some old bikers seem to talk louder - that's cause they are a little bit deaf.

The most common person to suffer this is the Harley rider with the ultra loud exhaust system on each of his bikes over the years. But do enough miles on quiet motorbikes with helmets that produce a lot of wind noise and you may also suffer from some hearing loss as well.

I have been wearing ear plugs for sometime now - perhaps not as long as I should have - however I am glad I started when I did and have hopefully saved any future hearing loss. Trouble is finding a ear plug that works well for you.

I have been having a bad time with plugs that don't stay in - so I have bought all the different types I can find locally to do a comparison.

All the foam tapered plugs require the same fitting procedure, roll and insert and hold awhile until foam expands and seals/stays in ear. My problem is the shape of my ear seems to not hold the plugs in so well or possibly I don't get the plug inserted far enough.

Actually I always get them in first few times used in the morning. Then as day wears on and the temperature rises (hot and sweaty inside the helmet here in summer) I find it difficult to fit the plugs. I suspect that its a combination of the plug having been in contact with ears and perspiration and rolled up in fingers a few times has become a bit soiled and just cannot grip enough to stay in the ears for further use. I need then to perhaps carry a few pairs for a days ride... anyway I am trying out my options as would like to find one that can last all day.

The plugs:

Of these plugs the Max is the quietest with the highest noise reduction rating, it is the largest plug both in length and thickness and really shuts out all noise when you can get it in right - its also one I have a lot of problems getting to fit at any time.

The orange 3M plug is a firm foam which is similar size to all the generic plugs on the market but it really is quieter than the generics with its dense foam. I find these the most successful in staying in my ear and seal well out of the foam plugs however they are not the most comfortable.

The Yellow Generic plugs (as found everywhere) are same as the 3M in shape but softer foam. This softer foam then doesn't grip my ears as well and mostly they simply pop out moments after fitting. They work fine once fitted ok but block less noise than the 3M or Max plugs.

The Yellow Uvex plugs are same shape but lighter again with a hollow section at outside end. Very soft foam they block less noise but are very comfortable. Work fine when I can get them to stay in.

The Lazer Lite is about the same softness as the Uvex plugs - which is very soft and the most comfortable of them all with the plugs different shape fitting completely in the ear. Same issue for me that they don't want to seal and stay in often. Noise reduction is about the same as the Yellow plugs and all the soft foam plugs are not as quiet as the Max or 3M.

The QB200 is not a roll up and insert plug. Its the end used for banded earplugs where the frame clips the plugs into your ears. These work really well by themselves the plug sits partially in your ear and is a larger rounder shape item. (shape is kinda like a mushroom) I am not sure it they will work loose - will get back to you on that but so far these are impressive, my pick of the foam plugs as they seal perfect every time as you don't have to get them inside your ear canal.

The other two styles of plugs are the multiple use flange type. Not made of foam but of a flexible soft material these can last a long time if washed and don't require to be compressed to fit.
I found the Air Soft would not seal at all, just too thin but the Moldex Rocket worked very well. I am impressed by the 100% success rate with fitting as you can simply press the plug gently in until you have it right, no need to roll up, insert, hold, wait .. nope hasn't sealed, remove start over like with all the foam plugs (except the QB200)

I am going to try the rocket and the QB on the road further then announce the winner.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Great motorcycle roads # 24 (repost)

View from Bald Knob Road

Bald Knob Rd and Peachester. (repost)

Blogger didnt like this post last time - lets try again

I spoke about the road near Peachester previously but have now split it from that post where it was a bit confusing and added the scenic Bald Knob Rd to make a new post.

Just east of the township of Peachester is a superb twisty section of road popular with riders. Its quite intense and smooth nice hotmix - but also a busy section of rd so you may need to time your ride to get some kind of run over it.

Road near Peachester

Just west of the township of Peachester is a road called Bald Knob Rd that runs over to the Landsborough - Maleny Rd and is a very scenic rd and also mostly nice corners and a reasonable surface.

Bald Knob Road

How you ride these is up to you, one option might be if you have ridden north to Maleny then go towards Landsborough and turn right onto Bald Knob Rd and then simply ride through Peachester and over the twisty bit and turn around and ride back then then continue back south towards Woodford.

Another option is from Maleny ride on to Mapelton and down the Dulong rd decent described in my great bike roads #11 post - back up Palmwoods-Montville rd and back to the junction near Maleny and then follow the above.

Of course you could ride to Mapelton via Kenilworth as well - thats the longer but best option.

Twisty rating: 3.
Surface quality: A.

Click to enlarge

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Great motorcycle roads # 25

Obi Obi
Thats Kenilworth to Mapelton not some Star Wars character.

There is a great ride to be had over the Obi Obi Rd that runs between Mapelton and Kenilworth. Basically at this stage you really are best to only ride it in the other direction - Maleny to Kenilworth and on up to Mapelton as a large part of the downhill section of Obi Obi rd is gravel - the road is split into two one lane roads up and down and the climb is fresh tar and good fun with lots of narrow and tight turns. It may be sealed both ways one day so keep and ear open to that or you can ride the gravel easy enough as its not loose enough to bother anyone.

Down in the valley the road is in good order and has been widened and resurfaced in many places from when I last travelled over it turning it into quite a quick ride now.

Great bike roads # 24

Bald Knob Rd and Peachester.

Just east of the township of Peachester is a superb twisty section of road popular with riders. Its quite intense and smooth nice hotmix - but also a busy section of rd so you may need to time your ride to get some kind of run over it.

Above - Peachester.

Just west of the township of Peachester is a road called Bald Knob Rd that runs over to the Landsborough - Maleny Rd and is a very scenic rd and also mostly nice corners and a reasonable surface.

Above (and title picture) - Bald Knob Rd.

How you ride these is up to you, one option might be if you have ridden north to Maleny then go towards Landsborough and turn right onto Bald Knob Rd and then simply ride through Peachester and over the twisty bit and turn around and ride back then then continue back south towards Woodford.

Another option is from Maleny ride on to Mapelton and down the Dulong rd decent described in my great bike roads #11 post - back up Palmwoods-Montville rd and back to the junction near Maleny and then follow the above.

Of course you could ride to Mapelton via Kenilworth as well - thats the longer but best option.

The panorama from Bald Knob Rd - click to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Suggested Rides #1 - Gold Coast Hinterland.

Suggested rides #1 Gold Coast Hinterland.
I will start by suggesting a few rides in a area I like alot.
I ride south straight down the M1, its boring but gets you right to where you want to be in around 45 minutes - you can ride the backways to get there but I prefer to simply go straight and use the ride south on M1 to clear the head. Whatever you do dont be tempted to open it up on the M1, save that urge for another place and preserve your licence as there is allways police 24/7.

I like to refuel and rest/meet other riders at the Caltex at Mudgeeraba, right hand side of h-way going south in the township. Its popular with many riders for the same reasons as is the Shell at Robina on the left hand side that is on the same motorway exit to Robina.

Use my individual "great bike roads" posts to find out more about each road I mention.

Suggestions are:

Go up Springbrook Mt, then down to the valley via Pine crk rd then along Nerang Muwillumbah Rd (Hinze raceway) to the bottom of Beechmont Mt and ride up that and over to Canungra where you could stop at the cafe before riding home. Go back to Brisbane via Nerang and M1 or go up and over Mt Tamborine or return via the west through Beenleigh then M1.

Variations on this are ride up to Binna Burra (breakfasts are now back on) and then return and perhaps ride any of those parts in reverse or add on a ride to Natural Arch and return. You can't go too wrong so try a few combos yourself.

To make it a slightly longer ride then I suggest riding into a bit of the Tweed valley.

Go further south on the Pacific highway and turn off for Currumbin valley. Go over the range to almost Muwillumbah and then turn right to Numinbah valley. Follow this back to Chillingham cafe, or Natural Bridge cafe or the Numinbah cafe for a coffee depending on your timing.

Now some ideas for you are as follows: you can go either up Springbrook and into Mudgeeraba and get fuel and go home or you can continue along Hinze raceway (Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd) and ride up Beechmont Mt and down to Canungra for fuel and then home via Tamborine Village and Beenleigh or from Canungra ride back over Beaudesert-Nerang Rd and go up Tamborine via Henry Roberts Drive and over Mt Tamborine and down to Oxenford and home on M1 from Coomera or you continue along Nerang - Beaudesert rd to Clagiraba Rd and along it to return to northern end of Nerang Murwillumbah Rd where you can turn left to Nerang and home or turn right to ride back over the Hinze raceway and up and over Springbrook to get you back to Mudgeeraba and then rest and home on M1.

These are just a few ideas - you can ride all these roads in reverse order or mix your own combination either way.

I will post longer rides in this area elsewhere.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Great minds think alike ... :-)

It was raining heavy yesterday and last night but I woke early with the thourght that it would clear, then this morning it looked bad with little visibility but closer inspection showed just heavy fog blanketing the city and I just knew it would burn off and clear into a nice day.

So I got ready and decided to head down south the my favourite border ranges area and take a few photos if the air was clear after the rain. I get to the Gold Coast area and what do you know my mate has had the same idea and is allready riding north from Ballina area.

Well it would have been a bit hit and miss with both of us on the road to meet as you cannot hear a phone on a bike but as luck would have it we must have been meant to get a ride happening as we both were stopped and got each others messages at same time before riding off too far.

Had a top ride over Currumbin to Murwillumbah to meet up then up to Tyalgum, back to Uki via Chillingham and then we decided to go over Burrinbah via Stokers siding and on to Clunes via Mullumbimby and Federal. Late lunch and then back up h-way to make up some time and another run over Burrinbah and back over Currumbin - what a great day.

(click the photos to enlarge)

The air was so clear on Currumbin range you could see very far (above/below). Hard to keep eye on the road at times.

Started to loose the clear air allready by late morning but still able to get a better photo than normal of rim near Tyalgum.

Bit further south - this spot just above Byron Bay and the ride to there and on roads nearby is in my great bike roads list.

Wow what a show at the end of a GREAT days riding!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Week day ride.

Split yard
Mt G accent Northbrook parkway side
Police have organised a free BBQ and safety discussion with riders - free defect notice for anyone stupid enought to callin also included presumably - is anyone actually still riding Mt G on a Sunday?

Week day ride...
Theres something to be said for a weekday ride - with the forecast of rain sunday and a day off today Friday I decided to go out for a spin.

Newbies running wide - Supersport race boys testing their manhood - Police doing nasty harrassment of all on two wheels - all make Mt Glorious a place you dont want to go near on a Sunday - probably not even on a Saturday - so that made it a good choice for todays ride.

And wasnt it a nice change to ride up there without all the weekend bike and car traffic and to be able to simply enjoy the ride at my own pace no idiots trying to push me along and no utes with cameras slowing down to 20kph :-) I encountered just one car going west with me and one on the return and both were easy to move past safely.

I went on to Split yard and Fernvale and then back over Mt G and down the Samford Valley side and back up it and on home over Nebo again. I live a mere 10 minutes ride away from the start on the The Gap side of this mountain but rarely ride Nebo or Mt Glorious - its a great bit or road but somehow doesnt have the enjoyment of the rides on the northern or southern bike roads for reasons I dont understand yet.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Great motorcycle roads # 23

Revised Feb 2008
From Esk follow the sign to Crows Nest.

This road has alot of open easy flowing corners - something not so easy to find around Brisbane which has more tight mountain roads. There is a small section of tighter corners mid way up/down however even these flow easy on any sort of motorbike.

I really like this road, for the simple fact that its a nice change with some great scenic spots.

The Gus Beutel Lookout is at Ravensbourne. This is a must see, a huge panorama unfolds before you.

I also recommended visiting Lake Perseverance nearby.