Monday, December 31, 2007
To the Snowy Mountains via Mt Panorama.
It was difficult to decide if I should post this as a 'best ride' or not try string things together for people wanting to visit Bathurst. Most motorcyclists I have met want to visit and ride the famous Mt Panorama either on the way to or from the GP or Superbikes so here is my take on how to see it and tie together riding Putty, the Bells line of Road and get to the Snowy Mtns region via the west and have a good ride.
First up as mentioned in the top 100 rides atlas there is that side road from near Lithgow to just before Bathurst via Tarana. Its a bit difficult to find on either end and I missed it last time coming over the Bells line of roads as you need to backtrack towards Katoomba. On this road there is a section of twistys and mixed road surface, not a bad ride and I enjoyed it coming from Bathurst previously as a break from the highway. Heading south I didn't mind the ride into Bathurst so much after the Bells road so guess you can make your own call if you ride this or not depending on if you need a highway break or not. Its a bit hard to locate riding east of Bathurst, you turn right onto the road to Oberon that has a motorbike shop on it, if you come to the BCF shop then you have gone too far.
For Mt Panorama you follow the signs to get to the race track which sounds easy but there are so many signs that sometimes you might end up going the wrong way. The track is a public road so I guess it does qualify as a good motorcycle road however its a rather special case. You will like I be amazed at how steep and how high it is and how tight the corners are. Terrific views from the top and its kind of addictive so you may end up doing a few laps.
After Bathurst the Mid Western H-way has a nice feel to it and you will shortly arrive at Blayney where there is a small windfarm. Worth a quick look, then onto Cowra where you can visit their famous Japanese gardens. Need to allow alot of time if going to the gardens as they are huge and like nothing else in Australia.
Heading south from Cowra take the Lachlan Valley h-way not the rough Olympic h-way. The Lachlan has heaps of near new surface and you can enjoy a little extra pace on its smooth tar and gentle sweepers should you desire. Its big skys here and the country really opens up before you in a rather spectacular fashion. At Booroowa head over to historical Harden, the roads here are of lesser quality but a reasonably smooth line is not too hard to find and again its interesting country side or you can scoot over quite quickly should you want to.
Now go towards Beggan Beggan and enjoy a real surprise, lots of great sweepers over a series of gentle hills before you join the boring as hell Hume h-way for the short run to Gundagai. Watch your speed as this section is very heavy policed. Now exit again and follow signs to ride to Tumut on an easy flowing piece of road that offers some curves and scenic views.
From Tumut the excellent Snowy Mountains highway awaits.