Monday, February 25, 2008

Currumbin Rock Pool

I went for a short ride to Murwillumbah on Sunday via the Currumbin valley. My route included Tumbulgum, Nunderi and over to the coast for a change to take a look at what recent development has occurred in Cabarita, Hasting Point and Pottsville.

After this I returned to Mooball and dropped in to the village of Burrinbar then over the range of the same name, and noticed one of the fixed speed cameras has been removed, then via Stokers Siding to the Tweed valley art gallery cafe for an early lunch.

Waterfall on the Currumbin Rock Pool road

On the way back I was in the mood to explore some side roads off the Currumbin range road, and after waving past me a number of sports bikes I made a nice find in the way of Bains Road which runs between the mountain road to the valley below (rather steep) to connect with the Currumbin rock pool road - which of course is a nice ride.

You still need to re trace your steps on the rock pool road as it doesnt connect far enough to the south however this does offer an opportunity to vary things depending on the traffic or just for a change.

Bains road
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Bucketts and backroads

Bucketts way and Dungog, NSW

After or before the Thunderbolts way, depending on your direction of travel, is Bucketts way.
To me the section between Gloucester and Nabiac is great, the other section of road called the Bucketts way lies south to Raymond Terrace and is bumpy in a few parts but is in the process of being resealed as is the Thunderbolts way north.

Nabiac to Gloucester.

So first heading towards the Pacific highway the Buckkets way is a very enjoyable ride. Sweeping roller coaster of a ride in parts with plenty of smooth corners and overall a good surface makes for a fun spirited ride. There is a lookout east of Gloucester well worth a stop and a few excellent bits as you proceed toward the sea.

Stroud Road to Lorn.

Now between Goucester and Maitland via the Bucketts starts off well enough however it can be a bit boring in the southern parts which is also where the road surface is average and the number of cars starts to build. Here is great alternative.

From the village of Stroud Road turn off and ride a route that has many historic towns, first is Dungog then on to Paterson and finally arrive at Lorn on the outskirts of Maitland. This road offers some excellent corners and interesting sights. It would seem to have been the main road through the district at one stage perhaps following the railway which is now gone? - not certain on that however the road shows in some places that it once was much more noble and if anyone knows more then please do tell.

If you take a slightly different route you can wind up in Clarence Town, which while not a bad ride does not have as many curves along the way. In any case this is a more interesting way to get between the Thunderbolts way and the Putty road.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Big Western Loop

Ride report - Big Western Loop.

A fine and mild summer's day after all the rain made for a perfect Sunday to go for a ride.

I had been wanting to explore some roads west from Boonah, on the way there I turned off to the township of RoadVale and then to Kalbar to enjoy some magnificent morning views of what is referred to as the Scenic Rim.

Click to enlarge

After this I tried to ride around the back of Lake Moogerah, however the roads that Google map makes to look as being sealed are in fact gravel so I back tracked and took another side road to Aratula which was my first rest and fuel stop. The bakery/cafe at Aratula was a nice find, Di Bella coffee and nice items at half city prices.

Click to view full size

After this my next exploration was the Rosewood-Aratula road. Here I found one of the most spectacular views I have enjoyed as the road takes you ride right up to the base of the mountain rim.

After this I though the road was going to end, it suddenly becomes dirt, then you are fording streams before it returns to a wide sealed road after a few km. This is maybe the 5th time I have ridden dirt on the MV and it handles it rather well. You most certainly don't need an adventure bike to ride unsealed roads.

Next I tried to go from Laidley to the Gatton Clifton Rd via Mt Berryman and got lost. The roads in Google map just don't seem to be there in real life (not the first time that has happened) I really could have done with a GPS today - I spent alot of time pulled over looking at print outs from google that just didn't work in real life so I backtracked to Gatton for lunch.

Then I tried one more road combo - and got lucky. From Ma Ma creek I rode over to Flagstone creek and up to Toowoomba via upper Flagstone. This was a nice ride and I shall re-ride it and perhaps add a bit more to it as not enough as it is and then post it up to the good roads list. I saw many motorbikes on this road today which suggests this is a popular road with locals however by itself its not really note worthy compared to the roads in the hinterland north or south.

Quick visit to the Picnic Point lookout and Coffee at the aptly named Coffee House which is worth revisiting then I decided to return via Hampton and the excellent road from there to Esk (posted here and which I need to update I think)

Click to enlarge

Last point of note I stopped at Gus Beutels lookout at Ravensbourne on the way down to Esk which is an amazing panorama. I wanted to visit Lake Perseverance also as recommended by Jumi, a reader of this blog, however by now it was getting on and I still had a long way to ride so I elected to return to there another day.

So on to Fernvale for third refuel, about 500km today in total, home via Mt Glorious by now late Sunday arvo (which is only time on a weekend I will dare go near the place) to wrap up what turned out to be a hugely enjoyable day out riding.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Australia's best motorcycle roads. Clyde Mountain.

Clyde Mountain - Kings Highway.
Batemans Bay to Braidwood. NSW.

What a fantastic land we live in for riding motorcycles. Warm most of the time with a series of mountains from Nambour to Melbourne near to the coast that we have build roads up and over.

This road is a real gem, very smooth and easy to ride. Superb surveying with lots of flowing corners, the ride to the base of the mountain is every bit as good as the climb if you don't get caught behind traffic. I was there week day so did not encounter the highway patrols that are said to love this road however I did strike heaps of cars and trucks which made my license safe anyway. I presume weekends would see it quite busy with people heading to or from the coast and Canberra.

Interesting roadside shrine can be found on a corner called Pooh's
One of a couple of switch back corners that will test clearances on a few bikes
The climb is very very steep yet with wide smooth corners, you will want to turn around and ride it again as it is a special piece of tar indeed and I cannot think of anything exactly quite the same as it.


Keep going on the Kings Highway and you end up in the nations capital, which is an interesting and beautiful city but slightly confusing to ride/drive in.