Thursday, April 17, 2008

Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Centre

I recently came across an organisation in the the USA that has halved the number of motorcycle crashes in their state with a comprehensive approach to motorcycle safety, training, public education and licensing.

Here is sample of some of their campaigns.

Nice to see something not just about speed. Our politicians continue to skew data so they can ignore the facts that the majority of accidents are simply not speed related.
Our number 1 road killer has always been fatigue but there is no means to profit from that so it is still largely ignored. For motorcycles not being seen by cars is often the cause of accidents yet not enough attention is paid to this problem.

Get over there now and have a read, some good info on their site. I was especially interested in their current hi-vis campaign and how headlights turned on in daytime rated low for making you more visible.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tweed Valley Super Loop

I had a good day out riding today. First I completed what my mate calls 'A Big Loop' from Mudgeeraba. Its a top ride and I think its much better than that simple name suggests so I shall describe it in detail for you and include links to my posts on some of the roads.

Edit: added route map here as gets a bit complex if you don't know the area.

The Gold Coast & Tweed Valley super loop.

From Mudgeeraba first ride up Springbrook Mountain and turn right into Pine Creek road to descend to the valley floor on the other side. Turn left to Numinbah and ride through the stunning scenery of the Numinbah Valley/Natural arch region.

Cross the border to NSW and ride on the Chillingham. Watch out for crazy women in red Hyundai Accents that want to race motorcycles and drive in the middle of road to try block you from passing them (haha - silly people) Now turn right to Tyalgum but dont enter the town, simply turn left to ride on towards Murwillumbah on this nice flowing section of road.

Now when you arrive at the road that runs from Murwillumbah to Uki turn right then in about 400 mtrs turn left into Baker road (ie, immediately after crossing the Tweed river bridge) and follow this as it hugs the river bank and then turn right to Stokers Siding before the Tweed Gallery.

If your saddle sore then perhaps a coffee at the old station/cafe or ride on to the start of the Burringbah range. Turn right on to the Tweed valley way and ride over the superb Burringbah range. Another chance for a coffee at the old Burrinbah Servo/cafe (its the BP on the main road - very friendly folk run it, thats where I stopped for fuel and rest and coffee today)

Ok ready to go some more, now ride on to Mooball then turn left onto Pottsville road, this is a nice fast flowing bit of tar that rises and falls and offers a view of the ocean as you crest the last ridge. Now turn left onto Cugera creek road and recross over the highway and then right into Reserve creek road before you veer right onto Kanes road and cross over the highway again! Next turn left onto Round Mountain road and just before the highway turn right to run along the side on an unnamed service road to end up at the junction of Clothiers creek road.

Now you have turned left on Clothiers road and have again recrossed over the highway (all over head bridges) now ride over the excellent Farrants Hill at the top turn right into the actual Farrants Hill road and follow it as it twists down the mountain and turn right onto what google shows as Donalyn Court - however seems also to be called Environ road and cross back over the highway yet again. Now your at Duranbah and that is also the name this road now takes.

Follow it as it dips and turns and spits you out at Cudgen road which you turn left to then rejoin the Tweed Valley way (left again) for a brief spurt of speed before turning off (right) at the Tumbulgum exit. Cross over the Tweed river and turn right and right again to circle under the bridge to follow the river via Terranora Road which turns into Dulgulgan road. Follow this until you come to the junction that leads south to Murwillumbah or north to Currumbin.

Turn north (right) to ride over the excellent Currumbin range and through the Currumbin valley. Now you can make you way back to Mudgeeraba either via the highway or via the more enjoyable Tallebudgera connection road and Old Coach road to eventually return back where you started.

This route is corner after corner after corner with great scenery and low traffic. Its not the only way to take in these roads, you can mix and match the riding in this area 100 different ways and never go too wrong however this works well for 1/2 day ride and takes you away from the overly popular places as well.

The only problem I had was finding a good cafe back at Mudgeeraba. Good excuse to try vary this some more to stay on the southern side of the border for lunch where there is plenty of quality eats available.



After this did a spot of exploration and discovered a couple of interesting roads. At the start of Springbrook mountain is Austinville road. This road only services a few houses and farms yet it twists and turns its way following the course of the stream that you crossed just before turning off the Springbrook road. Doesn't really go anywhere however some very scenic mini gorges, rainforest and creek scenery that is much nicer than the popular Currumbin rock pool road.

Mt Nimmel

And lastly stumbled onto a real find. Following my mate who had a hunch on a road we came upon what is sort of a hidden mountain. Just before the actual climb up Springbrook Mountain is a road to Little Nerang Dam and next to this another, Mt Nimmel road that climbs steeply up the mountain that lies beside Springbrook, which I never knew existed. From the top are some magnificent views back to Surfers Paradise (click to see larger photo) Again a road that doesn't connect with anything, however enjoyable all the same.