Sunday, September 14, 2008

Northern Adventure - Ride report

Beautiful day today. I woke up about 7.00 and had a long breakfast and was not sure if I would go anywhere. My southern state ride partner was adamant the weather was going to turn to shite however here it was warm with a clear blue Spring sky outside so I grabbed my gear and headed north.

I think everyone else must have had the same idea - there were literally 100's of motorbikes out. It was actually too much a couple of times. It's nice to see other motorcycles - up to a point. When the roads are clogged thick with large very slow moving groups or (at the other end of the scale) when you have too many wannabe racers riding very aggressively then I would prefer to be off elsewhere.

Anyway after I cleared the log jam of bikes at Woodford I had a reasonable run to Maleny, I stopped once to let a slow convoy of cruisers and noobs move ahead a bit rather than have to ride too aggressively to get past them all. I have no qualms about passing slower vehicles however I have seen a far too many near misses recently caused by aggressive moves by impatient riders when passing. Twice this morning I witnessed near misses when riders arriving at the back of a slow car with other bikes already cued to pass jump the queue to pass it at the first clear bit of road when of course the bikes in front of them also pull out to pass.

An bloke on a Ducati came close to taking out a girl in front of me on Mt Mee this afternoon and similar antics this morning by guys who roared off at light speed just to pull over a few K's later at Dayboro. Each time there existed more than one section where they could have passed quickly less than a minute further on and these blokes probably only ride the same northern roads over and over so they would have been well aware of same.

I rode into Maleny for a coffee however it was packed to overflowing so I rode straight on to Kenilworth and stopped at the Bluebird Creek cafe south of town for a cup instead. I don't know why but I have never been there before. I guess I only ride the north every now and again for reasons I have already covered and had not noticed it before. There are a number of new (to me) road signs that caught my eye and directed me into it or I may have passed it by yet again. Nice place, lots of motorcycle items, friendly folk inside and bikes park on their front lawn - doesn't get much more welcoming than that!

I was tempted to have a slice of cake at Bluebird however I wanted to revisit a favorite place of mine for lunch, the Graze cafe in Mooloolah so I went on to Mapelton via Obi Obi. The twistys south of Kenilworth and then this road are perhaps the two best bits of a ride north of Brisbane for me. Refuel at Mapelton and then via the excellent Dulong section to Mooloolah for a leisurely huge lunch.

After lunch I took a series of roads south that I have written about before however deserve their own post as the ride from Palmwoods to Landsborough is a hoot if you know which route to take. For now look at today's route map and I will post more later on this. After Landsborough I decided not to bother with the overrated Killcoy-Beerwah Road to Peachester - its fun sure but so very short with way too may cars. So I rode the Peachester-Bald Knob road instead which was great and then made my way back to Mt Mee and refueled at Dayboro before continuing for home.

For me the divide between choosing to ride north or south continues to grow. I only saw one speed trap for the day (camera south of Maleny) which is an improvement on usual I encounter around Mt Mee. Besides that and the amount of traffic I still feel there is comparatively a much smaller amount of actual good riding road north of Brisbane. It might be a bit closer and doesnt have a 45 minute freeway ride to begin or end but there is plenty of boring or rough road to cover in between the few (mostly) short good bits.

On the other hand going south once I cover that freeway section then it's all good roads for as little or as long as I want to ride and I can mix and match as I please with no need to recover the same road twice. I find when I leave Peachester area and am reriding the same roads back to home the day really starts to drag. From the south on the other hand I find its relativelty easy after a refuel and rest to do the 45 minutes freeway stint because there is no start stop and your travelling at a steady fast pace all the way.

Today's route

Good Motorcycle rides #41 - Campbells Pocket

Been awhile since I posted any new roads around Brisbane however I do have a few new places to suggest riding and some others I have mentioned in passing on my ride reports and will update further.

To start though here is a little back road that can be fun.

Campbells Pocket lies between Mt Mee and Wamuran. The road to ride is of the same name - Campbells Pocket Road and it while quite narrow in a few parts it has a bit of everything to offer. Some sweepers followed by a steep initial ascent and then a mix of some very tight corners and some open dairy fields with a few roller coaster sweepers before a bit more tight closed in road.

It's a back road, bumpy in parts and not the best surveying however it is something different to ride one day - and thats always welcome I think.

View Route

Japan Motorcycle ride post archive

Japan Motorcycle post archive

(Update 2014 - most everything in here is out of date being 6 years old and my first ride in Japan. There is now an excellent rental service available (albeit expensive) and english GPS maps as well. Try some of my newer posts for more information) 

I am going to make a sticky link of this post in the archive so people can find the Japan ride reports easy on one page.

Japan Ride Report

Pre Ride post 3

Pre Ride post 2

Pre Ride post 1

In other news I have altered a few things on the main page to hopefully make it present a little better and quicker although that is difficult due to all the photos. Anyhow the removal of a few items has made a small difference. Cheers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Winters over - Spring ride report

So much for winter - 2 months and we are back to warm days.

I ordered a winter riders jersey from the UK but I will have to wait 12 months to test it if Sunday is anything to go by, beautiful warm spring day. I had to go for a ride.

I headed off south with no firm plan other that to look about more in the area around Mullumbimby. I started by riding up Mt Springbrook then through the Numinbah valley where it was a bit cloudy before turning towards Tyalgum as the sun returned for a clear view of the volcano rim.

Tyalgum pub, there will be ALOT of Buells here for the annual ride this year.

I decided on a whim to see how bad the unsealed section of the road from Tyalgum to Uki was. Actually its quite poor surface in places so despite being no more than 8km of gravel I would not recommend it to inexperienced riders. Pity as it is very scenic and the sealed surface either side is alot of fun.

Southern side of Tyalgum presents this odd shape in the rim

A small gorge lies on the eastern side of the road to Uki

I went first south then I cut across east. I was going to ride via Nimbin however the road on the western side is under much needed repair so I went a little further south on the road to Kyogle then took the nice curvy Stoney Shute road to bring me out just east of the town itself. The road then from here into Lismore is in excellent condition with many new sections with lots of nice sweepers.

Interesting rocks near Nimbin

It was almost lunch time so I zig zagged north east to the Clunes cafe - which I will again recommend for lunch if in the area - quality food and coffee reasonably priced.
After this rest I continued north to Mullumbimby via Federal and on to Billinudel on a few secret local riding roads. I have not yet been able to capture the feel of the area in photos. The rolling hills that flow up from Byron bay with row upon row of deep green macadamia nut trees is quite a special area.

Nice little road this one - take a look if passing

Finally I finished up with a late afternoon coffee and rest Murwillumbah before heading home via the always enjoyable Currumbin range. About 500km all told, quite a big day out but most rewarding. I think south of Murwillumbah thir ride might flow better in the opposite direction of travel - but variety is the spice of life.

Full route can be seen here.