Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Buell in Texas

I am back riding after a forced break - and to make up I did my biggest ever one day ride out - all the way to Texas.

I left Brisbane about 6.50am and despite being in full winter gear it was rather cold in the shadows all the way to Tamrookum where I stopped for a rest and refuel and coffee. The sun started to get some warmth into its rays by the time I left there which was just as well as I can't enjoy the ride when I am cold.

Mt Barney looms in the distance

The air was so clear over Mt Lindsey, I wanted to stop more then once to take photos as the area has the most stunning mountain backdrops to be found near Brisbane but with the size of today's ride in the back of my mind I kept going.

I said it recently but I will say it again - nearly all the Mt Lindsey range corners have been resurfaced in hotmix - what was already one of my favourite (local) bits of road is now my No.1.


I refueled at Urbenville as I couldn't recall what fuel was available ahead (fuel is available at Tabulam and I think also at Drake) The road south via Bonalbo is a mix of good and bad, both surface and surveying and signposting. If your not doing the Bruxner H-way then hard to recommend this road as its average.

Been a long time since I road the Bruxner Highway. There were an incredible number of bikes on the road today - I mean like 30 or so just whilst I rode over it and many more in Tenterfield and the surrounds. (I found out later some sort of club ride/meet)

The good part of the Bruxner starts after Drake (heading West) and the curves go for 20 km or so over a mountain range that cuts through the Girard Forest. Lots of smooth well surveyed corners, many with a nice radius, some sharp some sweeping - a corner to suit everyone I would think. There are a number of passing lanes also which can make for a double lane corner which always seems enjoyable even though I stay in my lane 100% when riding (and wish everyone else would do the same)

The Bruxner

Tenterfield is a historic town, not much open for a town of that size, the one cafe was packed and I sat waiting a long time only to watch others arriving after me be served and told 'we will get to you when we can'. So I left and rode north looking for anything else and found a terrific place by chance. I stopped at a hedge to turn about and notice a sign saying 'coffee parking' so rode down a side lane and found myself at the back of what is a English hedge maze. Wonderful hosts (fellow rider), great food and DiBella coffee in a near new stylish cafe - if your down that way its on the main road, north before you hit the town itself behind the hedge maze.

Old Tenterfield Railway Station (Line no longer operates)

The leaves fall with every breeze, Autumn is finished here.

Now I headed west to Texas. The road from Tenterfield is rather boring but empty so you could cover the ground quickish and there was fuel at Bonshaw (but none at Texas - update I missed seeing it but there is a Shell on western side of town) Texas itself is a small one street town - which is still more than I expected having been told once there was nothing there at all (many places marked on Australian maps in the countryside are localities only and have nothing when you arrive there) While I was walking about I was thinking I wished I knew there was a township at Texas many years ago when I too told someone there was nothing there - but I digress - that was another life...

Interesting building, Texas.

The road from Texas to Stanthorpe is a real cracker! What a surprise, its nearly all new tar, lots of dips and gentle curves and a nice twisty section over a mountain range to boot.

Back to Warwick and I was really staring to feel the effects of such a long haul, Stopped in Maca's for a afternoon coffee and cake and as usual they stuffed up my order, twice :-) The light was fading and I thought oh boy going to be a painful ride back if it goes dark early as I only had my tinted visor as usual (wish there was an easy way to carry clear visor with me) but my luck and the light held and I managed to get all the way back home just as it set. 5.15pm, 800km.

Route can be found here.

Days end.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

BMW City Pants

BMW City Pants.

I have purchased some new riding pants. My old draggin jeans no longer fit me and was looking for something better. For about the same money these pants from BMW have a special soft armor in the hip and knee that shapes itself somewhat and an inner comfort lining.

I was never really worried about the comfort of the kevlar lining in Draggins - not much that can be done about that however I can feel the difference of having a perforated soft inner liner in these BMW pants, really makes them more comfortable in summer.

They are also comfortable to wear off the bike. I found previously pants with armor to be uncomfortable however wearing these within 30 minutes I stopped noticing the knee and hip armor which seems to genuinely shape itself to your body to a certain extent.

I do have a problem with the pants riding up too much. The Alpinestars jeans when fitted with their armor do the same. Without the armor they really fail to meet the safety level I was aiming for so that is not an option. I will try and make the armor sit down lower perhaps I need to remove it and trim a small amount off and refit.

At this stage I am thinking these pants are good for 3 season riding but will be too hot for  Summer. The leg zippers open allow more air in the warmer part of the day and can be zipped down when cool.

The cargo style looks great compared to regular blue jeans and the extra pockets are handy for odds and ends.

Update, well I have been wearing these for some time now. They work well in summer and even into the cooler months but not winter. So my original idea they would be heavy in summer was wrong.

I find them to be excellent pants except they want to ride up my legs and they faded very fast and very badly. I purchased some black dye and used that to bring back some colour to them but they remain looking a bit shabby so I have made these my travel riding pants for rides in SE Asia and with the armour removed I actually wear these on the plane since I travel super light.

Very comfortable on and off the bike. I like them so much I purchased a pair of the City Pants 2 however the originals are still better.