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.
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)
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.
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...
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.