Sunday, August 23, 2009

1st ride of summer

Wiangaree Spring, Summerland way.

I sat about wondering what to wear this morning. It was a cold winters day my last ride just a couple of weeks ago so I figured it would be still a little too cool to go with my summer jacket and gloves despite the warm forecast. And as is the case each year I ended up overdressed on the first ride of Summer.

That's the sub tropics for you, Spring lasts all of two/three weeks then bam! Summer arrives. It was however still a little cool first thing this morning. I actually left an hour later so the sun could get to work otherwise would have needed a 2nd layer or risk getting a chill on your back - not a good idea at the moment with the swine flu going about. As it was turned out to be 30 degrees!

Just over the border from Numinbah Valley

Did the M1 boogie to Mudgeeraba and then decided to ride to Kyogle via Springbrook, Numinbah Valley, Murwillumbah, Uki. Mountains were a bit hazy although it doesn't show in this photo. Turned out to be a lot of burning off around Nimbin and later on I see why as some bush fires heading towards Mt Lindsey (and QLD side already been on fire)

Nimbin Rocks, Stoney Creek Rd.

The road from Uki is in poor condition still from the floods some time ago however it has had some new sections recently added which whilst better surface are less twisty. I decided to check the road into Nimbin which was under repair last time. It has had some rain damage but is not too bad. I didn't stop in Nimbin for fear of getting swamped by drug dealers and returned to the Kyogle road via Stoney creek road - which is a good fun bit of tar.

Above: Stoney Crk Rd
Below: Kyogle Road

Kyogle road sweepers - Mmmm

After refueling I made a spur of the moment decision not to return to Uki pub for lunch and rather ride up the Summerland way to see if it was less humid more inland - which it was. I stopped at Grevillia for lunch and was very pleased I finally got around to trying the cafe/servo/general store which I had heard was good. Simple but nice food, friendly service, Merlo coffee, a shady outdoor area with cooling breezes or a comfy indoor lounge with big screen TV. You would never know any of it existed from the road and they have premium fuel so next time you ride Mt Lindsey why not pop down the summerland way to Grevillia and enjoy the nice sweepers on the way.

Summerland Way

Speaking of Mt Lindsey, there were heaps of bikes out there this afternoon. I was stopped at Rathdowney for a RBT, I don't think the local copper will find any riders over the limit and might be better checking the local farmers leaving the pub, but anyway if that's the only thing I am stopped for then it's all good.

Mt Lindsey

If you would like to see a easy way to skip Murwillumbah when riding south zoom in to see the way I take.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Something different - ride report.

That's what a friend said when I asked where to ride today - something different. So I suggested we meet at Woodenbong and ride to Queen Mary Falls from the south.

Mt Barney

What happens when only communicating via online things easy get muddled and it ended up I was riding by myself today. I actually like riding solo these days as the ride happens at my pace however I was undecided where to go at first. I took my time over a coffee at Tamrookum roadhouse and was kindly asked if I would like to join a group of Ducati riders on their way to Kyogle. I considered riding down the Summerland way, it is a seriously good road however I wanted to do some photography so bid the Dukes farewell saying I might see them along the way.

Mt Lindsey and some of the best riding to be had - forget the crappy Lions Rd.

I went exploring some side roads on Mt Lindsey to try and find a good vantage point. More so for the slightly elusive Mt Barney than Mt Lindsey which is easy to photograph.

Tooloom Falls

After this I decided to skip going to Kyogle and return to my original plan so I rode on to Urbenville via Woodenbong. I stopped at the Tooloom falls for a look see. Be warned if you go there the unsealed entry road surface is very loose. It's not overly difficult to ride just the bike will feel like it is on marbles which people without dirt bike experience may find uncomfortable.

Tooloom Lookout. Northern NSW granite belt in the distance.

Riding on over Tooloom range the road surface is poor in many parts and bumpy so you really need to scan the road constantly to try find the line with less bumps and potholes. At Legume I decided to splash $5 of non premium fuel in the tank just in case my maths was a bit out on the distance from there to the next fuel.

Legume. One shop town.

There are 3 other waterfalls besides Queen Mary falls that I know of close by. Two of them are located on the southern side on the climb up to where the falls cafe is. I stopped but the photo's I took were rubbish so I won't post any for now and will return another time as well as visit nearby Killarney when next out there as well.

Classic albeit short climb southern side of falls.

Food at the falls cafe is ok, more or less your basic takeaway fare but the location and cozy atmosphere make it a reasonable stop. I must go to the cafe at Carrs Lookout next time - I forgot about it today, it looks nice and has superb views.

Frost has hit hard, normally emerald green high pastures

I decided to ride the back way into Moogerah dam and cut across to Aratula for a Di-bella coffee at the bakery. The road I took was unsealed but smoother than some of the tar from Woodenbong to Legume and I could easy maintain a good pace and take in some excellent views of the Scenic Rim to the west.

The Scenic rim - its well ... scenic!

Not so fortunate at the bakery - here is my coffee update for this ride. Aratula bakery used to serve a good coffee however today I was presented a cheap bright green over sized cup with espresso I could hardly taste for all the milk.

Oh well, apart from that the day was great. My winter clothing layer combo once again proved itself effective however I felt the cold a bit on my lower legs due to short/thin socks I was wearing to fit better into those new boots. I have a fine pair of long/thick special winter socks which I purchased especially for riding on days like today and I think I might be forced to put the new boots aside.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

New Zealand motorcycle atlas

I just ordered a copy of the above. I am off to New Zealand next month.

Circumstances mean it will just a be week fly/drive holiday on the south island. At this time of year I would not be at all comfortable on a motorcycle over there however it will serve as a good introductory trip for a future motorcycle tour.

I have long wanted to tour New Zealand (by motorcycle of course) but like Tasmania it seems to have a limited season of good weather for riding. So for a person like me who wants to avoid rain or cold as much as possible it has been easier to put both in the hard basket and let the time slip by.

I am certain this small time out there will be the trigger for me to return on two wheels. I shall of course take time out to photo some of the famous roads this trip even if on 4 wheels.