Saturday, September 24, 2011

In the groove

Seems every week recently is mostly fine except Sunday which is forecast chance of rain or occasional showers. So I shifted gear and went for a Saturday ride.

Wasn’t the best of weeks for me so a good ride was needed. I decided to do the tried and proven loop to Kyogle riding down via Mt Lindsey and the Summerland Way and returning via UKi and Currumbin valley. There are two perfect radius corners near the Mt Lindsey border crossing that brought a smile to my face this morning. The sort of corners where instead of ending as they might normally they extend on to give you the extra hang time defying gravity. On the Summerland I could enjoy some trees with their new spring foliage and these two roads just really work for me.

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I had a very good run for nearly the whole ride and this was mostly due to the timing as I woke up early and could not get back to sleep so was riding through the suburbs before any traffic and was at Kyogle by 9.30 even with stops.

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There is something to be said for getting out very early but of course the negative is fatigue. I took a long break at the Tweed valley art gallery café Murwillumbah for a very early lunch and could feel myself just wanting to stay put.

P9240055Vegie burger!

The best thing about the CB1100 besides it’s looks is the way it is still enjoyable to ride at less pace so I could ride back relaxed but not be bothered. Some naked bikes don’t feel happy unless you are going a bit quicker and of course real sports bikes always want to be ridden faster. While at times I want to play I also just like to wander along and think about stuff and enjoy the surrounds. It’s not for everyone but I enjoy having less focus on covering ground and more on being in the groove with the flow of the road.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Scattered showers

That was the forecast and when I woke to blue sky I thought they had predicted the worst case as usual.

This time however it was true and by 8.30 refueling at Mudgerraba you could see the rain blowing in from the sea to the south. When my friend from Ballina way arrived he had ridden through some of those scattered showers and so I decided to ride up Springbrook and try Numinbah Valley.

They continue to resurface Springbrook and it is a really a very good ride. From Pine creek road I could see the rain in Numinbah valley and so a switch to Beechmont was made. Two uniforms in a white unmarked Commodore with dark tint working Hinze raceway. They barely looked at us and continued to patiently await some crouch rockets. I always play it safe on that road which is the Mt Glorious of the south.

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Had a nice ride on Mt Beechmont and decided the rain had swept in so the coast should now be dry. We swung through Gilston and onto the M1 south and then up Tallebugera valley and over Currumbin valley to Murwilumbah which had all dried. Threw out the Tweed valley ride I had in mind and decided to visit Burringbah range and refuel at Burrinbah servo then revisit Burrinbah range and ride to Uki via Stokers Siding.

On the way some twit in a Mercedes sports car spat the dummy when my mate passed him and so set off trying to keep up and then upon failing made it clear he was not letting me pass by driving in the middle of the road and swerving across to other lane if I moved to pass. Once upon a time I would have cared, now I just yawn and position myself well away so when these idiots crash (and they will) it does not involve me.

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My usual lunch at the Uki pub has gone up a few dollars, inflation is running wild in this country.

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Rode back via Numinbah valley and stopped for some photos.

The pale straw grass was illuminated by the afternoon sun like it was ready to set itself alight. I am back using a compact camera again. Yes I seem to have changed cameras a lot of late, thankfully eBay lets you sell things easy. Today is all from a Olympus XZ1 which is brilliant little compact camera with a bright lens and sharp sensor than allows subject isolation I am using it with the VF2 electronic viewfinder. The whole interchangeable lens thing just didn’t work for me nor does spending hours working in that Adobe Lightroom software. I just prefer to capture what my mind is imagining on the spot or not at all. So from now on its back to straight from the camera with only some cropping to frame correctly.

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The muffler system now sounds near perfect but the chrome plating is really starting to discolour bronze and I hope this stops soon. I am very happy with the Firstgear jacket and must do a more detailed report on it some time. The BMW pants I am wearing are not holding up so well and look very aged and have shrunk considerably more than any garment should in the legs meaning they now ride up too much. Disappointing given their brand name and price tag. I am back using the Nolan N43 helmet again. I was getting pressure points with it and some focus issues with dual visors but a thorough clean has helped with the vision and I tried using my buff as a head scarf and you know that really does give so much extra comfort!

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About 9 or 10 weeks until riding New Zealand south island but I am already hard at work most nights planning next years big tour to North America!

Hope you also managed to stay dry riding today. Regards, IC.