Next morning dawned with fog and sun alternating. 

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Our descion to run back down Thunderbolts was fairly easy. 

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It was raining in Walcha when we arrived and fine when we left.

Thunderbolts was mostly dry. Layers had to be put on and removed as often as we changed gears. As we entered Gloucester the sun came out and the temperature jumped from 6.5 to 18 in minutes. 

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Daves daughter, Tahlia is at uni in Newcastle so we swung by there to say hi and have a coffee. It was a lovely afternoon when we left and picked up the freeway for the final run to Terry Hills.

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But as often happens there was a final kick in the teeth. Just outside Sydney the heavens opened again and the torrential rain caught us.  

The last run up Mona Val road provided some of the wettest city riding ever. 

Soaked. 

Lots of thanks to Lou, Mitch, Rohan and Anna for letting us stay. 

Dave heads home and I fly to NZ for the winter Festival.

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Bicoastal. Peter Allen

Our last together dawned wet. Lots of rain overnight conrirmed out good idea to stay indoors. 

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Dave and I packed up , said goodbye to Trev and rode down the hill.  

The others had mostly packed up.  

We said our goodbyes and set off to the south  

Turtle had not been to Noosa so we popped in for a look.  

Getting out was not so easy and we spent ages trying to find a way out to the freeway. 

100km later we cleared Brisney Land and went west to Ipswitch. Then it was south to Warwick, Tenterfield, Glen Innes and finally Armidale.  

The rain hit us between Ipswitch and Tenterfield. We got very wet and stopped for a coffee. 

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Along the way we found an oil slick which had trucks and cars waving at us to slow down.  

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We decided to roll on through Glenn Innes and arrived at Armidale around 4:30. 

This is the restuarant.  

This is the restuarant.  

A very wet 650 km. Tomorrow its the big smoke. 

Dirt. Alice in Chains.

From Beachmere we headed in towards Woodford and the run up to Maleny.  

We had rain on and off throughout the day.  

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Guy Martin joined us.  

Guy Martin joined us.  

Here we split up with the olds and Ant heading to Noosa and the rest of us going North To  Gympie.  

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The run east and south through Kin Kin was supposed to to bring gravel.

Dave and Corey found that gravel and another 30 km after a Gps failure.

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Dave, Bear and I continued without problem and found the caravan park empty.  

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A quick walk up the hill to the pub garnered thoughts of a roof and dry gear to pack the next  morning. Dave, Bear and Hugo, Trev and and i took adavantage of this. 

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Ant and Ron became very friendly.

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We spent the evening at the Appolonian. A great pub with very friendly operators.

Highly recommended.

Gloria. Laura Brannigan

Another run down the hill marked our last day at O rileys.  

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Its Coreys birthday but no-one cared so he bought himself a wig.  

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With all his friends.  

With all his friends.  

We left Canunga and rode north through Ipswitch towards Mt Glorious.  

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The road was wet and covered in leaves but fun none the less.

They last stretch up the freeway was a bit boring but we arrived at Beachmere ok.

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Luckily we lost Trev and Ron along the way but somehow they found us an hour later.  

Tonight we celebrated Coreys birthday at the pub by letting him come with us.  

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Our special  friend.  

Our special  friend.  

Day Tripper. The Beatles.

The rain cleared a bit as we departed Foxs. Thanks for everything!

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We crossed into Queensland not long after and the rain started to fall properly for the first time. Some nice quiet back roads led us up Mt Tamborine and into Canunga. 

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The road up to O Rileys is very narrow and is made up of lots 20-30 kmh corners.  

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After an hour we arrived at our lodge.  

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Very salubriuos. Spas filled and wine opened it was time to enjoy the views.

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Except for the fog.  

Next morning dawned a bit clearer and a few decided on a short ride. I had a ride with Dave in the mini for the day. Lots of bikes pulled into Canunga for a sunday lunch.

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As the showers came back we headed back up the hill.  

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That afternoon we had stroll amoung the treetops. 

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An evening of Le Mans and MotoGp finished another fat day.

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Blue Skies. Ella Fitzgerald

Finally a blue morning wirh no fog. We left Singleton and aimed for Glouster. Some great back roads led us onto Bucketts way and a nice warm ride. A quick breakfast stop, and back under way. The road needs some serious work but it was dry and we made good time into Walcha. We pulled in to wait for the others only to find they had arrived 1 minute early. 

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The run down the Oxley highway is brilliant. There was a fair bit of roadworks and the 200 km run took several hours.

Port Macquarie is nice and warm and after a great pasta dinner we are relaxing around the fire.

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Waiting on a sunny day. Bruce Springsteen

Another foggy day greeted us through the curtains. Checking the interweb showed it was 1 degreee outside.  

Tumut.  

Tumut.  

After a couple of hours we climbed up onto the plateau and into warmer weather. The Wee Jasper road was a bit muddy but not a problem.  

Wee Jasper

Wee Jasper

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We hit the highway near Yass and pulled over for a free cup of tea.

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From there it was into Crookwell and north to Oberon.

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Bells line of road was choked with traffic and we never got above 60 kmh.  

Turning onto Putty Road around 3:00 o'clock  

the traffic cleared but the 80kmh speed limit was frustrating. 

My fuel range had tumbled down to 80 km with 120 to go. We pushed on and as it got dark we hit half way along the road. 

It was an economy run into Singleton in the dark. We made it to a servo where my bike took 36 litres. A PB for me!  

Tonight we rest up after a 650 km day, tomorrow its Bucketts, the Oxley and into Port Macquarie.  

The others will head up the Oxley and meet us a Walcha.  

Fox on the run. The Sweet.

I awoke several times through the night but never because I was cold. 

Frosty

Frosty

At 7:30 I popped my head out to see what the morning had brought.  

Frost and overcast skies, and really quite fresh temperatures.  

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After waiting until 10:30 to dry things out we packed up and went into Mt Beauty for a coffee.  

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Heading north we were expecting things to warm up. Did not happen.  

For the majority of the day the temperature did not get above 6.5 degrees.  

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We passedLake Hume and picked up the Murray River road. A great bit of track.  

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Leaving Walwa we clumbed up onto the plateau and into some sun.  

Fox, cats and deer jumped out in front of our wheels which made for fun times.  

Tumbarumba and Batlow passed behind us as we debated our final destination for the day.  

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Tumut pulled us up. The warm sun and friendly pub turned off the keys.  

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No sleep till Brooklyn. Beastie Boys.

Ah the joys of shared cabin. Dave slept ok until 12:30 and then i was awoken by the sound of a shovel on concrete.  He remembers 4 but I think I yelled at least 6 times for him to roll over. 

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Before sleeping I watched a bit of tv on the ipad. When i removed my earbuds the fluted bit stuck in my ear. Half an hour later i dug it out. 

Melbourne had not awakened when we left the ferry and finding our way was not too difficult.  

Breakfast was at a bakery in Healsville and here we met 2 guys that we would follow all day. 

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A run over the Black Spur and around the bottom of Lake Eildon brought us into Mansfield. Very busy on this Saturday morning. 

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The run north and around the top back down to Bright is quite boring. Not so the run over the hils into Mt Beauty. A briliant ride. 

Tonight we are in Mt Beauty. Its cold and clear so there might be a frost tomorrow.  

 

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The Long Run. The Eagles

The trip north began well. I reluctantly left Jaks in bed with the flu. As it turned out Dave is feeling crook as well. A cold and possibly some dodgy food last night sees him not at his best. 

We left the tavern at 2ish, headed up through Mud Walls and picked up the highway at Jerico. Temperatures hovered around 9-10 deg so not too bad.  

First stop was at Perth and Daves misery continued.

Whoops.  

Whoops.  

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 Pride the only thing hurt, we had a coffee and continued west. We olled into Devonport as the sun set and times our run onto the boat perfectly as we did not have to line up.

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As usual this part if trip seemed to take forever.

As i type this at 18:44 Daves has gone to bed and i am having a beer.

I haven't looked at the forecast but Ithink its going  to be a smooth crossing this time.

We are not the only ones on the boat.  

We are not the only ones on the boat.  

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Preparation

Aside from planing a ride up through the coldest parts of Australia I also had to sort some new gear and bits for Dora. Any excuse for more toys.

Since this ride is going to be almost completely on the sealed stuff I have elected to pull of the new TKC 70s and fit a more road based tyre.

From this

From this


No sense in trashing them and there is a good chance that there will be a bit of rain about so more tar friendly one will be a bonus. I have got some new Pilot Road 4 Trails to fit. They are supposed to be great in the wet (plenty of that coming up) and good on the smooth stuff. We will see. The trip is going to be around 5-6 thousand km so it will be interesting to see how they wear.

To this

To this

I also purchased a Kreiga tool roll for a few bits and pieces. Im not going to take too much because the Beemer does not break down (tempting fate) and thats what the RACT are for if it all goes pear shaped.

Used all my tools that are GS 1200 related not the ones in the photo.

Used all my tools that are GS 1200 related not the ones in the photo.

My old Macpac Nevé sleeping has seen better days in its 25 years so I looked for a replacement. My Exped sleeping mat is great so I had a look at their sleeping bags.

The Exped Waterbloc 800 seems like the go. Warm enough for the snow that we are going see and also has a waterproof outer liner. Bonus.

The Route north.

This years trip takes us north to warmer climates. Muwillumbah in northern NSW to be exact. This means a long road trip for Dave and I to even get there. 

And its in June. Having had a look at the weather in some parts of New England we are going to need to rug up. Snow now has already fallen in Oberon.

Our planned route takes us from Hobart up to Devonport to catch the ferry. From Melbourne onwards I have tried to include every great motorcycle road on the way from Hema's top 200 rides book. 

Its full of great info and rides all over Oz.  

Its full of great info and rides all over Oz.

 

We will head up to Mansfield via Lake Eildon, and onto Bright or Mt Beauty for the night. Then north to the Murray River Road and overnighting in Goulburn or thereabouts. Day 3 will probably be spent heading to Bathurst to meet up with Mick who is trailering his bike there. From there its Putty Road or the back way around and Thunderbolts Way to Glouster. A run down the Oxley to meet up with the others in Port Macquarie will bring us out on the coast and hopefully warmer weather. A nice run up the coast to Murwillumbah is as far as I have planned.

The route as planned. Subject to many changes.

The route as planned. Subject to many changes.

All of this planning might and probably will go out the window as soon as we hit snow and ice in the Victorian High Country. Oh well.