Up at 5am, way too early for the 7.30am start but I’m not used to starting my day that late. So I watched some news on TV, drank some coffee, ate biscuits, sultanas and muesli bars while packing the bike making sure everything was securely fastened. The checkout back at the Bellevue hotel was busy, a KLR refused to start and GPS’s with today’s route loaded were handed back to their owners.
I understand there is usually a standard route and a specials route that includes some more difficult sections. Today the specials route was loaded on everyone’s GPS and instructions were given on how to avoid a deep sand special coming up a short distance from the start. Shane, Steve, Pete and I decided to avoid that heading north from Tuncurry and turning on to Tip Road. We rode past where the difficult sand section punched out onto the route and soon after found ourselves on quite enough sand for one day on a two track sand road meandering through bushland.
We all got through it fine, no moments for me and no putting the feet down to stop falling off. Phew! At the end though we stopped for a breather.
Back on tar for a while we found ourselves back on the Lakes Way with a quick left then a right onto Rochester Road. Well three of the four of us turned right, one of us sailed off down the freeway missing the turn on the route. You know who you are :-). So we waited for a while and back together we made our way to Swedes Camp Road and Blackbutts Road. The terrain was more technical than yesterday, rocky, steep and winding. Here we re taking in the view.
And here’s the view
By the time I got on Breakneck Road though I was wondering if it was prophetic.
We left the bush just south of Purfleet and dropped in to Fine Line Motorcycles to say g’day to Annette and catch our breath. The day was warming up. We rode through Taree on to Wingham Road and turned right on Cedar Party Road. Then we were back in the bush on a nice gravel road and a fantastic ride through the Yarratt State Forest. We ended up on Yarratt Road and took a few turns that got us to Landsdowne and into the Landsdowne Forest on Coopernook Forest Way. Some nice spots on the way.
I was starting to feel very comfortable on the big Super Tenere but knew there were a few skill related things I needed to iron out, mostly concerned with lines and turning right but in this section I had time to think about what I might be doing wrong and try things to address them. From Coopernook Forest Way we took Big Nellie Road, Slaters Road, Koppin Yarrat Road and then Lorne Road to our lunch and fuel stop at Comboyne. On the way there was a small congregation at a lookout
with another spectacular view
At Comboyne one of the riders on a Tiger had a stand roll off incident at the bowser. No damage and it was uprighted quickly. It’s funny when something like this happens half the people around rush for help, the other half rush for their cameras. I did not take this photo. Tough bikes the Triumphs.
We’d noted some big, black rain clouds heading our way while having lunch so we didn’t mess about too much and continued through Comboyne on Comboyne Road, turned right on Colling Road and back into the dirt to Elands. There was an impressive sculpture up there somewhere
From there along Padmans Road into the Bulga Forest. It was beautiful in there and the riding became more technical again. Narrower and steeper in parts, rocky bits, wet bits, it was awesome. There was even some really dark rainforest areas
During this section I also sorted out the weight distribution issue I’d been having with right turns and it was almost a revelation in terms of my added enjoyment of this off road caper.
We regrouped and stopped briefly at Dingo Tops for a quick group photo “sans moi”
and Shane kindly took my best side at the camping area at Dingo Tops.
before taking Rust Forest Road and Potorroo Forest Rd back down the mountains. I was really having a good time now, even on the slippery bits that arose from some showers that were around and a slippery causeway as well. We were separated from Shane and Pete at this stage but the rain had come so we decided to push on and perhaps wait somewhere less wet for them to catch up.
We rode out of the forest then on to Wherrol Flat where we came across a car on its roof surrounded by teenagers. A quick enquiry revealed they were all OK and didn’t require assistance. We took the Nowendoc Road north and waited in a light shower at Tiri Road for a while with no sign of Shane and Pete. I rang Shane, he was directionally challenged along with five or so other riders and they decided to ride by road to Gloucester. Steve and I pushed on on Callaghans Creek Road through Bundook and then Bakers Creek Road. This part of the ride was very pretty and delivered up two very, very slippery causeways that kept me very busy on the Super Tenere while crossing them.
Bakers Creek Road joined the Bucketts Way and I was back in familiar territory for the rest of the trip to the Roundabout Inn at Gloucester for the debrief, briefing, GPS loading, eating and drinking session that followed. Today was hard work on the Super Tenere, we only rode about 300kms but most of it was up and down with tight corners and I spent most of the day on my feet. Sleep came easily and deeply when it was time despite the band and locals having fun at the pub.