Up at 2.30am this morning heading off to Bathurst via a slightly extended route with a mate, Hopalong, who recently adopted road riding after many years in the bush. He has a bright shiny new DL-650. Today was to be an adventure, 1000k's in 24 hours with a meeting of like minded riders at the top of Mt Panorama. We had to be there at 11.30am.
So at 3.30am we left the local servo and headed south down the F3, M2, M7 for the first fuel stop at Marulan about 320ks away with a coolish 3 degrees showing on the Super Tenere's thermometer. This leg contained 2 firsts for Hopalong, the longest single stint and also at this point the longest ride in one day he'd done. Only fitting it should have been done in the dark.
We left Marulan in the pre-dawn riding into fog with the setting moon directly in front of us and the rising sun behind. With the first rays of the sun the temperature dropped to zero and ice started to form on the Super Tenere's screen. I was very pleased I have the heated grips. It was eery riding towards the moon which would disappear into the fog and re-appear at different levels of intensity depending on the thickness of the fog at a point in time. Looking in the mirrors revealed the glow of the sun through the mist, it was a really good experience.
We ended up stopping at Macas at Yass to thaw out. It wasn't in the plan to stop, it was just bloody cold. Coffee'd up and warmed up out we went into the early morning sunshine towards Boorowa. It warmed up to 5 degrees as the sun rose higher, with frost visible and a light mist about. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the views riding through the area were just spectacular.
Our next stop was Cowra to fill the tank and empty things that needed emptying. We met up with a few other riders heading to Bathurst there as well and ended up tagging along with a couple as we rode through Canowindra, Blayney and on to the Mountain.
It was Hopalong's first visit to all the towns mentioned above and his first opportunity to experience the surprising bends and hills that make up the road/racetrack that has made Bathurst a mecca for racing enthusiasts. The checkin was accomplished on time and documented properly and 650 or so k's were done, only 350 to go, but that would be after lunch and some socialising.
Lunch done it was time to take Hopalong to some other places he hadn't been, so a quick loop out to Forbes, Parkes, Orange and back to Bathurst was in order. Around Orange the moon we'd enjoyed seeing set this morning was rising in front of us as the sun set behind. Always a great day when you are on your bike at both ends of the day. We arrived back in Bathurst about 6.30pm, cleaned up and went to the RSL to catch up with the fun and conversation that comes with a gathering of long distance riders.
So Hopalong nailed his first 1000k day, a great, fun ride for me but I did note that I've been to Cowra about 5 times in my life and three of them have been this month! Time to think about how we are going to get home tomorrow, there's three routes to pick from, only one of them boring.