Bush to Beach To Bush – the 3 day RideADV Triple B Ride is over for me and what fun it was. There was a pre-ride briefing held at the Australia Hotel in Cessnock that I rode my KTM1290 Super Adventure up to, stopping on the way at Chris Watson Motorcycles to take the new Honda Africa Twin for a test ride.
I arrived at the briefing location and chatted to other riders in the carpark before signing in and heading to the bar. The first person I saw there was Shane, owner of Fine Line Motorcycles in Taree and a fellow Iron Butt rider who was also riding the Triple B on his Super Tenere. I met Kat, Steve and others, ate some dinner. Tomorrow’s route was loaded onto my Montana 680T and after the briefing I rode home for the night. The fully packed and ready to go Super Tenere was waiting in the shed for the morning.
Day 1 Begins
Up at the usual time and out the door quick smart I rode back up the Hunter Expressway to the Australia Hotel where I teamed up with Shane and Steve for today’s ride. Here’s some of the signout area.
After signing out we were off and I was put in the lead. A bit daunting given I’d not followed a route like this on a GPS before and it only took 3 turns for me to get it wrong. I did get much better at it over the weekend though. We took some dirt along Old Maitland Road then back on tar out through Lorn, Bolwarra Heights, Seaham ending on Italia Road for a short stroll up the freeway taking the Karuah exit where we stopped for a coffee. Shane stood on a black snake in the carpark of the servo which was a bit of a shock. There had been a couple of stretches of gravel road in that section, nothing to complex. We picked up Pete on his GSA1200 who was having some GPS issues as a ride buddy leaving Steve on his DRZ400 was outclassed on the tar (don’t tell him I said that) but leaving us for dead in the dirt when he chose to. Here’s Steve.
From there we went under the freeway onto The Branch Line and hit some fun dirt roads that included Nugra Lane along which I caught up to a garbage truck that seemed to be having as much fun in the gravel as us. Right onto Booral Road the route wanted us to turn left around Jarrah Road but one of the route staff directed us to continue along Booral Road to Buledelah because of some hazards along the route that might have caused out large bikes some problems. We were happy to take that advice. At Buledelah we topped up with fuel and decided it was too early for lunch so we pushed on with Steve in the lead.
Back on the freeway for a moment and left into Wooton Way, I love the Wooten Bends and was about to take the lead when the route took a left turn into the bush onto the Koolonock Fire Road where the terrain started to get more technical. There was a creek crossing along here somewhere that Shane enjoyed immensely.
We stopped for a drink and a chat at the Hobbys Pull Road intersection and none other than Stephen Gall rode up on his Tenere 660, stopped for a quick chat and then rode off.
We wound down Hobbys on to Wang Waulk Forest Way then left onto Horses Creek Road eventually ending up back on Wang Waulk Forest Way, Bunyah Road, Wallanbah Road and Nabiac for lunch. It was hot so getting all the riding gear off and enjoying the aircon and food in the Greenhouse Cafe. Good food and coffee thumbs up. 30c surcharge for credit card sucks.
After lunch it was a short slab haul to Tuncurry where Shane took us on a small guided tour of the town and the lookout before heading back to the checkin at the Bellevue Hotel. After cleaning up at my motel room nearby it was back to the hotel for a debrief, GPS loading and a ride briefing for tomorrow’s leg. The bistro was busy so Shane, Steve, Pete and I walked down the road to the Fish and Chip shop for food cooked as fast as they could without compromising quality. Back to the Bellevue for a couple of quiet G&T’s before a very restful night’s sleep.
Just under 300k’s for the day it was reasonably straightforward but lots of fun. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.