Skidoooo was heading to Adelaide on Friday to pick up his new bike with a plan to ride it home on nice and easy on Saturday and Sunday. I asked him if he’d like some company for the trip home thinking that a nice ride to Adelaide would be nice. Mrs Wombattle doesn’t work Friday’s so the girls didn’t need me.
Allan (Hagar) had kindly offered us some accommodation so Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills was the destination, not quite 1610k’s but no-one said I had to ride straight there! I’d had a day off since I did my first SS1600K to Queensland so I was more than ready to go again.
I’d done a ride plan, Newy, Cobar, Hay, Ouyen… but the ride back with Karl covered a bunch of it and I wasn’t sure what to do. Then TigerBill made a suggestion assuming I could handle the boredom of the Hume Hwy. The plan was good and while I’m riding I’m never bored so I decided to take Bill’s advice. I decided to take the unusual step of running the ride without the jerry’s taking part (except if an emergency arose) so with the additional fuel purchases required I set a target OA of 94kph as my goal. A 3am departure would see me arrive in Mt Barker at 7.47pm local time.
STEN (super Tenere) was almost ready to go, all it needed was the panniers put back on and filled with the clothing I’d need. As I was getting ready to get out the door it started to rain. Fortunately it didn’t last long and after a 3am start at Hexham I was soon riding south towards Sydney, first stop Marulan for fuel. I decided on that leg I’d put an end to the myth that the Hume was boring by taking a few pics along the way. The first one was the big male sheep at Goulburn. This is the better view, around the back you only get a shot of it’s tackle.
Then before you get to Yass there’s the wind farm. I love wind farms, definitely not boring!
And no-one has ever accused the statue of the Dog on the Tucker Box as needing some livening up! I filled up with fuel nearby.
The of course there’s the strangely fascinating submarine moored in a park next to the pool at Holbrook
Heading further south I discovered that the fence around the Ettamogah Pub has been taken down and it’s has a fresh coat of paint. I don’t know what the story is but I was very sad when it closed a while back, it’s been a traditional pit stop for me for many years.
I crossed into Victoria in traffic but didn’t get a chance to grab a pic at the signs on the bridge and headed for my next fuel stop and the exciting Big Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.
Riding further south I applied my mind to what was next on the Hume and got nothing. Riding along at exactly 110kph looking at the disturbing TAC signs, listening to the truckies share the locations of those hiding and laying in wait to bin you for trivial excesses in speed or a single lapse in concentration I realised it wasn’t the Hume that was boring, just the bit south of Albury. Go on, I dare you :-). To be fair, except for the wind farm, if you didn’t turn off the Hume you wouldn’t see any of the stuff above. But I still wouldn’t have been bored. Back to the ride.
Around Seymour it was time to turn west on the Seymour-Toobarak Road then on to the Northern Highway towards Bendigo.
The term Highway is loosely used here, I was glad I was on the Tenere but while the road was very ordinary the scenery was enjoyable. I’d never been to Bendigo before, it’s now on my list to revisit, very old school and trams!
I took the Wimmera Hwy (again loosely used term) and stopped for fuel and a quick bite and took some layers off at St Arnaud. Nice little town that one.
By this time the OA was falling perilously and I wasn’t in the mood for pics, it was time to high tail it to South Australia. I punched out onto the Western Highway (which was one) near Dimboola and saw a pretty pink lake I should have taken a photo of. Next time. I was soon enough in South Australia heading to Bordertown for fuel. It’s probably just me but I get a chuckle out of them having a Bordertown on one side and a Border Village on the other side of the state. I can never work out if they lack originality, they didn’t communicate or just like taking the piss in SA.
With vastly improved roads and a proper 110kph highway speed limit I picked up some of the time I had lost and had a lovely ride through the Coorong area and into the beautiful Adelaide Hills.
I arrived in Mt Barker at 7.16pm local time and got a docket at 7:17pm bang on the ride plan. Allan, his wife and Karl were waiting with dinner ready and we had quite a nice evening. Thanks for your hospitality Allan, very much appreciated.
My OA was bang on 94 with an MA of 103. Stopped time for the trip (including a bit in the servo at the end ws 1hr 29m for the day, bang on my usual and a little surprising given I didn’t use the jerry’s which would historically would save me some time. Another great day out, my second SS1600k for 2015 and I’ve ticked off 4 states already this year.
Here’s the route.