Wednesday, 18 November 2009

On the Road Again - Healesville and Back

2 x 725km ride days, with a rest day in between.

Friday morning dawned gloomy and cool, and I had a sneaky feeling I might be underdressed for the trip through the Snowies to Healesville, for a weekend at Katt’s place. The forecast was for cloud, clearing – so I donned the leathers and hit the road at 6am.

I’d forgotten how boring the road from Canberra to Cooma is. And how dangerous. Two morons who tried to kill me got my heart rate up - actually, one of them made me cry, the bastard, he was so close! He suddenly popped out from between two enormous trucks, gunned his engine to overtake, then realised he was heading right for me and ducked back between the trucks just before I had to run myself off the road to try and avoid certain head-on death.

That’s the sort of thing that does wonders for my froot-loopness. Under-dressed and over-anxious, I very nearly turned around and went home at that point.

The lady who was energetically mopping the floor at Maccas in Cooma reckoned the cloud would lift, and looked at me as if I came from another planet when I said I was feeling the cold. (What she said, in fact, was “Suck it up, Princess!” and then looked a bit worried to see how the big tough bikie chick would respond. The big tough bikie chick laughed and felt herself strangely renewed by this comment.)

By Adaminaby there was a glimmer of sunshine, and flying through the high country around Kiandra I realised I felt so much better. The twisties through to Cabramurra and down to Tumut Ponds Dam were fantastic. The ‘new’ lowered seat on the SV is just brilliant. Hard to believe that with so much of the foam scalloped out it’s actually more comfortable than it was (not to mention the fact that I ‘fit’ into the bike better and can get more foot on the ground when I stop).

Morning tea in Corryong, Victoria, then it was across country on the fab sweepers of the Murray Valley Highway to Tallangatta. By that time my leathers had started sticking to me.

It didn’t get better as the day wore on. On the twisty bit of the Euroa-Merton Road I was held up by a 4WD pulling a horse float, followed by another 4WD – all of them doing 15kmh, while I sweltered inside my leathers. I felt a bit like one of those boil-in-the-bag dinners.

I unloaded the better part of a gallon of water inside my jacket at Alexandra and pressed on for the final 60-70kms to Healesville. The Black Spur, as usual, was fantastic, but I was sooo relieved to arrive at Katt’s and get those wretched leathers off! 10 hours on the road, and on the new seat I didn’t even have a numb bum!

Katt and I are planning a road-trip (more about that another time!) and on Saturday went into Melbourne (in the car!) to try on some BMW G 650 GS’s for size. Noice. Comfy ride position, but felt about as tall as the SV was before I got the seat hacked down. Hmmm, will have to think about that one.

I am so unaccustomed to sitting in a car for any length of time – my back and legs were soooo sore by the time we got back, and I had to get out for a walk and a much-needed stretch with Tash, Katt’s daughter, while Katt had a nanna nap.

Sunday 15 November was the 43rd anniversary of our arrival in Australia – and what a lovely way to spend it! I headed off at 7 o’clock into cool, moist, early-morning air. Lovely! I had the Black Spur all to myself. Tootling along through the tall trees and twisty corners I realised I absolutely don’t want to hoon through twisties at all – I’m far happier going at a sensible speed and enjoying the scenery. That was a bit of a revelation, coz I don’t mind a bit of speed, usually!

Had a nervous moment as I neared Alexandra, seeing as the last two times I’ve been heading home through there I’ve had an enforced extended stay because of bike mishaps! This time, though, I managed to ride through town without any disasters, and I just waved as I rode past.

I came home a different way – (see the map) but it ended up being pretty much the same distance, although it was an hour less. Just as well, because by 9.30am the air was unequivocally hot– and it just got hotter and hotter as the day went on. Snake season is well underway – I spotted a squashed brown snake, a black, and what I think was a dead copperhead on the road as well.

The bitumen had that hot dusty smell, and by Tumut it was starting to feel a bit unbearable. The hot air was so dry that it made my contact lenses stick to my eyeballs – very uncomfortable, and disconcerting as well. The gallons of water I’d poured inside my jacket had evaporated long ago, so I resoaked myself at the servo and put the AirHawk seat on, coz by that stage my bum had had enough as well. I plodded on to home sweet home, where all I wanted was an icy cold cider and a cool shower, and arrived around 4pm.

And look what I came home to!

My clematis - doing so much better than it did last year!

1 comment:

lemmiwinks said...

"Suck it up, Princess" eh? Classic! Glad you (mostly) had fun. A bike that fits is a wonderful thing.