Saturday, 4 June 2011

Chasing tarsnakes in the winter rain

The sky was blue and it looked like a perfect winter's day for a ride. The sunshine only lasted around 80 kms and the next 90 kms or so were done in in cold wintery conditions, only to fine up again for the final 30 kms home.

I actually found it immensely satisfying piloting the big Kwaka, with around 170 hp on tap at the rear wheel, in such challenging conditions.

Today's circuit was from Geelong to Lavers Hill  via Colac, then along the inland part of the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay. The final section was from Apollo Bay to Geelong via Lorne and Deans Marsh - a bit of a mistake in some ways as the GOR was quite slippery due to road construction and some small diesel spills - neither of which were pleasant in the rain! In Lorne I came across three motorcycle cops stopping traffic for random license checks. The fella who pulled me over was obviously a motorcycle enthusiast and we had quite a pleasant chat about motorcycling, Michelin tyres and the glory days of riding the GOR before there were 80 kph speed limits and double white lines. He made no secret of the fact that they were out to target motorcycles and that they were having a slow day - the posers tend not to ride the GOR in the rain!

I must say that the sight of a tiny little girl in her pink bicycle helmet perched up on one of the cop bikes whilst her proud Dad to a photo was just priceless. It would have been a great PR shot for Victoria Police.

Here's a few pics taken during the occasional sunny breaks.
First stop at Gellibrand

Flowers by donation - you know that you're out in the country.

You can't see it but this is a pic of a ship out in the ocean near Apollo Bay!

Dirty Ninja

Cleaning those mufflers is going to be fun!

It was good to have a dry road for the last 30 kms to home.
Great art on the school kids' bus shelter


  1. Those roads look awesome, I have found most biker cops pretty freindly. Roll on summer jules!

  2. Great to see the Ninja out in all weathers Jules! Great Ocean Road at 80 km/hr??? Good Lord, the lawmakers ought to be hoisted up by their dangly bits! I understand that radar detectors are also banned in all but one state! What have you done to deserve all that???

  3. Roger, roll on summer is a VERY optimistic view of things on the 5th day of winter! I'm thinking the grey hair I now have is helping in my interactions with the police these days.

    Geoff, yes the GOR from near Torquay through to Apollo Bay is all an 80 kph zone now, as are many of the twisty roads in the hills out of Melbourne such as the Reefton Spur. The road surface on that section of the GOR is in appalling condition at present as a consequence of the damage and rockslides from the freak summer rainfall combined with the dozens of tourist coaches that travel that route 365 days of the year. It also seemed to me that some of the heavy machinery involved in the road construction is dropping diesel on the road as well.

    From Apollo Bay all the way through the bush to the 12 Apostles and beyond is still 100 kph zone though. This section is where the enjoyable riding is still to be had.

    The mobile radars and unmarked police vehicles such as utes and vans (and some unmarked motorcycles), plus radar detectors being illegal forces a certain amount of compliance I'm afraid.

    Though I have a cunning plan for a midnight run along the GOR on a moonlit night this summer!

    Cheers Jules.