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547 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just back from a hoot of a trip and though I'd share it with you, hope you enjoy.
I left Sydney bright and early on the trusty AT750, it was great to be back on the road, almost 2 months since my last ride, musn't leave it that long in the future, even the motoray transport was OK. I was heading south to the high country for a few different events and wended my way via tar and dirt.
The countryside was looking great around Bungonia

A bit of easy fast dirt

and it was a smoko break outside the Loaded Dog a popular and bike frendly pub

Around through Queenbeyan and across the edge of the ACT, Australias capital and a state within a state a bit like Washington DC, and onto the Tharwa Rd to Shannons flat and Adaminaby with some more great dirt and majestic views, though some freshly graded rd caused a few sphincter puckers

Onto the high country proper for a while

And past some of the dams and power stations of the Snowy mountains Hydro Scheme, one of the engineering wonders of the 20th century.

Over the top and onto the flatter river country again it was on to the Walwa pub to meet some other riders, Shane on his newly purchased 625 and Dom on his 1200 Adventure

A nice 1st day :clap

today we were heading again for the high country proper in victoria to say G'bye to a friend. Shane had fitted a new pair of D606's to the 625 before he left but they'd chunked badly on his way down, lost 7 or 8 knobs, some down to the tubes yikes, needless to say he wasn't happy

Shane headed into Albury for a new tyre while Dom and i headed for Mt Beauty, Tawonga Gap and Bright with a short detour up a powerline track for a good view

A cup of coffee in Bright and it was up great Alpine Rd to Mt Hotham for a drink in a bar with a million dollar view

back a few km and it was onto the dirt of the Dargo high plains Rd for a short hop to Mt freezeout to say goodbye to Sally

Now it was time to say Goodbye to Sally,

a contributor on Advrider, a mean rider ,sidecar copilot and longtime partner of Chris. Sally was lost 2 us all far too soon and today her ashes were scattered in the her beloved high country with many friends, relatives and Advriders, icluding Wolfie who came from germany to pay there respects and celebrate her life. Mt Freezeout has great views over the high country and it's a fitting place for Sally to rest. Anyway I'll leave it to some words from Chris and the piccies to describe it.
G/Day all
Last Thursday I fulfilled Sally's last wish, when along with about 55 friends including at least 12/15 ADVR's, we scattered her ashes over the Vic High country.
It was a very emotional day for me but also very pleasing to be able to celerbrate her final trip in life in such an awesome way.
There was tears, laughter, cheers as we drank champers and in a very moving closing, everyone released a pink balloon.

After the ceremoney and a bang up lunch it was 50km into Dargo for some more celebrating at the pub

Wolfie arrives at the pub, Chris had kindly loane Wolfie a bike for a few during his stay in Oz


It was a great night !!! Wolfie enjoys the 1st Aussie steak of his trip

Shane, Chris and Wolfie get the celebrations underway

Singing, talking, eating, drinking and irish jigging, there were going to be some sore heads the next day

the next morning was a bit slow for some haha... We headed off in different directions. Wolfie and i headed for Swifts Creek to catch up with some other friends for the next stage of our ride. Wolfie just love oz road signs

We decided on a tar day so we ate up the corners on the Dargo rd and the Omeo hwy. We were the 1st ones to arrive at Swifts Creek and it was bloody hot so it was into the river for a swim, nothing beats a natural bath after a hot ride

The others rolled in and it was real mixed group, a 650 Africa twin, 600 + 650 transalps, KLR650, a couple of KTM640's, a nicely modded Dr650 and 950 and a few others. i only knew a few of them so it was a get to know you session over a BBQ dinner and a glorious sunset

The plan for today was to ride from Swifts Creek to Thredbo via 4WD tracks including crossing the Murray river at Tom Groggin. I was pretty nervous about this, Im usually a dirt road man, with a bit of desert riding but dont get on the mountain trails and river crossings much and I'd herd tales of the murray being a bad crossing with spring snow melt etc. DrAT had invited me along, now I get to ride ride with he and his friends every couple of years and it's always a challenge as they live in the mountains and always challenge my abilities with their rides. Paul pointed to Mike on his TDM 850 and said he's coming along , you'll be fine, this settled my nerves a bit as I thought how hard could it be if a TDM on road tyres could do it, oh dear how wrong i was.
Wolfie and Nigel on the 650 AT decided to go their own easier way and meet us at thredbo. As we were standing around sorting out meeting places, fuel stops etc my nerves came back, i just wanted to get started. Well Mike led the way, I glued myself to the back wheel of the TDM and off we went. A few 100meter sand we were onto the 1st track, a couple of short rocky climbs and the bellowing rockspitting TDM had dissapeared into the distance, its not often Ive seen riding like it :loco . Another rocky climb with a tight right haner and bang me and the AT are on our sides blocking the track. It took 4 of us to pick up the At as it was laying back down the hill, get her lined up again and I got around the corner and onto the next flat bit in a tangle of flailing, legs arms and slipping clutch. Another long rocky 1st gear climb wher i thought my number was up a few times and the track flattened out, got smoother and i caught up with mike on the TDM waiting at an intersection. Sorry for the many words on this section but ive got no piccies of the hard bit and it was pretty exciting for me.

it took a while for anyone else to come along, I thought they must have
been down with hernias after picking up the AT

but no it seems one of the Transalp riders had had a harder time than me and crashed twice and decided to go back and do and easier way

I was buggered and hoped the whole day wasn't going to be like that !!. the track flattened out and became a logging rd that meandered along a ridge top with great views


547 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
We decided to split up at benambra into a couple of groups, there were 3 of us in the slower , less skilled group we headed out to find the Tom groggin track and met Dan & Maggie on a 990, Peter on a 660 Rallye and Lynne on a 450 EXC, they were part of our group but had a differnt start point, Dan was pretty nervous about the murray crossing as well so we all decided to ride together and take it easy

It was a lot of fun with a few harder tracks (nothing like the 1st part of the day) being split up by some good logging roads and some stops to check navigation etc

My next challenge was the descent to the river, Im even worse at downhills than uphills !!. DrAt tells me to ride it like it's flat, makes sense and when i get the balls to let the bike run downhill it certainly gets smoother and rolls over bumps easier but i always chicken out and on go the brakes. it was a fairly long descent, with a few lumps and bumps and loose bits, not to hard for some but about as steep as i want to do. I kept my sights on Dan & Maggie 2 up on the 990 and followed them down. I was glad when we got down to the river level but pretty excited to have done it. Now it was on to the river crossing, Dan and i were particularly nervous about it but it wasn't too bad, quite wide and rocky but not to deep. I rode across with a woop, very pleased with myself. The shorter legged of our group walked the bikes across in case of losing the front wheel on a rock.

The crossing

Looks Ok, which line do ya reckon ??

looking good

yep follow that line

Pete gets out

The 990 comes across

and lynne on the 450

All across it was time for lunch and a boot drying session at Tom groggin camp site

Into Thredbo and the groups all came together for a good night of story telling and socialising, we stayed at a great ski lodge, i can highly recomend the Candlelight lodge if your in thredbo.

Now here's where the dirt virgin comes in, a friend of mine rode down from Sydney to meet us. Mascha is a dutch girl studying in Sydney who rides Yam 600 roadie in Holland and has bought a Dommie 650 in Oz and wanted to do some dirt riding

We said our goodbyes in the morning

And went of in our seperate ways with Wolfie, nigel, masha and i heading off together

Off round the Alpine way to Corryong playing tourist along the way at lookouts etc

The onto the Sassafras hwy to omeo for mascha's 1st taste of the dirt, she did great, wasn't to slow and had a huge grin on her face whenever we had a regroup, even when we got hailed on for a short time

its a great ride, just a dirt road but travells through magic country

A late lunch in omeo and it was over the top of mount hotham to bright a great way to cap off the day, 2nd time over hotham in a few days for me, how lucky can you get.

We pulled up outside the pub in bright, booked in but Wolfie's BMW wouldn't start again, bugger, stuff it, time for a shower and a feed we'll sort it out in the morning

547 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
After some investigation in the morning we decided it was either the hall effect sensor (beancan i believe in BMW speak) on the ignition or the CDI box

A couple of phone calls later Chris was sending up some parts overnight so it was a 2nd night in bright for us which suited me fine as it seems i was coming down with the flu so i spent the day in bed while the others did the tourist bit.
We found a great curry place for dinner, made a great change from steaks in pubs

the partsd arrived next morning and after changing em we held our breaths while Wolfie hit the starter and bingo we have lift off which was a great relief

Once again the group got smaller with nigel heading home to melbourne and Wolfie heading nth for Sydney so now it was just mascha and me but before we did mascha had another treat and got to meet the famous Oz motorcycling pudding that Wolfie was taking nth

Back over the Mt hotham rd, 3rd time for me woohoo, to the Dargo High plains rd and some more dirt for Mascha. once again she couldn't get the smile off her face and was having a ball

Into Dargo and we booked into our cabin at the pub

Caught up with Dan & Maggie at the store, had dinner and crashed early. the plan was for 2 nights in Dargo with the next day doing a short ride on some slightly ruffer dirt to the old gold mining town of talbotville for a picnic and maybe even a river crossing if mascha was feeling game. It was a hot day, 39 degrees, I hoped it was cooler tomorrow, again I shouldn't have wished so hard !!

well I got my wish, and the next day dawned cold and wet, Mascha was still keen for a ride so when another friend of mine Steve arrived on his XLV for the day we headed off into the mist and cold.

its about 40km to talbotville, half tar, with the last 5-6km of dirt being downhill, not really bad but a step up for mascha .

there's that smile again, the views were great, the rescent bushfires meant you could see all the way down to the river which isn't usually the case, we were heading for the grassy clearing in the distance

We made it down, it's a magic spot with a huge grassy clearing surrounded by hills with a river running around it

time for lunch, it's amazing how a picnic in the rain can be great at the right spot with the righ company

Still keen for more Mascha really wanted to try the river crossing so off we went, you should have heard the woops coming out of her helmet when she got across, it was great.

back across and it was home to Dargo our little adventure over,

Steve headed home and we spent the arvo drying out reading and relaxing

We had a great dinner with Dan & Maggie, the proprietors of the Dargo general store. They've been in the shop for 2 years now and this trip was my 1st chance to meet & ride with them and boy you couldn't meet nicer people. . Dan browses Advrider from time to time though he struggles a bit with dialup !!. If your passing through drop in and say hi, they love to chat bikes and are a mine of info on the local track and road conditions etc. Dan is also an ex mechanic and stocks a few bike bits and pieces, tubes, wheel bearings etc and may be able to help you out of a jam in the area.

it rained all night and was still raining as we packed up in the morning so we abandoned the idea of doing more dirt on the ride nth, much to Mascha's dissapointment. it was a long wet and cold ride around the coast to eden

Another night of trying to dry out everything and hoping for better waether tomorrow

Friday dawned overcast but dry, excellent, we ambled up some nice small coastal roads taking in the views , such a contrast to the last few days of the high country

Stopped in the quaint national trust village of Tilba and got some cheese direct from the factory

The rain started again and we high tailed it for jervis bay to catch up with friends for our bike clubs xmas weekend

Santa dropped in to hand out pressies to everyone and it was another night of great company and eating

A short ride home on sunday and the trip was over. Well ive rambled on a lot here but it's one the best trips ive done for so many reasons. Sally's farewell, mascha's ever smiling face, meeting up with lots of my friends, sometimes I forget how lucky i am to know so many great people but this trip reminded me.
catch ya

Site Admin
2,420 Posts
Superb ride report............great reading and fantastic pics :p

A man without Ale.
2,666 Posts
I WANNA GO HOME!!!!!!!!!

great ride report mate.. and Why did i never ride with you.. when i was living in east gippi????

Sir FallofaLott
5,060 Posts
It's almost 10pm as I read this, it's dark, raining, and freezing .... I cannot find the words to tell you how much I hate you :D:D

Fantastic report and pics - just what the doctor ordered on a bleek winters night :D

one-legged member
4,493 Posts
Top stuff as usual Greg :D

I love this photo


547 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I WANNA GO HOME!!!!!!!!!

great ride report mate.. and Why did i never ride with you.. when i was living in east gippi????

Dont worry we'll sort ya out for some great rides when ya come home, I promise :D:D

547 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
here's a few more piccies from some others from the trip.

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