TT 2017 Southern Exposure(Disclaimer: The below text is merely my version of events & apologies to any I may upset)
Thank God the TT still exists, but we can thank JB for making it happen, for without any motivation to make shit happen, shit just doesn't happen and in this case rides don't get arranged. JB has said for many years he "isn't gunna do it again"....but thankfully, he does and this years trip was another success in many ways.
Historical pic. Giacomo wears a hat - Mountain View Motel Corryong
Over time the ride has changed locations and ventured to north and south locations, there was even a MiniTT last year because time was tight so a two nighter was hastily arranged at Nundle and Gloucester but we did do the Ox. The one constant is that this trip isn't about a destination, an event or a weekend away, it's about the roads, the ride and the social gathering with those we may only catch up with once a year.
There were 10 starters on this years TT, most of whom had been before but Shearo was a Virgin and I am not sure he understood that he would be punting the 700kilo Harley on some of Australia's High Country twisties. That was always going to be interesting.
Departure was a mixed up affair, we would again meet Mikencolol south at Jugiong, Kelnshearo left Orange early to make time against the rest, Jamie was joining us from the proper capital after having done the Rugby road from Crookwell and Pol had told JB he would join us later after he had done with fettling the great British disappointment, and only once he had found his riding apparel after having stored it all in one of the twenty three shipping containers he has at "the farm".
The run to Boroowa was OK and its pleasing the note the Frogmore road gets better each trip with improvements to the width and surface. Jamie had been waiting for some time once we arrived. Breakfast is a toastie. After a quick fuel we were off (for future reference, use the southern servo, its better and locally owned)
After picking up Mikencol at Jugioing we headed for Tumut and took the sneaky detour right over the Bridge off the Adjungbilly road towards Brungle, its a single track very undulating rural road thats OK on a Multistrada but probably a bit bumpy on a Factory Tuono. It was fun anyway particularly the whoopdedoo's at pace....damn that TC. Kelnshero headed down the highway to Gundagai, they were at the pub when we arrived.
On leaving Tumut I saw Dannynjamie stop after signaling about swapping bikes, the forest road south of Tumut was a welcome addition, wont ever get tired of it really, but as we got up the hill to the fun parts I was into it, having a great time, thinking Vale is a pussy and I was equally his measure, but just then I notice the white MTS is hounding my rear parts...bloody hell, I thought, this Jamie bloke he's goin off, on someone else's bike and riding spiritedly, wonder what Danny thinks of that sort of treatment being dished out by someone else on his bike?
Turns out they didn't swap bikes, it was Danny, and to rub salt into my poor ego he was on the phone to the wife at the time!!!! FFS.
It started raining we slowed down, became processional but we stopped at the corners and waited for Barty.
It dried a bit so a spirited run was enjoyed down the hill from Mannus to Jingellic and a leisurly transport to Corryong for the overnight stay, a few beers at the Motel and up to the pub for dinner. Mad Bikies that we are, pretty much everyone was promptly tucked in by 9.30.....what!
Italians only please
Others but where is Shearo?
Day 2: Breakfast at the Black Sheep Cafe at Corryong is always good,
especially when its Danny's Birthday!!!!
- No one really bothers to look at a map before the ride an really work out where they are going &
- Some people, despite knowing better, choose to listen to Barty's directions
I am not certain which is the larger offence? Anyway thanks to Shearo having a blutoothy thingamy in his hat, JB was able to redivert them .....South...
Initially it was foggy then once on the Omeo Hwy it was open slather, I rode behind Tim cause there were sparks and wobbles and excitement to be viewed, mainly on the left handers eh Tim. Danny had a injection of Steriods or something for his birthday and he passed the entire group before blasting into the distance as a dot. I heard JB had to set a PB to catch him. Along the way the group caught and passed Kelnshearo so we were all together again. Fuel at the Mitta Mitta shop, a quick rest and ready to go.
The "Yellow Peril" and the "White Knight"
The next bit was tight and twisty and I sort of felt sorry for Shearo....well not really, his choice after all! Before heading off I indicated to those around me that I was aiming to ride in a spirited fashion I would be doing so cautiously so "dont wait for me". Ha! after saying that no one led off....so I went, and everyone followed, turned out they all had the same idea, no one came past me! But I find riding in front there are less distractions and it can inflate my manlihood.
JB had suggested in the route map, (the one no one looks at!) a challenge route which was essentially a right prior to Anglers Rest up to Falls Creek down to Mt Beauty over the Towonga Gap to Bright then south through Harrietville over Mt Hotham and then into Omeo (Hoppy would have been proud!). if the weather is clear I said I would go that way.....it was clear.....we did it....it was an effort but I had JB, Danny and Mike for company. Col woulda come but he couldnt change gear proper due to grinding the SV1000 into the road ala MM93 with the resultant wearing of his gear change actuator...oh and his LHS indicator. It was on the Falls Creek road that I remember riding this white bitumen surface in the Fog and snow on an earlier TT trip and not dying. That was the Mutiny Trip when Hoppy cuddled the pie warmer at the Omeo Bakery and refused to proceed.
The Omeo to Bruthen run was good, we passed through another group of bikes....they were slower. It was getting late and by Bairnsdale it was getting dark, though the dark tinted visor didnt help. The non BB challenge riders were already at Paynesville, showered and at the pub on their 3rd beer....jeez. JB was getting all ancy on a red falcon driver just north of Paynsville, I could tell by his engine revving to the limiter and general "body language" Anyway we arrived, bathed, went to the pub and had catch up beers and then dinner with the boys. And it was still Dannys Birthday! Great meal really impressive seafood, had a few Bourbs n Scotch's and retired....later this time, much more bikie like.
Spot the German...
Danny and I got up at 4.30 to watch the MotoGP at Qatar, it was OK Maverick won, VR placed well and Whoregay was nowhere. I went back to bed didnt sleep but there ya go.
Bike Wars: I had a fuel smell from pretty much Tumut, could find the leak but saw evidence of fuel leakage between the cylinders, in consultation with my Crew Chief (Danny) it was best to visit a bike shop Monday morning and pull the thing apart, the theory was that if there were dire things going on there would be a technical lord available to fix it. We did just that, went straight to the Doyle and Shields Honda shop in Bairnsdale, parked out the back and removed the three thousand plastic bits that cover the internal combustion engine of a modernish Ducati Multistrada.
Tim stayed with me, its was good because he is a spanner basher of note....or was once. Really he was at the bike shop to change a rear tyre....preparation omission or abuse? not sure....Barty was there too, he followed Tim, Barty needed a new tyre too, but a front one....preparation omission or abuse.....easy, its the former!
Anyway we found the fuel leak on the Multistrada, it was a worn through section of the pressurised fuel line to the rear cylinder injector, the bastard thing had rubbed itself to death on a peice of plastic componentry that does god knows what. Anyway there was a hole and fuel was pumping like Mt Vesuvious when the ignition was on, it was lucky I wasnt burned to death thus far. Anyway my mate Andrew (the aforementioned Technical Lord) was keen enough to assist and wheeled the disassembled MTS into the workshop to replace the offending fuel line.
That little white spot, thats the fountain of fuel right there!
By this time Timnbarty have new tyres so my crew chief Danny instructed the group to ride on and we would see em in Narooma! An houranabit the Lord Andrew was done, wheeled it out and I reckon 20 mins and we had the thing back together, record time for sure. So off we went in a vain attempt to catch the group. We sent cryptic texts to JB telling him we were somewhere we werent, they sent texts back saying Cann River was nice.....phhhht...we were men and men travel the Bonang to Bombala so off we went to a traffic free, quiet and actively tiring Bonang, the south is tight and bumpy, the gravel at the top was slippy and required concencration but the north is sweet, challenging and enjoyable. The run from the border to Bombala was fast, as it almost always is.
We didn't know it at the time but all the group (save Kelnshearo) went the Bonang, good work lads and Giacomo would be proud. Barty told me he rode past a bloke stopped on the roadside with a lime green bike that looked a lot like Pol, so much so Barty turned around went back and indeed it was Pol, he had managed to find his riding apparel in the last shipping container he looked in and had finally fettled the British prince of darkness rare Speed 4 to make it go all the way the the NSW-Vic border! They headed off back to Bombala together.
Danny and I arrived in Bombala, we hadn't had lunch and thats a problem in Bombala since Fearless has had us kicked out of every hospitality venue in the town. We opted for microwaved Servo sausage rolls and a Red Bull each...good to go! Again in a vain hunt for the rest of the group.
The ride to Wyndam was enjoyable but it was getting late again, I didnt turn off here and head to Bega.....note: look at Maps before you go! We went to Pambula instead then Merimbula, Tathra etc so by the time we left there it was getting very late....dark visor, light rain, kangaroos etc etc. By the time we arrived the others has bathed, changed were at the pub and on their 3rd beer....pattern emerging?
Mikencolnpol had elected to eat at the pub, the rest of us went to the little Italian joint next door, it was Belisimo, moocho gratzie. They were even happy to split the bill, but we just divided it. a good night.
Anzac Day: Up at the cracka dawn were some of us, headed to the Narooma RSL for the Dawn Service, it was OK too (but not up to the Metung experience), the man on the Bugle for Last Post was the best I have heard, tears to the eyes...truly!
Breakfast at the Caf next door to the Motel was done by about 7.30 and we were then ready for the off, it looked drizzly so we all donned wets but by Batemans Bay it had dried up and normal transmission was rejoined for the trot up the hill......that was till we saw the Five Oh, gazillions of them travelling, parked up, doing u turns, cops everywhere on the hill....whoo up there!
Said bye to mikencol at Braidwood just before they closed the street for the Anzac March (just to be clear it was the Authorities that closed the street Not mikencol!). Next stop Goulburn and whilst eating an 11 O'Clock early lunch the dark clouds were gathering, it was getting black. The group discussed the home options and it was either Tuena or Taralga (TT again), Tuena had dirt...last time we rode it the track was wet, and slippery, in fact it was the most slippiest any of had ridden yet we didn't die.....its gunna be wet again, didn't die then, shouldn't die now? The other alternative, Taralga has no dirt but its longer into Oberon then Bathurst then home.....lets not die again and go via Tuena.
We got to Crookwell, stopped for fuel and surpringly we didnt get ripped off. By this time it was raining proper and when Pol arrived on the Prince of Darkness he wanted to avoid any mud north of Tuena and sought opinion on alternatives. He agreed left toward Boroowa then up through Frogmore, Wyangala etc etc. It only added 100+ kms to cut out 6kms of mud, but he'd heard it was diabolical mud and it should be feared.
Turns out when we got to the mud, it wasn't bad, pretty grippy really and much of it had been sealed with only about 2kms left to do....in fact, by now I would reckon that sealed as well. I wonder how Pol enjoyed that 100km detour.
Like all last days, the group had split up early, Kelnshearo would've been home by now, JB and Tim did a runner from us cause he had a new back tyre with grip, Danny and I kept stopping and waiting for Barty caused he asked us to keep him in our mirrors ( its like being in your thoughts but different). We lonely three gathered at Blayney, wet and dripping but happy to be alive and not far from home.We exchanged pleasantries said thanks and continued.
I arrived home at around 2.30pm, pretty early really, and satisfied that it was another memorable TT.
JB has already said he is not gunna do it again but we know he will.....dont we...wont he????