Archive for the ‘Rides’ Category
For the thirteenth year in a row, the Steven Walter Foundation’s Snowy Ride has once again been ‘the place to be’ for anyone who rides. 3,049 riders showed up this year and it looks like about a half a million dollars was raised to support childhood cancer research.
This year I headed to Thredbo on my own as all the usual suspects were not around. And boy did they miss out. The weather was great and the riding was the simply the best that you can get anywhere in Australia. All this fun while at the same time raising money for a good cause.
I also had a chance to ride with my good friend Andrew B from Sydney who made the trip with a group of riders who have been at the Snowy Ride ten times now. We headed up the road to Cooma for the car show where I had the chance to check out all the cool Mustangs that were there including my all time favourite, a 1969 blue Mach 1.
The rest of the day I spent riding up to Charlotte Pass. There was still a bit of snow up there and the air had a bit of a chill so I didn’t stay long. That gave me time to join in the mass ride of about 500 riders from the Ski Tube car park to Thredbo. The mass ride is led by a group of Honda Gold Wing riders with side cars that give some of the kids from Sydney a ride around the mountains.
After the ride the usual presentations were made including a very moving speech from a mother about her young daughter’s experiences while being treated for Leukaemia. I don’t think there was a dry eye among the hundreds of riders there.
Finally the big draw was done for two motorcycles donated by the major sponsor of the ride, Honda. A couple of very lucky riders went home with not only great memories of a wonderful weekend but also with a Honda VFR 800 and CBR 250.
Last week I was lucky enough to join in on my second ride with Pashnit Motorcycle Tours. This time we headed to Yosemite national park followed by two more days riding around the Sierra Nevada mountains.
I arrived in California just in time for a heat wave of over 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) which was in stark contrast to the snow covered mountain peaks. The roads were varied from long winding sweepers to the ultimate mountain twisties.
The Yamaha FJR I rented was a bit cruisy for my tastes but given the roads were new to me it worked out well. I did ride a Honda ST1300 for a day. I gave it the nick name of The Titantic in honour of it’s weight.
The live map tab above shows day one of the ride. I had the chance to take quite a few photographs of the great views that I hope you will enjoy.
If you want to see one of the most beautiful areas of Australia then make sure you visit the Victorian Alps. Spectacular in Winter and breath taking in Summer I just can’t get enough of all the little towns and great vistas around Bright, Mt Hotham and Omeo.
Sadly a very large area of the forest was destroyed in a bush fire two weeks ago. The entire road up to Mt Hotham was burned out. Considering it rained for days following the fire I’m amazed they managed to get the road open so quickly but they did a great job. There was even a worker stopping traffic to explain what parts of the road were still dangerous and down to one lane.
This long weekend I met up with an old friend that I haven’t had the chance to ride with for almost two years. He lives in Melbourne now so we agreed to head up/down the Hume highway meeting half way at Albury NSW. After a nice lunch in town it was time to ride. Day one we headed to Corryong along a wonderful road that runs around Lake Hume. On the second day we headed for Mt Beauty and Bright in Victoria.
The pub in Bright was busy but they still make great pizzas so we joined in the fun. To make things even more special there were two of my favourite cars on display and a band playing oldies but goodies.
I don’t think it’s possible to find better roads to ride on then we enjoyed. Day three started off with a quick run to the top of Mt Buffalo for a cold drink at the Dingo Cafe.
The ride home on the Hume highway is typically incredibly boring but it’s hard to be bored when the weather is perfect and the countryside is such a visual treat. I enjoyed every minute of my 1200km ride over the three days.
Every year the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT holds a Toy Run to raise support for local charities. This year over a a thousand people showed up and 701 motorcycles joined in the mass ride. $15,000 worth of toys and $6,000 was raised to support the Salvation Army and St John’s Care here in Canberra.
It’s such a fantastic event that I decided to go all out and shoot a short video about the event which includes some interviews, speeches from local politicians and a lot of motorcycles. Not to mention toys, toys and more toys!
Another year, another fantastic Snowy Ride. This year I had the chance to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. We set up camp in a lovely house just down from the village and had some great rides to Charlotte Pass, Jindabyne and Dalgety.
The numbers were a bit down this year, probably due to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix being held the weekend before. But that didn’t stop thousands of riders raising funds for the Steven Walter Foundation who support childhood cancer research. One lucky rider from the ACT won the grand prize of a Honda VFR1250 valued at $25,000.
If you like big loud shiny toys you’ll love these photos taken around the various ride checkpoints.
A few years ago I met some great guys who ride to support causes they believe in. I’ve had the chance to ride with them a few times and it’s always a good time. See the Riding4aCause website for more information about all their activities.
This weekend we headed North to see the Gloucestor Men’s Shed. On the way back I asked Raz why they send so many tweets and here’s what he had to say:
The Motorcycle Riders Association launched Motorcycle Awareness Week yesterday. It’s a great event with a very important message to watch out for motorcyclists on the roads. I thought it would be a perfect chance to try out my new video gear and here’s the result (be sure to turn up the resolution to High Definition if your Internet connection has the speed).
With a second three-day weekend coming up, I decided to take a four-day weekend again and head back to the Snowy Mountains. This time Jack and I headed South via Bomballa and came back up to Omeo, Victoria following a very narrow but fun road recommended by an iPhone app of all things.
Saturday morning it was rainy but we decided to spend the day at Mt Beauty. So off we went to ride over Mt Hotham in the rain. That turned out to be one of the worst decisions we have made in a while given we ended up literally in the clouds and spent a great deal of the ride in dense fog and freezing temperatures.
Once in Mt Beauty we settled in to a large family sized caravan, cranked up the heat to dry out and headed to the local tuck shop and video store. The rest of the day was spent watching movies, swapping jokes and just being plain lazy.
Sunday was a fantastic day of riding our favourite roads including the twisties between Mt Hotham and Mt Beauty four times! We also spent a fair amount of time riding up Mt Buffalo and enjoying a snack at the visitor centre where we met the owner of a 1970 Police Harley Davidson.
The day ended with a spirited ride along endless sweepers between Tallangatta and Tumburumba via Walwa next to Lake Hume. If you haven’t done this ride make sure you put it on the top of your list as it’s a top ride. We then headed for Corryong to settle in before heading to the local pub for a great meal.
Monday came far too quickly but we were really looking forward to the ride from Khancoban to Thredbo and finally home. It turned out to be a top ride once again and not nearly as cold as we expected. With a nice break spent at Leather Barrel creek to enjoy the fresh air and stunning views we finally headed off to Thredbo to check out the accommodation I’ve booked for the upcoming Snowy Ride.
After that, we headed straight for our last stop in Cooma which is always good old Maccas. A short time later we were on the extremely boring Monaro highway heading back home. We made it safely home around 4pm in spite of a young driver bumping in to the rear of my bike at a round about. Just a bit of minor damage and not hard enough to knock me down so all was well.
Needless to say, we had a great time and can’t wait for the next adventure. Join us if you can.
When Jack and I go for a ride we go for a ride, 1900 kilometers this time around.
Spring has sprung so off we went to the coast for our first long ride of the season. The next day we made it to the Snowy mountains only to be turned back at the entrance gate to Kosciuszko National Park due to weather conditions. No worries, we simply rode around the Snowy Mountains staying in Talbingo near Tumut on the way.
The next day we ended up in Bright for the night after a fantastic ride to the Victorian side of the mountains. On day four we headed to the top of Mt Hotham followed by a ride up the Omeo Highway (including the 20kms of dirt in the middle). We made it back home about 8pm.
We are already planning the next Snowy Ride which for us is the following weekend believe it or not. Stay tuned…
If you want to see why we enjoy these rides so much have a look at some of the photos on my Flick account.