Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bathurst and Back on a Bike, Episode II

As promised...

After fueling up on the way out of town, we were to head off towards Rylstone via a scenic route through some of the state forest. I guess for the staff in the fuel station, it might have been a familiar sight to see all his pumps taken up by bikes as he sure seemed none to fussed as we lined up to pay him our measly dollars! I don't think there was anyone paying much over 10 dollars a fill!

On our way out of Bathurst, we passed a few cars heading in the same direction. At the time, I sat behind a couple of the older Ducatis. I knew when the rider in front accelerated as his old bike would let out a cloud of smoke as it was burning a bit rich and it certainly smelt like it too! However, as old as it was, the old Duke could still keep up with the rest of them!

It was good to get off the main highway a little further up the road. I think we must have startled a few drivers. Ducati's are known for their noise and if you thought that a group of Harley riders were loud, then you've never heard Ducati's when they're in a group! Along with engine noise, most also have the loud clacka clacka sound of their dry clutches rattling away on their bikes as well. In fact, some are even louder as they have open clutch covers. Even I turned my head once or twice when I heard a bike come towards me, as I wondered at first what the noise was. It didn't take me long to work it out!

We took a left turn to head towards a tiny village called Sunny Corner. Here as we headed into the forest, the road was wide and smooth, the beginning of bike nirvana! You could almost see everyone wanting to go faster but not wanting to as they had been warned that just around the corner we'd have to pull up and slow down because of the road surface as we turned right. The excitement of the group was beginning to mount I think!

The route took us back towards Cullen Bullen and onto the main road between Mudgee and Rylstone via a small town called Portland. It was here that I recall seeing some kids on the side of the road, waving at all the bikes as we went through town. The houses were tiny weatherboard and fibro places, I guess the town had sprung up for the logging and mining that was going on nearby. I thought it would have been great to be those kids on the side of the road, hearing all these bikes ride past and nearly regretted being part of the ride as that was one aspect that we were missing out on! But that thought only lasted a moment of time as we got back onto the main road and headed towards Capertree. It was there that we had a quick stop to get the group back together again before the next leg.

We pulled into Rylstone for morning tea. It would have been nice to have spent a little more time there but we were already running a bit late I think and so we were encouraged to be quick about getting food and drink. A shame really as it was a place I'd not been to before and was interesting enough to warrant a bit of a better look, I thought. Could be a good excuse to go back there, though the Bylong road into Rylstone wasn't all that great a surface. I know I slowed down on it a bit as I found it jarring and rough on the bikes suspension.

After being hustled to saddle up again, I took the bike for a quick drink at the local servo and then headed out for Sofala. We came out onto the highway for a short time and it included a stretch through some road works. Unfortunately, the road had just been wet down again by the water tanker and it was a tip toe through slimey lime base. It also made many of our bikes very dirty and on my bike, it completely obscured the number plate and rear tail light! Some people didn't think that that was all such a bad thing though!

When we arrived at Sofala and found that there were some bikes that were clean, everyone wondered which direction those bikes had taken! As it turned out, a group had gone the wrong way but as it turned out, they'd probably really gone the right way!

Lunch at Sofala was a lamb roast with baked veges. Everyone ate together in the local hall, at least those who didn't want to drink at the pub. It was great to sit around the table with people who were willing to share information and have information shared. Everyone had something to offer in the way of information and opinions on riding. It went a long way to making me feel welcome in a group of people that I'd not had anything to do with. Even the NSW club president, who had been the organiser of the event, was more than delighted to meet me it seemed. I couldn't fault anyone's hospitality.

After lunch, I was invited to head back with a couple from Canberra, as it was a make your own way to Bathurst affair. This was a great time as Alex and his wife, Helanna had given me some very useful advice in regards to my riding into corners. As they rode ahead, I got the chance to be behind, working on my techniques. We even pulled over after a particularly twisty bit of road and discussed how I'd ridden it and if I was feeling like I was going into corners better. Which I certainly was. Left hand cornering had up until that point been a slightly unnerving affair for me, I was not feeling confident with it and struggled to do left corners as well as I could do a right one. After being told to drop my shoulder into the corner more, I found it made a huge amount of difference and was impressed that I was cornering left as well as I could corner right.

Well, looks like again I will continue this story...

Stay tuned folks!

1 comment:

Ganeida said...

Linking you to my real blog. lol.

We are so busy this actually works for me.