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August 2013 Club News

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A ride from Melbourne

By John Sinclair

John’s Suzuki GSX 1400.
Well big Suzy got me home safe and sound. For those of you that didn't know, I flew over to Melbourne and picked up the Suzuki GSX 1400 that I bought and rode it home. Something that I've wanted to do for a long time - and I hope its a long time before I do it again.

I don’t know who laid down the route for the Great Ocean Road, but I bet he was a motorcyclist, what a fantastic piece of tarmac. A “must do” on any bikers bucket list, what really amazed me the most was the speed limit is 80 km/h. In WA it would be reduced to 40 km/hr for our safety. There was no way I could sustain that. Those corners or should I say u-bends and left, right, left, right and left, right turns just left me breathless, and more often than not found myself desperately clambering for the brakes as I was going way too fast into the corner trying to do the speed limit. Oh what fun, and it just goes on and on and on. Apparently there is supposed to be very good scenery along that route ? Didn't see it...

Some points about the trip:
I did a total 4030 km and it cost me $420 in premium fuel, total spent including food, accommodation and the donation, $1050. The priciest fuel was at Cocklebiddy at $2.10/lt.

I hate South Australia, flat and boring describes it in general, except of course my sojourn up through the hills from Murray Bridge to Quorn, a great little side-trip, well worth doing if you're in the area and can stomach being in SA a little longer. One thing that really stuck out the most was how old SA is, like going through a time warp, just loved all the old buildings especially the stone ones.

I stopped for a coffee in some small hicksville town and on the opposite side on the shopfront was a sign on the window - $7.95  24 ROLL EXPOSURE  hello digital now SOUTH AUSTRALIA, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT.

I had a little run-in with the law at the end of this leg, back on the highway briefly for 5k before I had to turn off onto the back roads again, on a nice long slow downhill right hand sweeper and PING. Highway patrol car coming the other way.

119 in a 110.I’m not sure what she didn't like, the Victorian rego bike or the West Aussie riding it. I was as nice as pie to her, but when she decided that I needed to contribute to her local Xmas fund, I tried to explain that I was simply creeping up over the limit because it was a down hill road, but the flea infested bucket of maggots wouldn’t have it. $150 fine plus a $60 levy for the victims of crime fund, yep $210 thank you very much. Oh well.

So that was the start of a crappy afternoon. I had finished that lovely tour through the hills and now to just leg it home, so on the GPS I hit go home it calculated and sent me on my way. I have my GPS set up to take the shortest route as that usually will take you on back roads that you wouldn't normally go on.

So off I went doing exactly what Karen (the GPS?) was telling me what to do (just like I do for my wife).

A couple of hours later I ended up in this town at the wharf? She expected me to get on the ferry from Walleroo over to Cowell. I wasn't  a happy little vegemite, next time I will check the map book rather than trust her fully again. So all the way back up the peninsula to Port Augusta and round the corner. Did I mention that I hate SA.

But I ddn’t learn my lesson there, for some unknown reason known only by the gods of GPSland she took me down to Whyalla, by the time I realized it was too late and I was committed, so took the shortest route out which was from Cowell across to Lock, stayed in the pub for the night.

The afternoon saga doesn’t end here, pretty tired asleep by 8.00. At 9.00 I am woken by my bile coming up to visit my throat, managed to send it back where it came from before it got to my tongue, but I now also had a severe throat infection and the bile was burning the crap out of that, so now I have a severe case of acid reflux that kept me awake all night. Not a wink of sleep, and to top it all off next morning I found I also had a nice little head cold. Great. DID I MENTION THAT I HATE SOUTH AUST?

I couldn't believe the number of eagles that I saw in one 10 km stretch, 35, there were 5 birds sitting on one roo and I was a little worried that the bugs that were on my headlight and windscreen were going to be joined by a much larger one. It was close, from then on I used my horn to pre-warn them I was coming, so they would start taking off before I got there. I guess it didn't help that the wind was rushing past my helmet at a great rate of knots.

An hour out of Cocklebiddy, 7.30am, I ran into very thick dense fog, for safety I was staying in the right hand wheel track (because of any highly depressed skippys that may have had the wrong intensions with me) then all of a sudden a dirty big truck would literally appear out of nowhere right in front of me (in his lane) and frighten the crap out of me, you literally had no warning that they were coming, they didn't slow down much either. This fog lasted for 20 odd kms, I loved that bit.

The coldest I had was from Lock, I started at 7.00am and it was 1 degree, 3 hours later when I stopped for fuel, it was now at 5 degrees, my finger tips and toes didn't love me anymore. Going to the toilet for a pee was a LITTLE bit of a problem here, with all the layers of clothing and no pepper pot in site.

A pretty uneventful trip back the rest of the way, the last day was the biggest, 12 hours in the saddle doing 1200 km.

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