Monday, 6 October 2014

Crappy Victorian roads take no prisoners...

After such a great ride yesterday, today started on a really low note.

Went to put the panniers back on the bike this morning and found a critical bolt had snapped. Off to the bike shop for repairs.... only to find it's a public holiday.

I manage to find an engineering shop open across the border in Wodonga. Long story short, the frame's fixed but minus a part that locks the pannier to it. Number 8 wire prevailed and it's strapped with a tie-down for now.

The pannier is rated to 10kg - Loading them with 30kg+ and driving on Victorian roads is obviously beyond the rated limit of the mushroom bolts.
A motorcycle tie-down and a Zuru strap soon replaced the missing mushroom bolt.

So basically, a wasted day. Whilst not as hot as the centre of Australia, the temp is up there today and the humidity along with it, making things uncomfortable. The weather is unpredictable and I'm not sure how the pannier is going to cope without the mushroom bolt to hold it in place. I decide to head for Sydney to see if I can find a Givi dealer with the spare parts in stock.

It still has me baffled how they managed to get this submarine here from the nearest ocean.

Hot and bored (sweating profusely in my new bike pants) I detour via Holbrook and stop for coffee at the submarine cafe. This is a real life submarine, about 1000 k's from the nearest ocean.
It's a playground for kids to play on, and in. Yes, that's in as well. You can explore every inch of this thing. There were family's with kids everywhere. For somewhere you have to divert to off the highway, this is one big draw-card.

I call my brother in Sydney to chew over my day and he reminds me of just how pissed off I'll be if I don't go back south to play in the Snowy Mountains for a few days. As he put it, THE best motorcycle roads in the whole of Australia.

There's no escaping the rain tomorrow. I make plans to head back through the snow to the east coast of NSW to a place called Bega and book myself a night in a motel in Tallangata.

Made a special trip to ride over the old Hume Weir this afternoon only to find that they've built a bypass down stream. This was as close as I could get. Disappointing.

It's been about 35 years since I was last here and there's little I recognised. The old Bonegilla army base has moved across the road and a "Migrant Experience Centre" has gone up in its place. Really? Not sure what that's about.

The other thing I was hoping to see were the hundreds of Centurion tanks that lined the highway at the Bandianna Army Stores Depot. I guess they're all scrap metal by now.

Still, there were enough landmarks throughout the area to invoke some old memories from all those years ago. Oh to be 18 again.

Whilst out that way, I passed about 50 vintage motorcycles heading north. There were certainly some crusty looking riders amongst them that looked about as ancient as their machines.

With storm clouds looming I head off towards Tallangatta with wet gear at the ready but manage to make it all the way and check-in just as the rain begins to fall. Lucky yet again.

Today's route.