Some like it hot, personally I loved it!

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Falcopops
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Some like it hot, personally I loved it!

#1 Post by Falcopops » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:06 pm

So a couple of weeks ago my mate Dave (best man to be exact) came over from snowy London for a visit. Being a good old boy he arranged a hire bike and we went out to play, here's the tale.

Picked up the Fazer 600 in north Melbourne and headed for the hills. Now it had been getting progressively warmer since Dave arrived and this was the hottest yet and Dave and I don't do the jeans and T-shirt riding thing. 1st stop Mount Dandenong. A nice little view point where you can see for miles (kilometers) across the plains to Melbourne CBD.More importantly it's reached via mountain rods that wind steadily upwards through the forest. A real mix of fast and slow corners with bugger alll runoff, but being mid week also bugger all traffic. Check out the twisties on the graphic. :smt007
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So a quick stop for coffee water and chocolate then back into the heat. We got gloved and helmeted in the air con and made a dash for the bikes only for my Datatool to refuse to disarm. Fortunately I had the instructions on the bike, even more fortunately I remembered the disarm code that I had set in back in 2003 and never used since. Now that I was nicely warmed up (sweat running into my boots) we were off up the Maroondah Highway heading for the Black Spur.

The Black Spur is an awesome piece of road. In the mountains again (gets snowy in winter), but it's like riding through a tropical rain forest, the trees are huge and dead straight and the ferns are as big as houses. The road is reletless, there's no straights that I can recall, although there must have been a couple as we did hit some traffic, but passed quite easily. The hardest corners I found were the downhill righthand hairpins, you can't see through the trees to allow you to cut the corner or see the exit. The Black Spur starts proper at Healesville, which is pretty much destroyed by the fires and passes close to Marysville which has been completely destroyed, not a building remains standing.
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The remainder of the day was very dull in comparison and so bloody hot. Opening my visor to readjust my sunnies, coz they'd slipped down due to the sweat, was met with a heat blast akin to standing next to an industrial jet heater. We had intended to do a couple of other interesting looking roads on the map, but some of them end in dirt tracks. We did end up doing a couple then turning back at the end of the tarmac, but it was getting too hot to bugger about so we headed for home. We did pass through some of the other towns to be descimated by the fires. Alexandra, Kinglake probably the most notable :smt009 .

Day 2 Wed 28th Jan. Off we head to do the Great Ocean Road. In my wisdom (remember I've been in this town for just over a year and know fcuk all) I suggest going inland most of the trip to pop out on the Great Ocean Road by the Twelve Apostles then stumble into Warnambool for the night and do the ride proper the next day. Well the inland ride was very very dull and very very hot. The roads that looked like they might be a bit of a laugh weren't. The town that looked like it might be worth a stop for lunch and gas was closed. The lakes that promised a nice view and some twisties had dried up and the roads were flat, straight and hot. It wasn't really all that bad, there were the odd bendy bits and 'coz it was so flat you could have a good thrash at them and since it was so hot there was plenty of grip, provided you missed the molten bits (I kid you not).

The Twelve Apostles are amazing.
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A quick blat to Warnambool where I realised I didn't know the name of the hotel we were staying at, where it was or the phone number. Still found it at the second attempt so that wasn't too bad. Nice place Warnambool, a couple of Irish pubs that serve Guinness and it was sooooo good we drank lots of it. Perhaps a tad too much as neither of us made breakfast and had to be asked to leave at 11am. Now my mate Dave can drink a bit, and I've never seen him so bad. I've certainly never experienced him chucking up the morning after, I just wish I had too.

Just before I started the bike I looked at the temp and it was reading 40C and it felt unbearably hot. We headed off, the 1st bit was easy, straights with long open bends, nice to get into the mood. Passed the 12 Apostles and into some proper biking roads, but still not too challenging. I was just about to chalk up the ride as a wash out when we got to the mountain like bit. Back to back hairpins signed at 30kph,but taken substantially faster than that, seemed to go on forever then stopped all too soon.

We stopped for a pie and a bottle of water, which made Dave feel great and me feel like shite. Onwards and downwards, more open faster stuff now whith the odd tightening bend just to keep you awake.

We were getting so hot and dehydrated that we had to stop at nearly every little town on the route to drink more water. We were cheerily informed that it was now 44C, I was failing fast and was struggling to concentrate at times. Fortunately at Apollo Bay I got enough water in me to make a difference because the coastal road is the most amazing ride.

This doesn't do it justice.
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This is a bit more like it
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All in all an excellent three days riding and only 1 speeding ticket for 6kph over the 100kph limit, pathetic. Still I'm gonna say it was Dave riding my bike and see if they bother trying to find him.

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#2 Post by Samray » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:21 pm

:smt019

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#3 Post by HowardQ » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:51 pm

Great story and photos Dale, it looks brilliant!
Was hoping to get out on my Falco this weekend, but got another snow delivery last night, still it is a bit warmer today and we have seen a bit of sun, might even reach 4 or 5 degrees, but still expecting -3 tonight.
As Sam said :smt019
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#4 Post by Falcomille » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:24 pm

Inspirational stuff Dale - looks like a great set of roads. Green with envy!!! :smt106 Hope things damp down for you soon and they get those bloody fires out! Hang the bastards that caused them!

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#5 Post by fastasfcuk » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:11 pm

stunning coastal road dale.

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#6 Post by Nooj » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:05 pm

Yah boo sucks! Not fair, I want access to roads like that! :smt013
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#7 Post by Gio » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:03 am

You are f'ing mad riding in that temp :smt018 :smt005

Dunno about the pics looks like one of them thar travel brochures :smt003

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#8 Post by Falcopops » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:01 pm

Had I the option I wouldn't have done the trip in that heat, but they were the days that days Dave had the bike hired.

Those pics were grabbed from sites on t'interweb and are only a taster. I don't think I can recall better biking roads.

Just had a mate round tonight who reckons he can talk my missus round to lettingme hit the track. After a couple of drinkies she was this close to agreeing to it :smt001 .

All I need to do now is get a new job (been unemployed since Nov) to cover the expenses and the mortgage :smt010

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#9 Post by Gio » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:43 pm

Falcopops wrote:All I need to do now is get a new job (been unemployed since Nov) to cover the expenses and the mortgage :smt010

Fireman? :smt003

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#10 Post by Viking » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:25 pm

Falcopops wrote:All I need to do now is get a new job (been unemployed since Nov) to cover the expenses and the mortgage :smt010
Now that sucks the big one!

Good luck finding a new job, mate!
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#11 Post by Nooj » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:45 am

It was hard work riding round France at 40*C, so at 44 you must have been really struggling! We gave up with the leathers eventually, dehydration = lack of concentration = high risk of crashing, my riding certainly improved for being cooler.

We'd stop periodically for water, drinking half and tipping the rest in our lids, that really helps to stay cool.
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#12 Post by Falcopops » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:59 pm

I agree with the concentrating thing, I think I could have done better if I'd been cooler and more hydrated (and not had 10 pints of Guinness the night before), but I only found myself zoning out a bit on the boring bits. The interesting bits demanded attention and got it.

We were stopping for water at every little town we came to, there's one at the end of every twisty bit fortunately, I think that's the only reason we were able to have as much fun. Without the water stops I doubt we'd have been able to ride they way we did if at all.

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#13 Post by Nooj » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:15 pm

You know it's time to take on more water when you stop by the roadside for a pee and all you can squeeze out is a teaspoon of golden syrup :smt003
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#14 Post by HisNibbs » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:26 pm

Nooj wrote:You know it's time to take on more water when you stop by the roadside for a pee and all you can squeeze out is a teaspoon of golden syrup :smt003
You’re going to put me off my porridge now.....

I'm another that doesn't believe in riding without proper gear but there have been occasions for popping in to town to get provisions etc. in Greece or Italy for example that I have done so. I reckon the increased risk of damage in the crash can be mitigated by being less likely to have a crash.
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