Adventure Ride – Australia for Dec 2012 – Jan 2013 is READY, yeay!!!

Thank you to those who helped me with the survey to prepare the Australian Adventure Ride in Dec 2012 – Jan 2013. Here is a summary of the findings:

1)  In terms of timing for December or January – almost 70% did not care about the timing as long as there was sufficient time to prepare. Well over 6 months of prepping should be enough for a 10 day ride…

2)  About 63% wanted 10 days to 2 weeks. I will make this a 10 day ride, but you will be able to hire the bikes for additional time. Its also worth noting that almost 25% wanted more than 2 weeks. I will look into this for the future…perhaps a ride up to the tropics, Cairns, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef…hmmm sounds tempting! Let me know your thoughts…

3)  For the length of daily rides, about 70% wanted either more than 350 kms or a mixture of short and long riding days. We will tackle this by staying in some places more than one night. The Great Ocean Road and The Victorian Alpine country are the perfect candidates for this. This way you can just chill, explore on foot, go the the beach, cafes, etc. Or come for a ride with us or go on your own / with your partner.

4) Whilst we are on the topic of riding with partners…only about 16% of you will bring a partner. Over 80% are either coming alone or just maybe bring a partner…maybe? I guess those partners need to accumulate some more points with you then hey! 🙂 Naturally, partners are welcome!

5) In terms of which bike you’d like to ride, about 70% chose either the Monster or the Multistrada…Hmmm ok, but I thought the Hypermotard would be more popular. The Multistrada has proven to be the most popular (42%) and over 25% of you will be riding your own bikes…Cool!

6)  Doing a bit of cost benefit analysis, over 75% of you told me that you do not want to pay for luxury accommodation. We will stay in 3-4 star places and I have to agree with you, its just a place to sleep at. That said, if some of you want to stay in luxury, contact me and I will make sure you will be accommodated, but that will cost extra of course.

7)  I am relieved that almost 80% of you do not want to pay for carrying your luggage. Hiring of a car, driver, fuel etc would have been way to expensive…Luckily though this is not as much of an issue for the Transylvanian Tour. We will make sure that our bikes have ample luggage carrying capacity.

Again, thank you to those who helped with the survey.  If you have registered your email address, and most of you have, you will get a further 5% off the tour price. This could result in up to 15% or almost $600 off the full price.  If you have any questions, issues, contact me.

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Transylvania: The Bicaz Gorge

We took off early in the morning towards Bicaz Gorge. It was still foggy in the mountains…

but no-one complained despite the previous night’s foolish behaviour in the beer garden…this ride had my adrenalin pumping so I could not sleep past 6am anyway…

Once we left the town of Udvarhely,

we rode through a few villages,

where storks nests such as this were common. It was amazing to see wildlife and civilisation entwined…

The stork is a migratory bird and every year they travel to Africa during winter but they return to their nests year after year.

As we left the villages behind, the surroundings turned green…

As we passed the peasants horses and carts it was like going back in time. That’s unless we saw them use their mobile phones which was a strange sight…This visual’s just not getting old…

As we got closer to the Gorge, and we got higher into the mountains, the landscape became more dramatic…and beautiful

before we got to the Bicaz Gorge we stopped by for a break at the Red Lake (Translated from Romanian, in Hungarian its the Killer Lake, it must be a Transylvanian thing…)

That lake and rowing boats looked too inviting for us not to try them out…

but all fun must come to an end and our gruelling task of riding to the Bicaz Gorge had to continue…it wasn’t too far…

And this is what greeted us:

This is what it looks like from the top:

Nice!

Breakfast in Transylvania

My breakfasts in Transylvania were always preceded by a quick fang on the Gixer…nothing works up an appetite better in the morning than fresh air and 20 kms twisted pavement…(actually, there are a few things but you can’t stay in bed forever… back to the story)

On this video below…

I ride the hills of Hargita county as I know of this great cafe/restaurant surrounded by pine trees and mineral water fountains…

where they serve the best scrambled eggs, home baked bread and garden grown tomato salad on this planet…

This, with freshly brewed coffee…and my day’s just begun…

Does life get any better than this? No?

Actually it does… You should see the ride we went onto later that day….more of that next time…

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 2)

The next morning in New Norfolk we woke up to another fine Tasmanian day. The sun was just up, not a cloud could be seen and the morning chill was prompting us to get out for coffee. The local bakery was already open so we sat down to a hearty breakfast and a strong caffeine hit in a mug. We were not the only ones out for adventure, a hot rod crew turned up so we checked out their machinery… but time waits for nobody and we wanted to make our way into Strathgordon Dam, besides, who cares about cars when we are on bikes and scenery such as this was waiting up the road?

random picture on a bridge crossing...

We stopped a few times on the way to Strathgordon Dam, either to refuel…

...now what?

to admire the scenery…or just to watch Eric bust a move…

...Vanilla Ice eat your heart out..............WTF?

but we still don’t know why…let’s move on.

Before we took off into the distance, we spared a thought on our partners at home struggling with chores and wished we were there to give them a hand instead….

The road to Strathgordon Dam was long, twisty, smooth, picturesque, etc etc… you get the picture, but in case you don’t, here it is…

and what's even better...we did not see a car for hours

and just when we had enough (is there such thing?) of the winding road we pulled over to have a look at this: Lake Pedder. Words cannot express the beauty of this land, so I’ll say nothing and just let you enjoy it…The excitement was just too much of all of us: Daniel’s head swelled up and he could put his helmet back on (true story)… Eric, once again, showed us that He Believes!

...and the Lord said: "You are, once again, Welcome!"

and I, just this time, stopped admiring my bike and took another picture of the scenery

it's not a copy of the one above...you can find 5 things that are different!

However beautiful the landscape was, this wasn’t our destination…that was a few kilometres up the road. Once we managed to tear ourselves away and got back onto our bikes, we were there in no time…this is what awaited: and this…

Strathgordon Dam

It was time to play Japanese tourist again…

no no...You are da Man!

It was late afternoon and time to make our way back. We stopped for a nice feed on the side of the road… 

I did not share...

Over our meal we discussed the best methods we employ to keep it rubber side down. Some of us mentioned good tyres (wasn’t Eric) or just tip top condition of the bike (wasn’t Eric on this one either) …or…wait for it…. wearing his partner’s underwear for good luck…hmmm.

We swore to secrecy never to tell anyone who that person is however I leave you with this picture.

I'm saying nothing!

Cheers,

Till next time!

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 1)

After our Mad Dash to Tasmania (see earlier posts), Eric and I returned to Melbourne bragging to everyone (whether we knew them or not) about how great our ride was. Still buzzing, we managed to convince our mate Daniel to join us next time…OK, he didn’t need convincing and the date was set again, quickly followed by purchasing of the tickets to cross the Bass Straight on the Spirit of Tasmania…it was another weekend ride, but this time with longer days, more saddle time and bigger distances…hence the Epic Adventure.

The boat ride was fairly uneventful, embark of Friday evening, dinner, vine, talking crap and arriving Saturday morning to Devonport…

Upon arriving to Tassie, the usual intake of coffee and breakfast followed and we were off towards Cradle Mountain… 

Along the way we came across a genuine piece of two wheeled art. Straight away Eric felt the need for a test ride…

I'm a cowboy...with a steel horse I ride...

...poetry in motion...

Eric decided on “Better the devil you know” and we continued on our Epic Adventure.

Near Cradle Mountain we pulled over to check out the scenery…Daniel could not believe the beauty of the land…

I took took a picture of the bikes 

and the last corner…

I could ride this all day...

and Eric left to check out the scenery from a higher vantage point

...the Man on his throne...

This view greeted him from the cliff:

you don't want to get lost in there...

Our next stop was Strahan, but we had to stop a few times along the way, just to take in the scenery which was awe inspiring…

...are we there yet?

or needed a group hug

...ah that's nice! Now can we farkin' ride???!!!

or there was A Bug On Daniel’s Bike and he HAD to pull over to clean it…

you missed a spot...

The day was perfect! It was warm, light wind and we barely saw any cars for hours…We took breaks frequently just to soak in the vibe of the place…

other than our helmet hair, this picture is perfect

or for the boys to admire my bike…

Admire but do not touch!

but when we got to this sign…

happy times ahead...

we knew we were in motorbike heaven…We took off into the distance having a blast through the twisties like there was no tomorrow…Arriving to Strahan, I took a picture of myself… I do not know why, my hair was a total mess… After a massive feed of fresh seafood, pasta and cold beer we lazed on the lawn near the bay for a while. I do believe I heard Eric snore, but that could also have been me…

Finally, once we got ourselves moving again… it was time for us to look for somewhere to sleep. New Norfolk was some 260kms away and we only had 5hrs before sunset…It was time go and the perfect excuse to ride fast!

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Epic Adventure, where we ride fast for no reason whatsoever, check out Strathgordon Dam and make fools of ourselves in the bike heaven of the Tasmanian wilderness.

Motorbike Adventure: Mad Dash – Tasmania Ride (Episode 2)

We arrived in Devonport around 6:00am. Once we disembarked, we were greeted with still empty streets (it was Saturday after all) and more importantly blue skies…yeay!!!

blue skies yeay!

Promptly looked for a cafe to have brekkie and gave the boys and the family a wake up call to tell them how wrong their weather forecast was

E.H. phone home

still somewhat weathered from the late night drunken behaviour on the boat… (see Mad Dash Episode1)

I need coffee! Now!!!

we ordered a huge serving of breakfast and double dose of coffee. We needed all the help for the adventure ahead. Words could not express how happy we felt about doing the Mad Dash.

So we stayed tight lipped and communicated with hands and feet

Is nice!

and admired our bikes (but mostly mine)

The K5...getting old but still sporting the nicest arse in the business

that's a beautiful blue, freshly pained for next year's trip to Europe...

straight after loading up with carbs and caffeine we came across this rather dramatic and disturbing image…

remnants of last night's storm

Australia’s supposed to be the driest continent on this planet…did they count Tasmania?

Soon after that thought we started to focus on the task at hand and rode into the distance…

the road into the wild wild South

On the road to nowhere we pulled over frequently to enjoy the scenery

and for a quick prayer to Motorcycle God for the nice weather…

you are Welcome!

as we headed further South, and higher into the mountains, it started to get cold so we pulled over for a stretch…

 or two…

who's da man?

I, instead of acting like a fool, just decided to beat the cold with my wet weather gear, which was…

I hear they shoot people who wear pink in Tassie...

fluoro pink…Out of embarrassment I kept the helmet on…luckily though on the back of the jacket

...and of course my stretching is much more efficient than Eric's

it does say its ‘Race wear” so it does have some coolness about it….look at my bike!

One more shot of Great Lake…

and we were on our way towards Strathgordon Dam. Just before we got to it, we pulled over to check out Lake Pedder…

wow what a view...and the background is not bad either...

however it was too cold to enjoy it as much as it deserved…even a “manhug” didn’t warm us up. It was then that Eric told me that his heated grips are making his hands sweat….

bastard

The entire day we rode roads like this:

no idea how fast I took this bend, and luckily there was no uniformed officer there to enlighten us...so we will never know. And I am ok with that...

and like this:

until we got to our destination:

they say ” a picture tells a thousand words” but sometimes a small video does a pretty good job as well…[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MofGAW3F12k%5D

As the evening drew in, we realised that we had nowhere to sleep and were about 70km from the nearest house…fuck!

To make things worse, one of us was running low on fuel and it wasn’t the Suzuki…

We managed to stagger into New Norfolk and came across an old pub with available rooms and open kitchen. One we checked in, and neatly packed our gear away,

the honeymoon suite...

we headed down for dinner and to check out the night life…

Stay tuned for Mad Dash Episode 3 to find out about: Tasmanian hospitality, will we make it back in one piece or will they find the pink riding gear and use us for target practice? Eric’s has a religious moment and we find some seriously twisted roads on the way back to Devonport…