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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New found love – Ducati Multistrada

Running out of patience whilst waiting for the Gixer to arrive form Europe (it takes over 40 days on the water…), Nady and I test rode a few new models. Just “to see” of course, not going to get a new bike, don’t need one….yeah right!

Thankfully my mate at Fraser Ducati (Sydney) had a new Multistrada 1200 available. He could have it shipped down…or I could fly up and ride her back from Sydney to Melbourne. Just to make sure she runs ok, of course…

When I arrived, the hot Italian was already waiting for me…

she had some of her family members there as well, who were equally attractive…

I love this family! Slightly dysfunctional but full of gorgeousness, which makes up for it…

After one hour of introduction (Yes, I was shown how to start the bike…) I was on my way…

Getting from Sydney to Melbourne there are a number of ways to go…the most obvious is the Hume Hwy/Fwy, which is a 100-110km/hr speed limited, multi-lane road that trucks and most of the public use. Imagine riding an airplane landing strip at 100km/hr…exciting stuff. So the REAL choice was the scenic route via the NSW/Vic Alpine country…

Since the brochure said she can be used off-road, I had to give that a go…

The multi-purpose tyres handled the terrain beautifully! Since I took the long route (over 1,000 kms lay ahead) I had to go fast as I only had a day registration and no rego. plates, officer…I also had to test the range of the 20lt fuel tank…over 300kms with less than a litre left…

along the way passed some amazing scenery…

However, soon it got dark and the fun turned into an endurance event…

After some 1,200kms of Ducati lovin’ I arrived home about 4:00 o’clock in the morning. I can easily say it was the toughest one-day ride ever but it was worth every minute!

Churches in Transylvania

There is a village in the depths of Transylvania, called Gelence (pronounced Ghelentze…now say that 10 times…).

It doesn’t look much different from any other Transylvanian villages. Remote from western civilisation, surrounded by mountains and dense forrest, no public transport, only 4-5000 people etc…In fact it it wasn’t for the single petrol station you’d think you have gone back in time.

Since I was in Transylvania on my motorbike, I just had to visit this place…

My aim was to check out this fortified church…

which does not look anything special…except that it is.  And, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its historic significance:

  • originally built in 13th century…(yes, 1200 something)
  • it is on the top 100 list of the World Monuments Fund (check it out in Wikipedia), along with well known places like the Taj Mahal (that’s the one in India not the Trump Taj in Atlantic City…)
  • UNESCO world heritage site

There are no buildings this old in Australia, so I had to look inside. It’s hard to imagine that anything that is built today would last over 800 years…

The frescos, with meticulous attention to detail, tell a story of a king that ruled the area in around 1080 A.D. If you want to know more abut this place, click here.

Once I had enough appreciation of the local history and religion, it was time to appreciate local geography…did I mention this place is surrounded by hills right? LET’S RIDE!

as the sun started to go down I turned up to one of my favourite restaurants for a bite…

I knew the food was great here from previous trips so I grabbed a menu…It is so thoughtful that they translate each meal in numerous languages for the tourists…including english of course…It’s pity though (and extremely funny!) that some things get lost in translation…case in point:

…since I speak Hungarian (after all I used to live here some 25 years ago) I knew exactly what that dish was. I can assure you no person got hurt during the making…Nevertheless it was all too easy to imagine some poor shepherd in the hills with a voice a few octaves higher…and the sheep around him with a sigh of relief…

Speaking of sheep…the lamb cutlets are awesome at this place! Till 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!