Highs and Lows of Winter Riding

3rd June 2017

Eden to Canberra 305kms

Ugh, Will has woken up with the beginnings of Man Flu, but the sun was shining. Still a bit on the cool side, but looking like it’s going to be a good day for riding. After a little ride around Eden, which certainly has a very nice beach or two, we headed towards Bega. Famous for cheese, since 1866, it was somewhere we’d always wanted to visit, but never made it. From there, we have decided that we need to detour off the coast into Canberra (didn’t think it was cold enough), to visit our nephew, Jackson, who is studying at ANU.

 

We’re getting good at the pack up. Gorgeous beach, one of several. This will be busy in summer.

 

Couldn’t find a Big Cheese or such in Bega, so just had a coffee break without cheese.

Just north of Bega, we turned left towards Cooma. This place is in our memories from our earliest travels around this country. It was winter then too, and we camped in our old Ford XC panel van just out of Cooma, and wore everything we owned, covered ourselves with all the blankets, towels and jackets we had too. When we woke in the morning, freezing cold, there were stalactites hanging from the ceiling, and our 20lt water container had a big chunk of ice rattling around inside it. Bbrrrrrr, do we really need to go there again? Yep, we did, but first, we had to ride over the Great Dividing Range. A very scenic and enjoyable ride, but the temp was dropping.

 

After riding across the Bega Valley, we realised the GoPro was needed. Beautiful riding.

After a short stop to enjoy the view back across the valley, we’d ridden across, we were hopping on our bikes, when a car that had stopped too, had trouble starting. Will thought his bike might be able to jump start it, so we gave it a go. Unfortunately, The Mule, didn’t have enough grunt to get the Commodore wagon going. We had to leave the family there to hopefully wave down another car. We carried on, and the temp dropped considerably. About 6 or 7 degrees, in an instant. We were at 1110mtrs, and heading across the high country.

 

A gorgeous view, and a timely rest spot after the twisting, turning, ride up.

 

Forever the rescuer, Will tries to start the old crummadore….it wasn’t having it this time.

The sun was still shining nicely, but we were getting pretty cold fingers. Will was coughing badly, and feeling a bit worse for wear, so we pushed on to Cooma. After fuelling up, cleaning our visors, and warming our hands a bit (toilet hand dryers are good for that), we blasted along the Snowy Mountains Highway, rolling over the high country. It was actually a great ride, and we enjoyed the rolling hills and farms.

 

Such “cowboy” country. Beautiful on a sunny afternoon.

Another break was needed before Canberra, as Will was suffering. Bugger! So we had a stop in a little town called Bredbo. Yep, that is the name. Looks like an interesting little town, kind of old school cowboy, with old wood buildings all restored and converted to B&B’s. There was a nice little rest area, with tables and toilets, so we finished our coffees, shared a Coke and our last chicken and salad roll, and booked a hotel room not far from Jackson’s place, before finishing the run to chilly Canberra.

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Little Bubby enjoying the sun, Beckie didn’t mind it either.

Getting into Canberra was fairly straight forward, and we rode right past the War Memorial. Bugger, we’d taken off the GoPro, and put the other camera away. But it was good to see again. We found our hotel, got sorted, and met up with Jackson. He is going really well, and enjoying his Uni days. We went out for dinner, and as Jackson had worked all day, and Will was feeling sick, we all headed to bed fairly early. Not before we got to meet all his roomies. Nice to chat with the leaders of our future. It was going to be -4C tonight, so crank up that heater.

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Great to see Jackson loving Uni and meeting some really nice people.

4th June 2017. Canberra to Nowra 248kms

8:30am, and the temp outside is -1.6C…….hhmmm, have to stay a bit longer sorry. No way am I riding yet! Nuts, that temperature is nuts. The sun was out, it should warm up pretty quick, hey? Well, when we rolled out of the underground car park, at 10am, it was only about 5C. Bloody hell, this is going to be tough. Before we even got to the outskirts of the city, we could see the foggy clouds settled low over the road, and we had to ride into it. We are crazy, this is crazy. The fog was so thick, our visors were covered in droplets, and it was cold. I was astounded to see the majority of cars, didn’t have their headlights on. Visibility was pretty poor.

 

Too cold to go yet, the bikes refuse to move until it gets warmer. Little Bubby had a bit of slack chain syndrome, but Will was able to tighten it so it’ll get me to Sydney.

 

In the city there is sun, around a couple of bends and Bam, the fog!

We came bursting out of it and the ACT, missing any sign of a borderline. But it was nice to be in the sun, heading towards Goulburn. A couple of times we rose up into the clouds again, and the fog, and it was bloody great to make it out, back into the sun. The motorway is not a fun place to ride, and there isn’t much to see, so just before Goulburn, we pulled into a rest stop for coffee and to warm up in the glorious sun. Just like lizards, we basked in the sunlight, soaking up every ounce of warmth we could. We also checked out the route Stupid Destiny had set us, to try find a more enjoyable ride. Luckily, just 3kms down the road, we could detour off the motorway, onto a nice backroad that would take us through to Nowra, on the coast.

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Look at those trees! The GoPro needed to come out to capture some of this road.

It was a great choice, with some lovely quiet moments, on narrow two lane road, cruising past farms and natural bush, before heading back up and over the Great Dividing Range, once more. The temp dropped to 10C up high in the hills, but the flickering sunlight kept us going and looking forward to breaking back out into the sun. A lot of road works, happening and needed, but riding a bit slower makes it easier to enjoy the curving roads, and the lovely bush. At the top, about 50kms from Nowra, we both needed a quick break, so pulled over and had a stretch. Will was getting worse, this is a pain, and I was starting to get the old Hanger (hungry/angry). Getting ourselves together, we rolled down the range, and into Nowra, both with flashing fuel lights. A quick fuel up, buy some rolls, and we found a seat on the rivers edge, to make some lunch. We also needed to make a plan for the night, so while we enjoyed the Shoalhaven River, we chose a good value Motel to check out, not too far from where we were. It’s still pretty early, but Will is ill, and needs to stop, so this is us for today. All going well tomorrow, we’ll get to Cousin Liz’s in Sydney, and have a few jobs to do once there. A couple of days in the big smoke.

 

Another winner of a road. Lots of bikes heading the other way too. Nowra Goulburn loop.

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A nice spot for Ham, Cheese, Tomato rolls.
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Melbourne, Sale, Eden, Canberra and Nowra. 1175kms! Wow.

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