The Big North: Day 1

Ooh, what a big, wet day. I knew today was going to rain but that didn’t mean I had to like it.

I woke up early and was out of the driveway by 7.

Motorbike, all packed and ready to go

Packed and on the road by 7

This is what the radar looked like as I left – definitely rain all over the place:

Rain radar showing rain in the area, but mostly passed

Rain, but mostly on the way to the coast

I went to Goulburn (in light rain), got a photo of this handsome dude:

The big merino

# 1 big thing: The Big Merino

and went to mum’s for a cup of tea. Nothing leaking yet!

Then I went to Robertson (mostly drizzle), got a photo of what has been apparently rated the worst big thing in Australia:

The big potato

# 2 big thing: The big potato

and had a coffee (where a local asked me why I riding as far as I can in 4 days…).

I rode from there to Pheasants Nest (no rain until the last 10 minutes, when it started bucketing down), got fuel and checked the radar. I could see a storm coming just north, so sat in a shelter for about an hour, where I had a nice chat with another rider and was offered a lovely cup of tea from some Canberra folks heading North too.

When I left, this is what the radar looked like (I’m the purple dot just beneath the mass of rain) but I wasn’t goin to stay there all day:

Rain radar, with a big storm just north of where I was

Yes, I’m riding North (at least I was going North-West, not North-East)

The next hour and a half was about the most unpleasant riding I’ve ever done. The freeway wasn’t too bad, but sitting in traffic on Pennant Hills Road in heavy heavy rain was just awful. I was starting to feel cold in the crotch but told myself that me gear wasn’t leaking, it was just cold because water was pooling on my seat.

But I finally cleared the traffic, and cleared the rain for a while and went and visited these handsome folks at the Australian reptile park:

Big frilled-neck lizard

Big thing #3:Big frilled-neck lizard

Another big frilled-neck lizard

Big thing #3.1:Big frilled-neck lizard

A while up the road I fueled up, emptied out and discovered that yes, my waterproof pants were leaking (I have never met a pair of waterproof pants that didn’t leak in the crotch). But my jacket and shoes were OK, and my gloves had held out until I put my hands down and all the water ran down my arms.

Then a good, though rainy, run to Singleton until my GPS couldn’t find the hotel and I drove around town (in driving rain) looking for it. But I did spot my target big thing for tomorrow. Finally found the hotel, and a pub for dinner:

Pub in Singleton

Beer!

Now just to see what I can get dry for tomorrow. My soft luggage is a bit damp inside, my tank bag is drenched, my pants are soaked, my jacket is soaked on the outside layer and both pairs of gloves are dripping wet. But my boots and socks are fine, and everything in the hard panniers is fine.

Tomorrow, more North, more big things. Less rain.

 

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2 Responses to The Big North: Day 1

  1. Joe says:

    It is a rite of passage. Or something. Here’s hoping skies clear for you!

    Quick Q: when riding, aren’t your waterproof glove gauntlets inside your jacket? That prevents water from running down your sleeves. It also keeps you dry while riding…at least, in my experience.

    Have fun!

  2. donna says:

    Today is looking much better – completely clear skies & 3 classic motorcycle roads to ride.

    I wear my gloves the other way as my handlebars are higher than my elbows…

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