Over a number of beers last night I decided to head towards Bathurst then home on Thursday. Initially I was going to go mostly up the Olympic highway but then read my motorcycle atlas which told me that there was a better piece of road via Boorowa and Wyangala Dam. Ahah! A plan.
I got to Young around 10am and found good coffee in a cute cafe. That was a better start.
From there I headed to Boorowa. At the moment this road is patch upon patch upon pothole. I got lots of practice avoiding holes and the worst of the surface. Its a pretty road though, through standard NSW farming country.
Rugby road pout of Boorowa was as patchy as the road coming in. After a little while I turned off to Frogmore, noting the signs that said there was a bridge closed and a detour. I figured the detour would be marked well enough that I shouldn’t get lost…
This road was a bit more interesting. Still plenty of patches, but some nice long corners and plenty of pretty paddock and trees. I had a great run though for about 40mins before I came to the ‘detour’ around a flooded out bridge.
GRAVEL ROAD!! Oh no. I’ve never ridden on gravel. I had a choice – I could go backward and go via cowra, or give the gravel a go. Given I own an *adventure bike* I decided to have an adventure. The start of the road was covered in water, but beyond that looked ok. I got around the water and rode on.
Have I ever told you how much I love my bike? She’s such a ripper – I pointed her vaguely in the direction I wanted to go, relaxed my hold on the bars, relaxed my back and rode. It was awesome!!! I took it slowly, mostly in 2nd, & 1st around tight corners and it was easy as. The only time I worried was when I got to a bridge over a creek that was just great bit gravel rocks (like, fist sized). I eased into this, let the bike have her head and got stuck. Slightly. I just needed to give it a bit more juice to pull out of the gravel.
I stopped on the other side to take photos and was happily dicking around photographing gravel and the creek when I heard a car coming. I hadn’t expected anyone so hadn’t pulled off the road very far. I got to my bike, lifted it up straight and there was just enough room for them to squeeze past. Big waves all round
The gravel was only about another hundred meters and I was back on the road feeling pretty jazzed about my mad adventure riding skillz!!
More patchy, curvy road right through until Wyangala Dam. I stopped before the dam wall to take more photos, have a drink, eat chocolate and just stare at the water.
Riding over the dam was really, really cool. The road is wide and straight and I felt like I was riding across the top of the world. And there was no one else anywhere around.
The road from the dam to Woodstock is absolutely brilliant. It’s in incredibly good condition and is 8km of nice curves. This is the first set of real curves I’ve ever tackled and I’m so glad I lost my virginity here. I am most definitely going to do this again.
I was hoping for food in Woodstock (it was about 1pm by now) but all I could see was a pub with meals fri-sun, pizza anytime. That wasn’t appealing so I continued.
Out to the olympic highway, which is quite a lovely highway. No luck with food in Lyndhurst, or Carcoar (which is quite pretty) so I stopped in Blayney, ate some fruit and nuts and drank water. Refilled, and debugged. I decided I was past lunch and that would do.
Blarney to Bathurst was also fairly ordinary. Highway, trucks, overtaking lanes (them, not me) and a section of roadworks going down a 10 deg incline at 20km/hr.
Got to the edge of Bathurst and saw the sign to Mount Panorama.
Right now you need to know I don’t really follow motor sport. I know the Bathurst race exists, but that’s all. I HAD NO IDEA YOU COULD JUST RIDE THE TRACK. I think I almost cried with excitement. Got a photo and did 2 laps going one way, then 2 laps in reverse. Grinned the whole way around the track. Grinned for about an hour afterward.
Drove into Bathurst town, found a motel where I could park my bike outside my room, next to a sports club, for $80/night.
Anyone seeing me walk around Bathurst this afternoon would have wondered why I was grinning like a loon. I suspect this was one of my most favourite days EVER.