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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the beloved to the airport.

Did some tidying around the house.

Didn't mow the lawn.


lawn not mown, it still isn't - maybe this weekend

Gave the dog a bone, gave the other dog a bone too.


"really, all for me?"

Loaded the bike.


loaded bike

And was off. To the servo for fuel (or "gas"). Then off on holidays. West to join the A3 and then head south. Then north-west, north-east and sort of north-west-ish to home on day 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
... another week just gone, how does that happen?

My last trip was North on the A3, so, just for something to do, this trip is South on the A3. There's some awesome riding and fascinating history. And cold weather, well cold for me. But first - get into the groove of just riding. It's not work, nothing HAS to be done, no one is assessing how well I ride (well, actually I am). There's plenty of time to just ride & enjoy.

Easier said than done.

After rolling through some backroads through the hills beside the river, a bit of big highway and some country highway I get to the first big hilly bit, up the range from Esk to Hampton.


This looks like the right place


Yes, this is it!


Sorry, less photos this trip as I didn't take the helmet camera.


After a challenging ride of missing braking points, turning nervously early, anxiously looking ahead instead of all the way through the corner, getting bumped around by too much compression damping and a touchy throttle, I made it through the forest & farmland to the top and the start of the real ride.

South on the A3.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's 2:05 on a Thursday afternoon.
It's the end of Autumn.
It's about 700m higher than home and getting higher.
I'm heading south (that's north to those of you in the North).

I can feel a chill in the air, and I'm glad that my new summer jacket isn't as summery as my old one.

I roll on south following the A3 through the farmland and somehow stumble through Toowoomba as TomTom and street signs didn't agree very well (and TomTom loves to save every metre it can with shortcuts that... well, just don't help).

And 50 minutes later it's time to admire the view south-east over the cropland, over Hodgeson Creek and towards the edge of the range, from the Erbacher Road Scenic Lookout.


view to be admired

It's also time to adjust the windscreen. Last trip my helmet peak caught the turbulence off the top of the screen, so this time I added a small adjustable spoiler to the top. Yes, it pushed the air way over the top, but it had very poor optics around the edges. So poor that I had to lower it. Buyer beware. And I also bought a helmet without a peak, so the spoiler is probably superfluous. Another reason to test ride!

Sometimes I turn location on when taking photos. But I didn't this time. I wish I did. Please remind me next time.


4pm. Grazing land, somewhere probably a bit north of Warwick

And into Stanthorpe just before sunset. The first stop is always usually fuel.


fuel


distance

Then to the pub for a cheap room and a big feed.
 

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USD 1.40/L X 4= RM5.60 and our fuel price is RM2.05 /4= USD 0.52/L and yet people here cry their ass out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
$50 for a pub room is great value these days. It was a classic old pub room that looked to have what I guessed was the old pipes for the gas light still on the wall and the toilet & shower were off the back verandah (as they weren't part of the original design). Plus a loud laughing itinerant farm worker nearby. It was plenty good enough for me, but I wouldn't take the beloved.


view from room 4


view from the front verandah


classic country pub

I love to walk around these old towns and just look at the history.


note the tower of life in the middle - it used to be windmills that brought life, now it's mobile phones


arty shot of clock tower


arty shot of old laneway

And back to the pub for dinner.



The mighty Chicken Parmy - Supreme, with veg. And yes, the carrots were done with honey & sesame seeds. And a couple of cold beers. Full as! Happy as!

Here's today's map.


map of day 1
 

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when you grow old , those old buildings bring profound memories and some time tears. I miss life in the 70's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
when you grow old , those old buildings bring profound memories and some time tears. I miss life in the 70's.
I hear you, there was some great music, but the clothes & food... I was only a teenager.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Day 2


There's a beautiful sunrise out there somewhere

I'm on holiday, so I'll catch the sunrise another time, like in Spring.


I didn't need to know that

So I went back to sleep.


No need for breakfast after last night's dinner, so off I went to look about from the lookout.


look

Now to head south.
Don't you love it when the GPS mapping doesn't know which roads were actually built, and which weren't? Not!

Many towns in Australia have a big thing. Stanthorpe, being the coldest place in the state, has a big thermometer. Today it was showing 10.3 C at 9:37 am. I was here with my beloved around this time last year and the day maxed out at about 8C, so I was in for a great day!


the big thing

There was another thing to see. Big, but actually small.


the pyramid

Yes, that's a pyramid built from rocks cleared from the surrounding paddocks. It started as a joke, because, well, farming... It even has its own entry in Wikipedia (Ballandean Pyramid - Wikipedia). The last time I was here I sent my daughter a picture of this, because... well, just because. She sent me back a photo of her feet. From the top. She doesn't get it from me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And now south and over the border to Tenterfield, NSW. Now, I know many of you only know of Tenterfield from the very moving Peter Allan song - Tenterfield Sadler - but there is more to Tenterfield. Real history. In a museum!


long-winded plaque

The idea of Australia, as a country, rather than a collection of separate colonies, got a big kick start here with a big speech by local politician, Henry Parkes. So I went for a look. Fascinating!


big ideas & hopes


more thoughts

I like a good museum. This was a good one! very happy to pay $5 or was it $7. Who cares?!

The volunteer showing me around used to ride back in the early '70s, but she said she had to give up as she was too short to ride the Triumph and couldn't get a license. I wish I could remember her name. I wish I was bold enough to have asked for a photo. Her other motorbike story was that she wanted to become a motorbike mechanic, but no one would employ her, however, she did get a job at the parts department, well, until she came to work one day covered in bandages after crashing a bike and got sacked. They were different times!


arty shot of building & beautiful clear blue sky

After feeding the mind, it was time to feed the stomach. Brunch.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Back to the road!


the road south

Rolling, rolling, rolling... to the next big thing. But it's smaller than the original but still big.


rocks, big rocks

Yes, it's a Henge, or locally known as the "Australian Standing Stones". Google maps currently has 556 reviews with a score of 4.4/5. And a big Celtic festival is held here.


definitely big rocks

For the sciency amongst us.


purpose of the stones



autumn colours

Note the Tesla in the background. I passed it earlier as it wouldn't do the speed limit - range anxiety?


Normally there are still a lot of autumn colours in the trees, after all this is the New England Highway, and this area is known as the New England tablelands. But, the drought seems to have killed many of the trees. It's been the same all day - very little colour, apart from dead brown. Sad.


winding road, rolling hills, dead trees


winding road, rolling hills, dead trees

It's a quarter past 2, I'm a bit north of Guyra, and there's about 160km to Tamworth. And it's just an awesome day to ride this awesome road. So off I go.

Guyra. Armidale (well, the bypass). Uralla. Bendemeer. Roadworks on the hill at Moonbi (so I missed the lookout). And into Tamworth. It was cold. My hands started to get cold around 2pm. It was now about 4:15 pm and the sun would set at about 5 pm.

So, why was I wearing my vented summer gloves? Good question! Dumb answer! I brought my leather mid-season gloves with no ventilation & gauntlet. But, my new jacket has very long sleeves. And I'm wearing thermals & a windproof/warm jacket under my riding jacket. Now the gauntlet won't fit either over or under my sleeve, and I can't push the sleeve up. And I didn't test this at home. Pro tip - test stuff at home!


fuel


distance


the pub


the view from room 4


the steak

Another great day done!


today's map
 

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I have a question for you OneBlackDog - I notice the straps around your saddlebags. WHY...?

(And I AM interested, as I'm having some "issues" w/ MY bags.)

:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have a question for you OneBlackDog - I notice the straps around your saddlebags. WHY...?

(And I AM interested, as I'm having some "issues" w/ MY bags.)

:eek:
Good question Eddie, the bags were a bit full & hard to close, and as they only clamp at the top/hinge at the bottom, I figured that a bit of extra help was a good idea, especially on some of the rough roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

cold enough for a sleep in

An hour later it's down the stairs, put my key in the key return box and out to the car park to wipe the frost off the bike cover. The out-lane is closed for maintenance, so it's out the narrow in-lane between the buildings, onto the main street and into the glorious sunshine. Oh, glorious sunshine!

First stop - bike shop for warmer gloves. I've seen them when not looking for them. Similar to my vented summer gloves, but all leather with no ventilation.


of course

No. Not this time.
There were a few other riders there looking for warmer gear as well, a local and some other travellers looking for gloves and balaclavas.
Glove liners. That'll have to do!

Stop #2. A museum.


worth the visit

I was one of the early ones so got much than my $5 worth in a personal tour and explanation of the history & technology of electrifying the street lights of Tamworth, plus steam engines and dynamos, both working & replicas; and all manner of electrical goods from the early years. Would you believe that the electrification was originally knocked back by the city councillors who had financial interests in the existing gas supply?


seriously interesting

Stop 3. Another museum.

On the site of the second power station, there is a very flash hotel. Beside the hotel, in a spare building, the owner stores his motorcycle collection. And he lets you in to look, just look. While all the bikes, apart from 1, are fully restored, you don't get to ride any. Or even hear them startup. Pity! There was an old bloke there to show you around.


a couple of Kawasakis


a Honda


a Suzuki

And some others - Japanese, British & Italian & German and American.













Check out the adjustable rear suspension on this race bike.


shine on

Here's the latest acquisition.



This one is staying as is. It was found in a barn after 40 years, before that it spent 60 years in the same family delivering the mail.



This means it must be time for me to get back on the road - no need for breakfast, I'll do brunch later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There was more to see and do in Tamworth, as Tamworth is Australia's home of Country Music. There's a museum (in the shape of a guitar) and a big golden guitar to photograph. But I've spared you.

After about 40 minutes of blissful riding over gently rolling hills through peaceful farmland, a little bit of it with warm hands - pro-tip: glove liners are good for standing around, but no so good when wrapping your hand, even loosely, around the grips - I arrive at a place I still can't pronounce. Wallabadah. Go on, have a go!

Wallabadah is the site of another historical attraction, the First Fleet Memorial Garden. For our international readers, the First Fleet was the first fleet of convicts to arrive in what is now Sydney in 1788, thus starting the European "settlement". Side note - Sydney is about 360km away. So how did Wallabada get the First Fleet Memorial Garden? Simple, they wanted something, and no one else wanted a First Fleet Memorial Garden, so they built it. Build it and they will come!


picnic area


list of convicts and other info about the fleet


rare insight


All this history has made me hungry. Oh, look, a cafe!


burger - with bacon, egg, pineapple & beetroot. As good as it gets!


I win!

Now back to the road

 
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