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Old 22-03-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default Part 4-Thunderbolts way -Roarin style

Previous, part 3:

Yes its me again. Back to bore you senseless with some more incoherent ramblings. But I’m enjoying myself. And that’s all that matters. To me anyway.

One thing I did neglect to mention from yesterdays account was this cool little road I found out the back of Walcha. Heading north east out the back of town. Don’t ask me where it goes cause I wouldn’t have a clue. All I know is that is rises & falls & ducks & dives from left to right for as long as I followed it. Which was for about ¼ of an hour. With the sun starting to set out to the west. But still a real neat way to unwind after a days ride. With another one. Is it beginning to sound like I quite enjoy my riding?

Wednesday morning finds me turning south out of Walcha onto Thunderbolts way heading for Gloucester. Cold again. Not as bad as yesterday but still a light white dusting of frost on the occasional paddock. Blasting past the odd farmer in his ute. Fairly straight for a start. Nothing to really raise the heart rate. Start to wind the throttle open. A bit more. And some more. The little 400 starts to stutter. Look down. Oops. We’re banging off the speed limiter. Again. Roll out of it for a bit. Road starts to sweep left & right following the ridges & valleys.

All of a sudden there’s a flash of feathers & a BANG. One less Galah on that section of road. I know I know. It’s not as impressive as Marty’s kangarooter but hey, it’s a start. If that’s what rocks your boat.

Gradually the turns get tighter as I climb & fall on my way through the Nowendoc National park. Looking out to the west at the awesome chiseled bush clad mountains & grass covered valleys. Drag my eyes back to the road. Suddenly these signs appear on the side of the road. “Trucks use low gear” Fair enough. The road then proceeds to tilt fowards at an alarming angle. Yeee haaar. Down we go. Heading for the corner at the bottom. Squeeze on the front brake lever. Tighter. Fling the 400 on its ear. Down another hill. Same thing again. That laughing in my helmet starts again.

At this point in time I should draw your attention back to the signs at the top of the hill. Does anyone know the speed of a FBT in low gear, on the brakes, crawling down a hill? Round a blind corner? All I can tell you is that it is exponentially slower than a motorcyclist on a downhill low flying mission. Guaranteed to grab your attention. Really really quickly.

The road starts to get quite bumpy. Enough to flick me a couple of inches out of the seat.
In all my years riding road bikes I have never come across anything quite like my VFR400R. For such a short & physically tiny bike it never ceases to amaze me with its stability & ability to hold a line. Even over bumps that will have you out of your seat. Whilst cranked over on your elbow. Worth every last cent I paid for it. And some.

Continue on at my preferred travelling speed following the hills & valleys, with the bush gradually turning into farmland. Cruise into Gloucester. Top up with fuel & merge into Buckets way.

Now this would be quite a nice section of road if not for the speed limit. 90km/hr. Which means only 115 before you do your ticket. All the way to the Pacific Highway. But still enjoyable. And quite picturesque.

On down to Raymond Terrace. Stop for brekky. Top up with fuel. Turn west up the New England highway. Heading for Singleton. And the famed Putty road.

If there was one road that I was disappointed in on my whole trip then this would have to be it. It starts off promising. Exceptional in fact. For about the first 40 kays. Nice tight 35, 45 & 55km/hr marked corners. Smooth. Brilliant fun. But then it fizzes out. For all the hype & talk I have heard about the Putty it is a let down. The next 100 kays you could do without dropping below 200. Which would be great if you rode an uglybusa. Or other such high speed whale. And there were no such thing as police. Or speed limits. But that’s only my humble opinion. Best you check it out for yourself. And see if I’m right.

The last 20 odd clicks get interesting again but by that stage you’re getting close to suburbia. More FBT’s. And mums in their grocery getters rushing around on their obviously vital & important missions.

Fill up with fuel in Windsor & head west again. Following the Bells line of road. Wind my way slowly out of the suburbs. Gradually the road becomes free of traffic. Relax a bit & press on. Crikey its starting to get cold. Road starts to get really interesting. Swooping across the saddles between the peaks of the Blue mountains. Maate. Its starting to get really cold. Notice what looks to be pollen from the trees swirling in the air. Sticking to my visor. Go to wipe it off. Holy cow its SNOW. Starting to get heavier. Continuously wiping the visor now. Catching up to a car. I think I’ll follow this the last few kays into Lithgow. At least I’ll get some warning if it starts to get really slippery.

Snake down the last wet hill into Lithgow. Spot a likely looking pub. This will do for the night. 590 kms for the day. Dump my gear in the room & spot a bike shop across the road. Wander over & start yarning to the staff. “Yeah mate. They’ve closed the road between here & Bathurst” B#gger. There goes the plan of a couple of laps around Mt. Panorama on the bike.

Oh well. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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Old 22-03-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Drove this last year in the car. Marked on the map for another trip on the motosickle.

All you need is a good backroad from Wauchope back to Gloucester and you would have the ultimate loop.
Gloucscester via Thunderbolts to Walcha, Walcha to Wauchope via the almighty Oxley, and...I can't think of an obvious run south again. Old Pacific Highway perhaps?
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