Back in the Saddle – A SS1600_Nov 2018

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#1
This Saddle Sore had been a long time in the planning, my last ride resulted in a breakdown on my way to Port Augusta for Memorial Weekend and life’s other priorities had been, well taking a priority over long distance rides. So when the alarm went off I didn’t need prompting to jump out of bed, gear up and get riding.

First things first was to collect a start receipt at the local servo. I burnt a few minutes waiting in the line of drunks to be served at 1:20 am but once done I was back on the bike and heading south out of Sydney.


Starting out early Sunday morning

At this time of the morning the traffic is still steady but at least it’s moving. I make good progress down the M5, then the M31 before taking the A88 turn off to head east to Mt Ousley and Wollongong. I have the road to myself now, apart from the odd Coles Delivery truck. No moonlight or starlight and as I start the descent down Mt Ousley it starts to lightly rain. Wollongong rolls by and I give Frans a wave as I ride past. From here it’s quieter and I have the road to myself as the rain continues intermittently. Perfect for letting one’s mind wander as the miles roll by. No hurry, but my plan for this ride is to be efficient as possible, just to keep my hand in and prove to myself I can. The rain clears by Milton, where I stop to take some photos.


Milton Courthouse

Then it’s onto Batemans Bay for the first fuel stop of the ride and to collect a corner docket. I wake up the servo attendant at the Caltex on the Kings Highway roundabout, he seems grateful for the company and we chat briefly. Bike and rider fueled (some fruit slices) it’s time to head up Clyde Mountain to Canberra.


Almost time to turn west and head up Clyde Mountain!


Fuel stop at the Caltex at Kings Highway/Princes Highway intersection


It’s always a pleasure riding this section of highway, and pre-dawn with the stars now out its glorious. Braidwood is just starting to awaken as I roll by followed by sleepy Bungendore where nothing is stirring, let alone open. It’s cold! Rolling into Canberra my plan is simple, collect a receipt and a quick coffee at my fav early morning café I know will be open this early on a Sunday and continue on towards Yass and the Hume Highway.


Canberra was looking splendid on a sunny Sunday morning

That done I make good time out to the Hume where I settle in for the 3plus hours to Albury. The bike is running beautifully, the sun is shining and I put some music on to help while away the hours. At Albury I collect a corner docket and turn west on the Riverina Highway heading for Jerilderie. Once out of town, the countryside really opens up, with no traffic and just plenty of sunburnt paddocks with the odd car to break the emptiness.


No shortage of wide open spaces out here!

I’m tempted to stop at Berrigan to just take some time to look around but resist the urge. I promise myself to stop next time! Not too long after Berrigan I join the Newell Highway and turn northwards heading for Narrandera and Temora. After the last few hours of being on my own, the Newell Highway feels like rush hour! I stop for fuel at Narrandera, before continuing on to Temora.


Back on the Newell Highway - rush hour!

The temperatures are now into the high 20’s nudging 30 and I’ve dressed for the lows around Canberra. It’s not unbearable but I’m wishing for my lighter jacket and trousers. Turning off the Newell onto Burley Griffin Way it’s a short leg to Temora, where I have a scheduled pit stop at a friend’s place. They’re waiting & ready for me, with a cold drink, and some shade. I shed some layers while we chat before I make my farewells and continue eastwards. This section of the Burley Griffin way from Temora to Binalong is through rolling countryside and very enjoyable in the afternoon sunshine. Before too long I re-join the Hume highway to head home for Sydney on the final leg of the ride.


Taking a moment in Temora - I was grateful for the shade

Now it’s a simple matter of just letting the miles roll under the wheels, with the rest of the Sunday afternoon traffic into Sydney. Just after Marulan, I accidentally run over a dead roo lying in the middle of the lane, it was hidden by a vehicle in front of me which moved too late for me to react. No damage done, other than the smell of roadkill on hot engine. Riding into the outskirts of Sydney right on dusk the temperature is perfect. Over the Harbour Bridge close to sunset the water is sparkling and I stop briefly at North Sydney to grab a photo before heading back to the same servo to obtain my finishing receipt. Once that necessity is done I retire to the local burger shop to celebrate a successfully completed SS1600 with a burger and chips. Delicious!


Home in time to enjoy the sunset!

Lessons learnt from this ride? Always take spare batteries for the Spot! The spot died at Batemans Bay and of course could I then find AAA batteries at my fuel stops? No chance. Other than that it was a good ride, very efficient with minimal stops and time off the bike. I’m happy and proved to myself I still can. Job done.


Job Done! 1,635 kms in 16:51hrs
 

Fatman

Well-Known Member
#2
I heard you were out and about KiwiMartin, I thought you were re-visiting the IBA DHTS Roundup bonus locations just for fun.. LOL :p

You made the SS1600 sound easy, just rolling off the km's and having a ball at the same time.

Well done Martin..
 

Biggles

Premier Member
#3
Thanks for that RR. As Fatman says- it sounds easy when you put it like that!
Love the shot of the Opera House under the bridge, and of the Parliament.
I've got an RR of my own which I've submitted and will post once its certified.
 

Philmor

Premier Member
#4
........a quick coffee at my fav early morning café I know will be open this early on a Sunday..........
Martin that was an enjoyable Sunday ride with a mixture of mountains, coast, plains and cities. No mention of wildlife on the road predawn, which is always good.

I also liked that Harbour Bridge photo with the Opera House.

Good looking bike.

But ..... you did not reveal the name and location of the fav early morning coffee shop in Canberra! ☕️☕️ :)
 

HACKLE

Well-Known Member
#5
Philmor, it's obvious that the name/location of said coffee house was left out on purpose. Martin doesn't want any Mexicans upsetting the clientele. As those above have said, a very efficient ride over some very interesting countryside. Well done Martin on a relaxed Sunday ride.
 

Tele

Premier Member
#8
Another wonderful ride Martin. excellent report and photos as always. That TFT screen on the GS is a real treat.
Must get myself one of those screen extenders, but I must say that I am getting used to the buffeting ..... ;)