Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Ride To Gulgong

The Shadow in the main street of Gulgong

 Yesterday was a day of adventure. Rode all the way to Gulgong and back myself. Well I wasn't on my own really, but Terry didn't take over for me at any stage, I did it all. Terry drove the car behind me though, cause I like company :)

It's about 100km's, give or take a bit, to Gulgong and the whole trip was 225km's, the longest ride yet for me. Damn it was fun!!

Well yeah things are changing, the very first time I rode at 80km/h I felt almost scared, the wind was so strong and it seems so much faster when you can see the road so intimately, but yesterday when I first started out I got up to 80k's straight away with no problems, yeah the wind is still strong, but it's not as daunting. So on the highway to Wellington I sat on 90km/h quite comfortably, by the time I got onto the back road to Gulgong I found myself doing 100km's, certainly wouldn't have done that a couple of weeks ago. Not all the way though, just on the bits where it seemed like I wouldn't kill myself, or the bumps wouldn't kill me.

The bumps, trust me those country roads are not highways, and I was complaining about the bumps on the highways. Right so my kidneys got shaken out somewhere between Wellington and Goolma, but I still enjoyed the lovely scenery, didn't I? Hahaha I guess it's not that bad, sometimes you hit a bump and it sends you in the air, you kinda lose a bit of control of the bike for that split second, and when there's a succession of them you have to slow down just so your eyes will stop vibrating. At other times its just a bit bouncy, that's not so bad, I'm getting used to that, and the good thing is today when I was riding to work, the roads in Dubbo just didn't feel so bad after all. A couple of times those bumps were craters, the thing is I never saw them, there's no warning, and all of a sudden you feel as though something has just hit you in the stomach and the kidneys all at once, you're winded and you feel as though your back has just been folded in half. The worst part is I'm not sure how I'm supposed to avoid that, I never saw what caused it, although the second time it happened was on a stretch of road going through the forest, tree shadows on the road are distracting and camouflage the condition of the road nicely.

Cornering. Always a challenge for me, and even hubby said that at higher speeds he felt as though he had to try and haul the bike around some corners. I  think I'm getting the hang of that a bit. I always think about the great advice I have seen in forums, and in A Twist of The Wrist (seriously that has to be any bike riders bible) look at where your going and hug the tank, it's getting easier to do these things. So there were a couple of corners where I knew I was going to go too wide and I had to slow down, but when I corrected what I was doing I found cornering started to become enjoyable, this is the stuff I wanted to ride for. I love that feeling.

Have I mentioned the smells, the smell of those huge hay bales rolled up at the side of the road, one of the best smells in the world. Riding through a forest that is warming up after two weeks of rain, wow amazing. Then there are the not so lovely ones, tip to the uninitiated, when you see a dead kangaroo on the road, don't just swerve, hold your breath!

Gulgong, I guess I have to tell you about that place, first time I've visited I ashamed to say and it's an amazing little village. It's like stepping back in time, I didn't go into the museum, though that sort of thing fascinates me and if you're into history I would think it would be worth the look, I didn't have time but next visit it's a must. The whole town is like a museum, you were almost looking for the horse and cart coming up the road :) Oh and lunch and coffee at The Butcher's Cafe is good.

So we came home along a different route, that was where I got the forest and the tree shadows across the road, the road is much the same either way but I got to travel along the Golden Highway for the last 30k's or so, it was lovely to get on smooth road.

Have I mentioned bugs, thank heavens for the new helmet cause they were thick and fast, there was the grasshopper who tried to barge through my chest, made me go oof. Then there was the bee who tried to hitch a ride ... on my glasses. When he first flew up my helmet onto the inside of the visor I raised my visor to try and shake him, he disappeared up there somewhere, but when I put it back down I think I'd just made him angry or scared, or both. He hightailed it onto my glasses and when I felt him inside them tickling my eyelashes that was too much. Time to pull over!


  1. Sometimes I forget what it feels like when I first started riding. Reading your post brought some of those early moments, those fears, that exhilaration of reaching personal "milestone speeds." Thanks for sharing that :)

    And you know? I've never contemplated kangaroo roadkill. It really is true what they say, you learn something new everyday.

    1. It's the reason I wanted to write these memories down as they happened. So often when you become familiar with doing something you forget what it was like when you started. Always interesting and a bit nostalgic to read back thu things like this.

      That was a new lesson for me too .... yep my new thing for that day was a good lesson and has helped me a lot since, I know when to hold my breath now.