To the Gong and back

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Time in lieu and public holidays are great things, especially when a weekend falls in between them.

The Australian Alps.
I've not heard a bad word about the roads up into the Alps. Up until this point in time, the furthest I'd been is up to Omeo via Bairnsdale.

I'd rate it as one of the best rides I've been on based on the road surface, grip, vision and corners.

If the rest of the Alpine Road was of the same quality I knew I was going to be in for some fantastic riding.


The Route.
Starting from Melbourne I'd slab it to Ensay, then head up to Omeo, Mitta Mitta, Towong, through Mt Kosciusko, Jindabyne then to Cooma.

From there I'd either go north to Canberra and go coastal to Wollongong or inland and head into Wollongong through Macquarie Pass.

Road trip on the cheap.
As I was planning on doing this trip on a budget I decided I'd camp along the way at free camp spots I found using the WikiCamps app.

I don't eat a lot on long trips for some reason, I usually…

Slingshot into Spring - A boys weekender


It had been long past due for another boy's weekender away, well over three months. After much planning and to-and-throwing, several dates changes later we finally had a weekend locked in.
After a winter hibernation by a couple of the crew, some of the bikes needed new tyres, another a new battery. I was planning to take the green bug but was given the opportunity to test out the updated Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, a bike which over the next thousand km's I developed a love-hate relationship with.
We mapped out a trip to do the Great Alpine Road - 308kms of undulating, tight, twisting, double apex-ing turns, winding through valleys, mountains and forests, along rivers and past vineyards.
The blokes who forged the Great Alpine Road must have been motorcyclists.
We departed a little after 9am and slabbed it through Melbourne and then along the M1 for a couple of hundred kilometres. This is where the hate part of the relationship with the Dorsoduro began, about 50 kms into the trip, I didn't take into consideration how uncomfortable the seat would be on what is mostly a supermotard. Stopping every 100kms to rest my rear and replenish the 12L tank.
Arriving at Bairnsdale, we popped into the local cafe and grabbed a feed (the homemade sausage rolls are enormous!) hydrated and prepared ourselves for the onslaught of corners.
The GAR starts off with some easy-to-settle-into sweepers, allowing us to get into the grove and for me the time to get used to the Dorsoduro's upright riding position, a far cry from my ZX9 that I'm used to.
And this is where I fell deeply, over heels in love with the Dorsoduro.
It wasn't long before the road tightened, the sweepers flowed into hairpins, and we found ourselves slingshotting from one corner to the next - it was motorcycling nirvana. 
 No matter how tight a corner was, the road surface was so grippy our tyres stuck it like we were on rails. All we had to to do was crank our bikes over and get ready for the next one.
We had 300+kms of this to look forward too over the weekend.


Our diggs for the night were at a little pub about 45mins from Omeo called The Little River Inn. We booked it early in the week and it cost us $30 each for a bed. We pulled up out the front, eagerly awaiting our first frothy for the day and to get out of our gear.
Sue, one of the owners, greeted us as we entered and showed us where to park our bikes, sorted out rooms out and by the time we took our boots off the cold beer was ready and waiting.
Sue and her partner Graeme would have to be the most friendly publicans we have ever had the pleasure to meet. Nothing was too hard, they called you by your first name (yes, they took the time to remember it), and your next drink was ready just as you'd finished your last. The type of service you just don't get any more.


And the food matched the level of service, it was far beyond your typical 'pub grub' you'd expect from a country pub. The publican, Sue is also the cook and boy can she cook. We all agreed we haven't had a meal that good in a long time and the ones we did were at 5-star establishments.
After dinner, we settled down on the lounges and the drink-fest begun as we mingled with the locals, hit up the jukebox and drunk long into the night, some of us, till the crack of dawn.

We were a bit dusty the next morning but the blue skies and roads to be travelled got us out of bed earlier than expected.
After some food and few instant coffee's, we said our goodbyes, saddled up for another big day of riding. 
It wasn't until about 7.30pm until I got home, my arse sore from the last 200kms of the freeway, but every bit of pain was worth it for the amount of adrenalin-fuelled fun we had weaving through the hills, valleys, mountains and forests of the Great Alpine Road.
Big thanks to all the boys for a wicked weekend and let's not leave the next one so long between trips.

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