no politics...just ridin'

Lennox Head

Hi there!! Yes, I am still alive - just been really busy with work and attending to my daughters so haven't really had the time to sit down and in front of the screen.

Nothing too spectacular been happening, although last Sunday Kat and myself thought we would do a short breakfast ride to Byron. As usual, we started from Kingscliff and headed south along the coast. We only travelled about 20 minutes and, as we rode through Cabarita Beach, we caught the smell of bacon wafting out from one of the cafes along the side of the road. I pulled into one of the side streets and we headed in and got hold of a couple of bacon and egg rolls and some juice. We ventured a further 30 seconds along the road and pulled in to the headland car park to enjoy our feed. We sat looking north along the coast back to Kingscliff on a bench with the sun warming us and watched a group of long boarders in the water just below riding the break in to shore. This is a fantastic spot to stop and a popular surfing beach that is always busy - I don't think I have ever seen the car park less than half full.

Cabarita Beach from the headland

After finishing our feed we decided to give Byron a miss and head a little further south to Lennox Head - somewhere that I had never been. We got back on the bike and followed the coast road down through Pottsville and Wooyung then back inland to the highway. I know I keep saying it but I love this ride - just after leaving Pottsville the road crosses a wide creek which then runs parallel with the beach for about 5 kms. As you follow the road you see groups of cars parked at set distances on your left - evidence that the surf must be good just over the dunes - and on your right is the creek where you may see someone fishing or paddling a kayak but more often just birds feeding in the shallows. As I ride this road I often think that this must have been what it was like before white man settled here just over 200 years ago - unspoilt and so tranquil. Once the road turns inland, the scenery changes drastically as you wind through the ready-to-harvest cane fields, past the farms with large sheds sheltering cane cutting equipment and back onto the highway.

The town of Lennox Head from the lookout

View north to the Byron lighthouse

We followed the highway down to the Lennox turn off and then followed it until we reached the t-intersection just out of town. For some reason, as we slowed, I thought the road was clear, and crossed the main road to head into Lennox Head. This was the first time that I realised I had made a major error in my decision making - we only just managed to make the turn in front of a car travelling toward Lennox Head. I immediately pulled off the road before the car managed to pass us - I was shaking - how lucky we were! I had totally missed spotting this car and it was all my fault. Thankfully, he realised I had made a mistake and passed us without making a fuss. I was so shaken by the fact that I did not even see a car.Slow down and wake up, bud!!

After recovering from our near miss, we finally made it into Lennox Head - we headed toward the lookout and proceeded to take in the view, looking towards Byron.I could still not get the near miss out of my head. I felt soo stupid. Anyway, we realised it was time to head towards home and so decided to follow the coast road to Byron and then re-joined the highway.

If I learned nothing else, I realised it is so easy to loose concentration and assume there is nothing in your path. On a motorcycle that can be fatal - both Kat and I are extremely lucky that it wasn't our time. I will remember this.


Eddie's Drifter

A mate of mine, Eddie, finally got his Drifter from the US. He imported it as spare parts to avoid the duty our government puts on every vehicle. He was able to convince the owner to remove the front end and then ship it seperately. Anyway, after a heap of drama and 9 months, it landed and he reassembled it without too much trouble.

Last week he rode it down to the Odins Warriors Bike Show and managed to take home the Best Jappa award. Well done Eddie and a sweet looking bike - very Indianesque.

The Drifter

You Never Loose The Passion

I had an experience on Saturday that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was one of those chance meetings that seem to happen when riding. Kat and I had planned a Satruday afternoon cruise with Koff and Tiki through northern New South Wales. We rode to the Uki Pub for lunch and then, whilst eating, decided to head out to Nimbin and then along a very secluded country road via The Channons into Lismore. The ride itself was as always, fantastic - we rode through some spectacular country and also did what seems to be happening more regularly as of late - a bit of dirt road riding.

Anyway, we pulled over to discuss which route we were going to take home and by chance we stopped on the road, right outside a servo on the Bruxner Hwy in Lismore. As we were standing talking, an old model Peugeot pulled up to the pump closest to where we had stopped with an elderly couple in it - they looked like they were on their way out somewhere and we commented on how you don't see much of that anymore in the city. The gentleman who was driving the car saw us and when he saw the bikes you could see the look on his face change - he looked like a little boy in a lolly shop. He immediately got out of the car, albeit very slowly, and walked towards us with a look of admiration on his face. He stood there for a while checking the bikes out and then started talking to us. He told us how he was one of the first in Sydney to take possession of a motorcycle way back in the mid 1930's. He continued talking about the Indian's he owned and where he used to ride them - he was full of information and full of passion!!

All the while his wife had been sitting patiently in the car watching. He finally left us and helped his wife out of the passenger seat so that she could go inside. He then started to fill his car and we continued discussing where we were headed and commenting how enthusiastic he seemed. About 10 minutes later after paying for his fuel we noticed him on his way back over - he finally reached us and this time started asking about our bikes and commenting on how they looked. After another few minutes his wife eventually returned to the car and they left to continue on thier way.

This experience really demonstrated the effect motorbikes can have on people - this 87 year old gentleman got a thrill out of recounting some of the times he spent on his bike. He was not scared to approach us and share some of his enthusiasm with us and he touched all of us with his stories. I hope I too can share my experiences as he did and never loose the passion I have for two wheels.

Are you Biker Friendly??

I was visiting Sniper's blog and noticed a link he had to an excellent and very worthwhile web site - Biker Friendly. I would encourage everyone to visit this site and order a sticker (the small ones are free) from William and if possible make a donation - the money he raises is put back into stickers to promote the cause of making road users motorcycle aware.

Are you biker friendly????

Weekly Email Updates Now Available

You may have noticed I have included a new tool to the left of this post under the heading of "Subscribe...." - it is an email newsletter tool from Zookoda and it allows anyone to subscribe to my blog by email. It will generate a shortened version of every new post and email this out to each subscriber on a regular basis. I have scheduled for this tool to send all new posts every week to anyone that subscribes. You can personalise the emails that are sent and customise a fair amount of its functionality.

This tool will allow my regular visitors to subscribe and still receive info at least once a week from Cruising Down Under. I would encourage all of my regular visitors to first up subscribe to my newsletter and all fellow bloggers set this up on their own sites so that I don't miss any of what you have been up to!!

Check it out at

Fishing...I's not bike related...but...

I was lucky enough to get a call from Snappa - a mate of mine who rides a VTX - on Saturday afternoon asking if I wanted to go out on the boat with him on Saturday night - of course I jumped at the chance. I had only ever been out on a boat fishing once before and you never knock an opportunity like this back when offered. Anyway, I rode up to his place arriving about 1:00am - another mate of his was also coming and he was already there so not long after I arrived we headed off in the car with boat in tow.

The plan was to head out off Mooloolaba and we did just that - took about an hour to get to our destination and then the fishing began. Were kept busy reeling em in - I had never fished in water that deep (about 80 mts) and man when you've got a snapper fighting against you on the end of your line and you have to reel him in all that way - well lets just say I got my monthly dose of exercise. We stayed out on the water till about 11:30am - witnessed a spectacular sunrise and caught a few fish.

I'm not going to go on anymore about it but it was a great experience - the guys taught me a few things which I really appreciated, I managed to hook a couple of good feeds and the weather was great. Doesn't get much better than this!! Check out more of Snappa's fishing tales here.

One of my fish

The catch

Snappa's boat - oddly named "Snappa"

Some Interesting Pix

Thought I would post a couple of interesting pix that were posted on the VTX board over the weekend.

Radial chopper - a Rotec radial engine that generates 110hp and is made in Australia!!

Don't ever try to outrun the cops in Oklahoma coz they will get you!!

Update....I got onto a blog by Durandal from Chile and it has some spectacular pictures. Unfortunately the text is not English but some of the scenery is just plain awesome. Check the blog out here. The pic below is one of the roads he rode up - have a look at that!!!

Cuesta Caracoles - near the border between Argentina & Chile

Another Long Weekend....

Wow! What a weekend!! Always good when you can say that. Kat and myself started out early on Saturday morning and didn't get back to my place until mid afternoon on Monday. The only firm plans we had were to ride with the Honda Four Club on Saturday and spend the night with them up at Tin Can Bay. Other than that we thought we might as well make the most of the child free weekend. All up we covered about 1100kms on the VTX, some of that on gravel roads and some in pouring rain, but most on bitumen and in sunshine.

We had booked to take part in this ride with the Honda Four Club about 6 weeks ago - we did it last year and had a great time with these guys so we thought we would do it again this year. Up about 6am and off to the BP servo at Burpengary to meet up with the Club for the ride up the coast. It is getting cooler in the mornings now and both Kat and myself donned the gloves, scarves and face protection to keep us a bit warmer on the first stretch. The ride was uneventful and we pulled in at about 6:45. Fueled up and then went and parked the bike. A mate of mine who arranged our accomodation and is good mates with the VP of the club, Steve, said he would meet us here about 6:30 for a coffee and we would then move over to the main group. Went inside and grabbed something to eat and a coffee. Man it was busy in here!! Saw Ynot, one of the Kobbers, and he told me that about 12 bikes were doing a 3 dayer via Wondai and Chinchilla - souded ok. Then bumped into Snappa - he was riding for the day with a few guys (Ulysses?) who were going onto Bikers Dream. Everyone was out and about!!

Some of the bikes at the meeting point

Nice gold 750Four...

...and a green one...

...and a brown one.

Anyway, we finally made it up to the muster point in the top car park and said g'day to all. There would have been about 30 bikes with just over half of them being 750 Fours - a couple of really nice ones too. The rest were on all sorts, with a couple of cruisers quite a few sports bikes (including a restored Katana) and we even had a couple of ladies in a support vehicle. The VP welcomed all of us and gave us an idea on the route we would take - which would include some sections of unsealed road.

We finally hit the road around 8:30 and immediately left the highway and headed out towards the sea to a place called Donnybrook - didn't even know it existed but it was a good ride. Lots of wildlife and farms out this way. Rode through the township and admired the view out to the over to Bribie Island - the water looked great. From here we headed back towards the highway - not before about 8kms of dusty, shitty gravel road - passing under it and eventually pulling in for our first stop at the foot of Mt Tibrogargin.

From here it was decided to take some of the more scenic roads up to Maleny and then out to Kenilworth and it was a great ride. Lots of nice sweeping corners and fast sections and the scenery was awesome - I haven't ridden this route for months and really enjoyed it. We regrouped in Maleney and then headed out to Kenilworth - another great road with some tightish type corners. More than once I scraped my bottom pipe while trying to keep up with some of the sportsbike riders - I backed off after a while coz there is only so much you can do 2 up on a cruiser!!

We rolled into the servo just south of Gympie on the Bruce Hwy right on midday so this was to be our lunch stop.

From there we rode the 50kms out to Tin Can Bay fairly hard - was great fun. Don't think the boys thought I would keep up with them. Made it to the pub at about 1:30 and checked in. The club had their meeting and then after that we walked over the road to the park for the traditional game of cricket against the locals - of course we won it and then the celebrations began!!!!

Woke early the next morning to overcast skies - a lot 0f people set off home very early. I asked Kat what she wanted to do - lets ride, she said!!! We decided to head to Kingaroy and then over Bunya Mountain - a fairly long ride but worth it for the scenery and the fact we both had never ridden it. Jumped on the bike about 8:30 and headed to Gympie. From there took the road to Kingaroy, stopping at ?? (pumpkin town - cannot remember the name of this place) for a feed of bacon & eggs on the side of the road. From here we headed towards Oakey and Bunya Mountain. Long staight flat roads heading towards what seemed like nothing - cruised through numerous towns and kept riding for what seemed like eternity. Finally rolled into Kingaroy. Took the road toward Bunya Mountain and cruised the 80kms to the turn off. Turned onto a single lane strip of bitumen and followed this right up to Bunya Mountain. The clouds had been building all day and once we reached the top of the mountain they decided to let us know they were there, covering us in a light sprinkling of water. An amazing place up the top - lots of wallabies roaming free and a lot of people camping and also very much cooler than down on the plains. After stopping for a short break we remounted and decided to head to Toowoomba.

After decending the other side of the mountain on a gravel road we finally made it back onto the main road to Toowoomba - then the heavens opened. It absolutely poured down for the next hour or so and of course we did not bring any wet weather gear - we managed to pull into a pub on the way and enjoyed the dry stop.We decided to keep going all the way to Toowoomba and the rain did not stop - it was also starting to get very cold as we were riding up on the range. Anyway, we finally rode into Toowoomba at about 4:00pm and then spent the next hour trying to find a room in a pub. Finally got a room at the Overlander and warmed up in the shower thne got a feed. Watched a bit of the box for a while then went to bed pretty early.

"Looks like rain in them thar clouds"

The road from Toowoomba to Warwick

Riding down Cunninghams Gap

The range


Woke early and decided to ride out to Queen Mary Falls near Kilarney. The road from Toowoomba to Warwick is very straight and flat and the weather was very cold. We even copped a bit of rain, and the closer we got to Warwick the wetter it looked off in the distance. We rode into Warwick and hit Maccas for coffee - it was there that we decided to turn back to Brisbane as we were already cold enough. After heading back along the Cunningham Hwy and then riding down Cunnunghams Gap, the weather warmed up significantly and the riding became more enjoyable. We followed the highway all the way into Brisbane and made our way out to my place, arriving at about 2pm. Was good fun.