Things don’t always go to plan

Sitting at our rendezvous point for 10 minutes after I was already 15 minutes late had me concerned. A text and a few phone calls went unanswered.

The plan was escape for a days riding and take in a number of great roads. From Canberra down the Bonang into Victoria, across to Omeo and then home via Mitta Mitta and Tumbarumba. A nice 1,000km day.

Another call, no answer.

In the end I rock up at Ed’s place only to find that I missed a message from late last night saying he couldn’t make it after working on his bike till late. So I joined them for breakfast and chatted about our year and what’s on the horizon for us. 2020 has been a disrupter and no-one has escaped its grasp, with the fires at the beginning of the year destroying whole communities, hail destroying property (including 44,500 cars in Canberra ours included), and floods. And just when we thought it was safe to come out the whole world was turned upside down with Covid! It’s been a crazy year, one that will shape how we view things and how we do things for many years.

We decide to still head out for a ride – albeit 3 hours late – but not our original plan. We’ll ride to Cooma and then pick a direction …

Heading across Angle crossing

Rolling into Cooma Ed’s Kato is playing up and after some side of the road diagnosis it looks like his front wheel bearing is about ready to cry enough. He was not going any further. After experiencing a rear wheel bearing give way on my previous ZX14 I certainly wouldn’t like a front one let go … that is the sort of excitement you don’t want on a Saturday morning.! So we park the bike at a servo and Ed get’s to experience the ST from the pillion seat and we make the return trip to Canberra for him to grab his car and trailer.

So plan C – where from here.

Not being able to face a third run on the Monaro highway in one morning I decide to head down the coast for a feed of fish and chips. They always taste better with the smell of salt air. I didn’t quite get to Batemans Bay as I just didn’t want to face the the crazy and I’ve not found a cafe I like that sits overlooking the ocean and I’m not going to the coast for fish and chips only to sit in a shopping centre. Just wrong. So I pull up short at at a nice little place on the side of the Clyde river in Nellingen just 5 mins upstream from the coast.

Lunch destination – Nellingen on the shores of the Clyde River

During the fires at the beginning of the year a lot of the roads were badly damaged from the intense heat. The Clyde mountain was one of those roads and the mountain was closed for sometime to repair the initial damage and remove and trees that had fallen or in danger of falling and then over the next few months the pavement was fixed. While there is still work being completed, overall the road is very nice with a new hot mix finish. While it is still evident that a major bush fire tore through this area, the charred signs are disappearing with new growth everywhere.

Heading up the Clyde with nice fresh hot mix

It’s been a few years since I’ve ridden the Nerriga Road from Braidwood which was largely dirt to Nerriga at that time, however they have been sealing it over the last few years so I was curious to see how much dirt is left. So as I was in an exploratory mood I took that route. And I can report that they have done a lot of work since I was last here and now there isn’t much dirt at all.

Along here the signs of the bush fire are still quite evident with lots of burnt and dead trees.

Then it was time to head home via Oallen and Tarago, with a side trip out to Lake Bathurst as I don’t think I’ve seen water in it before.

While I was certainly disappointed that our original (and plan B) fell through and the chance to just ride and hang out for the day, riding by yourself gives you the freedom to do what you like, when you like. It’s on these rides that I tend to stop and check things out more, take more photographs and explore side roads more.

Overall it was a great day out cruising the countryside – total for the day 630km.

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