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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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Looks to be a grand adventure @mikeS ! Great choice of roads and venues.
 
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Day 3: The plan for the day was a fairly modest 500km (subject to diversion) – Tamworth to Gunnedah via Oxley Hway to Kamilaroi Hway to Narrabri - Wee Waa - Burren Junction to Walgett to Cumberdoon Way and Carinda.

It was nice to not rush off first thing and enjoy a leisurely start at another of my Tamworth go-to café Espresso Addimi. Addimi

Lots of pix and drone clicks were taken along the way and got to say I enjoyed the nothingness (if that makes sense) once we got to Burren Junction.








A couple of drone clips in around Cardina

Thanks to daylight savings we arrived at Carinda with enough time to have a quick ride around town but with a reported population of around 190, it didn’t take too long to see the sights. The hub of the town is of course hotel and made famous for where David Bowie's music video clip - Let’s Dance.

With the sightseeing out of the way, it was time to check out the hotel aka the pub and the very spot within the Pub where David stood to play the guitar. I'm glad I got to tick this off my bucket list. It didn’t take too long before we got to enjoy an amber fluid or two and also notice we were the only non-locals. However, I found everyone so welcoming and was amazed by most of the patrons would come up to us and say g’day. I think I hit it off with the publican as he thought my dinner order of the hamburger with the lot without the meat patty with extra lettuce and onion was hilarious ( I detected a bit of smirk when I order arrived ). We say at a table at the back of the bar in our peanut gallery to watch the locals enjoying their night out. I would have to rate that night one of the most enjoyable nights out in ages I guess might have something to do with I had the wobbly boot on and yes next morning was not such a great feeling but worth the pain.








View from our accomadtion













To be honest, the pub wouldn’t be a recommendation for a family getaway/ overnight stopover because the facilities are very rough (did I say very rough) but if one could see through all of that and it’s a must-see bucket list tick.

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Ok - so this was last Sunday, but... I just have to share why I love SoCal riding.

The route was Hwy 39 (Azusa Canyon) to Crystal Lake Cafe, one of my favorites for many reasons. A friend joined me on his 2006 widow maker (Kawazaki ZX1300R - too much HP and no electronic aids whatsoever). Like many of the great SoCal roads, the start is about 40 minutes from home. Long Beach is "central" SoCal coast, so starting from roughly 50-100 feet above sea level. A 40 minute ride on freeways (with the ability to split traffic) gets you anywhere from the the canyons above Malibu to the mountains east of Mission Viejo. The Angeles Crest area is my favorite, and the canyon complex from Azusa to San Antonio Heights is my preferred playground. Once in the foothills below the riding areas it's just below 2000 feet elevation.

Hwy 39 climbs from Azusa past Crystal Lake (a pond, really) and used to connect to Angeles Crest Hwy at Islip Saddle. A major slide years ago closed the road above the turnoff for Crystal Lake Campground and Café, and it hasn't been repaired since - over a decade and a half (before I moved here). That makes it a less-travelled road as it's no longer a through road. But that 21 miles from Azusa up to the Café? Heaven. It tops out just over 5000 feet, and starts out curvy but easy, with many flowing snake-like turns. Flattening out to some great long high-speed (possible) curves, it then darts uphill and into a series of mountain-hugging uphill switchbacks with fabulous views down the canyon and great "photo op" spots along the way.

Suddenly, just past the 5000 foot elevation marker, the turn off for the lake and café takes you into deep California mountain forest for a couple of miles before coming to the café and campground entrance. Last weekend it was low 60's at the café, low 70's in Azusa, and beautiful blue skies. (Monday it rained. Heavily.)

On the map below, the turn-off to the café is just before the "39" marker under the coffee cup, and the 5000 foot marker is about 1/3 of the way around the previous bend. 21 miles from wilderness park at the bottom of the map, 11 miles as the crow flies.

Map Watercourse Body of water Pattern Geological phenomenon
 

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Ok - so this was last Sunday, but... I just have to share why I love SoCal riding.
My brother moved down to southern California for a new job a year ago. My wife and I are looking at potentially moving there for (early?) retirement, maybe in seven, eight years, though potentially earlier with the remote option now readily available through work. The sociopolitical issues and the cost of living and real estate continue to make me wary of taking that step, but, wow, the weather and the riding roads around there just can't be beat, and continue to make southern CA still the default spot for us to move.
 

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NorCal has great roads too, just not quite as nice a climate... But more green stuff since you are in Bellevue (we migrated from W. Seattle.)

There are some great areas in the regions just north of the bay area, in amidst the redwood forests.
 

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NorCal has great roads too, just not quite as nice a climate... But more green stuff since you are in Bellevue (we migrated from W. Seattle.)

There are some great areas in the regions just north of the bay area, in amidst the redwood forests.
It's all about consistent warm weather and being near the ocean for my wife...she's been pretty patient with NW WA's gray and wet weather for the last three decades, with sunny vacations a time or two a year to bask in the sun. But Hawaii's too far removed from family, I can't handle the humidity or general weirdness of Florida, my wife doesn't like Texas...hence her -- er, our ;) -- persistent focus on southern CA.
 

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You could also take a look farther south, from the other side of the US Marine base to the Mexican border. Slightly less hot than the greater LA area, and only slightly fewer riding ops close by...
 

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You could also take a look farther south, from the other side of the US Marine base to the Mexican border. Slightly less hot than the greater LA area, and only slightly fewer riding ops close by...
Yes, the greater San Diego area is on our radar (vacationed there last year), as is perhaps Carlsbad, which is near where my brother landed. We love the Santa Barbara area -- vacationed there a couple times, last in early '20, right before Covid restrictions hit -- but given the expense of that area, we're thinking maybe just a bit south, perhaps Ventura. Not interested in the L.A. area, Ventura is about as close as we'd want to be. Had a wonderful vacation thirty years ago in the Monterey and Carmel area, so I'd definitely consider that area again (though I've no idea what the current state of the area is, and my wife reads that there's "too much fog"). There are a few other spots that have caught our eye, but those earlier mentioned areas are at the moment the ones that are probably top of the list to check out.
 

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Planning my next mini adventure and thinking to incorporate this year's Elvis Festival - Parkes NSW.




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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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I can just see you in the Elvis jumpsuit, wig and sunnies, @mikeS. 👌

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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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A couple of weeks ago I did a day trip to Willowbank Raceway SW of Brisbane for the Queensland round of the ASBK series. The shortest route was down the motorway through Brisbane (yawn) so naturally I took the more interesting way, down to Kilcoy, then south past Somerset Dam and Lake Wivenhoe. Two and a half hours each way.

I got an early start and enjoyed the run to Kilcoy where the road opened up a little with then the promise of twisties on the approach to Somerset Dam. The latter didn’t live up to my expectations as the road foundation was poor and hence the ride quite rough. I was reminded of why I didn’t head out that way much on my bevel SS in the early 80’s, and the road doesn’t seem to have improved since then.

Willowbank isn’t the most interesting layout, with only six corners, but the racing was nevertheless entertaining. I stationed myself near Turn 6 (leading onto the start/finish straight) for most of the day, and that’s where most of the action was in terms of spills.

In the feature ASBK races, #67 Bryan Staring on the Ducati was my sentimental favourite. He’s such a nice bloke and has worked so hard to finally start enjoying some success. But on the day, #46 Mike Jones on the R1 was like liquid gold, taking an early lead for a clean sweep in both races. Staring was in a safe second in race one ahead of reigning champ Wayne Maxwell when he managed to overcook it on Turn 6. In haste to resume the race, he immediately fell again, breaking off a carbon wing, which was then run over by Jed Metcher, to his peril, a couple laps later, notwithstanding lack of adhesion flags having been waved. Target fixation perhaps? Staring recovered in race 2 for a strong second place in front of Maxwell.

Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Automotive tire

Parked up next to a 2013 Anniversary model.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Sky Automotive fuel system

Ridden, not hidden - although the original engine is stored at home in the workshop.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Motorcycle Sports gear

Bryan Staring

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Whoopsie!

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More whoopsie - doh!

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Well, this is a BMW forum

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Backing it intoTurn 6 - the wrong way

Vehicle Wheel Tire Helmet Automotive tire

Jones, Staring, Maxwell, Sissis

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Bryan Staring

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The outfits behaved themselves in the final race of the day, apparently unlike Friday and Saturday’s efforts. #27 had been suffering fuel pump issues - not fully sorted, it seems
 

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Ahead of another weather forecast “rain bomb” this week I decided to take out LC for a 550km day ride. Nowhere special but headed out to the midwest region of NSW. With the fine weather and calm wind conditions, I was keen to road test my new Isotta windscreen.
At the end of the ride, I felt the screen didn't cause too much turbulence and noise. I still maintain it's on par or slightly with the OEM sports screen (based on my height and seat option).
My travels for the day were pretty much 95% regional back roads. I visited the historic settlements of Hill end and Sofala and Hill End.


While in the region I couldn't resist a few laps of Mount Panorama Circuit.





Conrod straight

With my navigator set to curvy roads, I was on the hunt for some out of the way twists.


Great day out and new screen is a keeper.


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Mark – Moderator 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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You picked some nice roads there Mike. Looks like the drop into the Bylong Valley in the last couple.
Those signs and the subsequent RH advisory are worth taking notice of. On my first trip, just around the curve there was a GS being dragged onto a tilt-tray, the front end all caved in. 😬
 
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The circuit had road works and stop-go traffic controllers directing one-way traffic. I took advantage to ride from both directions without oncoming traffic. But, some knuckleheads came up behind me at speed and it wasn't sports bike riders but guys on GS’s... go figure.


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Went for a ride with a few guys from New York Classic Riders to Bikes & Breakfast @ Cold Springs NY. Just under 200 miles round trip. We've made a detoured around Bear Mountains twisties. Started the ride in 37'F-38'F, going up to 45'F. At Bikes and Breakfast saw some very nice vintage motorcycles, as well as all kinds of boxers.

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Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Land vehicle
 
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