TransTerra 2015 Recce Report
The final recce ride has just been completed for TransTerra 2015 and we are stoked with the tracks we’ve found. This ride is shaping up to be freakin awesome! Below is a report and images for each to get you juiced up for the ride! We’ve also uploaded all of the photos from the recce ride to our gallery site. Click here to view the pics.
Adventure Trials Rider Training Venue
We’ve found a cracker of a venue for rider training that is unique and holds a lot of history.
We completed the final recce last week of our TransTerra NSW ride in November and we are stoked with the tracks we’ve found. This ride is shaping up to be everything we hoped it would be. Through this week we will be posting a gallery of images from the recce to get you in the mood for our ride in November.
DAY 1 – Bowral to Bungendore
What a sensational time of year to be out riding. The days were still a little cool but it warmed up just enough for the blossoms to be out in full strength around Bowral. The trees were popping with colour as the new seasons growth starts to come through.
Bowral and the Southern Highlands region boasts many grand properties with beautiful gardens and we will pass by many of them as we head out of Bowral. To kick off the riding, we start off with some cruisey twisty bitumen down through Kangaroo Valley. A side detour into a valley takes us through a magical little rainforest with overhanging rock walls.
After passing through Nowra we hit the forest with some open flowing gravel roads to get us into the swing. The terrain on the western side of the Great Dividing Range in this region is dominated by granitic sand which forms the base of most roads. This decomposed granite makes the roads great riding in most weather conditions with a firm base for sliding good fun.
Following on from our lunch stop is an interesting forest section where it gets a little tighter with a succession of 2nd & 3rd gear corners. A short stretch of bitumen will finish off the day into Bungendore.
We did also find some fantastic harder tracks during the week which we will throw in as options for those wanting to tackle something a little more challenging. The beauty of this region is there are so many options most days that it was a case of what great tracks do we leave out?
We guarantee you’re going to absolutely love the riding we’ve got mapped out for you.
DAY 2 – Bungendore to Jindabyne
We had an easy run down south along the bitumen before hitting the forest again to play on the granitic sand tracks and some fun jumps over the erosion banks. We had a little frustration this morning coming across closed tracks that would have made for a great route if they were open but it not to be. This happens sometimes!
We checked out an historic waterwheel that was used to power the timber cutters forestry works in days gone by. We won’t be surprised if a few riders get lost in the maze of tracks through the pine forest here before reaching the high ground near the fire lookout. You’ll need to keep your navigation wits about you in this area. The gravely roads demanded our attention on the throttle and brakes to keep things smooth.
As we continued our run south we spent some more time skipping through the the bush before popping out onto wide open farm roads that wind through the High Country of NSW. These roads are a hoot to ride with their smooth hard packed surface covered in fine granitic sand and great visibility around the bends. You can torture your tyres here though if you get a bit silly on the throttle! However Rob & Anja (our tyre support crew) will be on hand with a fresh new one if you need it. You’ll be able to order tyres shortly through our website.
After our lunch stop at a pub we ran through the back streets of town to a track that showed some promise on the map. Reality was when we got going along it that a pretty decent river crossing that looked nearly doable but would have made for some very wet feet and possibly a couple of drowned bikes. We decided to leave this one on the “to do list” at a time when there is not so much flow going through the river. It might turn out to be a hard route option in November.
Many dams were constructed in the Alpine region of NSW in the 50’s and 60’s in order to provide electricity generated through the hydro power stations. Adaminiby features a great museum where you can delve into this history.
Our day was finished off with a nice run on the bitumen into Jindabyne which will be our home for the night right on the lake with great views across the alpine region.
DAY 3 – Jindabyne to Merimbula
Day 3 took us through some remote alpine country. The kind of country that is relatively unspoiled by human hands.
The wallaby population is thriving in these parts and one skippy decided to make sure Nick was awake by jumping off the road only to reappear soon after on the other side of the switchback. Nick was certain that a take out of his front wheel was imminent but instead every muscle and tendon in the wallaby’s hind legs was used to propel it upwards at the last second. Vision of the road ahead was totally obscured by the wallaby as he jumped clear over Nick’s handlebars not more than half a metre in front of his head.
In amongst the many wallabies we also spotted an emu out here that seemed thoroughly out of place this far south. We can only imagine he had a thick coat of feathers on to keep him warm in this Aussie alpine region.
Whilst we marveled at the way the road followed the contours of the mountainside for kilometres, McKillops Bridge brought us to a halt. This bridge is a spectacular feat of engineering traversing a massive expanse at great height over the Snowy River. We paused for a photo in the middle but the rocking deck beneath us signalled it was time to move on as a 4WD Land Rover made its way towards us. The bridges single lane width certainly doesn’t allow for much passing room!
Once we crossed the bridge we went down to river level for another perspective and it was here that we came across the first of many rather unusual mail boxes that we would see today. Positioned next to a eucalypt tree was an old fridge with the words “McKillops Bridge Post Office” barely legible in faded paint on the door. Sure enough, open it up and inside is a couple of slots to feed your mail into. We don’t know what the postcode is and if it still gets service but we have vowed to test out the Aussie Post service by mailing a postcard when we pass back through in November!
After completing our traverse of the Snowy River region we hit the Bonang Highway for a quick squirt along it’s sublime curves. This road will certainly scratch your itch for bitumen twisties!
A lunch stop gave us time to down assess our options as we headed towards the coast. We opted for more bitumen twisties to shake off the after-lunch food coma before coming across some wicked trails. These tracks had a great covering of leaf litter and some smooth erosion banks for us to launch off.
After passing through a nice little tree fern tunnel we came face to blade with a bulldozer pushing it’s way up a steep hill. Turns out the National Parks were grading the track in front of us and had left it nice and smooth but very steep and loose with plenty of mega erosion banks. A chat to the dozer operator gave us the hot tip on the local tracks. He didn’t fancy our chances of getting the big 1200 up some of the approaching hills but we decided to give it a crack.
Sure enough, not more than a kilometer further on, the rocky steps started to torture the 1200’s clutch plates. After several stalls and restarts the battery finally screamed enough and wouldn’t give us the required juice to spin the motor over. The thought of trying to push start the boxer twin from where we were situated didn’t appeal much so out came the jumper leads to link up to Nick’s 800. We made a retreat to the bitumen and added that hill climb to the “to do list” as a potential hard route option.
The seaside village of Merimbula provided the perfect contrast to our passage through the forests today. The smell of the sea air was refreshing as were the views out over the water.
DAY 4 – Merimbula to Batemans Bay
Isn’t it great when a plan all comes together? Today panned out exactly as we hoped it would with some great tracks we discovered. The only thing that didn’t go to plan was some mechanical repairs that needed attention before leaving town.
Nick’s bike had been making some squeaking noises from the back wheel late in the previous day so we pulled the wheel off to see what the source was. Turned out one of the wheel bearings had started to collapse which caused the ABS sensor to touch the disc. I bit of ringing around in the morning and we had a new set of bearings in hand. We didn’t quite have all the tools on board to do the job so we dropped into Mick Cole Motorcycles in Bega who were most helpful in lending us the tools required to do the job. It was good to have a chat to Mick too who gave us a heads up on a few tracks in the area that would suit our adventure bikes and a few that wouldn’t.
Once underway, a shortcut between towns in the morning brought us to a fun section of smooth track with some erosion humps before ending up at a rather large puddle. No problem, doesn’t look too deep. Nick discovered that it was not so much the depth being an issue but rather the consistency of the base being like quicksand. The 800 GS quickly came to a stop with no forward drive happening. Terry waded in to help Nick extract the bike with much grunting and puffing.
We chased our way north up the coast and found a couple really good fun loops as well as harder options today that will reward riders that give them a crack. Our lunchstop today was by the water in a harbour so it was only fitting that we had some fish and chips and they were damn good too. As fresh as you would expect when you are by the sea.
After lunch we headed back inland through rich pastoral land and through some historical villages that have held onto their past and display a distinct charm that just makes you want to stop and soak it in.
The afternoons riding features one of the most fun tracks we’ve ever ridden on. Picture a nice smooth one car wide track with a smooth granitic sand base covered in leaf litter. Then twist and turn that track for many kilometres as you follow alongside a pretty little creek in amongst rainforest and beech trees. This track is an absolute delight to ride and you will be torn between enjoying the scenery and hooting it up around the corners. Just sublime.
We climbed further up into the mountains and passed by some old houses tucked away that time has forgotten and up onto a ridge for great views back down to the coast. It was pretty rough ride back down the hill with lots of rocks but it was easy enough.
Once back down on the coast we looked for some scenic and more challenging way to run into Batemans Bay and we sure did find it!
DAY 5 – Batemans Bay to Mollymook
For most riders we expect this final day to be the highlight of their week and quite possibly some of the best riding they’ve ever done.
We spent a couple of days recceing this area and the choice of roads was nothing short of awesome. We only kept the best combination of tracks to make our last day one to remember!
An early and foggy start to the day made for some really pretty views as we cleared out of Batemans Bay. We did a short squirt on the bitumen before we peeled off and sneaked our way along a great little track that takes us through a couple of creek crossings.
With a fair amount of overnight rain we were concerned some of the red clay based tracks around might get a bit slippery and boy were we right to be concerned! What made it even more challenging was the fact that a grader had been working the local tracks the week prior so the loose top soil was now nice and damp and mega slippery. It took us hours to cover just a few kilometres and Terry counted up to 7 times that he dropped his bike at walking pace in the slippery stuff. He vowed to fit a set of TKC80 knobbies to his 1200 once he got home because he could see his tyres just weren’t cutting it.
Once we got onto firmer ground the pace resumed and we popped out into a stunning river valley that we following back up through the ranges. The scenery here was simply stunning and we couldn’t help but stop and take many photos. A lunch stop at a local pub and then we went off exploring a couple of roads that ended up dead ending into private properties. Frustrating, but it did lead us to stringing together a great variety of tracks.
We ran back down to the coast to visit a lovely secluded beach where kangaroos were just milling around eating the grass. It was quite surreal to see kangaroos on a surf beach and they were super friendly allowing us to give them a pat. This was such a great experience.
The more we rode today the more we found awesome tracks and we managed to find the little sting in the tail that Nick was hoping for as we came into Mollymook. The final section of single track will test some riders but it is so worth it.
We rounded up the weeks ride with a mega-sized hamburger at a beachside shack. Well at least Nick had a burger, Terry took the healthier option and made Nick feel guilty for it too!
The beauty of this region is there are so many track options on most days that it was a case of what great tracks do we leave out?
We can’t wait for you to get there and experience it for yourself. Don’t forget if you want to see all of the photos from the ride, click here to see them.
See you on the 8th of November!
Nick & Trudi