Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ride Report Jindabyne 25 March 2018 (Mick Version)

Jindy jaunt with Storm-Rider.

There were 40 of us at the Hume servo for this ride after we topped up for our fill of liquid gold.  What a great turn-out for another wet and miserable day.  Damn, too many zeros.  That was 4, not 40.  Ride Leader Ian exercised a modicum of braveness, or a fear of being ridiculed, and also arrived early to see who else might turn up with the forecast rain and black horizon.  He had shown far more fortitude than Ride Leader Andrew No-Show of the last ride south and was thereafter honoured with the tag of Ian Storm-Rider.  The four I had counted during the ‘Waving hello – Not drowning’ arrival reduced to 3 riders as one decided that getting wet was not his idea of a great Sunday outing.

It was a small turnout and there was some cancellation discussion as the day was clearly not looking like being fun on a motorcycle.  However, unlike Andrew No-Show, Ian Storm-Rider was keen enough to hold firm on the programmed ride and stood tall as he gave his abbreviated briefing to the assembled throng of 3 followers.  That was 3 including himself, otherwise it was an assembled throng of 2.  At least we didn’t have to jostle for positions to hear the short speech that basically said “Follow me”.  It is noted for posterity that Andrew No-Show was again a No-Show and wasn’t one of the two followers.

I would like to be able describe the various tones of starters engaging engines and the sweet burble of exhausts as our motorcycles came to life and we prepared to depart.  Unfortunately, the noises were muffled by the dark and gloomy skies on the horizon and heavy sense of wetness in the air.  The only indication that start-up had been called was the fog of vapour from warming exhausts and engines.  Ian Storm-Rider led us, as leaders do, onto the Monaro Highway and south into the darkening skies of New South Wales.  I thanked BMW for providing me with a bike that should not have as much weather protection as it does, and closed my visor to keep the increasing drizzle off my impact-resistant lightly-tinted glasses.  I thought you needed to know that.

BMW GS dealing with a minor puddle encountered on the Jindy Jaunt
If you drew a straight line on a map between Hume and Cooma you might occasionally leave the road south and have to open and close a few farmer’s gates.  I hate that road.  I travel it often.  It’s relatively straight.  It has an occasional small hill.  It has a few curves that can hardly be cause for wetting one’s panties.  It has plentiful kangaroos.  It is regularly patrolled by our blue-clad brothers and sisters.  I’ve yet to meet the hot blonde female copper with the uniform, badge, gun and handcuffs that wants me to ‘spread-em’.  That only happens in movies.  The rare excitement comes from the transiting farmers, tradies, fishermen, bush walkers and snow skiers, all subject to seasonal variations.  Skiers are the worst.  The surface is generally good.  Perhaps, very good.  It’s so boring.  I need a lie down and a sleep.

Ian Storm-Rider parted the waters ahead of us as we headed south in light intermittent rain.  I was behind him, so much of the light rain had been disbursed or absorbed by the time I hit the spot in front of me.  Or was the weather clearing again?  Yes, it was definitely better, but Ian Fair-Weather has far less of a manly ring to it than Ian Storm-Rider, so the title remains.  It would prove useful later in the day as we dodged the black horizons.  We decided to take a break at Cooma and imbibed on coffees to keep our innards warm.  Ian’s pie was a tribute to something that was once edible.  Large quantities of sauce can cover anything.  Chris’ Turkish coffee was probably equally edible.  The journey continued.

The faster roads between Cooma and Dalgety were, well, faster, so that was the fun bit for the day, followed by another bout of fun between Dalgety and Jindabyne.  The roads were damp but not soaked, although some of the causeways had a trickle of water and the occasional deep puddle was enough to keep you on your toes.  See the photos.  Andrew No-Show would have been proud.  The run to Jindabyne was also good and uneventful.  I noted a large trout in the Snowy River and even managed a quick photo.  It was circling some motorcyclists for some reason or another.  I kept my eyes open for the blond bombshell with the badge and handcuffs, but she was nowhere to be seen.  Probably just as well.  I believe the stainless steel Police Station bunks are hard and cold.
Trout  in Snowy
Ian Storm-Rider knew of a Michelin Star café at the old service station north of Jindy, so we breezed through town and on to the top of the hill that overlooks the road rather than the valley.  The café beckoned, so we became beckoners and parked the bikes to partake of coffee, cake and other assorted munchie things.  Being a beckoner, or beckonee, has several things going for it.  One – You get a break off the bike to stretch your legs a bit.  Two – You get to adjust your gear to find the unclipped button where that damned rain was getting in.  Three – You get to have a hopefully nice coffee to warm the cockles of your heart, whatever that is.  My cockles were a little damp, but the humidity was almost right for growing mushrooms.  We all had cold drinks.  The food was definitely Michelin quality, the old rubbery taste of my sultana cake being less than ideal.  Scratch one eatery. 

Lunch was a relatively fast affair, the dark skies towards home threatening more than just light rain.  It was nothing for Ian Storm-Rider and his hardy crew of misfits.  However, there was a very dark horizon to our north-west that promised a serious soaking if we dallied too long, so we called ‘time’ and headed home.  We relished the relative dryness of the ride, further shaming Andrew No-Show.  Recent rain had filled some of the minor streams with muddy water and these were flowing to parched dams.  My photo shows how bad it was.

Damp roads between Cooma and Jindabyne
We all dodged a fuel stop at Cooma and just went with the flow of heavy traffic.  Some of the road was wet, but most was dry.  It turned out to be a reasonable day for a ride after all.  The roads weaved where the rain wasn’t, so it was fun rather than interesting.  We stayed together as best we could with the traffic, content to follow Ian Storm-Rider as far as Canberra.  It was good day out given the weather.  The rain stayed away for the final hundred kilometres to Canberra and any dampness from the morning dried out with the wind-born temperatures.  Ian Storm-Rider had dodged the storms and kept us dry.  Well done Ian.  You may lead us again.

Participants in this southern excursion were:
Ride Leader Ian Storm-Rider on the Wing.
Chris on the Trans-continental Tourer.
Mick the scribe on the Gelande Strasse.
Absent without apology – Andrew No-Show.