19th July 2007
Matt was on holidays. He and the family had just come back from Fiji and he had a bunch of holiday pictures that he wanted to show Ben. Of course it goes with out saying, Ben was up for the ride and to spend a few days with his mate Matt, so was in for the fun…..but this time, there was a little twist. Ben and Amy would leave after work / school and ride up in the night. They planed to leave at 4pm. The one day so far that Ben has wanted to get away from work on time, yep, you guessed it, he got stuck in a meeting. Never mind, we got away by 4:30pm. (Click on the images for a bigger version)
This, of course, put them in the middle of the rush hour in Melbourne……. Ahhh, yes, the Ring Road at 5:30pm….good fun. Or not. Having survived that, they got onto the Hume Freeway and started heading north.
Up until this time Amy was getting a little concerned about the ‘Estimated Time of Arrival’ reading on the GPS. Because we were heading south east, and Matt lives north east, some of the times were a little funky. (2 days) Once on the Hume, they settled down and became a lot more realistic. (3.5 hours)
A little ways up the Hume, we found a road side reserve to pull over and eat dinner. We had been riding for 1.5 hours by this time, so the break was nice.
From there it was another hour and a half to the next stop, fuel at Wangaratta. This means we rode from Ballarat to Wang with out refueling, yeah, the long range fuel tank is a ripper. We now have a range of 470Kms. Nice. Very, very, nice. The one ‘glitch’ is that its really hard to find the two fuel taps in the dark. Ben will fix that with some LED’s. He needs to add one to the handle bar controls as well, since they are rather hard to find in the dark as well.
Once we turned off the Hume Freeway onto the Olympic Way, we were able to use the new lights. WOW!!!!! Ben calls them the death ray (out of War of the World). The nice thing about them (well, one of the many nice things) is that with all of them on, we are only drawing 105 watts. Anyway, see the HID page once its done (in a month or seven) for much more information about these lights.
I am going to take a moment to talk about riding the bike at night. It was the first time I have done it for any length since all the changes I have done to it. I’m really happy with how the changes have come together. Some times you don’t know how your vision is progressing or how its going to stand up to the real world, you just have to get out there and use it. And that’s just what we did. Wow, sure is working well. The new way of synching the carbies has resulted in a real smooth bike, so smooth in fact it was a little of an out of body experience at the end……we had the music going, the ear plugs in, Amy was not so chatty that I had concentrate, the death ray was talking the pressure off riding at night, the bike was just purring it was pretty amazing. I no longer have to ride in anyone elses ‘cone of light’. The digital dash is lit up beautifully. The fact that I can reprogram the shift light to be an over speed alarm works great, the cruise control ‘just works’ like it should. The seat warmer and the hand grips warmer make the bike a warm place to be. The intercom allows us to just chat like we are in a car, the music sounds great. It all comes together in one neat package that you just want to ride and ride and ride, day or night, hot or cold.
Once we got up there, we had a small bite to eat, some drinks and just slowly came off the high we were both on from riding in the 2.5°C night for so long (it was actually warmer on the bike than off!).
The next morning was pretty laid back. We cut in the window frame, while Matt painted it, I washed the ‘Wing. Here is a dirty Goldwing turning into a clean one;
Its a little hard to see, but look at the exhaust pipe. Trust me, I’m a friend of RAEME ( Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers ie, Matts old unit), it gets a LOT cleaner. Uranquinty does not have water restrictions, so we can use a trigger hose to wash it down between soaps, its a lot nicer than our water tank at home. (Need to look into what I can do about that).
The funniest part of the day was taking Matt into town on the bike to drop off his DVD for repair and to pick up his van from getting repaired. Well, they were not the funny bits, having him on the back of the bike with the intercom was the funny bit…..It takes about 20 min to get into Wagga (well, that’s what it takes me, Matt can do it a little quicker, but we are not going there!). Coincidentally it takes about 15 minutes for the seat heater on the Goldwing (She STILL does not have a name) to warm up…. We get 3/4 the way into town and Matt starts wriggling big time. We are talking on the intercom about his problem and he describes it like he’s had a good curri the night before. It did not take long before we find out that the seat heater gets a LOT hotter for the pillion than it does for me. I turn it off, but not before Matt christened it the “Ring Stinger”. That was it, it cracked both of us up big time. We are laughing so hard it takes some effort for me to keep the bike balanced at the next set of lights. (Being on a hill and not practicing my 2 foot down hill starts did not help). Trust me, it was very very funny.
The next day we slacked off a bit in the morning. Nice cooked breakfast, then into town to look at some bike lifts. Then it was off to see Lachlan (Matt’s son) play soccer, that was a lot of fun, the kids really get into it and really enjoy it. We then headed back to the house. I got their weather station going. (You can see their data on the menu under weather). Matt set up the tools to put the lover windows in. We did that, AND got the out side totally clad with weather boards, so we figured we had earnt a beer by the end of it all…..
(Since we have left Amanda has put the lights up properly, here is what it looks like now;)
It has really come up a treat. Its great to sit out there and have a beer, very relaxing!
Latter that night, after dinner, we got to talking about Matt’s didgeridoo. He had to get it out and have a play.
Of course, the thing is, both Matt and I are into acoustics and getting things to sound their best, so we had to go on a house hunt and find the best place to play it. Now, when you sing, where is the place that you sound the best? Of course, well we had to try it didn’t we…..
Well, it was good, but we wondered if there was a better place…….
When that was not as good as we hoped, there was one place left to try…..
And after all that, it was back to the shower…….
The Sunday morning was taken up with packing and computers….. Matt’s sister-in-law is the manager of the local servo and was having trouble with their Symbol barcode scanner, so I went and had a look. It turns out it was in parallel with the PS2 keyboard, but they had a USB keyboard, so poor old XP was very confused which to use. We installed a PS2 keyboard and rebooted, life was good for Lizzi.
Sadly, we could make no more excuses, so we left……. The weather was beautiful, we were in high spirits, so, with the music cranking, we were off.
I have always wanted to stop here and take a panorama, so, since we were not in a rush, we stopped. What a view. What a road!
This spot is after Seymore. Its also a great view. Hard to see, but there is snow on the hills in the distance.
I like this photo of Amy.
This road past Tooberac is fantastic. It is one of Amy’s (and Bens) all time favorite roads.
And that’s that. We arrived home in 5 and a half hours. Fantastic weekend. Thanks Matt and Amanda for having us (again). Thanks Mr Honda for a fantastic bike, thanks Freddy for bugging me to buy it. Its hard to imagine life before it, or life with out it.