August, 2016 Archive

ROWVILLE TO KORUMBURRA | Ju’s Adventures Downunder

Story and photos contributed by  Ju K. Wong (Melbourne, Australia)|

It’s been a very long time since I’ve picked up a pen and wrote about anything. So much time has passed, where do I begin? Where has all the time gone? Well since this is about my riding experiences, let’s skip to the essentials, shall we?

First a little about myself. I’ve been riding since I turned 15 when my dad bought me my first “kap chai” aka Honda Cub 70. But in reality I have been riding long before that. Occasionally “borrowing” friends/dad’s/uncle’s bikes and riding around my neighbourhood was a source of great adventure and fun. I remember the sense of freedom that I felt when I finally had my own bike. I was independent now! I could go anywhere I wanted! Wow.

Over the years I’ve ridden many different bikes, in different countries. My current steed is a Honda CB1000R in the style of the current super naked streetfighters. Don’t ask me why I chose this. I’m not sure myself other than it looked cool. I mean, taste is a very personal thing, isn’t it?

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Any-hoo, back to the ride. This trip is one that I’m familiar with. Korumburra is a lovely country town about 120 kms south-east of Melbourne whose primary industry is milk farming and processing. Rolling hills, windy roads, tight switchbacks and deep gorges make this one of my favourites. It’s an ideal 3 hour round trip that is not-too-near nor not-too-far but just right. Just like Goldilocks.

I started my ride from Rowville and headed eastward down the Monash Freeway towards Warragul. After a quick stop to fill up at the petrol station on the highway, I continued on my journey. I exited the highway at the Koo Wee Rup exit and pointed my steed towards Phillip Island. The riding was smooth but the highway was covered with yellow daisies further exacerbating my hay fever allergies and a few gross sneezes in my full face helmet. Unperturbed I connected with the South Gippsland Highway (M420) turned off towards Wilson’s Prom/Korumburra. The scenery gradually changed from flat featureless farmland to rolling hills that looked just liked the Windows background of vivid blues and green.Traffic was light and I settled behind a car that was travelling approximately my cruising speed. It’s always a good idea to sit behind a car (at a safe distance of course) when driving down country roads (especially at dawn or dusk) due to the high incidence of kangaroos/wombats dashing across the road with little or no warning. A collision with one of these animals can write-off your car and can certainly kill you if you are on a bike. So better use the car in front as a barrier!

I arrived at Korumburra and promptly headed to its famous bakery on the main street. This is my usual rendezvous place with my beautiful wife and partner in crime. The cappuccino was aromatic and the meat pie was sumptuous. The weather was absolutely amazing as the sun finally came out to play after weeks of clouds and rain.

Korumburra is the heritage centre of South Gippsland. It is located in the scenic rolling foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges in South Gippsland. It’s the home of the Coal Creek Community Park and Museum. This village depicts life in the area over the period from the 1870s to 1920s, as the town rapidly expanded following the discovery of a coal seam.The outdoor museum covers 12 hectares of bushland, including 60 exhibits. These include the Giant Earthworm, National Bank, Anzac exhibit, Mining exhibits, Dairy exhibit at the Boston Carriageworks and Railway Museum. The Park is free entry and open Thursdays to Mondays during term time and seven days a week during school holidays. Korumburra Botanic Park is a worthwhile stopover. It’s a lush little bush park with walking trails that meander through the trees, little streams and creeks that beckon you to linger for a while. The sound of running streams is breathtakingly tranquil and a great place to pause. Just follow the signs after the BP station at the top of Bridge Street.

After lunch, I decided to take the scenic route home. This took me through the Strzelecki Ranges north of Korumburra towards Warragul. Some of the most beautiful riding country can be found on this route. Sweeping views with lush rolling meadows, beautiful twisty country roads, stunning scenery that on a clear day, you can almost see the sea. There are little villages along the way that don’t look out of place in the Swiss Alps! All along route, stunning views of the valley below and beautiful green paddocks.

 

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On the way you pass by quaint little farm houses as you ride on a ridge with drop-offs on both sides. Don’t ogle too long at the scenery though or you might find yourself riding off the ridge! The roads here are two-way and are decent. They are rough/bumpy in places but are well sign-posted. What I found really handy was the yellow speed advisory at every corner. This helped me decide at what speed to approach each corner and whether the corner is actually tightening or straightening out. Very helpful when you’re channelling Valentino Rossi at each corner!

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Midway between Korumburra and Warragul, I took a detour toward Poowong. Like much of the surrounding area, it used to be covered by dense rain forests, early European settlers spent many hard years clearing the giant trees, ferns, sword grass and undergrowth until the township was established in 1870. Today Poowong is a small dairying village of approximately 600 people and surrounded by dairy farms. There was nobody on the streets so I made a quick stopover to take some pictures before continuing on my way. Accommodation can be found at the Poowong Hotel and you can’t miss it.

All too soon it was time to head back. I once again mounted my trusty steed and pointed toward Drouin. Drouin was established in the early 1870’s and today is a trendy little town with sidewalk cafes and parks. Gourmet deli shops line the streets and after a quick rest stop saw me on the M1 highway again and on the way home.

South Gippsland is wonderful riding country and if you take the time, there are many treasures to be found. The friendly locals, stunning views, rich history and excellent roads make this one of my current favourite rides. There is so much more to discover and no doubt I will be back to explore this wonderful region again.

Ju K’s adventures can also be read at

https://jumotoadventures.wordpress.com/home/

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TIPS | TO RETURN TO A MOTORCYCLE AGAIN.

By: Sharizan Borhan|

How many of you have actually longed to get back onto a motorcycle after a long hiatus?

You must be in the mid stages of your life if you are.

Most common reasons for taking a break

  1. Starting a family
  2. Injury
  3. Saving up for Education
  4. Business taking a toll on your time
  5. and the list goes on.

Once all these reasons are over and dealt with, you are feeling ready to get back on one because that itch becomes more and more apparent. And would you identify that? Well you begin your quest to research on bikes, you talk bikes, youtube bikes or even visit the showroom to get even more inspired.

You recall that feeling of the wind running through your face, the feeling of flying and feeling free, the sound and vibration of power running between your legs and with just a twist of your wrist…you take it up to a hundred kilometers an hour in a blink of an eye. ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS.

But something is stopping you. You suddenly come into realization….your confidence level  is not what it used to be, fear sets in and you begin to weigh your options, “ I still wanna ride but I’m not young anymore” Thoughts are now running through your head.

  1. What are my priorities
  2. I’m not young anymore
  3. Can I risk an injury
  4. and the list of things that run through your mind goes on and on…

In this kind of situation, what are the things that you should really consider before getting back on a motorcycle after along break?

Here are some tips

  • An attitude check

Most of us getting back on a motorcycle again would be in our midlife era now. So an attitude review is a must. Think “mature ” as you are no longer that young biker boy next door but distinguished gentlemen. Our reflexes are also not what is is used to before.

  • Get a refresher course

Ask a friends who have current riding experiences to give you one and perhaps hand you a loaner bike. If not make that purchase for that purpose.

You may also know a friend of a friend who is in a similar situation as you are. Do a tag team. For some who have been there, get them to shed some insights to you how they overcame them.

  • Start with a smaller CC motorcycle or a slower one

With more power comes greater responsibility to restrain you. We all know that when it comes to exceeding the legal speed limit, we are all guilty…but the question is are you riding responsibly? Are you in control or is the bike controlling you?

Honestly any bike is never wrong as long as its ridden sensibly.

  • Review your ride options

This is a very important factor because as priorities in life changes so does our taste in riding styles. You may be stiffer physically, or have much to think about in terms of commitment, safety, appearance, speed, handling and more importantly COMFORT. A sore bottom and back can be a huge turnoff .

  • Review your safety gear

Can’t stress this enough. If you can afford it…Out with the old and in with the new. We all know that Helmets have a lifespan of about bout 5 years minus any crashes or chips. Check it out to see if there is anything falling out…if so…it is a good excuse or a compulsory excuse for a new  one.

  • Riding Jacket and Pants with body armor

Inspect them thoroughly. If there are any signs of wear and tear especially fabric tears, best to keep it as a spare and start shopping for a new one. Another good excuse to keep up with new safety aspects.

And of course if they still fit your Mid-age body. Anything forced is never a good thing.

  • Riding Boots/Shoes

They too tend to deteriorate in storage especially in humid weather. Run a check on its pliability and look of for cracks and breaks in the leather and plastics. The Sole condition is also important to check for hardening.

If all the above show signs, shop for new ones.

Once you have checked all the boxes…its now time to get that bike and “ride like the wind”

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