A free weekend, good weather forecast and no riding for almost two months meant that we just had to get ourselves away for another adventure. Two months I hear you cry! Yes, other things took over but now I am back, discovering more new places.
Anyway, off we trotted north, mostly repeating the route we followed earlier in the year. Didn’t quite expect to have the same weather but it turned out that the Hunter Valley is comparable to Hades in the summer, except this time we were joined by thunderstorms … so much for the good weather. Yet, as luck would have it, we managed to dodge them, flirting around the edges and being struck by only a few wayward drops.
This is what I mean:
Overnight in Mudgee, a gorgeous country town which has recently come into its own with some great wineries and great food.
Day two started out rather exciting when, about 30kms out of Mudgee, we pulled over and I felt liquid splashing over my right arm and onto my windscreen. What could that be, it’s not raining today. And so, looking down it became apparent that my fuel cap had vanished exposing a tank full of the fuel we had just acquired in Mudgee. Bugger.
Gary retraced some of our steps to see if could find said fuel cap but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, discarded cans, plastic bottles, kangaroo carcasses and a variety of other detritus meant our chances of finding the fuel cap were slim, he returned after about 10 minutes. I called the petrol station in Mudgee, no not there, what had happened? What to do?
Well, poor design meant that the fuel cap is fully removable using the key during filling, equally poor design meant that it was possible to return the fuel cap to its home and remove the key without it actually being locked so it probably vibrated out and onto the road without me noticing, thanks Triumph.
But what to do? My genius husband remembered that we had gaffer tape, an essential ingredient in the packing kit for long motorbike trips, and that solved the immediate problem, excellent.
Unfazed, we decided to explore the Capertee Valley, purportedly the world’s widest canyon. More on that here.
We followed Glen Alice Road from Rylestone, which loops down through Glen Alice to the edge of the Wollemi National Park and then back to Capertee. The loop road took us through this glorious valley with its sandstone cliffs, remote farms and, in Glen Alice, some of the nicest public toilets I have ever come across. It can be rather hit and miss out there in the country and these were a hit. Thanks people of Glen Alice.
Here’s me looking very happy about it:
For the curious bikers, Glen Alice Road is mostly good with areas of pot holes and small sections of very good dirt, although this can vary if it has rained. The dirt stretches are south of Glen Alice for 5km, about 1km of tarmac then 3km of sort before returning to tarmac. And it is well worth it, the scenery is stunning and the roads are quiet.
And this is a view across the valley from Pearson’s Lookout on the main highway between Mudgee and Lithgow, looking back at where we had travelled.
It’s always a risk taking an unfamiliar route, especially in the country where there is limited information on road conditions, and not many people to ask; but on this occasion it all worked out. So another recommendation from this LadyOnMotorbike, go the Capertee Valley, it’s lovely.
What a great first ride after a two month break.
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Thanks I’ll check it out next time I’m up that way … always looking for new and interesting roads.
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What was very surprising is that we only saw 2 solo bikes on that loop, and none passed us as we had lunch near the road, not we’ll known at all!
Dirt tends to scare of a lot of riders – and keeps the roads quieter (a bit like the Bonang). Generally when I head north from Canberra it’s via the bylong valley way so this looks like an interesting alternative.
Agreed, freaked me out for ages especially on Rita but Ruby is so gloriously stable and smooth that she handles it really well, especially on that road. We got stuck on a huge stretch on a previous time in the Bylong Valley, it was pretty unsettling but ok in the end which got me over my fear.
Nice view of the canyon from that road, I shall detour that way next time I have opportunity.
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