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Jan
26
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It has been announced today that Nola has been awarded an OAM – Order of Australia Medal for Services to the Transport and Logistics Industry, Women and the Community. The actual Investiture will take place at Government House at a date yet to be fixed.



Nola being interviewed by the local WIN News team at the Municipal Australia Day Breakfast in Victory Park

To quote Nola “I am humbled that doing what I do in supporting people working in the industry to make things happen and ensure they have a voice where needed is valued, it’s also a little uncomfortable to be in the spotlight. I hope this is considered a win for the Transport and Logistics Industry, Women and the Industry”.



Nola flying the Aussie flag on the bike (as did Norm). She decided to leave it on the bike until it fell to bits……..or she needed to put the big bag on the back.

To quote Nola again “it felt good with the flag on the bike “.
PS: She finally had to take it off a month later to put the bag on. Norms’ flag on the other hand only lasted a couple of hours before the stitching started to unravel. Go figure! Is this a reflection of the manufacture we wonder..…an Aussie flag manufactured in China and sold to Australians in a German owned store. We are truly a multicultural nation.


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Jan
15
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We headed off on our first ‘Group ride’ today having been invited along for a ride with members of the Traralgon Chapter of the Easyriders Social Motorcycle Club who were heading to Bairnsdale collecting a couple of riders from Stratford on the way then heading to Bairnsdale to meet with more riders who were planning to create a local chapter there.

We rode from Traralgon to Stratford on back roads of varying quality and width and enjoyed the changing scenery from flat dairying country to wooded hills and then fertile river flats with intensive market gardens.

From Bairnsdale we headed to Buchan through the pretty little Village of Bruthen and through farmland and National Park areas to Buchan known for its rugged high country farming, Caves and Limestone quarrying. Lots of different road surfaces, widths alignment and cambers so very enjoyable.



The line-up of nearly all the bikes at Buchan

The ride from Buchan to Orbost was a new road for us and wound through some spectacular country covered in golden grasses and eucalypt forest. It felt a long way from anywhere and was refreshing to be there. The biggest downer for riding with a group was that we didn’t have the freedom to stop for the picture stops we would normally have but awesome all the same. We saw an echidna some eagles and a massive goanna which was unfortunately dead on the road. A shame.



View across the flats to surrounding hills from Buchan – a sample of the hilly country we were to encounter on the way to Orbost

The temperature was quite a bit more comfortable up in the hills and by the time we threaded our way down to the river flats at Orbost the temperature had cooled down a bit so the ride down the Princes Highway to home was good. We hadn’t been to Lakes Entrance for ages as there is now a truck bypass so it was good to ride along the Esplanade and inhale the delicious sea salt smell and I have to confess it felt pretty good riding down the highway and into the towns as a group of around 20! We may just do a bit more of that. Ha ha.



The footbridge from the town to dunes with the Surf Lifesaving Club in the distance on the Main Beach over the dunes at Lakes Entrance

Tips to remember:

The roads to Stratford are through dairying areas so you are likely to encounter bulk milk tankers so make sure you (as in all of your body) sticks to your own side of the road, The good news is that a bit of patience and good straight stretches of road should see you past them without too much hold up.

The road from Buchan to Orbost is narrow and windy with some very tight corners (most signed well) and since the area has pebbly gravel if there has been rain you can expect unfriendly pebbly gravel washes across the road surface on corners so take care.

Services available:

Traralgon – 160kms east of Melbourne on the Princes Freeway
Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel, Serviced Apartment, B&B and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Glengarry – Small town
Food: Hotel and cafe
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Toongabbie – Small settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Foods: General store / Cafe
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Cowwarr – Small settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Food: Café and Gallery / Art space / Restaurant (Old Butter Factory) and Hotel including fine dining
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Heyfield – Small town
Fuel: Available – BH
Accommodation: Limited Hotel Motel and Caravan Park
Food: Hotel, Café and Bakery
General Store / Supermarket: Small
Bike Shop: Service & parts – BH

Tinamba – Small settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Food: Café and Hotel
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Maffra - Small town
Fuel: Available – BH
Accommodation: Limited Hotel Motel and Caravan Park
Food: Hotel, Café and Bakery
General Store / Supermarket: Small
Bike Shop: Service & parts - BH

Stratford – Small town
Fuel: Available BH.
Accommodation: Basic Hotel and Motel and Caravan Park
Food: Café, hotel, bakery and cafe
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Bairnsdale – Large town / Small city
Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel, Serviced Apartment, B&B and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Wiseleigh – Locality only – No Services

Bruthen – Small town
Fuel: Available BH.
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park
Food: Small café, bakery, restaurant and brewery
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Buchan – Small town
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Basic Hotel, Private rental and Caravan Park
Food: Hotel and small cafe
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Orbost – Small town
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park options
Food: Small cafes and hotel
General Store / Supermarket: Small stores
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Newmerella – Small settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Basic Motel
General Store / Supermarket: Hot pies etc. at servo

Nowa Nowa – Small Settlement
Fuel: Available BH
General Store / Supermarket: Hot pies etc. at servo

Lakes Entrance – Small Town Permanant and Holiday residents
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple cafes, restaurants and hotels
General Store / Supermarket: Small to large stores

Kalimna – Small Settlement
Accommodation: - Hotel / Motel

Swan Reach - Small settlement – Limited Services
Accommodation: - Hotel / Motel and Caravan Park

Johnsonville – Small Settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: - Motel

Nicholson - Small settlement
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park
Food: Hotel and cafe
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Bairnsdale – (as above)

Stratford – (as above)

Sale (bypassed) - Large town
Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Fulham – Locality only – No services

Rosedale - Small town
Fuel: Available BH
Accommodation: Basic Hotel and Motel
Food: Hotel, café and bakery
General Store / Supermarket: Small


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Jan
02
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We headed off on one of our regular rides today and since the temperature was 40 + degrees we were grateful that as we gradually climbed into higher altitudes the temperature dropped a little.

This is a good ride. Mostly farmland around the Traralgon region but the further into the hills you climb this is replaced by largely natural bush with some plantations as well. The ride from Tyers to Rawson is a pretty ride and a comfortable one with lots of corners of varying curve and camber. Advisory speed signs on corners on this section are good. The road surface is mostly good with some sections deteriorating rapidly so concentration is needed in the shady areas so you can discern what is shade and what is dodgy road surface.

Once we left Rawson and turned into the Tyers Thomson Valley road the road continued to climb and the bush finally gave way to some temperate rain forest which even today was deliciously cool and moist to ride through. Beautiful!



The first glimpse through the trees to the dam wall

The view of the dam / lake as we rode across the wall is always spectacular and the water level is looking good. Once across the wall we discovered the road beyond was now sealed so we continued on from there and climbed steeply up to the intersection where we could turn left to Aberfeldy or right to Walhalla, both recommended for 4 wheel drive vehicles only so we turned around and came back.

There is picnic ground on the south side of the wall but we continued down the road to some of the rainforest area to stop for a refreshment break.



Time for a break and yes that is a stubby I’m drinking but it’s Ginger Beer so I was still riding with a .00 BAC

The remainder of the ride home on through Erica on the Moe Rawson Road is again a good ride with plenty of corners and well signed and by the time we turned off to head for Yallourn North on Purvis Road we had passed into farmland again and glimpsed views of the Strzelecki Ranges across the valley. The temperature became increasingly hot as we descended back down towards the valley and we were grateful to get home to the air conditioner but we are also really fortunate to have so many good rides so close to home.

Most of our ride today was accompanied by falling eucalypt leaves like large confetti. The rain has been so plentiful of recent times that the trees have really luxuriant leaf growth but the eucalypt forest is a survivor and it only takes a day or two of hot weather for the moisture to excess leaves to be cut off and leaves begin being shed. Makes a mess but looks great. Can also be slippery under the bike wheels once it rains!

Tips to remember:

Most of the roads in this vicinity have large logging trucks using them all year and milk tankers in the farming areas so make sure you (as in all of your body) sticks to your own side of the road.

The Tyers Thomson Valley Road and Moe Rawson Road have turn offs to Mt Baw Baw, Mt Erica and Mt St Gwinear so traffic can be heavy
and unpredictable in the snow season.

The temperate rainforest sections of the Tyers Thomson Valley Road towards Lake Thomson remains wet for most of the day in the cooler weather and can be icy in the winter but is well signed re ice. It is NOT well signed with advisory speed signs on corners so needs some respect.

Services available:

Traralgon – 160kms east of Melbourne on the Princes Freeway
Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel, Serviced Apartment, B&B and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Tyers – Small town
Fuel: Including Premium Unleaded 7 days BH
General Store / Supermarket: Small (in servo)

Rawson – Small settlement
Fuel: Available 7 days BH – ask at General Store
Accommodation: Hotel / Motel / Lodge & Caravan Park
Food: Hotel, Café, Bar & Bistro attached to the Caravan Park (The Stockyard – yum) Open for lunch and dinner Friday to Sunday and Public Holidays – favourite destination of motorbike clubs
General Store / Supermarket Small

Lake Thomson – Locality only – no services

Erica – Small settlement
Accommodation: Hotel / Motel
Food: Hotel & Cafe
General Store / Supermarket Small

Yallourn North – Small settlement
Food: Hotel
General Store / Supermarket Small


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Jan
01
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The ride out through Tyers and Yallourn North to the Moe Willowgrove Road down to the Mount Baw Baw Road and then on to Neerim South is one of our regular rides but we never cease to enjoy it. The farmland quickly gives way to forest and huge timbers and tree ferns and mountain streams. Always a cool shady place to ride on a hot day and an alternative route to see Norm Snr.

Noojee is a good stop for a coffee or a more substantial meal if you want and the Tool-shed is a favourite bar for many Melbourne riders as well as the Outpost being a fine dining option. Both good destinations.

After the 1939 bushfires which decimated the logging community the local service station apparently sold the most petrol in the state as it supplied the many logging trucks that at the time ran on petrol and were retrieving the burnt timber.

From there we headed for Powelltown and Yarra Junction then on to Warburton. This is a beautiful ride with big sweeping corners (some tight ones as well but well signed) and just an awesome experience of being in the great Australian bush. Cooler temperatures than being in the city or in lower altitudes but warmer on the valley floor than higher up the hills.



A memorial to the timber getting history of the Powelltown area with a timber tram in the foreground and the remains of a massive log beside the bikes

Once we hit Yarra Junction we headed along the Warburton Highway for Warburton and enjoyed following the Yarra River which is a galloping crystal clear mountain stream at this altitude unlike the slow moving muddy river which passes through Melbourne. This is a spectacularly beautiful valley but I wouldn’t be keen to be here on a total fire ban day as there are few options for getting out. The road is a great ride as it is all the way from Noojee.



The Yarra river behind the shops in Warburton which is clearly a popular swimming and picnic spot for the locals….amidst small voices telling how ‘freezing’ the water was…..hardly surprising as it starts close by in the mountains

After lunch we headed back again and struck off on the Nayook Powelltown Road to Neerim Junction to fuel up and get a cold drink (35 + degrees today) then on to Neerim South via the Main Neerim Road to see Norm Snr then struck off on Bloomfield Road to the Highway and on to Yarragon for another cold drink before we headed back home. MUCH hotter back down on the valley floor but a cool wind greeted us after Moe and then home. The ride up the highway is an easy one (duplicated from Nilma to Traralgon).



Part of the main street of Yarragon late in the day. We managed to get there just before the cafe shut so we got a hot chocolate and also a parking spot. Earlier in the day the street is usually full of cars and people

Tips to remember:

Most of the roads in this vicinity have large logging trucks using them all year as well as milk tankers so make sure you (as in all of your body) sticks to your own side of the road. This is a particular issue on the Moe Willowgrove Road down to the Mount Baw Baw Road where the road is narrow with sharp turns.

Heavy rainfall on the Moe Willowgrove Road has potential for gravel across the road surface on corners as well as large amounts of waters from natural springs flooding across the road. Can also be icy in winter.

The Mt Baw Baw Road has a couple of rock fall areas which are signed and more likely to be an issue in the wet weather. Wet, slippery and icy patches can be a challenge in the winter.

Services available:

Traralgon – 160kms east of Melbourne on the Princes Freeway
Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel, Serviced Apartment, B&B and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Tyers – Small town
Fuel: Including Premium Unleaded 7 days BH
General Store / Supermarket: Small (in servo)

Yallourn North – Small settlement
Food: Hotel
General Store / Supermarket Small

Willowgrove – Small settlement
Food: Small General Store – Hot pies, coffee & cold drinks available
General Store / Supermarket Small

Hill End – Locality only – no services

Noojee – Small settlement
Accommodation: Basic hotel, B & B & Camping Ground
Food: Small General Store – Hot pies, coffee & cold drinks available, café, bar and fine dining restaurant
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Piedmont – Locality only – no services

Powelltown – Small settlement
Food: Hotel

Gilderoy – Locality only – no services

Three Bridges – Locality only – no services

Gladysdale – Small settlement only – no services

Yarra Junction – Small town
Fuel: Big enough town to be available but not on main road so unsure
Accommodation: Limited Hotel B & B and Caravan Park
Food: Hotel, Café and Bakery
General Store / Supermarket: Reasonable size

Wesburn – Small settlement only
Food: Hotel

Millgrove – Small settlement only – no services
Accommodation: Guest house

Warburton – Small town
Fuel: Big enough town to be available but didn’t see it on the main road so unsure
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and B&B
Food: Hotel, Multiple Cafes and Bakery
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Nayook – Small settlement only – no services

Neerim Junction – Small settlement
Fuel: Available including Premium Unleaded 7 days BH
Food: Small General Store – Hot pies, coffee & cold drinks available
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Neerim – Small settlement only – no services

Neerim South – Small town
Fuel: Available 5 ½ days BH
Food: Hotel, Café, Small General Store – Hot pies, coffee & cold drinks available
General Store / Supermarket: Small

Crossover – Locality only – no services

Nilma – Small settlement only – no services

Darnum – Small settlement
Fuel: Available 7 days BH
Food: Hotel, Café, Small General Store – Hot pies, coffee & cold drinks available

Yarragon – Small settlement
Fuel: Available 7 days BH
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and B&B
Food: Hotel, Cafés and restaurant
General Store / Supermarket: Small
Other: Galleries and boutique shopping

Trafalgar – Small town
Fuel: Available 7 days BH
Accommodation: Hotel
Food: Hotel, Cafés
General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices from small to large

Moe – Good sized town
Fuel: Available 7 days including Premium Unleaded and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel and B&B options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Small and large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH

Morwell – Large town
Fuel: Multiple including Premium Unleaded, 7 days and 24 hr.
Accommodation: Multiple Hotel, Motel B&B and Caravan Park options
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and restaurants
General Store / Supermarket: Small to large
Motorbike shop: Parts and service BH


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Jan
01
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Happy New Year to all who pass by here. I aim to progressively add some of our rides on the Blog with picture though the more unpleasant the weather the fewer photos I suspect.

Stay upright, ride safe and enjoy the ride!


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