You may have seen news reports about the ‘extreme’ weather event that hit Victoria last week causing storms and flooding. In the interests of product testing (Michelin Road 5 tyres and Aldi waterfproof jacket & pants) and because of a pre-booked getaway at Bright (the real reason!) we were out in it – and in the Vic High Country when the extreme weather hit. Here are some pics:
From this …. sunny and approx 32C on Wednesday
To this…. at the top of Mt Hotham the next day when the torrential rain hit
Our route Days 2 & 3 Mirboo North to Bright the day 3 Bright to Geelong
Mark led us from Mirboo North to Bairnsdale via Heyfield and then I led the three of us on motorcycles from Bruthen, to Omeo and then up to the sumit of Mount Hotham. (Billy was in his tricked up turbo MX5 Mazda & gradually pulled away from us). The road from Bruthen to Dinner Plain was quite wet but the rain had stopped and I marvelled at the grip available with a new set of Michelin Road 5’s fitted. We set off with some trepidation but before many kilometers had passed I was really enjoying the ride and marvelling at the pace and lean angles Marty and I were achieving, perfectly safely, on such a soaked pavement. Mark, on dual sport tyres on the Super Tenere, was not enjoying the sure footed ride that we were. As we passed Dinner Plain the bad weather rolled in. When we stopped at Mount Hotham for some pics the fog rolled in and the visability rapidly diminished to just a couple of metres. After a couple of hasty photos, we headed off just ask the skies opened and torrential rain fell. The descent from Hotham, a series of tight hairpin bends, was taken quite slowly as there were literally 2 cm deep rivers of water running down the road – thankfully the fog disappeared the more we descended. Now these really were EXTREME conditions. However, I actually began to enjoy the challenge and the ride to some extent. At no time did I feel the ZX14R step out of line, nor did I feel unsafe at any stage. Other than good tyres and a pinlok visor insert that prevented visor fogging – I believe that a catalogue of years of riding experience to draw upon really helps build confidence riding in these sort of scenarios. Nevertheless, we were all pretty pleased to arrive at Harrietville and then make our way to Bright. After we checked into our digs I peeled off my el cheapo Aldi plastic jacket and pants that I was wearing over leathers and not a drop of water had seeped through – I was completely dry. The only downside is that the plastics are not breathable and I was pretty hot as the temperature rose to mid 20C’s as we arrived in Bright. My gortex lined Alpinestars boots kept my feet 100% dry. Heavy rain continued all evenening and overnight. Bright received 150mm of rain in less than 24 hrs and the nearby Hume Hwy was closed, with plenty of stranded cars and even some helicopter rescues of occupants required. Marty and I opted not to ride home via the Whitfield to Mansfield High Country route and had an event free ride home via the Hume. Unfortunately for Mark he acted upon incorrect info on the Vic Roads website that said the Hume was still closed and he encountered more tough conditions on the Whitfield – Mansfield run. He’d left 2 hours earlier than us, but arrived in Geelong at roughly the same time.
Day two of our ride was amongst the most challenging I’ve ever done. However crazy it sounds, I really quite enjoyed it. For a full report on day one of the group ride authored by Stan K and some great pics CLICK HERE