Stormy weather

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

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5 thoughts on “Stormy weather

  1. Crikey Jules, that sure was a challenging ride! Whilst we prefer to avoid riding in those conditions, it does make us more complete riders. Glad to see that you still rate the Road 5’s – I hold the same views. Do you run a 50 profile rear or a 55? Mine is 55 and the higher crown is sensational for turn-in rate. I think i’ll get them fitted to my new bike (not until next spring) before it comes out of the showroom.

    • “More complete” is an excellent way of thinking of it. I’m on my second Road 5 front and I was really pleased with the way the worn out one held its profile and also did not cup – both of which the PR4 did. Used Road 5Until last week I didn’t think the Road 5 was any better than the PR4 in terms of grip – but last week caused a major rethink of that. On a variety of wet surfaces the confidence the R5 gave was sensational. The Road 5 fronts have been in short supply here actually, mine has a build date of 30th week 2018.
      I’m still using a 50 profile on the rear. Any decisions on what steed we will see you on next year?

      • That’s good news about no cupping. I’ve only done about 7000 km on mine yet. New bike for me is probably between two 😁

  2. Hi Mate
    Looks like the weather was playing Jekyll and Hyde. I’d normally not like riding in the rain either but fully understand where you are coming from with the comments you started to enjoy it. It was the same for me coming out of Milford Sound in the pouring rain, we all got soaked to the core but we loved every bit of that ride and it was one of the high lights of the trip.

    • Certainly not the preferred conditions, but OK when you’re happy with your gear and your bike set up. Went out for a couple of hundred km spin with Dorothy on board in near perfect conditions today. Old school picnic in the Otways.

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