After riding backroads around Emerald and Gembrook on Friday after work Greg and I met with Kee and all decided to ride Reefton Spur early Saturday morning. Kee is going to be the camera man and STIG 2 in 1, racing his BMW 135i coupe with GoPro mounted on the bonnet ,filming us.
We decided to meet at Gembrook for a morning coffee at 8am and then head to Reefton.
Andrew SMSed at the right time last night asI had almost forgotten to send him the invite.
Everyone arrived at Gembrook around 8am but cafe was closed and we decided to go to Warburton and have coffee there.
Greg also called Wooly while at Gembrook and told him we were doing Reefton this morning. Wooly got ready within minutes and caught up with us in Warburton. Now we had 4 bikes and car: that is 2.5 BMW bikes 800GS, 1200GS and Husqvarna TR650 Strada(its probably 80% BMW) and Suzuki DR400. All of us had a knobby tyre set on the bike.
We had a cup of coffee with choice of pies and cakes . I had a carrot cake so now fully energized we headed down to Reefton.
I have started off a little bit slower and in first corners I was decelerating harder before entering a corner, then I got into a rhythm and started to hold throttle at a more constant position just slightly slowing down before a sharper corner and then accelerating gently out of the corner.
By the middle of the Reefton Spur probably 20 minutes from the start of the twisty road I was a lot smoother on the throttle , though in two corners went a little bit wider and touched the middle line. I didn’t want to lean further as I was worried I’m going to run out of the rubber on the front tyre.
Through those turns I used up all of the front rubber and the side chicken strips started disappearing completely and I am not a footpeg scrapper. The rear tyre still had probably another 5mm of the usable rubber you can see it by different color and texture of the rubber surface on the edge to the color of the rest of the tyre after the ride.So you can still lean a bit more on the rear tyres but i didn’t want to have the front wash out.
With other less knobby or a more rounded tyre you can probably lean further safer but these ones I better be a bit more careful.
We stopped half way through at the intersection with the Woods Point road for a bit of rest. Regrouped and took off again. Kee was now filming with camera mounted at the back of the car on the boot facing forward, filming himself and bikes through the windscreen
After that we stopped for a rest at Marysville.
After Marysville we rode Black Spur the road going to Healsville. Andrew went straight home. I refueled at Healsvile and we went further to Kinglake,
One stretch of road near Kinglake was really narrow and corners were even tighter.Cars could barely fit into the lane. Good thing that the speed limit was only 60 and upcoming traffic was not going too fast.I was getting a bit tired with cramps in the shoulders started to appear when we passed St.Andrews and got to Warrandyte. After that we all went home.
Overall it was a good day and lots of fun riding those twisties. It was my second time on Reefton. First time I went there last year on my back then Suzuki GS500 with “L” plates on.That would have been only 1-2 months of riding that I have done since getting the license. That time I was really stressed, every corner was making me use a lot of energy and concentration. It was taking me longer to process all the information, I was paying too much attention to whats in front of me instead of whats around the corner. Didn’t know what line to take, how to lean etc.
I am still learning now, but I think some of the things are being automatic now and I dont have to think to much about it. Its still not natural but its getting a bit more fluid now, at moderate speeds I can go from corner to corner a lot smoother then before and sometimes not even using brakes.
I was avoiding Reefton Spur over the last year as I thought it was too hard and I need more practice before next attempt. Now I think I can go there more often to practice those cornering skills.