Motorbike Trip to Horsham on Suzuki GS500 ( via Great Ocean Road and Daylesford)
last year in the end of june 2013 we decided to go for a two day ride to Horsham.
We could’ve take the shortcut and get there in 3 hours via the freeway but we taken a more scenic route via the Great Ocean Road. We left city around 8am on Satturday , as I remember now the weather when we took off, was not the best. It was really cold around 5 degrees, foggy and to make it worth when we approached Geelong it started raining. At 100km/h it cools you by another 10 degrees. Even though I have waterproof suit and waterproof gloves, after riding in this weather for an hour your fingers go numb. Would have been nice to have heated grips or at least bark busters to deflect rain and wind. Another thing was a poor visibility I worried that it would be harder to ride the waterfront twisties in such conditions.
We stopped at Anglesea for 5 mins to stretch the legs. As we left Anglesea rain stopped and sky cleared. It was a lot nicer to ride now, it didn’t feel as cold and suit started drying up. In about half an hour we got to Lorne and stopped there for a late breakfast.
The coastal twisty road continues up until Apollo Bay after it goes inland, we refuelled there and continued towards Warnambool. We hit few patches of rain before we got to Warnambool but the road was still nice via inland, very green, humid and air filled with rainforest fragrance. We decided to have lunch somewhere near the waterfront and found a good spot near the Breakwater Rock Pier, the food at Pavilion Cafe & Bar was quite good and it had nice view of the little bay.
the original plan was to go to Portland next but we were running a bit late on time and the final destination for the day was Horsham so we decided to skip Portland and ride via “C184” highway to reduce the time we ride in the dark to avoid all the wildlife.
Half way between Macarthur and Hamilton we found a nice lookout with a view to the Mt Napier. We didn’t have enough time to visit the old volcano and explorer surroundings there but taken few nice
photos with some nice green paddocks at the back, which reminded me of WindowsXP desktop background.
It got dark just before we got to Horsham. We didn’t want to meet too many kangaroos as we were passing Grampians on our right, as this time of the day you see them more often . they are very active at dusk and dawn, come out to feed and could end up on the road.
We stopped overnight at relatives place in Horsham. I was a bit tired, it was my first long ride on the bike. My shoulders and wrists were sore, knees were cramped. I think Suzuki GS500 is a bit small for me for long distance touring, about 600 kms in one sitting was a bit hard but its perfect for shorter distances and commuting around town. I also think I was holding on to the handlebars bit too much too and might have been a bit stiffer then needs to be, that could’ve also contributed to the muscle ache.
We left Horsham early morning at dawn . We headed to Grampians via Wartook and Halls Gap. The fog was very thick that morning, you couldn’t see further then 10-20 meters. It was so thick that it was forming a droplets film on the visor, I had to wipe the visor with my hand every few minutes. It was crowded with kangaroos too, crossing the road, jumping out of nowhere, running alongside the road, so we were riding very slow on those twisties with eyes wide open.
We soon arrived at Halls Gap, where we had our morning coffee, coffee was quite average but was enough to get us to Ararat, where we had a better coffee and a proper breakfast.
When we finished our breakfast sun was up and cleared the fog, the ride got easier and roads straighter, so we got to Daylesford via Avoca and Maryborough in no time. We searched for natural mineral springs near Daylesford, there were few signs there but we couldn’t find any springs in the wild. We had some nice lunch at Daylesford .Taken few photoshots of Trentham Water Falls and went to Melbourne.
On the second day of riding I didn’t feel as much shoulder pain as day before , because I tried to relax the grip a little but still could feel the knee cramps so I needed to stop every couple of hours to stretch.
Overall it was a good relaxing trip, mind clearing and refreshing. Covering around 1000kms over the weekend. It was my first long road trip on the bike and Im looking forward to the next one.