I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t yet introduced the MT-09 to the Great Ocean Road (GOR) – one of Victoria's - and indeed Australia’s - must ride roads.
Although it has been raining for 3 days straight and the weather today is less than ideal I am stubborn and determined enough to get the Gimp suit on and get this long overdue introduction done.
Kissing the wife goodbye and giving the little one a smile I hit the black stuff at 6:50 am – there’s a lot of road to cover.
The first 1.5 hour slab to Torquay is completed without incident – stopping for fuel I gunnel the tank and check the radar. High wind – but no rain – I wonder if this will in fact equate to ‘Dry’…….hmmm.
Before one can begin the GOR ‘proper’ the gratuitous Split Point lighthouse stop is required – this is our Mecca and the icons must be acknowledge. Pfffft……..nah.
That said, this lighthouse is a bit of a silver screen star and was the setting of the ever popular ‘Round the Twist’ children's series – a TV show which is a right of passage for my generation of Aussie-Kid.
Right then. Stop faffing about - it's clobbering time.
Aireys Inlet to Lorne defines the warm-up section of the GOR - with spectacular views left and forward vision filled with a black snake tracing the coastline, the appetite is tending to Braaarp.
We've had our wettest recorded Spring in Victoria for the last 30 years - oh joy - as such, the GOR has copped a beating. Landslides had closed large sections between Lorne and Apollo Bay, sections now open albeit under repair.
It must be said, the road surface is shocking. It is pock-marked, pitted and rutted - there are gravel washouts and divots, large stone chips and, oh yeah - single lane road works. Settling into any form of rhythm is farken impossible, and with frustration breeding petulance, things are getting sketchy.
So we climb a little further out, and head towards the Otways. Maybe we'll have more luck?
The road travelled
And the road ahead
Backtracking slightly I point the 'Niner to some inland delights via Skenes Creek on a coast to farm transition. The low lying Rain Forest road has also seen some heavy rain and is dicey at best - nothing else for it, climb higher and head out to the open plains.
This looks like a nice spot for lunch
I complete my MT-09 to GOR introduction ride back to Melbourne town, as much as possible, on the roads less travelled. Glad the 'Niner has met the GOR - but I've got a feeling the appetite for Braarp has not been contented.
Rolling up my driveway at 3pm, I've just spent 8 hours on the bike and completed ~630kms.
My Girls are having a late lunch and are all smiles. Nothing, else, required.
GOR, this is the 'Niner, be a better Mecca next time - OK?