Riding the Great Ocean Road (Australia)
The day started a bit chilly, then the sun peeked through with a false promise, because overcast skies and ever darkening clouds prevailed. Thickening like pea soup until rain caught us on the Geelong bypass. It was all behind us by Torquay, the start of the Great Ocean Road, but dark clouds scattered in our periphery. When the coast came into view, it brought with it a consistent mist of ocean spray, stinging my eyes, making them water like crazy, and leaving a cloudy milky coating on our visors.
Although we chose a Monday for the ride, lots of cars and caravans on this road. Many drivers considerately used the overtake pull in bays designed to let faster vehicles pass. Some drivers though were either selfish or oblivious, crawling along leaving all following vehicles at their mercy until we could find a safe place to pass or they turned off. I saw no shortage of cars with their tyres cutting corners putting their wheels in the wrong side of the road. Not something anyone, especially a motorcycle rider, wants to see coming the other way! Anticipating it meant we were prepared and could ride accordingly. There was also a tonne of roadworks, no less than a dozen stops at roadwork stations.
The slower pace wasn’t so terrible, I used it as an opportunity to practice nailing my cornering and gearing, but also gave us the opportunity to sneak looks across at our amazing views of oceans, big drops, cliff edges, jagged rocks, gnarly trees and vast moody skies. I found my groove and felt the pendulum swish swoosh back and forth around some perfect curves of the GOR. Reminded me why this is a world renowned bucket list destination, and I feel lucky that we can choose to come out here on a whim, anytime to enjoy its beauty.
After a delicious lunch of crepes with coffee/tea at Waves in Apollo Bay, we snaked back to Skenes Creek and turned inland to ride through the Otways National Park on the loop back.
The roads through the Otways are another kind of heaven with twisty winding roads snaking through forest lined roads, tall trees creating a cool sheltered canopy. The rain was here so the roads are wet, along with leaf litter and patches of rough road conditions so we tread with caution, but still enjoy the beauty of nature lining this black ribbon tarmac weaving a beautiful pattern through the national park.
We got to ride the best of both worlds in this region, coastal scenic roads, and winding through national parks. The rest of the ride through back country towns. Fairly straight roads with beautiful country farms and homes, until we found the main freeway again.
Hints of spring on our ride today: Yellow fields of canola flowers so bright they look radioactive. Looking through the view of miniature gossamer wings pasted to my visor, bug bodies still attached imitating a chia pudding explosion.
As always, rather be riding! And today we did just that.
Map of our ride route: