Thursday, 5 March 2015

Motorcycle Riding in the South West

Freemason's Hotel - Bridgetown
One look at the radar to confirm the severity of the thunder storms tramping through the South West and we delayed our departure for twenty four hours. Although we were disappointed, we knew if we were caught out in a severe thunder squall we'd be wishing, harder than we'd ever wished before, we'd found some patience.

We were riding away from the city's streets by 8am. A few spots of rain collected on my visor but I didn't let them dampen my mood, instead I tuned in to the gentle purring sound that Devil (BMW F650GS) makes when I'm listening through a set of disposable ear plugs. In the heat of summer it was a joy to ride under a cloudy sky. A quick burst on the freeway and we were slinking our way along Patterson Road all the way to Pinjarra. A windmill confirmed there was not even a zephyr stirring the air and we knew we had made the transition to country culture when a ute pulled into a servo outside Harvey carrying two large hay bales in the tray.

Just another truck.
Timing is everything, even down to who you follow along the highway, and unbeknownst to us we pulled out a few kilometres behind a dump truck carrying a skip full of rubbish. The stink was in the wind and up our noses for over 20km before we rid ourselves of the offending vehicle. We weren't complaining though, as one of the wonders of motorcycle riding is you are fully immersed in the environment you ride in.

We brunched at the Apple Pie Bakery in Donnybrook and then we were on the road again, enjoying our own thoughts and dreams as we rode along. From Bridgetown we found Winnejup Rd, a country lane, at times only wide enough for a single vehicle, before joining the Boyup Brook - Cranbrook Rd for the run into Frankland. There were a few trucks on this stretch of road but the first truckie must have made a call on the radio because all the others kept well to the left.

Porongurup National Park.
There is a great rest area in Frankland and we took the opportunity to hydrate and educate ourselves about the local area. The map on the tourist board indicated that Bunbury was only 104km away. A spirited discussion erupted around the bikes until a map was produced proving that Bunbury was more like 200km away.

When the Stirling Range appeared as we approached the Albany Highway we knew we were nearing our destination at Porongurup. We had cruised along all day in near perfect conditions with only pot holes full of water to remind us of the storms from raged the day before. Dwarfie (BMW R1200GS) went ahead to open the gate for me and as I eased Devil down the gravel driveway I noticed I was singing a few lines from the old classic "What A Difference A Day Makes."