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Bright & Back - Feb '22

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Day 1: Highlands to Tumbarumba

It was a grey morning at Sally’s Corner when 12 riders gathered; what are becoming the usual repeat offenders: Dennis, Tony, Andrew, Greg, Neal, Colin, Oggy, Mick S, Clem, yours truly, plus David on his first ride with us, and Marty, a mate of Dennis and Neal.

Four BMs, four Trumpies, one Guzzi, two Hondas and one Enfield.

A speed of 115 km/h was agreed for the long expressway run to Yass, for a break and drink. At Yass the layers came off as it was warming, with the sun poking through, then next stop Coolac for a fuel top up. Then, Mick S took us left off the highway on some great sweeping backroads, over an uphill pass with some twisties, through Brungle an on to lunch at the Tumut River Brewing Co (flavoured beer and good food).

From Tumut we headed to Tumbarumba via Batlow, fine with a bit of cloud, and dry roads...

Then, it was on to the Club Motel Tumbarumba, with Chinese banquet at the Bowling Club across the road…….mmmm👍

Day 2: Tumbarumba to Bright

Woke to blue sky and birds singing. It was a nice run south on Tooma Rd to Towong, Vic – a flowing road through the foothills – with a stop at the Southern Cloud lookout; great view from the memorial to Australia’s first air disaster: Six passengers and two crew in a Kingsford Smith plane. Lost in 1931, the wreck wasn’t found until1958 (there’s also a memorial with some parts, including an engine, in Cooma). More good roads to Jingellic, where we banged on the pub doors; no food yet, but he could do coffee, which was gratefully accepted. It’s a nice pub in a beautiful location by the mighty Murray River.

The road from Jingellic to Granya and through to Talangatta is a must-do! I’ve ridden on some good roads and this run rates highly; sweeping bends skirting the Murray River and a nice Pass of mild twisties before meeting the Murray Valley Highway. Turned right to Talangatta for fuel, then through to Yackandandah to get a pie for Greg N and some tools for Andrew (never know when they’re needed when yer riding a Triumph!).

Weather was still fine and hot, but looking ominous over the ranges south. Grey/blue thunderheads loomed, so we made a beeline to Bright, arriving under grey overcast, but no rain to report. However, there was a bit of a failure on behalf of the organisers: The motel in Bright was 1.5 km from town and no one was keen on the walk! Luckily, Dennis’ Dad, Hans, had driven up to say g’day to his boy and offered to drive into town for food and drinks. So, pizzas, beer and scotch made for a good dinner in the park-like surroundings of the motel.

Day 3: Bright to Coryong

Big day ahead – almost 5 hours saddle time – so after breakfast in town we headed off to Falls Creek, under what were leaden grey skies with damp roads, but no real rain A careful run over the Bogong High Plains Rd from Falls Creek, it was foggy and started to feel a bit cold (like it could snow cold!), until I remembered I was one of the Hard Men of the Highlands! Still bloody cold though…

The road was twisty and narrow with some gravelly corners, but mostly above the tree-line in snow country, with good views I imagine on a sunny day. We gathered at the Omeo Hwy then headed to Mitta Pub for lunch, with clearing and mostly sunny weather, but still a wet road. The Omeo Hwy – if you like bends! – is a good road that's well marked and with zero traffic. Say no more…..

After a good feed at Mitta Pub it was a quick run – quicker for some – back up to Talangatta for fuel and refreshments, then an hour’s run east across to Corryong. The Road Captain stopped on Corryong’s main street to check directions and caused an international incident behind: A BM rear-ended one of the Triumphs in a slow speed confusion with a car, resulting in a bent guard on the Trumpy and injured pride on the BM.

Not bad rooms, plus great food at the Corryong Hotel/Motel, we were volunteered by the Publican to join the trivia night: Two teams were formed by whoever sat where and the “old farts” took an early lead, but one of our team didn’t understand the concept of the game, which he thought was to yell the answer and share it with all the other teams. Locals won the day, with our teams coming fourth and fifth (out of six). Bit of a late night that one, with some raffle-won bottle of red, followed by a few more bottles consumed…

Day 4: Corryong to Cooma

We were getting doom and gloom weather reports and there was a feeling that some would head north and miss the run over the mountains. But, waking to a cloudless sky we decided to stay together and head east over the high country to Cooma.

We followed Alpine Way, then turned onto Swampy Plains Creek Road up to Cabramurra. This road was narrow and not marked, which made for some interesting conditions with the bright sun flashing through the trees. There was a covering of branches, sticks and leaves to contend with, and a couple of riders said they wouldn’t do it again. In bad weather it would not have been fun.

Once we got to Kiandra it was cloudy, cold and wet, we pushed through to Adaminaby for food and coffee, where it was overcast and showery, headed through it to Cooma on the quick Snowy Mountains Hwy. Accomodation was at the Nebula Motel, which was good and close to town, and RSL, and with undercover parking.

Day 5: Cooma to Home

We left Cooma expecting to get wet arses, but again the sun shone through. Heading to Bungendore for some lunch we met a cranky cop on a roadblock just out of Queanbeyan. He was turning everyone around due to an accident, so we ended up on the Federal Hwy, stopping at Collector for a coffee before parting ways. After what were a great few days on brilliant roads with good-to-great weather, we finally got a bit wet in the Highlands on the homeward run. All-up, great roads, great company and no storms or tempest. What more could we have asked for?

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