Day 22 The Grampians

The day dawned fine but Mr Google told me it was breaking through an overnight frost and it was zero degrees outside. I deliberately dawdled over breakfast, sent emails , lubed the chain , did a pre start on the bike and even tried to post pre start it…..but by 10 am the temp had cracked double figures and it was time to go.

my recent experience in cold weather has taught me I can’t sustain 4 hours riding below 13 degrees C even with the heated grips.  Sorry if that sounds Woosey but the other part of the story is for the first time I am finding the temps on the bike display vary by 10 degrees !  I can refuel and record a temp of 23 and pull out into traffic at 13.  I suspect the wind chill factor is around 8 …..but my only record is the Ducati thermometer.  When it hits 13 I know I am in trouble.

so today I pulled out the big guns at the start and plugged in the 12 volt jacket ….flicked on the hot grips and burbled out of Horsham.

heading south off the A8 I followed C222 into the hills towards Halls Gap. It sounds clinical to list the roads by name, even a little American, and the reality was anything but clinical. Around 50 km of hairpin bends allowed the duke to explore the lower gears as we hauled up the mountainside. Coming down the other side saw me hanging on to third gear as much as possible and braking early to dip through the consistently inconsistent change of line .

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Halls Gap

Halls Gap

 

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halls gap arrived in my visor unheralded, one minute weaving road cuttings and the next minute sweeping past the football oval replete with bush walking teams. A raid on the bakery saw me seated near a mountain brook bubbling to itself. A two year old kid was looking enviously at my pie and then wandered off to get one of his own.  Or try to….lick the pie warmer …and screamed blue murder while waving his arms at me.  Despite the funny side of the incident I somehow felt responsible.

back on the bike I headed south along the edge of the Grampian range which looked like a continuous wedge of sandstone buttressing Victoria against any continental slide into the Southern state. The speedo touched 120 and I glanced at the sedimentary layering guessing an age of 380 million years (Devonian ) and wondering what the bivalve fossilifera is like ( geologists will smirk at this!). But for once the geology is simpler than the name.

 

Silly bugger me I thought I was riding through the Grampians, little did I know the ranges were given their European name in 1836 by Surveyor General of New South Wales Sir Thomas Mitchell after the Grampian Mountains in his native Scotland. After a two-year consultation process, the park was renamed Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park in 1991, however this controversial formality was reversed after a change of state government in 1992. The Geographic Place Names Act, 1998 (Vic) reinstated dual naming for geographical features,and this has been subsequently adopted with the National Heritage List referring to “Grampians National Park (Gariwerd)”.

“Dual naming” for geography !! And it has taken a decade to get rid of the indecisive duality of geologists, now they are legislating it back in again!! Forget it ….change gears and hang on. And they wonder why I don’t read signs!!

The run back to Horsham via Ararat and Stawell is beautiful…a country seemingly untouched by drought. Green rolling hills and red brown Murray Gums   Thick grey clouds stretched from horizon to sunset, I turned up the heater and twisted the throttle home to Horsham

 

 

 

3 comments to “Day 22 The Grampians”
  1. What a great trip Geoff and a fantastic commentary. Pity you couldn’t get to Gisborne but I don’t blame you, the weather has been cold and miserable. Keep on truckin’.

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