Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beginner's Twist

If you're looking for a beginner's road that's twisty and scenic, without being as busy as Yarra Boulevard, look no further than Mt Pleasant Road.  This little number is 6 km long, though it's probably only half of that where you get to lean the bike over a bit... but still, the whole lot is very pretty, and it's a back street of Eltham with little traffic to speak of.

The entire route is sealed, though I found the surface to be pretty rough compared to the roads I normally ride on.  There are also numerous gravel driveways that spill gravel onto the asphalt, so it pays to be a little wary.  

My favourite bits are the hairpins, of which I counted around three.  I took them all at around 20 km/h - the recommended speed - and felt pretty safe at that.  In the direction I took the road, two of the hairpins were right-handers and the last was a blind left.  From memory the left-hander is also on an incline.

During my ride around 3 this afternoon I encountered three other vehicles: one car that sat behind me mos
t of the way, an oncoming ute who was doing well over 60 and was kissing the white line in the middle, and an oncoming 4WD who wanted to turn right and politely waited for me to pass.  Not too much to complain about on the traffic front.  I noticed that there weren't many places to pull over and let 
a car pass you if one was cramping your style - though I imagine most experienced riders wouldn't have that problem!

The whole Eltham - Research area is criss-crossed with roads like this one.  I haven't had the opportunity to explore the surrounding area yet, and my only hesitation in doing so on the bike is there's a reasonable chance some of the roads connecting on to Mt Pleasant Road will be dirt - something I've established that the GS doesn't really enjoy!  My plan is to go out in the Forester and scout out a nice, extended route to take in the sights of the Eltham area, so more routes should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

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