Objects in mirror are further away than they may appear

Distances can be very deceiving on a map. I thought that the day's ride didn't look terribly long with the only challenging bit being attempting to navigate the outskirts of Sydney. I had met a lovely couple Geoff and Chris, at the MotoGP who had kindly offered me a bed for the night at their house. So, I had a predetermined destination.

Most of the time on this trip, I have preferred the "go until you have had enough" mentality for choosing a destination. Looking back at the recorded tracks, most days end up being around six to seven riding hours and about four hundred kilometres. My distaste of straight roads shows! Today, despite the appearance of a short trip, was no different.

I mentioned earlier how I like to see what the line on the map looks like in real life. The roads I choose seem potentially interesting — either seemingly windy, or surrounded by mountains and national parks. That seems to be a good tip for finding motorcycling's fun roads. But even so, sometimes I am taken completely by surprise. The road between Goulburn and Oberon was one of those roads that took me by surprise! It was obviously a bikie-favourite. I saw more sports bikes than I would have expected to see. Whilst belting along at "a reasonable clip" I was rounded up by a group containing Ducatis and Aprilias moving at the rate of "a good deal faster". It wasn't long before they disappeared from view!

Outright speed is not the objective of my touring, so I gladly waved the remainder of that group by and resumed at my gentler pace. From Oberon, I turned back towards the Blue Mountains stopping in Katoomba for lunch. It's a popular Sydney tourist destination and even mid–week it is quite busy. Every time I am in the Blue Mountains, I wonder what the original pioneers (Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth) would make of the mountains these days. The story goes that back in the early pioneering days, the mountains thwarted many expeditions' attempts to cross them — such were the impenetrable forests and daunting cliffs. These days they are widening the last of the road to a four lane highway and train lines run pretty close to the original path forged by the explorers.

My attempts to avoid Sydney suburbs failed. Too many unfamiliar names on a map not aligning with the road signs I came across saw me take the easy way out and stick to the major arterial roadways. Even so, I briefly ended up going the wrong way on the motorway, before managing to put the road to Canberra behind me, rather than in front!

I eventually made it to Geoff and Chris's place by around 4:30 before boring them with exploits of my trip and the modern equivalent of a "slide night" that is flickr.com

Bonus points to any non-Aussie who can tell me why I named the explorers in the order: Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth