Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 4
Day Four (18 / 11 / 2012) Springsure – Clermont
Sunday 18 November
I woke at dawn (I did not pull the blind closed on the helmet) with the light and the noise of the local wildlife. I had some biscuits and drink, pushed SUZI out onto the side of the roadway and started her (I didn’t want to wake everyone else, still asleep). By 0540 I was on my way.
I had a good run north to Emerald, where I refuelled, cleaned SUZI’s screen and had a drink at the truck stop. Emerald has traffic lights and a new shopping centre just opposite the truck stop. Driving though Emerald I saw it was a large centre with many facilities.
Going north I went through Capella, a small town with showers in the public toilet block. If I had had more time, I would have refreshed myself here and bought goods from the town – I will if I go through again, either by bike or car. I went through Clermont and looked at the town. Usually I have gone through during hours of darkness and seen little of the town, so I had a good look.
I headed off north on a reasonable road, with a few roadworks, when 120 kilometres north of Clermont – DISASTER 3! Squirming again, so I stopped and – another flat on the rear tyre. As I was isolated, I decided to repair it myself. I unpacked SUZI, took my jacket off and put a hat on (hate them, but with 42°C and low humidity, there was no choice). I pumped the tyre up, listened, found a leak and then checked with a little water – it was the patch put on in Parkes that was leaking! I put a string in, waited, then pumped the tyre up again. No leak from my repair – success! But before I could reload, the tyre was down again. I re-inflated it and could hear a leak, but couldn’t feel it to locate it and a small amount of water couldn’t find it either. I could repair a puncture, but not if I couldn’t find it. I didn’t want to use my three litres in the camel pack bladder on the tyre because of the weather, so decided to call on the RACQ. No signal on either mobile, so I stopped a passing car heading south, about 1100, and asked Shane if he could contact the RACQ for me (I gave him all the details). A few cars passing asked if they could assist, but there wasn’t much that could be done except wait.
I waited over in the minimal shade of one of the few trees until at about 1400 when I had run out of cool water – I had two litres of water left, but in the sun in metal containers, it was too hot to drink. Just as I was going to flag down a car to get some water, a tray-truck arrived to spirit SUZI back to Clermont.
With SUZI on and my gear filling the cab of the truck, I found there would be no chance of a repair today, but with RACV Total Care I would be accommodated for the night. Back in Clermont all was arranged and the driver let me off at the Leo Hotel/Motel (with all my gear) and left SUZI on the truck to be dropped off tomorrow morning at the tyre store.
I picked up my key, put all the gear in my room and then showered and changed into normal clothes. I made a few calls so no-one would worry, them went into the bar and had a drink with the local and others staying here. The barmaid was from Wales (Cardiff) on a year’s backpacking working holiday. Just before I left, I got a call from Shane, wondering what had happened and concerned about my welfare. Nice!
At 1800 I went to the dining room, ordered the all-day breakfast, spent half an hour trying to eat it all (made it eventually) and then went back to my room. On the way I had a chat with another guest who was here for a wedding (a relative married a bikie!) and who was from Karumba, on the gulf. Then it was into bed and a real night’s sleep!
There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do.
SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.
SUZI - she dumped me, I was hurt, but we're both recovering now. We'll be going out together again once we're both feeling better.
We're both better now, but with heated grips, SUZI's now hot stuff!
Alas, poor SUZI, I knew her well. After being dumped a second time, I must farewell her.
I'm not flighty, but SUZI II has now stolen my heart.
Last edited by Douggie; 12-10-2012 at 03:20 AM.
Reason: Photos on wrong post