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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return)

Summary

5743 km
242.5 L petrol (4.22 L/100 km, 23.7 km/L, 66.8 mpg)
$363.50 for fuel
$134.80 for repairs (punctures)
$350 for accommodation
Enjoyment and experience– priceless!

Before I set out, I had packed with what I (thought I) needed.

I had emergency plans as backup:
A – call on Optus mobile
B – call on Telstra mobile
C – stop passing motorist
D – UHF for local farmer or passing truckie
E – EPIRB if things were really drastic.

Loadings were: pillow and jacket (3 kg), clothing, etc. in A Strapz Bag (9 kg), equipment duffle (14 kg), saddle bag – food (8 kg), saddle bag – equipment and petrol (14 kg), me in protective gear and with personal items (85 kg) [total loading: 50 kg + 85 kg + 240 kg (SUZI wet)].
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 1

Day One (15 / 11 / 2012) Werribee – Temora

Thursday 15 November.

I woke at my usual time of 0530, but resisted the temptation to rise until 0600. I packed everything on SUZI (panniers, duffle bag and A Strapz bag) and then showered and dressed. By that time the shop opposite was open, so I got the papers, came back and had breakfast and the regulatory three large water drinks. At 8030 I finished packing my clothing, then moved SUZI forward and at 0840 was leaving the drive. I arrived at Barry’s place just before 0900 and he took some photos and I set out.
Naturally, having left plenty of time to account for traffic, it was very light and I arrived in at the Southbank Blood Bank at 0930 for a 1015 appointment. With SUZI fully laden, I parked her in the car park rather than out the front. I had to manoeuvre to get the right angle, as she was so low that the side stand left her nearly vertical.
Surprisingly I was processed quickly by Lorna (who last time was new) and soon onto the couch. Another, more seasoned, nurse went through the procedure and inserted the needle. Then, 43 minutes, a double donation of platelets and a milkshake later, I was off for a snack of sausage rolls and cheese. At 1105 I was down on SUZI, warming her up and then heading out on the West Gate Freeway, the Western Ring Road and the Craigieburn Bypass. At Shell Kalkallo I filled SUZI up and left at 1210 on the Hume Freeway.
I stopped at the Grass Tree Rest Stop for a snack, then at the Glenrowan Rest stop where I had an ice-cream and a quick chat with a fellow biker who had bought a new bike in Melbourne and was riding it back to Newcastle. Then I called in at the YHA at Lavington to pick up one of my towels (I had left them there a week and a half ago). I filled up at Shell just down the road and ended up in conversation with a LSC NSW policeman about motorcycles and rain. The rain we talked about popped up not long after I left, but was very light. I headed off up the Olympic Highway to meet the Newell Highway at West Wyalong and recalled that I would be travelling through Temora. I decided to overnight at the Patchwork Inn and called in – but found no Teresa there, instead a Donna inn-sitting. After a few minutes and a call, I ended up staying the night. I started the procedure of unpacking and putting everything into my room. I had some dinner and then went to visit the Wests – and found Bill and Jenny at home, but Laurel was at work. We chatted, I found how Ino was and then I returned to my evening’s home and went to sleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Setting out from Werribee.jpg (97.5 KB, 34 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 2

Woke overnight at 0330 and then finally up at 0630. Showered, dressed and had breakfast – no-one else around until I had finished. Brought SUZI out of the garage and loaded her up, then completed dressing in gear. I chatted with Donna (from Delegate) and finally departed at 0845.
It was a good day for travelling, but rather cool as I had taken all the liners out. Generally, below 20°C I need all liners, up to 25°C I can have the waterproof liners and over 25° I can go with no liners. I do need leg coverings though, and have found cheap long johns are good in all weathers. Refuelled in Forbes and got service – the windscreen cleaned! A great job which I couldn't emulate. The Olympic Highway was bumpy but the Newell Highway was better. I went straight through Parkes and into roadworks twelve kilometres out when – DISASTER! SUZI squirmed and felt unstable, so I pulled over and found I had a flat! The rear tyre was down. As I was close to town, I decided to call for assistance and let the NRMA handle it. At 1150 I called and waited.
After the tray-top arrived and we got her up, it was a short run back into Parkes and to the Suzuki dealer. After a wait, where I went shopping and playing tourist, a screw was found in the rear tyre, a patch was put on. Soon I was on my way at 1450 and $120 lighter. The weather had warmed u so it was very comfortable travelling.
I managed to make it through Dubbo without stopping at Hungry Jacks, but soon the weather deteriorated. I got to Gilgandra about 1645 and called in at the Tourist Information Centre. After discussion, I got a booking at a hotel at Coonamble, just over an hour up the road, as it was a little too uncomfortable to camp with the rain. I refuelled immediately after arriving in Coonamble, then found the Terminus Hotel and booked in at 1815. I unloaded SUZI and took everything into my $40 room. Not the Ritz, but comfortable. I had the local burger and chips for tea (couldn’t finish it) and called in to notify all that I was safe for the evening. I also reminded Mike that I was on my way to Townsville.
In the guests’ lounge I chatted to an East German here working on harvest (for a Warracknabeal company!) and a few of his workmates. Then by 2200 I was in bed and soon asleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Leaving the Patchwork Inn, Temora.jpg (59.3 KB, 22 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 2

Day Two (16 / 11 / 2012) Temora – Coonamble

Friday 16 November

Woke overnight at 0330 and then finally up at 0630. Showered, dressed and had breakfast – no-one else around until I had finished. Brought SUZI out of the garage and loaded her up, then completed dressing in gear. I chatted with Donna (from Delegate) and finally departed at 0845.
It was a good day for travelling, but rather cool as I had taken all the liners out. Generally, below 20°C I need all liners, up to 25°C I can have the waterproof liners and over 25° I can go with no liners. I do need leg coverings though, and have found cheap long johns are good in all weathers. Refuelled in Forbes and got service – the windscreen cleaned! A great job which I couldn't emulate. The Olympic Highway was bumpy but the Newell Highway was better. I went straight through Parkes and into roadworks twelve kilometres out when – DISASTER! SUZI squirmed and felt unstable, so I pulled over and found I had a flat! The rear tyre was down. As I was close to town, I decided to call for assistance and let the NRMA handle it. At 1150 I called and waited.
After the tray-top arrived and we got her up, it was a short run back into Parkes and to the Suzuki dealer. After a wait, where I went shopping and playing tourist, a screw was found in the rear tyre, a patch was put on. Soon I was on my way at 1450 and $120 lighter. The weather had warmed u so it was very comfortable travelling.
I managed to make it through Dubbo without stopping at Hungry Jacks, but soon the weather deteriorated. I got to Gilgandra about 1645 and called in at the Tourist Information Centre. After discussion, I got a booking at a hotel at Coonamble, just over an hour up the road, as it was a little too uncomfortable to camp with the rain. I refuelled immediately after arriving in Coonamble, then found the Terminus Hotel and booked in at 1815. I unloaded SUZI and took everything into my $40 room. Not the Ritz, but comfortable. I had the local burger and chips for tea (couldn’t finish it) and called in to notify all that I was safe for the evening. I also reminded Mike that I was on my way to Townsville.
In the guests’ lounge I chatted to an East German here working on harvest (for a Warracknabeal company!) and a few of his workmates. Then by 2200 I was in bed and soon asleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg On the Tray Truck, Parkes.jpg (55.4 KB, 21 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]

Last edited by Douggie; 12-09-2012 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Forgot photo
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 3

Day Three (17 / 11 / 2012) Coonamble – Springsure

Saturday 17 November

I woke about 0600 and eventually rose at 0630, showered and dressed and then had some breakfast. I brought SUZI around to the front of the hotel for easy packing, but found that a car there had been broken into. The owner was furious – but had a picture of the miscreant on a video set up inside the cab! I wouldn’t like to see how the perpetrator looked after the victim found him!
I packed SUZI up and discarded my cheap camel pack – the straps had broken! I kept the bladder and put it between my clothes and duffle bag. Very soon I was on my way. Despite having packed twice before, this time everything moved around and I had to stop a number of times to tight and reposition all luggage. Then about twenty kilometres south of Walgett – DISASTER 2! My pillow and PJs had gone! I went back about ten kilometres, but couldn’t see them, so pushed on. After going though Walgett and arriving at Hebel, I gained an hour – no daylight saving in Queensland. After a cold drink, I went on through St George. At Surat, I stopped to retighten my load (at 39°C) and within two minutes it was raining and then hailing and the temperature dropped to 28°C. I sheltered in the local museum/library/ tourism centre but left SUZI and the luggage to tough it out – no water leaks – and after a few minutes left to go to Roma, where I filled up. Roma was full for the races – no accommodation, no parking, 40 kmph speed limits and the main road narrowed to allow for a taxi rank! Then I went on to Injune, a nice little centre I recommend to anyone travelling this way. The Tourist Information Centre was open, but no power. I had a chat with the woman working there and her friend, and a cup of tea – no power, so we were literally all in the dark. The public toilets next door are clean and well-appointed, so I used them. I went to refuel, but of course no power so no petrol! I went on to Rolleston, and found a 24 hour card fuel facility. While filling, I chatted with a couple who had just come from the north and were disappointed with the amount and quality of roadworks. I made their day by telling them it would be worse as they went further south. I had been held up a number of times by roadworks and the road surfaces in general were undulating and damaged. As it was dark now, I went on slowly (at 75 kmph, hard for those who know me to believe, but on SUZI, a kangaroo becomes a formidable obstacle and I didn’t want to find out how formidable – ABS not withstanding. I pulled into a truck stop and had a drink and something to eat, but a truck there had its generator on and the noise was annoying. After messaging (there was signal) I went on through Springsure and a few kilometres out and found a Lions roadside stop with a shelter, no noise and no lights. I pulled over, walked over to the picnic tables and lay down on the concrete seat. I found the crash helmet makes a passable pillow with the padding inside, the gear keeps me free from annoying pests and everything keeps me warm. After laying down, within a few minutes I was asleep – sharing the area with a few vans, one tent and a few cars.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Terminal Hotel, Coonamble.jpg (46.0 KB, 22 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]

Last edited by Douggie; 12-09-2012 at 09:38 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default 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!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Punture site.jpg (52.3 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg The only shade near puncture site.jpg (61.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Empty road north of Clermont.jpg (46.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Puncture, 120 km north of Clermont.jpg (62.3 KB, 37 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]

Last edited by Douggie; 12-10-2012 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Photos on wrong post
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:06 PM
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Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 5

Day Five (19 / 11 / 2012) Clermont – Townsville

Monday 19 November

I woke at 0600 and made my own breakfast, showered and dressed. I packed everything up and then walked around to see how SUZI was. The puncture had been located (on the opposite side of the tread, but same side of the tyre, as the repair I had done) and they suggested a string repair. I asked about the efficacy of the repair but got a non-committal reply. So I told them to go with it (it would take another day for a new tyre to arrive) and I went back to dress. By the time I returned, all was done. I had to point out the repair I had done (they hadn’t noticed it) and so had confidence in my new-found skill.
I refuelled SUZI and then went back to the motel, loaded her up and then checked out. Not being sure, I headed north at a reduced speed and stopped frequently to check. No problems.
I stopped at Belyando Crossing and had a drink. I chatted to a truckie who introduced me to Stanley, the Labrador and a half who lived on the food donated by others (and ate it even in his sleep) and to the parrots who scavenged sugar and would eat it off people’s hands. I had a milkshake, checked the tyre again (no problems) and headed off. I kept the speed down all the way to Charters Towers. I stopped and visited the Tourism Centre and struck a volunteer who had a bike, but sold it when his wife died (recently). I was impressed by Charters Towers, but would only stay when it was a bit cooler (winter). I could have cried as I had to refuse his offer of maps, as I had nowhere to carry them! I got drink after a short walk, then headed off on the last run into Townsville.
I went a little faster, but not too much. I arrived on the outskirts of Townsville and refuelled at Shell, using a voucher – just over 20 litres, into a 20 litre tank! I did some shopping at SuperCheap (more straps, so I don’t lose luggage) on the way to the caravan park I was going to camp at. I arrived at 1750 and with the imminent threat of storms, squibbed and booked a cabin. I unpacked SUZI, had some tea, rang Fran and then rang Mike. Fifteen minutes later I was visiting Mike and Marylyn and Pat and Terry. After a lot of catching up (from a few feet away – I was still in all my gear), I eventually left, went back to the cabin, had a shower and went to bed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Belyando crossing.jpg (88.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Parrots at Belyando Crossing.jpg (77.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Stanley at Belyando Crossing.jpg (96.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Charters Towers 1.jpg (92.7 KB, 10 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 6

Day Six (20 / 11 / 2012) Townsville

Tuesday 20 November

Today was the day of visiting the relatives.
I woke at 0600 and went back to sleep until 0700, watched a little ABC TV news, had breakfast, then showered and dressed. About 0900 I went around to the office and bought the puzzle magazines for the week and started doing them. At 1000 I went out to look for Marylyn and the others … only to find they had been waiting at the cabin for a few minutes.
I hopped in the back and we were soon off to the Heritage Tea Room in the Harvey Range. It was a scenic drive on the way up and a different view for me – back seat (not driving) and with others in a car (after four days on SUZI). As we rose in altitude, the temperature dropped slightly but the humidity dropped more quickly. We soon arrived and all decided to have the full breakfast. The food was good and we all had accompanying hot drinks. Apparently the owner is in Melbourne, there is a manager, so while it is still good, it doesn’t have the verve it originally had. Inside is an historical display of the area, including the Eureka Hotel (not THE Eureka). We dallied and had a relaxing time there.
We then went back into Townsville and stopped in at the Willows Shopping Centre for me to buy a pillow (couldn’t get a Dunlopillo, settled for a Tontine) and PJs to replace those that went west (literally) between Coonamble and Walgett. Then we went into the museum, where the big display was about the HMS Pandora, the vessel sent out to recover the Bounty mutineers. It sank, so there was the story and many relics. At 1430 there was a mock cannon firing, which we all enjoyed (others in the museum only stayed a short time). After a further look around, we returned home for some afternoon tea and further catching up. One of Marylyn’s dogs was overeager to see her and wanted to play non-stop!
Mike arrived home after 1730 and after further chatting (and a lot of reminiscing) we had tea. A friend (Mark) from around the corner dropped in and added character to the discussion.
Eventually the evening had to come to an end and so I said goodbye and I, my new pillow and PJs and a motorcycling jacket (ex-Mike) were dropped off at the park. Very quickly I was changed, into bed and asleep.
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 7

I woke at 0530 but couldn’t go back to sleep. I assembled the (unused) light swag from Rays, only to have a hoop member snap as I disassembled it – and the material tore!
I packed everything up and packed SUZI, except for clothing and the new pillow. Then it was breakfast (noodles, weetbix, tea and water), a shower, dressing and final packing. I was on SUZI and at the gate just after 0800. I dropped the key off and was out and on my way home.
In less than half an hour I was out of Townsville suburbs and on the Flinders Highway to Charters Towers.
The temperature rose steadily on the ride out and was in the mid 30s when I pulled in to the Woolworths car park. I bought a coke and two packs of fruit boxes, had the coke and packed the fruit boxes into the cooler in the saddle bag. I filled up at Caltex on the way out (note: Tropic Petroleum needs to know the difference between forcourt and forecourt).
A few minutes out of town and I was turning south towards Belyando Crossing. I increased speed to the maximum (indicated) and cruised. All was well. At Belyando Crossing I had a milkshake, spoke to Stanley (he ignored me – no food) and felt at home. Then I was off, south to Clermont, where I went into town to refuel again. I chatted to a miner who thought I would be too hot (not as long as I’m moving) and recognised two girls (from Belyando Crossing) who pulled up to refuel as I was leaving. Then it was south to Emerald, where I pulled up at SuperCheap to get a 19 mm spanner (to make sure I didn’t bottom SUZI, so of course I didn’t and the spanner remains unused). After, I stopped at the Truck Stop for tea and called Fran and Jason while I was there. A South African living here spoke with me, thinking again that I was a lot hotter than I really was. I joked with a truckie about a frozen coke and watched part of “Hot Seat”. After a good rest I was off. After dark I decided to pull up at the Lions Rest stop just north of Springsure (where I had slept on the way up).
I pulled up, switched SUZI off and slung my helmet over the handle bar. I had a look around, found why it was so famous and then went to start SUZI. DISASTER! Although in neutral, the gear change wasn’t indicating so and I wasn’t going to garb up until she was running (too warm). I tried everything but I couldn’t even get a response. So I decided to rest for the night – the new pillow was off and then was a rest for the evening. No TV or radio reception, so I watched a movie and then went to sleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Charters Towers 2.jpg (54.7 KB, 7 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Werribee, Vic, AU
Posts: 101
Default Ride Report - Melbourne to Townsville (return) 8

Day Eight (22 / 11 / 2012) Springsure – Gilgandra

Thursday 22 November

I woke at dawn to a chorus of local bird life and light. In the cool morning I reckoned I could fix anything, so I walked over to SUZI, put the key in, completed my pre-drive check – and found the “KILL” switch was on! Doh! She now slipped into neutral, so I walked her over to the parking area, packed her up and pressed the start switch – and she started first off! A few minutes to finish dressing for the road and we were off by 0540. Through Springsure, past Rolleston and into Injune for refuelling and a late brunch. Recognised a truckie from Emerald and a lady who had been in the Tourist Information Centre on the way up. Finished, then headed south through Roma and into St George. Refuelled and upset a BMW driver by taking the time to put my helmet and gloves on (he shot through and filled up elsewhere). South again and stopped in Hebel for a milkshake – spoke with a local cotton worker who commented on the heat. Then off south again, after stopping at 1555 and leaving at 1710 (no daylight saving in Queensland).
Now in NSW, I was soon at Walgett, where I refuelled and had another drink before setting out further south. I had lost my pillow and PJs roughly half-way between here and Coonamble, so I primed myself to be ready to be on the lookout. Twelve kilometres south I spied a Woolworths grey shopping bag by the roadside, so I turned around and stopped. Success! Well, partial success. I found the PJs (still buttoned up) and the soap from the pocket – but not the other Woolworths grey shopping bag nor my beloved Dunlopillo pillow in its lime green pillowslip with a chewed corner. I packed up the PJs and continued on, standing on the pegs and looking very hard until distance and light defeated me about fifty kilometres from Coonamble.
Now another threat raised its head. A white four-wheel-drive was coming the other way. I was travelling in the right-hand wheel track, claiming the lane while also tying to find the most comfortable place to ride. About 500 metres away from me, the white four-wheel-drive moved to his right, now travelling astride the centre line and with his right-hand wheel in the same track as mine. I moved over to the left-hand wheel track, only to find he was moving over into the same track. At about a hundred metres separation, I suddenly moved over of the left of the edge lining, passing him with about a metre between us. Once past, I moved back over and looked in the mirror to see him moving over to the correct side. I didn’t notice the driver or the registration number because of all the thoughts in my head, but one though was paramount – here I was with two H4 55w bulbs on (and most likely higher than they should be because of the load) and I wasn’t seen! So much for having headlights on – be safe, be seen. After my blood pressure dropped back, I went on through Coonamble, on to Gilgandra and into the little motel I knew. $60 for a single and within ten minutes I had unpacked everything (but locked the panniers on as they were too dirty to take inside) and was having a shower. Soon I was into bed, having had two cups of tea, a fruit box drink and a glass of cold water – and put the mobile onto charge. Within a few minutes I was asleep.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Lions Stop, Springsure (remember kill switch).jpg (93.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Roadsie Stop - large and small.jpg (95.5 KB, 7 views)
__________________
[COLOR="Lime"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][I]"There's nothing I can't do, but there's a lot I won't do."[/I][/FONT][/COLOR]

[B][FONT="Tahoma"]SUZI - I'm in love with her, but I'm afraid she's taking me for a ride.[/FONT][/B]
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