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This is a pretty text-heavy write up as I only took about 20 photos and most of those are at the checkin.

For those that don't know, the FarRiders have a series of regular Ride-To-Eat style rides over a year. The basic ride is to cover 1000km in a 24 hour period, but you must be at the checkin during the checkin window. So you can ride 500km to lunch, checkin, and ride 500km home, or you could ride 1000km during the 24 hours to lunch and stay the night, or ride 800km in the morning, lunch and then 200km in the arvo.....quite simple but the rules are all ont he FarRiders web site.

As it's been a while since I've done a decent distance ride I decided to keep it simple on the way to Nambucca Heads - sure the Oxley, Waterfall and Thunderbolts are close to the finish, but all I need is distance and to be at the checkin on time.

This was the first ride with my new cases mounted on the side of the bike and I wanted a bit of a shake-down for my next ride (two days after I get home).

Basics have been checked over - the front tyre was changed over as it was looking "close", a new battery was bought but I only picked it up the day before the FarRide - not good to rely on an uncharged battery and messing with electrics the day before a long ride....

So it's pretty much a simple slab ride.

Majority of the distance is to be completed in the first half of the time and the other half used for contingencies.

Route is simple:
Start at Beaudesert as early as allowed (1130h Qld time)
- out to Warwick
- South to Glen Innes and Tamworth
- overnight somewhere near Muswelbrook
Early start
- South to Hexham(breakfast?)
- North to Nambucca Heads
Finish at the checkin and stay the night.

Beaudesert QLD to Nambucca Heads NSW - Google Maps

Waited for my start time and fueled up at Beaudesert to get a receipt to document my start time.

And it was wrong. 12:20pm??? The wall clock showed 11:40am AAARGH! So quickly get all of the gear on and around the corner to an ATM for a balance check - 11:45am, much better!

And on the road we go - I'm quite familiar with the roads to Warwick, so there is't too much for me to remark except that it looks like the work on Cunninghams Gap looks close to an end - less earthmoving machinery and more line marking!

It was a hot day, so at Warwick I stopped at the truck stop outside town for a fruit juice and to wet my evaporative neck scarf.

I hadn't seen hot rods towing caravans before, but these looked good......



While I was inside it seems my bike made friends!



Back on the road again and had a sudden panic moment - this looks like the road to Goondiwindi! And the GPS says I'm headed West.......eventually I see a road sign, everything is fine and the road slowly starts bending further south.....

Tenterfield passes by painfully slowly, I must find out if there's a truck route or bypass or something as it felt like I was on 60kph forever!

Glen Innes has a shiny new servo on the northern outskirts and I pull in there for fuel and a quick feed(what's wrong with a day-old spring roll?).

Guyra and Uralla always seem to be small towns trapped in a time of their own, Armidale remains a mystery as the airport appears on my right.

During this leg I start seeing bikes - tourers of various types, loaded up and heading north....well they would be to be going anywhere and on this road, no casual latte runs out here!

Tamworth just as it just starts getting dark - so what do you do when you're just passing through Tamworth? Get a photo with a great bloody guitar of course!



It starts getting darker, but I can't use the high beams, too much traffic coming the other way, and out of the darkness, more large bikes headed the other direction - what was I thinking going the opposite direction?

I feel a small pitter patter on my visor and worry that the predicted rain has finally caught up to me and realise the first swarms of night bugs are out and I have to clean up before riding off in the morning.

Traffic - truck seems to be holding up another bike and a car, but bike stays in it's place when we get to a passing lane and I realise it's a small bike - maybe a CBR125 from the sound - with L plates doing it tough, waiting until the truck slows down to less than the learner legal 80kph before he passes.....

I pull up at Scone McDonalds to make a phone call and a ute full of young men, spotlights and caged dogs spills empty beer bottles onto the pavement as the occupants head inside for a Mcburger as I make my escape back onto the highway.

The motel has obviously had riders stay that left an impression.........

"...so please don't put your bike on the concrete outside the room as when it drips oil..."
"My bike doesn't drip oil."
"....well, when it drips oil it's really hard to clean off the concrete, so please keep the bike on the gravel."
"Well, if I'm leaking oil I have a few major problems, but OK then."
"And when you warm the bike up in the morning...
"I don't need to warm the bike up - it just starts and goes."
"....Well, please don't rev the engine as it can be really loud and wake people up"
"It's a modern motorcycle - most of the horsepower is used to drive the wheels not make noise."
"Oh....I didn't hear your bike when you rode in actually....."

Hmmmm......Surprised they were willing to let me in.....



By this time the only thing open is Hungry Jacks at Muswelbrook - and I just managed to refuel before the bowsers were turned off at the servo over the road....

Cover the bike, eat, get my gear ready for the morning and and then to sleep for a few precious hours.....

Too soon(isn't it always?) the alarm wakes me and I hit the road once more!

Just outside of Aberdeen is the first gantry of the new averaged speed cameras, second gantry just before Muswelbrook and another set on the other side that seem largely ignored by the horde of miners utes in the otherwise empty streets - after all they turn off between the cameras, try averaging speed over an 8 hour shift!

By Singleton the sun is rising and shining an orange-pink glow over the low lying mists as the sky changes colour.

As I approach the Hexham turnoff, I've decided not to have breakfast - just keep the fluids up and bulk it up a bit with fruit juices.....I've missed the big BP servo I was hoping for.

A quick stop to recheck tyre pressures and grab a cold drink at Heatherbrae - and I see the first confirmation that I'm on the right track - Anny comes over to use the air pump as the other rider heads off chasing his own schedule....it only seems to be real when you catch sight of other riders travelling in the same direction, all with different plans, but all ending up on the same final road.....

As I head up the highway and I start seeing small groups of bikes and riders at motels, servos, parks, all different but all ready for touring, all headed north.....

A sports bike rider that on on reflection could only be ricecooker takes the lead and peels off to Wauchope, bikes pass, follow and turn off, a cruiser moves to pass and the rider does a doubletake and waves - Adam never expected me to be heading north!

Suddenly there's about six bikes behind me as Toura and others catch up and pass as I make my final fuel stop at Kempsey and have a chat to Adam, and there's more riders so I meet ninjagnome who's ridden from Alice Springs(2800km to get to his start point for the 1000km ride!!!) briefly before we head off again.

Since we have time we stop at one of the rest stops for a bit of a natter, stretch legs and solve the worlds problems as we watch the grey nomads carefully positioning their caravans in front of the "No Camping" signs.

Back on the bikes for the last 20km or so to Nambucca Heads, and *WOW* - we're early but the car park is jammed with bikes of all descriptions and more arriving by the second!

Amazing........


























And of course - the (in)famous WLA Harley...



I don't know that I could ride that to the end of the street, let alone 1000km.....but it's one of those bikes that has a million stories to tell.

The next couple of hours were a whirlwind of checkin, meeting new and old friends, enjoying the bar and restuarant and ghostriders welcome and annnouncements (and sneaking around the carpark to get new farkling ideas).

Soon after lunch the carpark had cleared somewhat as people checked in to accomodation or turned for home on their second leg and I went off to check into my digs and freshen up before heading back to V-Wall for drinks, dinner and varied discourse!

The return home was cruisy.

I missed the group breakfast at Urunga Wharf and ate in my room:


Then up to the headlands to see some of the sights of Nambucca Heads:

one of the beaches,


the White Albatross Caravan Park, lagoon and river heads.


Where else would you take a Captain cook than the Captain Cook Lookout?


The last stragglers were still having coffee at the Tavern, so more time was spent there just chatting.....

Eventually, time to head home - basically up the highway to home and maybe a few detours.....

First detour was from Coffs Harbour through the hills via Nana Glenn to Grafton to avoid the roadworks north of Coffs. It's not a bad road really, good repair, visibility and reasonable speed limit.

In the middle is a "big thing" - I think it's meant to be a "Golden Dog" (named for or after the Hotel beside it?), but it could be a dingo, a bat-faced hellhound, or as Christo and I agreed later a gian Pokemon:



My next turn off was through Mooball, Murwillumbah and Numinbah valley to home, rather than staying on the slab through Tweed.

A rather obvious sign at Mooball:


I'll just re-use a message I had sent earlier about this road rather than rewriting:

Pacific Highway to Mooball is pretty well just a standard road - nothing really to comment on. Mooball cafe looks shut now - there is a pub just down the street though.

Mooball to Murwillumbah is a blast. It's been resurfaced a not too long ago and is nice smooth bitumen - it is 80kph speed limit and has a "safety" camera on it, but I thought it's a nice twisty road that's fun at that speed anyways.

Murwillumbah to Chillingham didn't impress me - actually I thought it was crap. Unrestricted speed limit, but lots of too tight corners that have been ripped up by farm trucks and patched often. A few corners with 45kph advisory signs, and I think that's about what I did them at - some with vision blocked by sugar cane and one after the other as they follow the line between various paddocks. You may do better, but I was between 60-80kph most of the way.

Chillingham to Qld Border was a bit better - road seemed in a bit better conditon and the views were good of the remnants of the volcanic caldera as you climb a windy road to the caldera rim and the border gate.

Qld border to Nerang wasn't bad - good road surface, better maintained than the NSW side, more straights followed by tight corners as the road follows a hillside then loops onto the next hillside(near hairpins). 80kph speed limit but a lot of the bikes I saw didn't seem to pay too much attention, signs everywhere about motorcycle crash zones.
Home safe with another 1615km on the odometer, my second FarRide completed, my new side cases tested and a day off to prepare for my next trip!

Map on Spotwalla: SpotWalla - Trip Viewer - FarRide 18 - and return

And a view of the map:



Hope you enjoyed the read!

Cheers!
 

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Thanks for the RR and pics. Looks like you had some good weather.

Well done :thumbsup:

:cheers2:
BOB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the RR and pics. Looks like you had some good weather.

Well done :thumbsup:

:cheers2:
BOB
Thanks!

I should have put dates on it as this ride was done in mid February and the only bad weather we heard of affected the Canberra riders.

I had one day at home then went on another ride - got some 400 photos to sort through, and 9 days to write up for that one.....and a lot of that ride was dodgy or dodging weather.....

Cheers!
 

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Your Far Ride

I was on a ride with a mate on the same weekend you had yours and we were at Blackbutt Qld on the saturday night. We stopped at the pub for an ale and when we left there was a Vee outside and the owner walked out of the pub and he mentioned he had just done a farride to Nambucca Heads and he was on his way home this was about 7pm, I didn't catch his name but he did say he lived just around the corner from the pub. Sounds like a great time and what a display of different bikes. Great pics.

Cheers
 

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Thanks!

I should have put dates on it as this ride was done in mid February and the only bad weather we heard of affected the Canberra riders.

I had one day at home then went on another ride - got some 400 photos to sort through, and 9 days to write up for that one.....and a lot of that ride was dodgy or dodging weather.....

Cheers!
Nice report and thanks for sharing mate ,really nice pics,loading up and touring,planning the trip--maps--preparation--doesn't get any better.cheers.
 

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I was on a ride with a mate on the same weekend you had yours and we were at Blackbutt Qld on the saturday night. We stopped at the pub for an ale and when we left there was a Vee outside and the owner walked out of the pub and he mentioned he had just done a farride to Nambucca Heads and he was on his way home this was about 7pm, I didn't catch his name but he did say he lived just around the corner from the pub. Sounds like a great time and what a display of different bikes. Great pics.

Cheers
Hey BrettStrom, mate that was me - just got back after 1193klm round trip and was buying a six pack to celebrate my safe return. In fact, if you look at the 12th picture down from the top it shows me stood next to the very Vee in question. Great day, get your name down for the Lighting Ridge run ......:thumbup: Great ride report Penguineer!
 
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