Sunday, 19 October 2014

And so endeth the journey...

All good things come to an end.

The bike that carried me for the duration of this trip is now parked up at my brothers and getting prepped for sale. The DL1000 V-Strom wouldn't be my usual choice of ride, and I probably wouldn't own one as my daily ride, but I wouldn't hesitate to take one away on another extended journey across Australia.

The DL was typically Suzuki (built tough where it counts, but with a lot of cheap plastic finish), having said that, it was super reliable, cheap on fuel, and super cheap on maintenance. It was fully serviced and had new tyres on it when I bought it, and apart from lubing the chain, the only other thing I did over the distance was replace the rear tyre in Adelaide after 7,000 k's of bolt upright riding (but almost all the wear was down to the abrasive road surface in NT). By the time I'd finished the trip, the front tyre was only half worn, and the new rear still appeared 'as new'.

It was a comfortable bike to ride, even on the longest days, and its performance in the corners far exceeded my riding capability. My only complaint is they're not designed for touring and as such luggage choice is quite limited. At speed, the Givi bags sat so far outboard of the arse-end that they acted like windsocks, creating quite a wobble at anything over 120 kph (and yes, that's legal in some states, and if you're in the red centre, there is no limit).

I've had a truly fantastic time with some amazingly unforgettable moments. Of particular note for a bike journey of such distance and time, there were only 2 occasions where it actually rained (although for the first half, rain would at least have offered some respite from the constant heat).

Next stop, home, Mainland NZ.
Brisbane - Blue skies and mid 30's
Entering the land of the long white cloud
South Island at last....
Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains - clearing but cold....
Home at last....

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Last ride....

Well, today was my last chance to catch up with family before heading home tomorrow so I spent it with family and friends (on the bikes).

Went to Harrigans at Jacobs Well for coffee, then down to Mt Tamborine and Canungra for lunch.

Great to rip it up through the mountains for a blast before departing the homeland and heading back to the long white cloud.

Jacobs Well


Mt Tamborine - hangout of hang gliders

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Last minute reminiscing....

Spent a cruisey day on the bike today and headed down into NSW (via the back way) to visit my dad in Kingscliff.

Went down the inland route through the hinterland via Murwillumbah on the old Numinbah Valley road.

Great ride, great weather (still).

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Taking the shortest trip, the longest way...

Heading back to mum's today so I waited for the traffic to die down and took a 100 k detour via Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious. Nowhere near so many bikes on the mountains back in the 'good old days' of my youth.
View from Mount Glorious
Mount Glorious

You know you're in Qld when the car parks have shade sails....

Today's route.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Heading for the finish line...

Lazy day back to Brisbane today.

Ran into the Dalek letterbox on the way. Looks like the real deal.

Had breakfast with my sister in Glen Innes, a cuppa with my dad in Kingscliff, and then my sister-in-law dished up a great home cooked dinner in Brisbane.

I've come full circle today and looking forward to taking a break out of the saddle (for a few days anyway).
Meet the exterminator....

Today's route

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Zig-zagging through NSW....

With the boys weekend over and the other guys on their way home to face work tomorrow, I make my way up to Taree and take some time out with a coffee and a map book to plan my route back to Brisbane. The plan was to find the most winding route that will get me into a motel by 4pm to catch the end of the big Bathurst race on tele.

Oxley Highway it is then, through Armidale and on to Glen Innes.
Planning meeting at McD's...

Ginger's Creek Roadhouse

Today's route

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Blokes, bikes, beers, and bullshit...

What a great weekend it's been. 50-year-olds being 20 again. Many memories of this area as a young bloke on both 2 wheels and 4, and great to again be exploring all the disused and forgotten highways that see such little traffic that grass now grows on some of them.

One of the highlights of the weekend would definitely be Wootton Way in Bulahdelah. This used to be the old highway up until the NSW Govt bypassed this mountainous section. It's 21 kilometers of beautifully smooth, 3-lane wide, winding, deserted bitumen that now only services a handful of farms. Say no more.

Enjoyed a really great couple of days with a good bunch of blokes. Really did feel like I was 20 again. Same crazy shit only at the end of the day we're knackered and ready for bed by 9. Could not believe the road conditions. These are the same roads and the same bitumen I traveled more than 30 years ago. All they've done is fill the pot holes.... and there's thousands of them.

Smoke if you've got 'em.... about every 30 to 40 k's.

and fuel up every 100 to 150 k's

The start of Wootton Way, Bulahdelah.

Suzuki parking lot...

Pot holes make for rough riding.....

The weekend playground...