100 CCC March 2017 Leg Two, Homeward Bound

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Ride Report

Leg Two (Scarborough to Coogee)

I awoke ahead of the alarm going off, strange how one’s body can do that after riding 4,000kms in 46ish hours. Go figure! I allowed the clock to run down to the alarm then jumped up and got back into my routine. There was unfinished business to attend to.

Once organised I headed down to the Hotel Lobby to collect that all important receipt to close out the 50CC and signal the start of the return leg of the 100CCC. Despite all the earlier assurances from the Hotel, they weren’t able to issue me an electronic dated receipt (only a copy of the invoice). I was burnt badly on Buttlite 7 by this simple thing and I wasn’t making that mistake twice, so with 15 minutes to the 50CC window closing I trotted across to the BP Servo where lo and behold there was Dave celebrating his arrival on the Harley for a successful 50CC crossing with a sausage roll and sauce, how good is that? Gus was also in attendance having waited patiently for Dave to close out his epic ride and was now ready to shoo the Easterners back out of town.

Obtained receipts and trotted back to the Hotel to saddle up in coordination with Scott and Ollie. Everyone looked suitably rested, as well as you can be and ready for Leg Two. We rode out of the Hotel Basement as a group, emerging into the darkness to reconvene briefly at the Servo with Gus and to say our goodbyes to Dave who was headed off for some well-deserved sleep. Rob was taking the extra snooze time and would re-join us later in the day as his more efficient fuel capacity came into play.

And so on schedule we rolled back out of the servo, and pointed our bikes eastwards, settling into the ride routine, watching the lights and sights of the city change around us as we the city gave way to suburbs which gave way to the eastern hills of Perth. Gus waved us off, what a champion to have chaperoned our motley group into and out of his hometown. Thanks again Gus!

From here the group strung out from 3 to 2 before Frog picked us not long after. We stopped briefly to say gidday before getting going again with Frog taking point with his FLIR being put to good use. The towns came and went, the pitch darkness giving way briefly to a small patch of light as we rode through. The temperatures were quite cool with stops being required for changes in gloves by the various riders. This highlighted the calibre of the riders in the group with each of us waving the others on, but equally re-joining the group seamlessly as the kilometres unfolded in the inkyblackness. As dawn approached with the stars dimming I stopped to take photos, the moment warranted taking the time. A beautiful part of the night with the sunrise etched across the eastern horizon. Ollie and then Frog flashed by, and I could see Scott’s lights coming in the distance, those LED’s punchout some light!

Dawn approaches

Three of us rolled into Southern Cross in the early morning light, with Scott joining us a few minutes later. Bikes fuelled up it was time to fuel the riders so a quick breakfast was in order while we swapped notes and checked out each other’s bikes. These group rides test an individual’s ability to stay on task/routine with Scott getting caught out by the activity of the other riders and breaking his own fuelling routine. This was duly sorted and we were back on the road heading for Coolgardie and threading our way through the roadworks. With it being Sunday there was no work and hardly any traffic so our progress through the roadworks was good. I recalled on last year’s return leg being stopped by a large group of emus crossing the road near Coolgardie but there was no sign of that occurring this morning. We stopped at Coolgardie to obtain a receipt for Frog and then he and I continued leaving Ollie to have a short rest.

That's some bike!

Turning southwards to Norseman Frog and I were making good time through the rolling hills when a flash of Frogs aux lights alerted me to a set of twinkling blue and red lights in our mirrors way back. Surely we hadn’t been travelling that quick that would warrant an extended drive from the Coolgardie constabulary? It took nearly 5 minutes for the vehicle to come up behind us and it was an ambulance on its way to the one of the mines, we waved it through and continued on our way, only to discover the ambulance doing a u turn 30 km up the road! As we neared Norseman, Ollie re-joined Frog and me in the morning sunshine. It was another beautiful day, sun out with the temperatures in the high teens, low 20’s. Perfect for riding. Rolled into Norseman as planned, fuelled up and then took stock of things. I needed a nap as did Ollie, so we farewelled Frog who was on an IBA ride with a turnaround at Balladonia and I grabbed 15 minutes shuteye. Felt very refreshed after that, Ollie decided to take a bit longer so we agreed to check on each other at Caiguna and I got back on the K and pointed the bike eastwards.

A brief stop at Coolgardie

I couldn’t believe this, temperatures mid 20’s, sun shining and hardly any traffic. To say it felt good would be an understatement but I wasn’t counting my chickens yet. (I learnt from last year’s crossing how good you can be feeling and then have a turnaround very quickly). Stopped to take a few photos along the way but for the next few hours it was ride in sunshine, listening to music and audio books with the occasional wave from the passing traffic. Actually there wasn’t a lot of traffic either. Balladonia passed by and then onwards to Caiguna. I called Ollie when I was a few minutes out from the Road House, he was making good progress also, revelling in the afternoon sunshine. Fuelled up the bike and shouted myself a chocolate milk while I cleaned the headlight and aux lights. At this time Rob sailed past, no need to stop for fuel when you have a long range tank!

Nice day for a ride across the Nullarbor

By then Ollie had arrived and after a brief stop it was back out on the road to make the most of the afternoon sun. Passing Cocklebiddy Road House things looked pretty quiet there also, well it is Sunday afternoon. From here there was a noticeable increase in the fresh roadkill, at one stage just before Madura there were roo carcass’s every few hundred metres. As we motored down Madura Pass the view out to the coast across the plains was sublime, the late afternoon sun washing the plains clean and giving it that peculiar colour and texture that can’t be captured on a camera. One of those travel memories that stays with you forever. I found the next stage towards Mundrabilla quite tough mentally, despite the perfect weather conditions and the ride going smoothly I could feel my mood turning south. A change of music and a quick snack helped but it would take me nearly 2 hrs and a close encounter with a sheep (please hold your laughter) to shake this off. As I was nearing Mundrabilla, a small flock of untended sheep suddenly darted across the road about 100 metres in front of me. A grab of the brakes to wash off speed and the sheep were across the road and out the way. Makes a change from roos I suppose and the shot of adrenaline was a welcome break to the monotony of this section of the road.

Climbing back up the pass to Eucla in much better spirits we sailed past the Eucla Roadhouse and onto the border, where it was straight through and over to the Roadhouse to fuel up. Rob and Scott were just finalising their fuel stop also, so after a quick coordination of plans for the next stage they continued on while Ollie and refuelled and took a few minutes to eat.

Now, what happened next is one of those surreal moments that even now as I write this seemed as strange as to be almost out of a movie. Walking into the servo to pay for fuel, I still had my flip top helmet on, but open. The counter was unattended but the bloke who was fussing about near the restaurant servery came rushing down to my end. My radar registered that there is something wrong here and sure enough he proceeded to give me an earful about my helmet amongst other things. Hmmm, I decided politeness was the best policy for now, so gently apologised and eventually managed to get him to process the payment. Ollie then walked in and experienced the same treatment. Hmmm. I went back outside to park the bike and clean lights etc. and then returned to the restaurant area (sans helmet) to order some food. Same bloke waiting for me so I ask how busy is the cook, can he rustle up two burgers now? Said bloke then proceeded to lecture me about the number of orders in front of me and how I just can’t jump the queue, etc. etc. (By then I had also registered the waiting staff were looking decided wretched and harried along with a couple of other diners) I don’t take that kind of communication well so I calmly put him right with a few words. And continued to browse what food was available, selecting a sandwich as Ollie walked in. I gave Ollie the heads-up that the chef was too busy to do a quick burger which set off said bloke behind the counter again, who gave me a verbal spray. OK, I had had enough by now so, I quietly asked him if he would like my money for the sandwich and drink or not. The staring contest lasted a few seconds and like most bullies he backed off, taking the cash while muttering something under his breath and then disappearing out the back. A most unusual encounter.

Ready for the night section Day 3 BV to Ceduna

Not too worry, the sun was setting as we saddled back up and rode back onto the highway. As dusk enveloped us I enjoyed the views out across the ocean as the road followed the coast briefly. From this distance in the dusk the water looked almost calm. Before long the stars were out and we had the road to ourselves and the occasional truck, most of them seemed to be heading our way and we slipped past them easily in the cool night air. The lights of the Nullarbor Roadhouse could be seen away in the distance, gradually going from a soft glow on the horizon to a dazzling flood of light as we pulled into the forecourt right on 9:00pm closing time. The attendant was good, when I checked with him if it was Ok to fuel up, pointing out which pump to use while closing off the others as he started to close up. A few minutes later a truckie came up for a quiet chat, we had passed him about 30km back and he figured we were on a mission to somewhere. He had a few hours to go also and we swapped info and wished each other the best for our respective journeys. Hah, the Yin and the Yang of the road, that strange encounter at Border Village balanced out by this quiet truckie at Nullarbor Roadhouse.

From here it was only a “few hours” to Ceduna, piece of cake when you look at it on a map, but at the end of day 3 approaching kilometre 6,000 not so much. I felt good physically and OK mentally but as the ride nudged closer and close to midnight I could feel things starting to wind down. I have a strategy to manage myself through these periods and cycled through this a couple of times. The night was clear and pleasantly cool, great riding conditions, feeling OK. Started to struggle near Yalata where the road rises and falls for what seems like forever and the approaching semis with their lights on full are really hard to predict how close they actually are in terms of distance and placement in the lane. In the end pulled into the closed Roadhouse to take 5 minutes off the bike and regather myself, deciding 5 minutes off the bike was time well spent. Ollie pulled in a few minutes later and we swapped notes, yep he was finding this section tough too. Then a semi, heading our way pulled in also, for the same reason. So there we were 2 LD riders and a truckie stopped under the stars in the pitch black regathering ourselves for the road ahead.

Feeling more composed I got going again, amazing what a difference a short break can make. Back on pace and onwards to Ceduna. The rolling monotonous terrain gradually changed as we neared Poochera and before too long we rolled past the bright lights of the new 24 hr Truck stop. Things looked quiet, well what do you expect at 11:30pm? Back into the darkness as the lights of Poochera faded away behind us. Ollie’sheadlight the only sign of life in my mirrors and by now the very rare occasional truck heading the other way. At almost the stroke of midnight (I remember checking the dash) I came over a rise in the road to spot a Roo grazing away on the right hand side the road. He was easily spotted in the High beam of the Clearwater’s so plenty of reaction time. On with a gentle squeeze of the brakes in anticipation of him heading off road to the right….well that’s the way he was facing right? No, he stands up, turns 180 degrees and starts too bound across the lane. Made the call to give the brakes everything and wait for the crunch of plastic, Roo stops about the same time as I almost come to a halt, I can almost pat him on the head as he stands beside the handle bar of the bike looking at me. I’m wide awake now and quietly ride away as the Roo does another 180 and heads back off the road.

Life is Beautiful for both of us at midnight on the Eyre Highway.

By now we are into the rolling farmland approaching Ceduna and it’s with immense satisfaction I see the lights of the Ceduna BP Servo come over the horizon and then I’m in the forecourt refuelling, feeling elated! Day 3 is done and almost on schedule. The attendant confirms Rob and Scott checked in late evening, woohoo! Ollie and I agree to get going slightly earlier for day 4, I grab the key to the motel room and quickly set up my morning routine before grabbing some much needed sleep.

This time the alarm wakes me and it’s a sluggish start to day 4. I force myself through my routine and I’m ready to go 30 minutes later, meeting Ollie out on the forecourt for departure. No sign of Scott and Rob, but they would easily catch us later in the day with their extended fuel range. Sunrise was still a good two and half hours away and I was happy to make the pace slower for now, methodically making our way through the dark on the quiet highway, with only the occasional passing truck for company. As dawn approached I noticed there were a few wide load trucks out, heading westwards, complete with pilot vehicles and impatient traffic behind them determined to get past at the first opportunity. This was unsettling with the lights of the truck/wide load warning lights combined with an approaching overtaking vehicle in my lane making visibility difficult. After a while normal service resumed and I had the inky blackness to myself again, the stars out with the faintest hint of sunrise far ahead in the east.

About this time I felt something wasn’t running right with the bike so pulled in briefly at a rest area, at idle the engine revs were hunting up and down. Hmmm, well I’m certainly not turning the bike off that’s for sure. No warning lights on dash so nothing for it but to get back in the saddle and keep riding. Ollie was further back due to the earlier traffic, I could see the glow of his LED’s occasionally in my mirrors as the road rose and dipped. Sunrise and then Kimba! Fuel up time followed by a quick coffee and snack. As the British backpacker made my coffee I wondered what would bring her here to Kimba. That task done it was onwards to Port August in the morning light.

Riding in the morning sun is much easier now the road passes under the wheels effortlessly. Iron Knob is passed and quite soon we are rolling down the hill into Port Augusta. By good management, as we enter Port Augusta Jeff on his Super Tenere is arriving at the rest area to rendezvous with us, perfect timing!

We stop briefly to say our hellos and then ride onto the BP Truck stop to refuel. It’s a real boost to see Jeff and swap notes and stories. Jeff is on a big day ride also, and I’m grateful for him making the effort to share part of his ride with ours. Time to get back out on the highway, the sun is shining and unfortunately the holiday traffic is out also. The ride down south on the main highway is super slow and after the last 3 days extremely frustrating to be back in such heavy traffic. At last the turnoff onto the B64 arrives and we leave the main highway with normal service resuming. Lynne thePillion calls in to see how things are going and advises Rob and Scott have taken the Wilmington Pass option. It will be interesting to see how much quicker this will be compared the main highway we’ve just ridden. Great to hear from Lynne and Fatman, then the phone goes again as Miss Bec calls in.The wonders of modern technology!

At Spalding I decide I need some time off the bike AKA, asnooze. Jeff decides to keep riding to his schedule and Ollie doesn’t hesitate to agree to a 15 min power nap. The snooze is awesome and I feel rejuvenated back in the saddle. The next section of road is sensational and we make good time over to Morgan in the bright morning sun. At Morgan it’s a brief pit stop and then Rob and Scott pull up, excellent coordination! We swap notes and get going again, next fuel stop Renmark, where we all refuel and take time to get food and a few minutes to relax off the bikes. Scott gets going again ahead of us, he’s in the zone and wants to maintain his rhythm. From Renmark its eastwards towards Mildura, it’s now quite warm and it’s a struggle for me now to keep the wheels turning efficiently and I can feel my O/A average slipping back. Rob is back into his routine quickly and gradually pulls away as the miles mount.

We take the correct road through Mildura this time and avoid the main street delays and pop out the other side in no time at all heading for Balranald. From here it’s on across the plains in the bright afternoon sunshine to Balranald. It’s warm, but there’s not much traffic and we make good time into my next fuel stop at Balranald. Pulling into the Shell servo there’s a shiny new Ducati Sports bike sitting at the pumps and it’s not long before we discover the rider has also ridden from Perth and is heading for Sydney. When he asks what day we left Perth and the answer is yesterday the look on his face was priceless. He’s not sure if we are taking the piss or not. He’s uncertain on how far he will make it tonight but as it turns out we will share 2 more stops with him on the journey.

The ride across the Hay Plains was sublime, the sun was behind me, slowly sinking towards the horizon, the air was clear with the late afternoon temperatures starting to cool. It was one of those “why we ride” moments. The Zen was back and I really enjoyed every moment riding across here, soaking up the changing colours of the landscape and the smell of the countryside. Nearing Darling Point the towering thunderclouds ahead and to the right indicated we were likely to encounter a spot of rain or two. Phone calls and messages of support confirmed the weather was about to get wet. I decided to stop at the Darling Point Truck Stop, to put on warmer layers and prepare for the rain ahead secondly to catch up with Ollie who had stopped along the Plains to take photos and soak in the moment, he had been captivated also by the late autumn colours.

Not long after riding out, down came the rain complete with light and sound show. It was torrential! I was happy to slow the pace down a tad and just count down the miles through Narrandera and into Wagga. The storm front wasn’t that wide and we rode out of it before Wagga, I was dry as my Rukka suit had performed well and it wasn’t too long before we rolled into Wagga to refuel and take a meal break. We splashed out with burgers and chips at Maccas, dericious! Leaving the servo the attendant gave me funny look to say weren’t you here three days ago on your way to Perth?

Time for a burger!

The short ride to the Hume was under a starry night and before long we were back onto the Hume and what felt like the home straight! Plenty of traffic now but progress was good. I had scheduled a power nap stop at Gundagai and although I felt good, I decided to take it anyway. Snoozed well for 15 minutes, before catching up again with the Ducatirider who was arriving as we were leaving. Back out onto the Hume, ever onwards to Sydney. Ahead lay flickering lightening and the storm looked impressive. Sure enough down it came near Goulburn, no, it bucketed down! Stopped briefly at Marulan to close up some clothing gaps and put on more layers, where the Ducati rider joined us again to do the same. He rode out with us and would sit with us for the leg into Sydney. It was a wild, wet and stormy ride into the outskirts of South Western Sydney with lightening nonstop. Nearing Coogee the rain stopped right on cue and we rolled into the servo on Coogee Bay Road to find Knave, Frans and Enterprise patiently waiting to sign our witness forms! What champions they were, having come out on such a stormy night, greeted Rob and Scott earlier in the morning and then waited for the stragglers to come in. Thanks Guys!

I was elated! The 100CCC was in the bag and what a feeling! Mission accomplished for me personally and for each of the other riders! And so with witness forms signed and farewells made, a celebratory coffee was in order before Ollie and I made the return ride to Canberra, Ollie had work duties to attend to, I had the day off so took my time, stopping at Sutton Forest for a nap, delaying the end of an epic ride.

It's done!

Thanks again to everyone who helped along the way from the quiet words of encouragement, briefest of text messages, the phone calls at the just right moment, forum posts and just turning out to share parts of the ride or sign witness forms. I felt humbled by the LD riding communities support and encouragement!


Premier Member
It's taken me longer to get to this report than it did for you to ride across the country and back :D:D:rolleyes: unbelievable effort from the lot of you. Brilliant report, some great insights and just bloody fantastic in all respects. legendary work mate :)