Brookester's ANZAC Day Ride 2014

Brookester

Premier Member
#1
Thought I'd move some ride reports over from the old forum before losing them....

April 25th, 2014 SS1600 around Tassie.

Well the idea of getting back into doing some Long Distance Riding after having spent recent times doing my other passion of ADV Riding was to finally come to fruition.

I had been reading a lot about members of the LD community doing some awesome rides, but all on the mainland, and I am mixing up a trip to the USA in August with both ADV and LD riding, so it was time. Now it’s just a small thing in the bigger picture, BUT, here in Tassie there are only 2 roads with a 110km/h speed limits, 80% of the Midlands Hwy running North-South, and about 60% of the Bass Hwy running East-West across the north of the State.

So this ride was going to be a basic SS1600, but with a twist. A very select few riders have completed a SS2000 and to the best of my current knowledge no BB2500/36 or BBG2500/24 has been completed. These last few rides in Tassie would be very challenging to achieve if you were to go riding all over the place with seriously reduced speed limits, tight twisty mountainous roads, all with limited overtaking opportunities. So the alternative would be a boring up and back between Burnie and Brighton several times.

So I picked a public holiday to do the ride to see if I could achieve any of the bigger distances. The reasoning on choosing this day was there would be far less freight trucks running the highways, far less normal traffic, so would make for some good OA & MA. The weather man had also promised me a reasonable forecast with mild temps and low winds…….the weather man never gets it wrong, right?

So I decided on a Midnight start, or as close to. Rested and fed well the day before so all was good. I awoke at about 10:30pm only to find the weather man may have got it wrong. Instead of the forecasted 11degC overnight it was already minus 1.1degC….but the wind had died down and the skies were clear. So it was off down to the local 24hr BP servo on the Bass Hwy. Start witnesses signed off and docket in hand at 00:04am.

I was rugged up like the Michelin Man, thermals, heavy riding gear, outer wear, heaviest weight thermal liner in jacket, thermal balaclava, thermal inner gloves and thermalite lined gloves, thermal socks in side heavy weight riding socks…..I was prepared???

Off down the Highway towards Brighton some 300kms away and normally about 3hrs25mins by google maps. This was one of the stretches I was really interested in. The other advantage of running this route is a little less wildlife, wider roads so time to avoid them, and all of the roadworks have finished for the season.

So whilst it was a little colder than expected, especially down through the Midlands all in all a fairly uneventful ride. The plan was working thus far, nearly zero cars on the road and only about 10 trucks over the whole 300km distance. I pulled into Brighton, refuelled and the docket was 03:11, so 3 hours and 4 minutes with an MA of 104 and an OA of 98 and a Max Speed of 113, very interesting.

Now I don’t normally stop longer then about 7-10 minutes for just a refuel and turn, but I wanted a warm coffee as my body was feeling the cold, and I wanted to think about those numbers. So off I went heading back to Burnie.

Once again a very uneventful ride section with one exception, the cold. The nice little on board thermometer in the handle bar risers is always a couple of degrees above what it really is, but coming in towards Campbell Town it was showing Minus 6deg C. I go to change down the gears and my foot slips off the lever…hmmm… a look down sees my nice white boots, Hang On, White Boots, I don’t own white boots, it’s my black boots covered in about 3-5mm of ice, no wonder my toes are so friggin cold….this will not be good for me later me thinks.

I cruise on into Burnie for another refuel but the cold has really got to me. I park off to the side and down another warm coffee and go to eat the mars bar out of my tank bag, only its frozen solid. I also start to feel all the cold pooled blood from my extremities start to circulate around my body, and even though I am moving around the body starts shivering uncontrollably, not handling this cold too well at all.

So I check the numbers yet again, MA = 104, OA = 95 and Max Speed remains the same 113. These are really good numbers to satisfy my thinking processes, and with the fact that I have been setting the cruise control smack on the speed limits I am pleasantly surprised.

Now I am only 5 minutes from home and could very easily have called it a day I was that cold, but alas there was a ride to be had. So I decided that another run down to Brighton would be the go and then see how I feel and how the traffic is.

As I make my way back to Brighton the mind is alive with thoughts of comfort as the smell of all the wood fires burning in comfy warm homes is really getting to me, and in some places like the travel through Perth it is that thick you have trouble seeing and breathing.

I am glad my thoughts of light traffic have worked out, next to none and a serious lack of freight trucks to worry about. Into Brighton and I am seriously bored with this Bass Hwy-Midland Hwy up and back stuff, really bored.

Another check of the numbers and they remain the same. Another check of my mind set and shivering body along with a look at the weather radar and a decision is made. SS1600 will do me, and I need some twisty’s…haven’t done the Lyell Hwy across to Queenstown in ages and then there is the brilliant run up the West Coast. So after some fuel and food I was off.

This route back up to Burnie would leave me with a nice finish off run across to Launceston and back to get the required mileage up and I should be home and in the hot tub by 8pm.

Now the run across the Lyell Hwy can sometimes be your undoing as they have some weird ideas, or maybe needs due to snow falls, of how they do their roadworks. Both myself and another rider had come unstuck along this road during an LD ride last year, in that we had both hit loose blue metal patches where you would least expect them. This was the case again, came into a corner to find a recently patched piece of road that looked like bitumen only to be sliding sideways through a thin layer of very fine blue metal pebbles. Still being very cold and only just getting into the tight stuff it was a real wake up call and quite a shock to the body. This happened a couple of more times before Queenstown but all was good and I arrived safe n sound.

I normally go all the way through to Strahan for fuel, but decided on Queenstown this time and then the run up the Murchison as I needed the miles, the lake run is far better but shorter by about 20-30kms.

Once up out of Roseberry and heading to Tullah I start hitting a heap of road works with reduced speeds and gravel sections all the way through to the Cradle Mountain Road so this made for some interesting riding. Making my way up to Burnie I chose the easy route rather than a run through Hellyer Gorge.

Into Burnie for a refuel and head of to Launceston for a turn around and back into Burnie. Signed off and end docket at 19:41pm, and the usual 3 sets of different mileage figures, Bike said 1,626kms, GPS said, 1,611kms and Google Maps says 1,609kms…Oh well a lazy day may bite me in the butt cause they is the absolute minimum figures required of 1,610kms, normally would go around 1,650kms to be safe, but I wanted a warm place as I was now cold to the core.

So, did I learn anything from this ride? YES, heaps.

1.) An SS2000 is possible in Tassie but tight as you would not want to go up and down all day long, so the few that have completed it are to be fully commended.

2.) A BBG2500 is possible. You will need numerous factors to all come together and be in your favour for it though. Light traffic, Sub 5 minute refuels or Auxillary fuel tank. No road works to impede your travels along with favourable weather conditions. And you would need to be willing to utilise fully the allowable speed limit variations for this to be a success, but that would be the case on the mainland as well unless you are in the Northern Territory with the higher speed limits.

3.) Battery/Wired heating clothing would be an absolute bonus

4.) Fitting hand guards to the FJR is definitely on the list, will make the heated grips more effective

5.) The few farkles fitted to this bike are sufficient, Sergeant Seat – brilliant, maybe should have got the heated one, Motorcycle Larry highway pegs – brilliant, Baja Designs Fuego HID’s - brilliant

6.) Maybe time to start wearing the LEATT brace to support some of the helmet weight, had a pretty sore neck when I got home

7.) LD ride fitness and ADV ride fitness are worlds apart, and my current fitness overall is woefully under done.

So now its time to submit the paperwork and wait and see, hopefully a positive result but understandable if it was a little too close. And also time to go and get some fitness back.

Pictures, with how cold I was taking my hand out of the mitts I was wearing for photos was not high on my list...




__________________
Brooke
IBA# 49718

2002 Yamaha FJR1300
SS1600- 3xTasmania, 1xMainland AUS,1x Memorial, Mile Eater
Davo Memorial Ride '11,'12,'13(SS1600)
 

tj189

Administrator
#2
Nice to read this one again, thanks for moving it over.

Just to clarify for others reading this excellent report: this was Brookes ride, a SS1600k completed on ANZAC Day, ridden under the Saddlesore rules. There is now a Australian Specific Ride named The ANZAC Day Ride, a link for the rules for this ride may be found here http://www.ironbutt.com/themerides/anzacride/
 

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#6
What a great ride Brookster! Sorry for the late posting mate, I was not privy to the ride report and not aware that you did this challenging ride. If I was aware of it, I would have caught up with you before we created the ANZAC ride. Good read in rather 'nippy' conditions o_O