Three state trifecta ...

#1
Three state Trifecta ... (November 16 & 17, 2015)
(With apologies to IBA members who may also be members of the FarRiders (Australia) forum, this is posted specifically as a reference for Howard Entman)


Reckon a flea got In my ear Sunday arvo. And it was on a mission. An ambassador from The Shrink! And if it wasn’t a flea on a mission from The Shrink it was Hackle channelling me (but I don’t believe in this “channelling” bit).

Came up with the crazy notion to get out with The Shrink on Monday. Promised me a memorable ride as well as the possibility of getting an SS1600 done. Ahhh! Too tempting to resist.

A quick check of the weather maps and forecasts. Yep! A high pressure system was covering the lower southeast of the continent. Inference? Very light winds, if any. More likely some slight movements of air. Gentle zephyrs, I think you’d call them. Temperatures? Warm days in the high 20s with minimums down near 8 or 9C. Hmmm. Weather looks good.



Where to and what for? Well now. There’s the FarTreasure sitting out near Bordertown. Yeah … There’s the FarTAG stuck out at Rankin Springs. Yeah … And pick up the two on the one ride and you’d have an SS1600. Oh boy! What a great idea. Knew I kept The Shrink on the payroll for a reason. Then this flea mentioned that the roads are pretty quiet Monday mornings, much more so than the rest of the week. I was sucked in!






The ride plan had been constructed weeks ago. It was just waiting for this flea in my ear and the weather to get me going. Departure time? Yeah well … Rising at 3.00 am is not what I’d call my favourite “get up” time. Checked the route again and … ummm.

Wild life and ‘roos? Better I get an early start to ride the most dangerous sections in broad daylight. Riding gear and tank, tail and rack bags were quickly organised with two empty cans in the rack bag and plenty of room in other bags to de-layer the bulky but warm under jackets (a great move that). Then into bed for a couple of hours snooze. Alarm set for 12.00 midnight – well so I thought. Amazing how just a wee small error in organising can affect greatly one’s well planned (hopefully) ride.

Woke up some time later feeling totally refreshed, yep totally. Checked the clock (small digital alarm clock) in the dark and read *3:26. Me thinks, that’s good, must be 23:26 (it’s a 24 hour clock display). Get up leisurely, go to the kitchen for water and note the microwave clock is showing 3.26 am. Oh no! Didn’t hear the alarm. Must’ve slept through it. Naaah! I never do that. Have another look at alarm clock and note that it is set for 12.00. Oh no! That should have been 23:59 or 00:00!

Quick check of FarRiders forum to see whether anyone went out on Sunday to pick up Treasure or TAG. No. Gotta go. Shower, dress and on the bike to the servo two km up the road and on the way out of town; fuel up, collect receipt, turn on eTrex and TomTom and I’m on my way just after start time of 4:16 am.

Getting out of Melbourne at these early hours is a real breeze: eastern freeway to Alexandra Parade. And Alexandra Parade is like the main street of a one-horse town, just like Olary, SA at midnight. Just on an hour and I’m starting up the Pentland Hills on the A8 heading west towards Bordertown and all is good … until FOG! Not too thick at first but then it thickens. Oh no! Not again. My last memorable ride on this highway was made miserable by the fog. But then The Shrink did promise me a memorable ride! Sometimes visibility is down to three or four white lines (almost rode into the service centre at Ballan trying to follow the fog line); sometimes not nearly so foggy. I thought I came out of the fog just before Ballarat. But no! Not until after Ararat did the fog lift. I did check the eTrex for altitude. Seems the cloud (fog) ceiling was around 1300 feet.
 
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#2
Part 2

From Ararat the day really started brightening up. A very pleasant ride through to Wolseley to collect the FarTreasure, then on to Bordertown. Fueled up, then to Pinnaroo on a relatively new bitumen road. (Google maps must still consider it dirt, their average speed for the distance is way off.) Then to Ouyen with a stop at the Mallee Bakery for lunch. Peter (Reader 57) from Swan Hill reports that they make the best pies here. I should have ordered one. The egg and lettuce sandwich was pretty ordinary, but then again, maybe I should have asked for mayo to be added to that.

Mobile speed camera trap as well as a mobile highway patrol out on the Ouyen – Balranald Road. Reckon I’m safe. But the change in scenery from semi desert to lush green vineyards in the irrigation area is something to behold. A bit of water lying around in the area making mushy the salt marshes that abound through here. Took a pic of the town entry for Manangatang and Tooleybuc thinking I might use them for FarTAG. Later, much later I noticed I’d lined up everything for the pic, but the bike is either missing or nearly missing from the pic! Not too happy, Jan!





Before Balranald I was thinking I might be able to check out Hells Gate as I was riding towards Hay. As I approached the area I thought, hang on, Hells Gate is the other side of Hay (definitely a senior’s moment). Just when I had given up on Hells Gate, low-and-behold, I was speeding past it! On with the skids, throw out the anchor, haul in the sails. A quick but careful Uuuuie and I’m back at the gates to get my pic. And now I can say – and I have a picture as evidence – that I’ve been to Hells Gate and come back alive!



Pic taken then back on my bike and off to Hay and Rankin Springs. Well, I can tell youse all one thing: the Hay Plains haven’t improved any (for scenic value) in the last 45 years. It’s about that long ago I last travelled this Sturt Highway.

Rankin Springs! Now that place brings back memories. We were travelling to Adelaide from Sydney in a reasonably new 2600, three on a tree, LC Torana. We’d left Sydney around 7.00 pm and were on the road near Rankin Springs around 6.00 am (from memory), travelling at around 110 KpH. BANG! A big boomer, without so much as a “how’d you do” jumped out from the bushwork to say g’day! All I can say is: Last time he ever did that! Front end of Torana was pushed back not less than 12 inches. Radiator core had a 6 x 4 inch square cut out of it. And we’re stuck in the middle of seemingly, nowhere! A quick by-pass of the radiator – top and bottom hoses clamped together – and we’re off to Griffith for a quick fix. Wonder whether ducting tape could have sorted that one out?

But this is about my ride, not drive … so back on topic.


Managed to get to Rankin Springs, as I had for Balranald, on one tank of fuel. By my odometer that was 300 and 295 Km respectively; 62 and 56 Km done on the reserve tank and still travelling. These were two sections where I thought I may not make the distance so was carrying a 5 litre can. Didn’t need it, did I. Betcha if I didn’t have the can, I would’a run out.

But here’s the go or “no go” as the case may be. Arrived at around 6:10 pm and the bowser is locked up! Fortunately for me a local(?) lady had driven in just after 6.00 pm and persuaded the young attendant to turn the pumps on. She hadn’t driven off when I rolled in. Thanks to her (she persuaded the young bloke) the pumps were turned back on and the locks removed and fuel flowed willingly into my tank.

I then headed off to the pub for the TAG photo and hopefully a lemon, lime and bitters or similar. No luck. 6.00 pm closing time still rules in Rankin Springs; pub shut, shop shut, servo shut! I rest my cases. Oh, loos were still open! Guess they don’t get many travellers stopping.



Then off to Griffith, Darlington Point, Jerilderie, Finley and Tocumwal on my way home. So glad I had TomTom with me to get through Griffith. I’ve no idea where it took me.

Only one fuel stop was planned between Rankin Springs and home, and that was to be Finley. Starting the ride at 4:16 am put me four hours minimum behind where I wanted to be at any time on the clock. Knowing that the servo in Finley was not 24/7 necessitated a quick re-evaluation of my situation. I didn’t have any idea where and when the next 24/7 servo would be so filled up the second jerry can at Darlington Point. Had fun with the jerry cans; each was five litre capacity. But you couldn’t see where the “5 litre” mark was when filling the can. There’s another story there. Anyway …
 
#3
Part 3

Sun was setting as I crossed the Murrumbidgee River. The bridge made a nice pic. Had a thought of using it as the FarTAG location …



Wildlife was plentiful from Darlington Point to Jerilderie. Fortunately they were almost of microscopic proportions. Though tiny they sure did muck up the visor and the lights …



Went past the turn off near Numurkah of one of my good friends. Thought to stop by, then considered the time (10.00 pm) and I needed to get that SS1600 in the bag. Gave him (and his missus) a quick thought and pressed on. All too soon it was a stop down the road (the Melbourne side of Shepparton) for a quick spill, fill and splash from the cans, then, “go to “jail”, do not pass go (ie, stop), do not collect a traffic infringement”.

Ride completed at 25:06, ie 1:06 am on Tuesday morning. Total elapsed time? 20 hours 50 minutes or thereabouts. Kilometres as per Mr Google = 1749 … and thank you to The Shrink for keeping me company all day. He didn’t miss a beat, didn’t give me a fright, didn’t fall on my leg; stayed upright and true to purpose … and being a Yamaha played delightful music all day long.

And the trifecta? FarTreasure in hand, FarTAG moved on, SS1600 under the backside …

Now to submit the paperwork to IBA … and then start planning the next one.
 

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#5
Enjoyed the read and pics Eliot. Got to be happy with the added bonus of a trifecta too :D

Three on the tree, now that takes me back to last century :rolleyes: