Unfinished Business......

#1
Yes, we had unfinished business, in June of this year we had attempted the new IBA 50CC Gold ride that Skidoooo had successfully completed in April of this year, but due to safety reasons we pulled the pin on it. We noticed that there was a FarRide in Roma, QLD on October 1st so a plan was hatched. If we started our ride at Midnight on Monday 26th September from Warrnambool, VIC and finish in the early hours of Thursday 29th September at Cooktown, QLD we could then head back down to Townsville and ride the little bit of Bruce Hwy between Townsville to Rockhampton that we’d not yet travelled and then attend the FarRide at Roma, QLD.

For this 50CC ride we must obtain a receipt in Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Toowoomba and Roma to prove the correct route was taken.

So here is our journey ……..

On Monday 26th September we headed from home down the 307km to Warrnambool, Vic to start our ride at midnight going via Nico’s for lunch, thanks Nico and Jen the pasta, good energy food before our BIG ride. We booked into a motel in Warrnambool and we were in bed by 5pm as we needed to get on the road by midnight which would see riding the Roma to Townville section in daylight. The weather was quite pleasant on the way down however the skies opened up as we headed off to bed but we knew it would clear by the time we were to leave. The alarm went off and we were up and got ourselves organized then headed to the service station where we were starting the ride from. To our surprise we arrived to two Goldwing’s parked in the carpark at the servo, not thinking much of it as we had our blinkers on then to our amazement out of the shop walked Wingman & Freddo who came for a ride from Melbourne as there was nothing decent on TV to watch. We said our hellos, took a pic or two then got ourselves back on track for our BIG ride.

Bike at Servo in Warrnambool ready for take off



Wingman giving me best wishes for the ride




Wingman & Freddo had advised that they would follow us for a while then just peel off.

Impatiently I watched the clock tick tick tick, the time had come to obtain our start docket, done, 23.56 Monday 26th September was our official start time and we had 3920km to Cooktown. The lady at the motel had signed our witness form to assist us so we just had to get fuel and get our start docket. It was quite a pleasant night, a tad chilly but we had recently purchased heated gear so we were quite snug. So we’re all sorted and pumped ready to go and we head off travelling along the highway heading towards our next scheduled stop which was Avenel, VIC 374km away. It didn’t really feel as though we were on a big ride as we’d been down this way a few times intercepting a few other riders recently. We had a reasonably clear night only getting a light spit of rain as we exited the Western ring road onto the Hume Highway it now felt as though we were going somewhere and that we were, on a quest to attempt to finish our unfinished business.

So, it’s now Tuesday 27th September and we arrived at Avenel, VIC at 3.47am where we refueled and kept going to Wagga Wagga 320km / 694km total which was our next scheduled stop and is a waypoint you must travel through, arriving at 7.26am doing another quick stop, as this ride doesn’t give you much time to bum around and smell the roses. The Newell Highway had been closed for over 2 weeks now, and still is as I write this story, therefore we had to rearrange our route to get around the flooded areas, just like everyone else! From Wagga Wagga we headed out through Junee, Cootamundra, Young, Cowra, Canowindra, Molong and then to our next scheduled stop Wellington 371km / 1065km total, arriving at 12.04pm. On this route we had anticipated it to be quite busy however it wasn’t that busy with traffic but it was damn busy with workmen trying to keep up with filling of the potholes in the roads or doing major road resurfacing, I had a giggle to myself at most roadworks thinking of Wombattle’s and his attraction of them. It seemed to be that as quick as the potholes were filled by the time they were up the road a km or two the first one needed redoing. We got stuck at an abundant amount of roadworks along the way and at one stage turned the bike off waiting for the ok to proceed. We were getting slightly anxious watching time slowly slip away and we couldn’t do anything to change it as we knew this was a hard enough ride without the rerouting and roadworks! Finally, we got through the roadworks and we could attempt to get back on schedule, we were a bit behind by our schedule now but we persisted onwards to Tamworth which was the next scheduled stop and a waypoint for this ride you must travel through. We travelled via Dunedoo, Coolah, Premer, Caroona, Werris Creek, Duri and finally to Tamworth at 15.58, 336km / 1401km total and it felt as though we’d got nowhere.

At Tamworth


Our route was nearly back on track to the original route before the closure of the Newell Highway and all of the detouring that we needed to work around. As we left Tamworth Mick told me we had no time for the Moonbi lookouts today it was all systems go and we needed to try and make up time. We continued our route heading for Glen Innes for our next refuel travelling via Armidale and heading into the well-known roo territory of Black Mountain. As we headed up the Highway the sun was starting to set on our left so we were extra diligent for roos, we were having a great run until a 4 foot roo appeared out of nowhere from the left with one big leap out of the scrub at speed and I reckon he was heading straight into the middle of the bike and our leg area. With about half a second to impact Fatman braked heavily for a split second then released as the roo went down below the headlights waiting for the impact and keeping the bike upright. With that I gently placed my arms on Mick’s hips and placed my head near his back waiting for the impact, thinking well that’s it we’re done now. But to both our astonishment the big thud didn’t happen it was more like a mushy thud, great what else can interfere with this ride? Luckily there just happened to be a road side stop on the left just after where we’d made impact. Mick pulled the bike into the roadside stop and I jumped off quickly to inspect the damage. There were 4 cars behind us at the time who would have seen the whole thing unfold, not one stopped to see if we were ok, I guess they too were very busy. When Mick asked what’s the damage was I responded just the side of the front guard where it connects to the fork but it’s ok we have a spare at home, we both had a chuckle with that comment. We quickly got the race tape out and between the two of us we did a quick repair job, both very surprised on how little damage and got back on the road after losing 5 minutes or so.

Damage by the roo at Black Mountain - Pic taken later at Cooktown


Meanwhile the culprit was on the opposite side of the road shaking his head as if to say WTF was that and I shrieked out at him, as you do. With everything sorted we got back on the road and headed to Glen Innes 210km / 1611km total where we refueled and Mick had a better look at how much damage there was and made sure he had missed brake hoses etc, he found roo hair in the right hand rocker cover bolt and his highway pegs good thing his foot wasn’t on the peg as it may have been a tad sore I reckon and fortunate the roo missed the front wheel. We still had to get to Toowoomba QLD for the night and we both were starting to feel as though we were going one step forward then 3 steps back. We finally rolled into Toowoomba QLD at 22.20, 290km 1901km total some 40 minutes behind our schedule mainly because of all the roadwork stops or 40kmh sections but we did get a few hours of much needed sleep as we had to be back on the road by 2.40am. Amazing how refreshed you feel after a few hours’ sleep.

It’s Wednesday 28th September, geez I can’t keep up with what we’ve done and the country we’ve travelled through in the past 24 hours.

Anyway back to the ride in hand, our next scheduled stop was Roma 351km / 2252km total which is also another must waypoint, we decided we’d have a quick bite to eat here. I asked the attendants at the servo, who recognized me from June when we last attempted this ride, if the road too Emerald was open and they informed me that it was, and asked if we were attempting the ride again, did we need any paperwork signed and then wished us good luck this time around. You see the road between Roma and Emerald had been closed due to flooding in the last few days at Injune and Rollerston as well, FarRider Wingman was keeping an eye on the road conditions and was going to let us know if the road closed again, thanks Des. We really did pick a good week to do this ride didn’t we, in June a huge cold front came through and caused major road closures and flooding and it seems to be happening again, but hey we like a challenge but geez this was a hard enough ride without all the floods, road closures and roadworks but it was the only time we had to attempt it again. After our break here we thought ok this is it we’re half way there, we had a positive talk and said to each other come on we can do this. With saying that we were back on the road being vigilant as we travelled towards Injune as the roads were open but they had had some rain and being so flat you just don’t know if there is water in the floodways and where the animals were due to the paddocks being flooded they were probably looking for dry high land, mmm that would be the road.

Quick stretch between Roma & Emerald


Luckily we had no dramas from Roma through to Emerald but there was an abundance of water lying around, it really felt like we were in a boat sailing down a river there was that much. Approx. 10km south of Emerald we passed a convoy of some 6 John Deer Harvesters Mick spoke to them on the UHF radio and found out they had driven from Horsham Vic and were delivering them to Emerald, man at 10kmh it would have been a slow trip. At 11am we arrived at Emerald 402km / 2654km total where we fueled up and took off our heated gear as the weather was starting to warm up.

Refuel at Emerald


Finally, we have a blue sky and sunshine and the temperature was rising quickly.

Just some of the numerous roadworks along the way


When we arrived at Belyando Crossing at 2.18pm 279km / 2933km total we refueled and it was here that I hit a brick wall. I had been drinking water along the way but was feeling like I was going to throw up in the helmet and my body was aching. I told mick I needed time off the bike and didn’t know if I could continue. He said no worries he will pick me up in 2 days, funny bugger. We decided to have a bite to eat and have an unscheduled stop. After about 30 minutes off the bike we discussed that we would get to Townsville then reevaluate our options as we didn’t want to keep heading north if we had no chance of making it within the allocated time of 50 hours. We had 987km left to do with 11 hours to do it, funny how your mind can play games when there no more time to pull back, we knew it would be tight if we could make Cooktown at all.

On the way to Townsville


Arriving at Townsville 333km / 3266km total I was feeling better and we reexamined the schedule and worked out that we still had enough time to make it as long as we didn’t have any hold ups. It’s amazing the tricks your body and mind plays on these big rides and the main thing that got me motivated was when Mick said ‘I’m only going to attempt this ride twice’ and this was the 2nd time so with that in mind I became inspired and enthused and started to think positive again and said, ‘ok come on we can do this, let’s go’.

Refuel at Townsville


In saying that we geared up and got back on the bike and headed to the next required refuel, Atherton. I remember leaving Townsville and the last thing I remember is seeing the servo on the northern side of town I think its Black River the next thing remember was Mick tapping my leg and upon waking up we were in Tully. Oops I missed a whole section of the ride about 200kms or so and I don’t usually sleep on the back of the bike but I obviously needed it. The good thing was I woke up as we passed the motel that we were booked into the next night so I got to see it, LOL. From Tully we continued onwards along the Bruce Highway, funny we’d been up and down this road in June and I still saw things that I missed last time. We seemed to know the route we needed to take this time and turned off just before Innisfail onto South Johnstone Road again taking in the stink of the bananas along our rollercoaster roads travelling via Boogan, South Johnstone, Wangan, East Palmerston and Millaa Millaa. It was a different outlook to our surroundings from our last two visits through here. Our next planned stop was Atherton QLD 356km / 3622km total before the final run 298kms into Cooktown. We arrived at the service station refueled and put a layer on as we knew it would get cool in the hills. Off we went into the night hoping that we would get there in time without any hiccups along the way. As we exited Mt Molloy QLD we heard sirens behind us, great all we need is to be pulled up by police now! But as the sirens got closer we slowed down to the side of the road for a sports car honking madly on his horn & flashing his lights at us to take a right hand turn with the police right on his tail, I think they were heading to an accident site? Well they weren’t after us so we continued on into the night. As we were riding along all of a sudden it started to rain heavy drops onto us, well that’s what we thought but upon looking at the road it appeared to be dry, it was millions of bugs hitting us not rain! We knew the road down into Cooktown had animals along it so we were very cautious of them appearing out of nowhere! Once again we had an absolute blast along this section of road as they were continuous long sweeping roads around corners then up into the hills then along the flats again seeing things that I’d missed on our last trip. Amazing how things look different during the day compared to the night. We had to slow down for a few cows that were on the road but apart from that we had the road to ourselves, once again a very romantic night ride together but we were very alert more than ever as we were nearing the end of the ride and we didn’t want to get this far and hit anything. Finally, we came around the corner to see the sign to the 24-hour service station, yes there is a 24-hour service station in Cooktown 298km / 3920km total, who knows why? We peeled off onto Racecourse Road and headed towards the 24-hour servo that seemed to be never ending getting to it. Woo hoo we made it, I peeled off and walked in to make a purchase to obtain a final receipt, 1.35am.


OMG We did it !! Total Time – 49 hrs 39 mins


I had previously phoned the servo and explained that I would need a receipt and a witness form signed to prove that we were there and the attendant who was also the owner could not have been more helpful. With the receipt in hand and the witness form signed we headed to the motel for a few hours’ sleep before we continued on with our journey. It was now the wee early hours of Thursday 29th September morning and we realized when we got into bed that we didn’t take a photo at the finish, too bad we needed sleep. Funny it didn’t take long for either of us to get to sleep.


Unfinished Business …… now Finished Business

& Paperwork submitted



It’s still Thursday 29th September and I awoke at 8.30am bright as a button surprisingly and proceeded to get up and get ready to head south. I wandered down to see Scott, the owner of the motel to pay for our short stay and when he saw me he said, ‘ah here she is, the little nutter, good girl I see you made it but did you succeed this time?’ With my response being ‘Yes’ Scott then said ‘Ok first things first, give me the paperwork I need to sign’, then we paid for the room. Scott asked where we were off to now and told him we were heading back south via Ayr, Mackay and Rockhampton as we needed to be Roma for lunch Saturday. He said but that’s not direct there is a shorter route you know and we laughed. I explained that we hadn’t been to Ayr or Mackay and we wanted to complete the missing link of the Bruce Highway that we hadn’t travelled upon. With that we said goodbye and headed south to Tully for the night.
 

TripleTreat

Well-Known Member
#5
Lynne, you and Mick have become Monsters Of the Road, gobbling up towns and kilometres at will. Congratulations to you both on completing another epic ride despite the difficulties, and I bet the fact that it wasn't easy makes the achievement all the sweeter!
 

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#6
Fantastic read and write up guys. That ride is difficult and challenging in every aspect and to have completed it 'two' up is Awsome!
I really enjoyed tracking you and was on edge especially in the closing moments.
Well done !
 

Fatman

Well-Known Member
#8
Triple Treat.... I feel we are NOT "Monsters of the road" with having to work on aching backs and legs along the routes, I feel older every ride I think.... :eek:

Skidoo.... You know how tough this one is. I have to thank you, I think, for setting up the route....... :)

Thanks everyone for your comments, appreciated by both of us... :):)
 

Biggles

Premier Member
#13
Well done on getting the ride certified. ;)
How good is that- the Navigator gets to sleep in the rear section when her skills aren't needed. Now to work out an autopilot to let the Captain have a nap on those long straights.