20th Anniversary 50 CC Ride Report - Derrick


IBR Finisher
Teaser - Detail Later...:p

Scott FireFront 2.jpg

The Lead Up

Bike serviced, new rear tyre, engine crashbars and Denali D7, D4 and DRL lights added. Should help me stand out in my UOE (Urban Operating Environment - i.e Commuting on the Monash Freeway here in Melbourne) and see things clearer at night in the OOE (Outback Operating Environment) :cool:

Post a scrub.jpg

I had done a pre departure recognaisance to the United Servo on the Wednesday night, and just as well, as within sight of the servo on the way home i couldn't change gears. :(. Would I be forced to take the Ural? :eek: Thankfully no....

Pre Departure Shakedown.jpg

Well, there's ya problem, not quite enough purchase on one end after adjustment for putting on footpeg lowering kit. Easy fix with tools in kit. (This was my fault, not any dealers)

Well theres ya problem.jpg

Departure Day

I had taken Thursday off to catch up with those coming to Lunch and / or Dinner. Was good to see everyone, and I spent the few hours between Lunch and Dinner at a local park messing with my onboard CB (which I got working, at the expense of music). So I reverted, having gotten used to having music since swapping bikes etc in July last year.

After dinner I ducked home and managed 3 hours or so sleep before leading Liz out to the United (me on the bike, Liz in the car). 1st there, I worded up the console operator and got the ok to park on the apron).

Was great to see Bernard (& others :D) in person, and we had some brief formalities where John and Bill had also sent best wishes for our departure.

<Having trouble embedding Bills video send off here so here in the link>

Bill's send off Video or copy and paste this https://youtube.com/shorts/deq4RotmCfY?feature=share


By now I think most are familiar with the plan - meet at the United Westgate South for a 2am Departure. There's picture in the other thread (and this will be a pretty photo heavy report) so will levae that as noted:p

I was 1st out the gate, and promptly forgot to stop at the flag as Skidoo had requested....:oops:

Then we had the game of Lane Pong on the Westgate which is undergoing pretty extensive works for a new tunnel under the Yarra. So right 5 lanes, then I realised they had right lanes closed, so back to the left lanes, then right lanes at the split. I may have been a bit excited to be actually on the road finally. I seem to recall an accident inbound as well.

Regardless it wasn't long before I resigned myself that I could be by myself for a while given I had warned the group about a speed camera at Boundary Road which may have caused caution for the out of towners...

Maybe 1/2 an hour later I noticed some lights making steady ground on me, only to then notice it was a car. Was this Ron (now living in Ballarat and who had come down for the start) or someone else? Didn't bother me, I sat with them for maybe 20-30 minutes before they pulled up at the second Ballarat exit, rolled the window down and waved, It was Ron, so I gave him a call and we talked for maybe 10 minutes until he pulled up in driveway.

I wasn't sure of my fuel range, but I could tell I wasn't going to make Bordertown as planned. I had wanted to get a bit further than Horsham to a) try and get out of the 2-4 degrees celcious cold ASAP and b) avoid any crowding at the pumps as I knew at least a few were planning to stop there.

So Nhill it was, at what is now a pay at the pumps exercise overnight at the Mobil Roadhouse since COVID. Just finishing up as KiwiMartin rolled in, I bade hime farewell (and was the last time I saw him.....:D)

I had a list of locations for the 2023 TeamStrange Wheels on Murals Grand Tour that I wanted to hit given that I was only going to Darwin once this year;).

Initially there was at least 1 in Victoria but i decided enroute to not screw around in the dark and cold and just begin to hit them in South Australia when the sun had come up. And so we find ourselves in Keith, South Australia

WOM Keith SA.jpg

While In Keith I hit the Bakery, and while disappointed that they didn't have any donuts, made up for it with some Brownies o_O

Next Tintinara Visitor Centre
WOM Tintinara SA.jpg

And then on towards Tailem Bend. I struggle a bit sometimes with the transition from both night to day, and from cold to hot (well warm) weather. And so it was today as I pulled into a rest area right beside the highway to shed some layers and perhaps a quick nap.

No sooner than stripping down to my underpants (as I shed my thermals) I hear the unmistakebale sounds of a BMW motorcycle coming along. Lets just say that there was no hiding so I gave Lynne and Michael a good wave as they went past. Of all the people in all the gin joints it had to be the only female on the journey. :eek:

With that I finshed getting changed and had just settled down onto the picnic table when I hear anouther bike pulling into the rest area. It was Phil, looking to do some wrenching given his light bracket had broken on one side.

We had a quick chat (and I took photo evidence) but you can see he's in good spirits. With now in no need of sleep I left Phil to finish finagling and ventured on into Adelaide.

Phil- Tailem bend.jpg

Never having had a GPS, and having been lost/losing time taking the Barossa route before, I prefer going by feel in Adelaide even though I now can have Google Maps open in front of me.

So, navigating thru Adelaide via King William Street (the Main St) I had a longer stop at the AMPOL Foodary Nth Adelaide where I had a longer (20 mins) stop, and entirely un-satisfactory strawberry donut. I know better, but I thgt they may have lifted their donut game given OTR's seem to have managed the art of 1/2 decent donuts...

Next stop, fuel wise, is Port Augusta, But 1st

Port Wakefield
WOM Port Wakefield SA.jpg

WOM Snowtown SA.jpg

After a stop for fuel at the OTR in Port Augusta I caught sight of a motorcyclist waving to me from a side street on the North/West? side of town. I thought this was Hackle at the time but came to find it was Sam/Foxton1 the moment we pulled into the pumps in Glendambo. Which sort of explains why he was not quite on my tail at times - he was managing fuel on the RS1250. We checked over plans and Sam was going to have a longer break while I wanted to make the most of the remaining daylight.

With 20 minutes of pulling out of Glendambo I was passed by a new looking Nissan patrol that must have thought they were in the Northern Territory already... I must have spent an hour behind them. and managed to grab this sunset photo when they pulled off for a quick break. They quickly caught and passed me again and I sat with them for another 1/2 hour until we caught up with a B'Double who I felt a bit more comfortable following into Coober Pedy given it was now dark.

Sunset Day 1 Midway Bn Glendambo and Coober Pedy.jpg

A quck chat with Michael and Lynne as they were about to depart, and Phil, who had just pulled in.


IBR Finisher
I went off to capture the mural on the side of the local Supermarket

WOM Coober Pedy 1st Attempt.jpg
First attempt bit of a bust from seeing the flag perspective,
WOM Coober Pedy Final Shot.jpg
Happier with this one, I caught up with Phil just as he was leaving Coober Pedy.

I followed Phil for a minute or two before taking the lead. As gun shy as I am with 'roo's at the moment he was down to one driving light and I had 4..... We wandered along at a pretty steady pace, stopping every 90kms for a quick mental break more than anything. We saw a shooting star along here, and before too long (well, 3 hrs or so) we were in Marla where Phil took me up on my offer for a spare bed (I had somehow scored a family room...)

We managed 6 or so hours sleep, with an alarm set for 5am and on the road at 530am. Talking with Michael and Lynne we found they were out with their leaking wheel seal.
Dark Departing Marla.jpg

Dark in Marla, there was a Gilberts Road Train in amongst this. Gilberts was the company whose Roadtrains we travelled with for a few hours in 2003, and we got a photo with one the next day. I said to myself if I saw a stationary Gilberts RT anywhere that day I was going to stop for a photo.

So, how happy was I when we pulled into Erldunda!
Gilberts Triple at Erldunda .jpg

But first we had to get there. We were joined by Wombattle as we left Marla, and the 3 of us stopped at the border for some quick photo's
Bikes at NT Border.jpg

Me at NT Border.jpg

Then onto Erldunda where Phil and I had a slightlylonger breakfast stop. Ralph had had enough and wanted out at this point

Ralph Erldunda.jpg
But we talked it out and he committed

Ralph Resituated Erdunda.jpg

Perpetual Motion Erldunda.jpg

This scene of perpetual motion had me quite bemused in Erldunda. One fella wandering around blowing dust everywhere, while another fella was out there wiping dust off pumps and flat surfaces with a rag....

Phil and I split here, he has a longer range so we were on different fuel strategies.

Another of the photo's from 2003 that I wanted to replicate. The flag in there more to rmind me what year it was...
Alice Springs Bike.jpg
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IBR Finisher
Side of the Coles in Alice Spings
WOM Alice Spirngs NT Coles.jpg
And a wider view
WOM Alice Springs Wider View.jpg

On the 50 CC in 2003 we stopped at Ti Tree, some 26 hours after we left Melbourne. Was pretty busy here when I rolled in but I made it work ;)

Ti Tree.jpg

Notes on the web say that Wycliffe Well is "Temporarily Closed", but I think "Abandoned" would be more accurate. I believe its been flooded twice in the recent past. But the real question is- do UFO's have wheels for landing gear??

WOM Wycliffe Well NT.jpg
It must have been around here I saw a sign saying Darwin 1100 kms and I thgt I'd better put my focus on arrival times. Google was telling me 1.30am

Devils Marbles. Quick stop here - didn't even turn the bike off

Devils Marbles.jpg

Fuel in Tennant Creek and then one last picture...

The iconic Mural at three Ways roadhouse has had an update in recent years to a more current roadtrain configuration, but the real bullbar remains!

WOM Three Ways Roadhouse.jpg


IBR Finisher
I'd managed to eat into the arrival time to a point of having it back at around 12.45am by sunset. O look, a nice smoky background
(Timestamp 6.07pm)

Smoky Sunset Day 2.jpg

An hour and a qtr later, after being in and out of smoke for a while I was talking to Liz when I stopped to get this photo. Remnants of a low level grass load clearing burnoff. No intensity, no wind, nothing above waist level, all on one side of the road.

Just a Low level Grass Fire burnoff.jpg

And then Vlad pulls up beside me telling me that Wombattle has ben freaked out by the fire and has turned around and gotten a room in Larrimah, about 15 kms back. And that Vlad had joined him in getting a room.

At this point I could only think that perhaps Wombattle had lived through a bushfire event, and that given the smoke and flame was in no mood to relive that nightmare. But I had sent Michael a news report on fires closing the Stuart Hwy down around Alice Springs about 10 days beforehand, and we agreed that burnoffs and lightning strikes meant that fires were common up here at this time of year.

So, with all that in mind I said to Vlad that I wanted to poke along and see what it was like ahead, because to me, this was standard operating procedure for the NT. Plus, we hadn't seen a single fire or emergency vehicle and if things were that bad surely someone would've been scrambled to stop traffic?

10 minutes and 7km's later we came across this....

Scott FireFront 1.jpg
Scott FireFront 2.jpg

Now, initially we sort of sidled up within maybe 20 metres of the front before we stopped. We'd been through some patches where the fire was on both sides of the road, and this fire was burning with more intensity than anything we'd come across, at times in the tree tops.

The unknown was what was behind that wall of flame. It wouldn't be the 1st time a planned (or unplanned) fire had taken off, and the expereince of SA/VIC/WA and NSW bushfires is very different and in the back of our minds. Plus there was the deaths of 3 truckdrivers in WA in 2009 when they were allowed to bypass a roadblock before a wind change. Did that explain why we hadn't seen a vehicle from the other direction for 20? minutes

The section beween myself and Vlad here was unburnt, and prior to that the burnt out areas gave us some comfort that we could turn tail and go back to Larrimah. While discussing all this the fire jumped maybe 5 metres and we beat a retreat to where I took these photos from.

As we continued to discuss options I had said to Vlad that regardless of the decision I was having a piss before going anywhere. With that announcement a car towing a trailer appeared from the direction of the flames. When asked "What is was like?" they said, "it's 3 feet of flame and 500 metres of smoke", ok, that doesn't sound too bad. "Nothing like that back this was" we told them.

And with that, I watered the ground, Vlad took off, and I got these photo's :D

The smoke on the far side of the flames was much more intense than what we'd been through to date, and i just hoped that Vlad had kept going till the smoke cleared coz I couldn't see a long way in front , even with my new lights on "Disco" mode:cool:

Once reunited we had various communication challenges until Katherine. Vlad didn't have Wombattles number to let him know he wasn't coming back, I'd rung Michael to let him know what I knew (that Phil wasn't that far in front of me) , but he and Lynne also didn't have Wombattles number.

Not long after coming thru the flames above we came across a ranger in a 4wd who gave me the rundown on what was ahead. Another fire 50kms down the road that looked worse than it was.., and then some activity around Katherine.

I cam across this while writing this up, timestamped for the Saturday afternoon a couple of hours before all the above occurred;). So it was already a total fire ban on Saturday
NT Road Report.JPG

Finaly at Katherine Vlad was able to contact the Hotel in Larrimah, who reported that the other "tall fella" had departed when Vlad hadn't come back. Phil and Barry were at the Ampaol (where Kiwi had almost choked hours before) and soon enough Wombattle and Sam arrived as well.

I thugt we'd decided to go i together as a group of 6, but herding 6 ppl along together at this stage was optimistic. Phil was behind, I managed to stop everybody, causing Vlad to drop his bike on an uneven road surface (no real damage and no photo's :eek:) and then I pulled up 50kms out for some shuteye.

I rolled in to Daly St Shell about 15 minutes after the other 5 (at 1.30am NT time, so right on 48 hrs) who had been greeted by the NT welcoming party. I had a good chat with the NT's only orange Ural owner (the Ural, not the owner) and before long we headedoff to our respective accommodations.

Overall a very enjoyable but different, (and memorable for a variety of reasons ;)) 50CC.

Between numbers (9 bikes vs 4), strategy (everyone on their own cadence vs group), time of year (late August vs mid November), departure time (2am vs 8pm), night time stop (Marla vs Ti Tree) etc.

Plus the added spice of collecting Wheels on Murals bonus photo's along the way:D

The next day I had a relaxed brunch with Hackle and the got a few mural photos before running into Wombattle and Vlad at lunch and then dinner with the crew (sans hackle who was leaving early the next day and Kiwi who was already back in Qld ;))

Dinner Darwin.jpg
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IBR Finisher
I won't put in all the Wheels on Murals photos from the way back, but here is the highlights of the return trip.

Monday - Darwin to Barkly Homestead

After previously stating I had no plan and could well be departing at 9.59am I was up and on the road at 7am, with Three Ways or Barkly Homestead in mind. This saw me at the Caravan park gate at the same time as Vlad, although we went our own ways after filling up.

Vlad Darwin Monday Departure.jpg

Renner Springs was where the 2003 photo of bikes in front of the Gilberts roadtrain (and brekfast took place)

Renner Springs.jpg

Mmm, see a theme here?

Shaws RT Barkly Fire.jpg
I, and a lot of the others, went through here on the 27th August when it was still a small fire

Barkly Fire.jpg

But the road has been closed for long periods since the 8th of September (its late on the 10th September as i write this)

Major bushfire closes Barkly Highway as authorities declare entire NT a fire danger area until March

Barkly Fire Article ABC News

"It comes as a large bushfire burns uncontrolled across the Barkly region, forcing the closure of a 50 kilometre stretch of the Barkly Highway which links the NT with Queensland.

Bushfires NT director of operations Tony Fuller said the fire — which crossed the highway on Friday — was burning across some 7,200 square kilometres of land, and posed a "significant risk" to communities and stations in the area.

"This fire in itself is three times the size of the ACT, so it's a massive area," said

He said two helicopters had been sent from Katherine to help fight the blaze, and authorities were considering calling in interstate help."

Barkly Homestead will look a lot busier than this at the moment

Barkly HS RT Parked Up.jpg

Tuesday - Barkly Homestead to Richmond Qld
QLD Border.jpg

Lucked on to a spanking new Steam train based mural in Mt Isa
WOM MT Isa Train Ph1.jpg

Richmond Qld Sunset

Blindspot Sunset Richmond NT.jpg
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IBR Finisher
Thursday - Sarina Qld to Gayndah Qld

Old habits die hard:D (See the steam train!) Mt Morgan

OOPs wrong GT  Mount Morgan Steam Train.jpg

Sunset at Binjour

Binjour Blindspot Sunset Vivid but Dirty.jpg

Blue Super Moon at Gayndah

Gayndah Bluee Moon .jpg

Friday - Gayndah Qld to Luscombe QLD

WOM Blackbutt Steam train.jpg

Big target this week was to get to Tabledrains for Friday afternoon. TD came out and met me, but it took us a while to find each other. I waited at the bakery before I got a lesson in QLD traffic management...

WOM Tabledrain.jpg


IBR Finisher
Saturday - Luscombe QLD to Grafton NSW

Up early to catch Colleen before Archery practice, i then followed Ian's advice and took the Lions Road to the Border Loop lookout. No steam trains today but a great little road with some interesting history.

Lions Road.jpg

Dropped into Crappy and Bron's for everybody's fave Saturday lunch - freshly cooked sausages. Had a greta catch up with both here, having heard so much about the house build it was great to see it and some of Crappy's projects in person.

All the socialising and dawdling caught up to me later in the day as I couldn't get a room in Ebor so stopped short in Grafton and had Chinese delivery in the motel room. I must have been in the room an hour before i felt someone watching me

Grafton F ers are Everywhere.jpg

Sunday - Grafton to Gilgandra

Paying Homage Uralla.jpg

Still prefer the orange ...
Still prefer the sunset orange .jpg

Suttons rd Currabubula.jpg

Quirindi, no wheels
WOM Quirindi Blue Kangaroos!.jpg
Bn Coonabarbran and Gilgandra, amongst the roadkill..
SunSet Newell Hwy Bn Coonabarabran and GIlgandra.jpg

Can recommend the Railway Hotel in Gilgandra for a feed, off the main highway/drag.
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IBR Finisher
Monday - Gilgandra NSW to Temora NSW

Dunedoo, extra points for Wheels on Murals. White Rose Cafe had a gr8t b&E roll!
WOM Dunedoo Winx and Rider.jpg

WOM Molong Sheep on Bike mural tho.jpg

Eugowra making progress on flood recovery, but a ways to go
WOM Eugowra Postie.jpg
Big Scene at Grenfell
WOM Grenfell No Wheels.jpg

Who doesn't love a steam train mural? Quandialla
WOM Quandialla.jpg

Then Dinner in Temora with Lynne and Michael


IBR Finisher
Tuesday - Temora to Home

Brief storm overnight (like 1 thunder, 1 lightning and 20 raindrops). Apart from that not a drop of rain the entire way around. I had been undecided on route for today last night, but between Kimmies post about a mural somewhere, me wanting to visit my father in Kyabram and not wanting to hit Melbourne between 4pm and 630pm I decided to explore the Newell route rather than wandering down through Wagg and Albury.

Relaxed departure after brekky at the bakery saw me hit Ariah park, Mirrool (in th wrong direction!), Ardlethan, Narrandera, FInley and Tocumwal before crossing back into Victoria and this new mural at Katamatite

WOM Katamatite Siloes.jpg

Picked up 6 pies at my fave bakery in Shepparton (my home town) then over to Kyabram for an hour and half visit with the old man. Saw two. TWO dead kangaroos between Shepp and Kyabram, unheard of.

Leaving about 5.15 I caught the sunset over a canola crop at Murchison

Canola Sunset Murchison.jpg

As I approached home i noticed I was going to be 15 kms short of 10k kms for the trip. So i did what any sane person would do and went 2 exits past my exit on the freeway :p, then was still short and went 1 exit past the other direction:D , was still short :eek:, did a lap of the nearest exist and pulled up for a photo (on surface streets) 1 km from home

Almost 10k Kms.jpg

And in the greatest anti-climax of all time, the trip meter simply went back to 0.0 kms as I pulled up out the front of my place :rolleyes:

Home Urban OE.jpg

Thanks for getting this far!.

Thanks to Michael, who suggested this whole caper, and did all the organising (well maybe Lynne ;))
And all those who saw us off, came along and / or watched from home/work

In Darwin John did remind me that next year is the 20th anniversary of the 1st 100 CCC in Australia. Just sayin.....


Well-Known Member
You certainly travelled around Derrick getting the "wheels on murals" for the competition as well as knocking over the 50CC, ripper riding.

As I laid in bed in Glendambo, I had spoken to Hackle who confirmed Martin and himself had finished, and while you were riding still, thanks for keeping me informed numerous times as we spoke late on the Saturday night/ early Sunday as to where the 6 riders in the fires were. I slept well after you all made it safely to Darwin, apreciated the updates.

20th anniversary for an IBA Aust 100CC, who was the first? Now you have me thinking!


Premier Member
Well you sure no how to complicate a simple 50 cc mate, I just tried to count the number of stops, let’s just say a lot more than me. Drain is still a picture of sartorial elegance I see, he looks well.
I guess you want a good finish in the mural comp hey:oops:.
Enjoyed the report, and who doesn’t like a 100ccc anniversary.


Well-Known Member
Oh WOW!!! Talk about packing heaps into a timed ride, could you have thrown in the kitchen sink too.
Awesome ride and thanks for taking us along with you and showing us all the sights along the way.

Congrats again and if you decide to do the 100CC next year, I'll be there to see you off.