BBG 3000K 24Hrs

tj189

Administrator
#1
Ian's ride has now been certified, fantastic news and again mate well done. I have copied his report from 2010 over here as it had not been seen by to many Australians in the other topic. Enjoy the read:

Ian McPhee wrote:

My name is Ian McPhee, I have been riding 30 years and doing LD runs for 25 or so. This is the latest of my rides recently ridden in the Northern Territory of Australia( more commonly known as the N.T). I have a 2008 triumph rocket 3 Tourer which has been modified in my worshop with 22 litre extra fuel, twin AirHawks( one under me, one behind as a back rest), 6" HID driving lights, hand made mandrel handle bars to suit my particular seating position.

This was originally posted on FarRiders, the Australian LD forum, I have edited it a little as it was full of Aussie slang which I changed a little for the general reading by you all.

You cannot ride a 3000km, 24 hour run in the Northern Territory of Australia without giving due consideration to the risk involved. It took a long time for the risk level to be considered acceptable, weather conditions, animal movement, traffic load all played a part in the decision to make this run a reality. Animal strike was obviously uppermost in our minds, the kangaroo’s are notorious for their size and numbers but discussions with people I knew who were doing trips through the territory and who were providing feedback on visible numbers of both live and dead roos, camels, buffalo, goats, wombats, horses etc brought me to the conclusion that with all the feed that was a result of a good rainy season, the strike probability was low enough for this run to proceed. Friends that have ridden in Oz and the USA compare our kangaroos in unpredictability to the deer you are afflicted with.

This ride started at Camooweal QLD, I fuelled at Tennant Creek, N.T, Alice Springs N.T, back at Tennant Creek N.T, Mataranka N.T, 3Ways,N.T then end at Camooweal QLD.

There was still a deep breath out on sunup and a sucked in one as the sun went down though. As well as practicing emergency stops from 130. You can never be too prepared.

The dietary preparation started 30 days out. No coffee, alcohol, cut out as much processed food as possible.

In spite of the very focussed, no nonsense effort that went into it, this ride was also a huge amount of fun and once the day was underway and the overall speed was held apace and the times were starting to converge on the tracking system into the allowable set limits, it was time to kick back, enjoy the day and let the kilometres roll off the back of the Triumph.

Before reading on, set yourself in this mind set where on one hand you are having almost to much fun but understanding that this was a very serious, highly focussed effort, where no quarter was given in regards to wasted time, where failure the second time around was not an option( the first run was aborted due to fatigue bought on by starting at the wrong time) unless by force majeure and mucking about had no place on this run, especially at the stops, the place we all lose out mostly. This was my mindset and had been for almost a year. I hope you enjoy the ride..

THE RUN TO THE START.

It was 2100km to the start at Camooweal, two easy days ride and so, on Saturday 6th November, after fitting a new rear tyre at my local tyre shop between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Queensland, I headed for the Logan Motorway, Toowoomba and points west. Dalby, Roma, Mitchell for a refuel, Morven, Tambo, Barcaldine and arrive at Longreach. The day was beautiful, one of those clear sky days with a real high light cloud cover that made shadows on the ground but did bugger all else and riding in that atmosphere was just one of the most pleasurable days you can have. Perfect for a warm up run, I couldn’t help but let the jet lag go( I had only arrived back in country 17 hours earlier), kick back and roll the day away.

Clint, a good mate who was riding along, had a headstart on me, we overnighted at Longreach and on Sunday headed nor’west for Cloncurry, our fuel stop for the day. Even with dodgy fuel pump delivery, we both managed under 5 minutes in and out.

It was an 850km jump, Longreach to Camooweal, the distance itself was nothing but the ride was magnificent after the constant rainfall with the country alive with all the trees and shrubs bursting with colour and the bird life abundant.

The almost perfect pre run had been run. We both arrived relaxed and calmly excited, prepared and focussed and ready to do this run again.

We set up camp at the Camooweal Hotel, a typical country pub with dinner plates the size of a 44 gallon drum lid, characters everywhere. The biggest bunch of characters were the Irishmen who were trying to explain how they came to roll their car earlier in the afternoon and only receive a few cuts, by gosh and begorrah... The Irish accent was so thick, they were the only two words I really understood and it was pretty funny watching them try to tell the story while still checking for broken bones and exhibiting the small cuts they accumulated etc..

Weeks earlier I had discussed with the hotel manager the need to access the Eftpos machine at 01:00. He must get some weird requests because this one hardly made him blink an eyelid and he was pretty enthusiastic once we were there in person and finalising the details.

My new driving lights hadn’t arrived, so Clint loaned me a set of 4” HID, the mounts needed a bit of modifying as the stud was to short for the mount. So out came the hacksaw and I lopped off 5mm of mount and a quick run out the road after dark to align them as well as scout out the beginning and all was well in our little world. To be honest, I was worried the lights wouldn’t be good enough after having the 7”55w HID’s for the last go, but the blast out to the border and back was enough to lay my fears to rest and Clint just gave me an I told you so look.

THE COUNTDOWN

7 hours to go. Run the Triumph down to the servo to fuel up, pull up at the bowser and all I could smell were brakes, real hot brakes. I looked at the piece of sh*t camper van beside and thought ‘ you dumb bastards, can’t you smell you’re on fire almost’. Then they left and I could still smell it and realised it was me..Ah no, not now...after fuelling, it was straight back to the camp, pulled off the right pannier and sure enough, things were hot. On cracking the bleed nipple on the calliper, a small spurt of brake fluid under pressure escaped and straight away the rocket was free rolling again. I knew what had happened, the return drilling in the master cylinder was blocked with something and there was only one way to fix it.

The master cylinder was removed and a bit of McGyver needed as the only tool not in the kit was a set of inside circlip pliers. With the help of a passing camper who gave me a couple of pop rivets, we made inside circlip removing tools out of a pair of pop rivets, a Leatherman and one flat blade screwdriver. I now have inside and outside circlip pliers in my kit.

There is an air compressor on board, we fired its 150 psi up and couldn’t blow the obstruction clear, so a piece of electrical cable was acquired, the insulation was stripped back and the copper wires became a wire brush so that between scrubbing in the recess and using one fine strand of wire in the drilling, the blockage was cleared, reassemble the whole lot and an hour later the brakes were bled and working. A quick test run and all the tools were packed away.

A simple meal of sausages and vege and then into bed, boom, lights out just like that, for a solid 4.5 hours sleep till the alarm went off at midnight zero 30, Monday 7th November.

HEADING SOUTH

The bar was empty, except for the three of us, Clint, Kris the manager and I. Right on 01:00 AEST, the EFTPOS spat out a receipt, I headed out the door, got on the already running Rocket and headed west, the groove was in place before even second gear was getting used.

Crossing the border into the territory, the pace was increased, a deep breath was taken and the focus was sharpened even more than it had been, if that’s possible.

The night sky above me was clear but way off to the north I could see sheet lightning, reds, yellows some blues and although focussed on the night ride, I couldn’t help but admire the colours and patterns and wonder just how much rain was coming down up there. Hopefully it wouldn’t interfere with me later in the day.

Little did I know...

Tennant Creek was the first stop( 3 min, 38 sec, 36litres) I arrived nerves intact as there had been no wildlife to see on the way, so after what must almost be the fastest fuel stop ever, the southern end of town speed signs were behind me, the rocket back on the pace and my thoughts turned to Alice Springs, the first of the U turns for the day. Storm clouds were building in front of the screen, my favourite farkle was going to get several changes that day I thought, the sun was on its way up with shadows starting to form off my right, first just a head, then a body and finally the wheels coming out of the tar to accompany me on the road south. My shadow accompanied me all day, moving forwards and backwards, taller and shorter as the road twisted and turned around the sun and the sun rose and fell around me.

One of the LD wisdoms is that once you are wet it is to late to put your wet weather gear on. The rain was coming, I could smell it, that clear, clean fresh smell that says, man we are gonna take a dump on you.. Pulled up, putting the wets on, worrying about lost time, then headed south again, 10 minutes later the sun came out..Ah well I thought I am not stopping again, I had just used up the sum total of my ride time buffer putting them on and was prepared to sweat it out for the next 18 hours rather than waste 5 unavailable minutes to take them off. That is how determined I was to ride the plan, time, speed, stops the lot. I did not want any variance from the plan I had burned into my brain.

25 kilometres north of Alice I ran into the longest, slowest zone for the day. This was painful, on paper I was prepared for it, on the road,,, hooo different story, but the pace was slowed to ride the plan. It hurt, the desire to wind the rocket up again was so severe I distracted myself from the slow pace by running through the stop sequence. 1 klick out, remove right glove and jam it under the Airhawk, 50 metres out, loosen the front fuel cap, 10 metres from the bowser engage neutral lower side stand, stop on the front brake only.

Off I got bowser on the left of me nozzle in the front tank filling it while the right hand removes the cap off the rear tank front tank full change hands left hand closing front tank right hand filling rear tank put the nozzle back in the bowser left hand closing rear tank all the time mumbling the milage under my breath into the servo pay cash write on the receipt stop thinking about the number start thinking about the startup and getting rolling again.( 4 min neat,37 litres)

HEADING NORTH

Outta there, back through the slow zone back on the pace heading for the Mobil in Tennant Creek.

An uneventful run, in beautiful weather, on empty roads, had me buzzing. The sheer joy of being on the road was overpowering. The country side is just beautiful at present and it had the feeling of riding through a botanical garden complete with bird aviary, there was that much colour around. The feeling that I was tantalisingly close today to finishing what had become totally engrossing was with me all day

All the while, the very serious side of doing the sums in my head, watching the time and managing my speed were ticking along as well.

Even with the wets on it was comfortable as the temp was only in the high 20’s.

I have music on board but rarely use it, today was no exception. Between doing the rolling maths in my head to make sure I was on time, watching the fuel burn to make sure that within a 10km range of empty fuel would be transferred from rear to front tank, making sure I rode in the predetermined range of minimum and maximum speeds, monitoring the overall and moving averages and making sure they stayed in the predetermined range, it was pretty busy on board. As well, it was almost impossible to ride slow enough to make the numbers the same as the plan, this ride, even now, had in my mind become doable by even the biggest sceptic.

Into Tennant Creek where a familiar figure in Clint( who would end up riding almost a thousand kilometres that day just to watch a refuel) was standing on the road edge. By now the trip was almost half over at 1454 km and as the fuelling up sequence started, I commented to Clint that I felt like what had been run was just a ride around the block, certainly didn’t feel like I had done almost an SS1600 before lunch. (4 min, 9 sec, 40 litres)

I was right in the zone. The place where extreme LD runs come together, no matter who’s riding it.

So with a half dozen muesli bars in the top pocket of the wet weather gear sticking out for easy access the wheels were rolling and the next stop was Mataranka. This was the longest leg at 567km, there was only two small villages to slow for, so for 4 and a bit hours the speed sat around the limit, all the while it was getting hotter and hotter. The cool weather of the morning was gone now, it was becoming uncomfortably warm and a little humid, the water in my hydration pack was also at ambient temp and as the day got hotter, so did the drinks. But by sipping slowly and steadily rather than sucking a whole bag at a time, I managed to keep myself reasonably comfortable.

A muesli bar died in the name of hunger, hhmm, that was good, so another met the same fate. Well that’s when the fun started, it was chocolate, had melted and when I pulled the skin off, I had chocolate all over my gloves it was all over my face as bits were coming off at 130 and after managing to chew down most of it, spent the next 10 minutes licking my gloves clean and wiping chocolate off my face like a 6 month old pup does.. I wished I had a car to bark at but had to settle for opening my mouth and getting the wind blown slobber lips look...hehehe.

40 km short of Mataranka with both tanks empty the engine coughed and died. This wasn’t one of those runs where you just let it roll to a stop. I came to a stop alright, but it was basically an emergency stop, wheels all but locked up, feathering the clutch, unpowered. The spare 10 litre jerry was loaded into the front tank and then it was back on and get back to speed.


30 km shy of Mataranka, roadworks. Damn, this wasn’t planned and it was at least a kilometre long.sh*t,sh*t,sh*t.

Me” how’s it going mate, is this going to take long”

Lollypop man” Hey man, I dunno, I’m just standing here holding this sign”

Cool, I think to myself, I am talking to the stonedest person I have met in years and he looks like he is enjoying himself.

Me” Eerr, mate, would you mind asking how long this delay will be, I need to keep moving” Explaining this was not something I wanted to attempt with this Einstein and all a sudden I was conscious just how hot wet weather gear was when stopped. Why do I have to learn this repeatedly I asked.

Lolly Pop man” yeah, I can do that, I’ll call on this radio”

Jesus, give me strength...

Lolly pop man” Eermm, ahhh, mumble, mumble mumble..over”

Radio” Yeah, once the ute has gone past let him through” all spoken at 100 mph.

Thanks I thought, he sounds like has taken a line, I ought to ring the feds, I know where this weeks supply of coke went this morning.

Lolly pop man” Hey man, when that truck goes through( he said pointing at the sky) you can go”..

So once the ute went past, I go’d...quickly, before I developed a drug habit..

The heat was still building along with the humidity, the temp gauge said 39 Celcius which was getting hot in the wet weather gear but I still didn’t feel that (1). I had the time to stop and take it off and( 2), that it wasn’t really hot enough to take it off. Plus I had been watching the roiling, boiling storm clouds moving west, coming in from my right as I headed north for hours. All that was done to increase the comfort level was to slide the zipper down a few inches to let the air flow around my neck. I even did it with the stripper music going in my head.

The servo in Mataranka is on the left coming up from the south, so a U turn was needed to get the bike facing in the right direction and have the bowser on my left. ( 6 min, 41 litres)

Fuelled in the usual pattern, also bought a cool drink, assessed the overall position. Over the last 2012 km I had built up a 15 minute buffer, built up through careful riding and speed and stop time management. The various cop and highway patrol cars I passed that day had all done nothing more than glance at me, so I knew that my original plan had been right on the money in all respects.

So I allowed myself a long break, had a walk around check of the tyres and a general look over, drank a cool drink and 6 minutes after stopping I was building speed and making time heading south.

SOUTH INTO THE STORM

The clouds I had seen when I started this ride north were now in front of me, I had ridden partially under them heading north. The wet is about to start and the sheet lightning is spectacular to behold. Daly Waters signs started to count down and by the time I went past them and the Birdum roadhouse I had decided that it was best to adjust the plan. Pulling up with the rain smell in my face, tipping the spare fuel into the front tank, making sure I was happy I could ride the next several hours in the worst of weather and got moving again focussed on the upcoming smashing I knew was coming. I hadn’t even hit top gear when I rode into the biggest, most violent wall of water I had ever experienced. Things got serious real quick, yeah bring it on motherf**ker, see if you can get me wet. The visibility disappeared shortly after that, time stopped meaning anything, all I could see were the lightning bolts turning the inside of my visor white although I couldn’t see 20 metres in front of me and the white lines were things that appeared out of the mist at the ends of the handlebars.

I don’t know how long I rode like that, or how far. All I know is that, although it was wet, if I was very, very careful I was going to make it through this. So I persevered, the mongrel we all have inside us uppermost now, the sceptre of a second aborted attempt was spurring me on and although it may sound as if I had thrown caution and reasonable sense out the window, sitting on the seat and riding on was the only option I was prepared to consider given that the rocket wasn’t sliding around under me and visibility varied from only awful to terrible.

Some time later, after watching the lightning in front of me, I popped out into a quiet zone. Cloudy, little wind, quiet, so quiet after the noise of the storm which was swirling around me in a big circle, I felt like I was in the eye, if storms have eyes. The weirdest part was that as soon as visibility improved, the rocket got one and was wound up again, with the rain coming at me horizontally from my 2 o’clock with no wind buffeting me. Go figure, I can’t.

The downside was now lightning bolts were in front of and behind me, big ones, far away, I couldn’t hear them, I couldn’t feel the shock of them, but the colours, wow wee. And long, they would come snaking out of the skies, strike, flash and arc for 10 or 15,20 seconds and then gone to be replaced miles away by another. I didn’t know whether to look forward or in the mirrors. Between the lightning bolts were what looked like upside down trees. Picture a tree, nude of leaves but heavy with limbs, branches and twigs. Turn it upside down with the roots uppermost and then have fire and sparks flying off the ends of them all. Veeerrryyy impressive. I didn’t slow down though,( the pace was back on the numbers, the overall was suffering but still in the right range), it was miles away and I still had a long way to go. Then there was the sheet lightning, great streaks that turned into fish hook shapes and had yellows and blues in them. The heat up there must be incredible I thought to myself.

I couldn’t help myself, I started singing” Nibble Nobbies nuts before Nobbies nuts get fried”. I was after all riding along on a 57 litre petrol bomb.

There was another wall of water in front of me and somewhere in it a little ute disappeared as I rode along assessing the situation. I slowed, the last thing I wanted to do was punch into it, I had done some quick calcs and was still on time, amazingly hadn’t lost enough time to damage the run although the averages had dropped a little bit.

Into the now vertical wall of rain once more, now with the water making riding slow, the wheels getting caught in it and the wets finally giving up the fight and in it seeped. Hhoooowwooo, thats cold on the balls..I must admit to enjoying the challenge thrown at me while on my own challenge.

The ute turned up in the spray and rain, so hanging back and staying a respectable distance behind, going past the Elliott speed signs, he turned off and once again I was on my own heading south.

In the end, the storm had been 152km from north to south.

ONWARD INTO THE FIRE

As suddenly as it started I blasted out the south side of the storm with nearly no warning. Surprisingly parched, I grabbed one of the drinking tubes, stuck it in my mouth and sucked got a nice cool drink that tasted wonderful.. Ahh, what a fridge that rain turned out to be as the drinks had gone from being tepid to freezing.

A quick look around me , the bike was fine, everything on it seemed to be still working, the HIDs had been turned on and now that is was dark were back on fulltime. The night weather was cool, although it was warmer than the rain and I could feel the wind drying me out a bit. Heading south towards Renner Springs, the damage from the lightning was becoming evident. There were seemingly thousands of hectares on fire, lines of fire stretched off to left and right and the water in the tabledrains proved the size of the deluge as they had been empty and dry hours earlier while riding north. I guess 10 minutes went by, fire on both sides of me, from small flames to proper bushfire stuff, big enough to warm me as I rolled past.

I had been slowly catching a set of tail lights, they turned into a Kombi van doing about 80 or 100kmh. It had the usual European tourist couple in it, they were illuminated with some sort of interior light and had that shocked, stunned look on the face as if they had just driven through a waterfall and ended up in a bushfire. I don’t think it helped their shock that in rolling past, I gave them a casual wave with the helmet open, I was drying out after all, in the dark, at 130 or so.

3 ways, the last of the 5 fuel stops for the day( 5 min,30 litres) arrived out of the dark as roadhouses do, a blaze of light in an otherwise dead dark night. This is one of those places you have to pay for the fuel before they turn the fuel on, I knew this from past experience, so run in, give them cash, back out, fuel up, back in for receipt and change and there was some young bloke at the counter talking about a motorbike racing around the N.T that day. I half listened and then he asked me if I knew about it. Nah mate, I don’t know anything about a race, but I did hear about a guy on a time trial type of run. Apparently he is on a big blue Triumph, I left it at that and legged it on my big blue Triumph, time was awastin’.

By now, with 400km to go, I relaxed, really relaxed, bones and muscles a little weary but filled with nervous excitement, comfortable in the knowledge that the likelihood of an animal strike was almost zero, the first thoughts that I was going to make it in time creeping into my mind, I was exhilarated and revelling in the ride, the bike was at speed again, I settled back for the last leg and then realised what I was doing. My focus was off, I certainly wasn’t riding prepped for a roo or a camel or a beast or anything.

A little bit of inventive swearing at myself and a lot of ‘ you dumb bastard, are you trying to throw this away, sit up straight and put your ride face back on’ had me back on the game, riding focussed and seriously as you should up there during the night legs of a run. Fatigue was not an issue at all on this ride, if I start at 01;00, a 24 hour run is an easy thing for me to do. Barkly Homestead went past, still on time, slow a little bit boyo, you are going to come in on time and you are not in a rush. Running the numbers in my head, slow down, you are just in front, slow it boyo. An ongoing message running all day like ticker tape across a movie theatre, ride the plan, you have loads of time..

Avon Downs and Ranken all went past, I crossed the border and then for the second time that day, I had to force myself to slow down. The last 13km from the border to the pub were hard, I was there, but I wasn’t, I was still in roo country, focus you dumb bugger, focus...

The town limit sign went by, I let the throttle go and as the Triumph that had carried me along all day slowed and stopped at the front door, I still didn’t let it go, I wasn’t finished. Off the bike, Clint my mate for this entire journey, my friend who had the belief in me to follow through and rode along with me on this whole journey, plus the concern for my wellbeing overall, shook my hand, run up the steps into the pub, reach for my card to swipe through the machine, aahhh noo, where’s that?!?!?!?! I searched all through my wallet, aahhh, no where have I left that!?!?!?!?

Kris the bar manager said, what this one? I had left it on the bar the night before... Just lucky the plan had always been to pay cash at every stop with $100 notes, even luckier I hadn’t needed the card. How easy it could all have come undone. One simple, stupid, dumb, careless, inattentive moment making this minute mistake and it could have been all over at the first fuel stop 20 hours earlier except for the bunch of notes I carried. I still shake my head about it.

The final figures were off compared to what I had planned. The plan had been to arrive between 00:54 and 00:58, I rolled in at 00:41.In other words, I was running 50 odd seconds an hour to quick. Overall speeds were off by 2 kmh, couldn’t ride slow enough to get them back on, so I stopped trying and just enjoyed the ride, the total stop time was planned to come between 25 and 30 minutes, it ended up at 31 minutes and a few seconds. Not that I was bothered to much, I had basically run the whole run off my speedo, doing speed corrections in my head and checking time that way as well.

What we are doing here isn’t a scientific experiment, maps and speedos and GPS’s and calculations on paper will always vary, I took it as a win.

In the end, it was 3034km, 23 hour, 41 minutes, 31 minutes total stop time included.

All in all, it was136hrs, 6900km or 50.7 kmh overall average. And about 4g in cash gone across both runs, but what a party!!

From the Rides List:

Bun Burner 3000K GOLD Finishers (3,000 kilometers in less than 24 hours):

Name Hometown Date Motorcycle Kilometers

Ian McPhee AUSTRALIA 11/08/10 Triumph Rocket III Touring 3,000+

* Please note, you must show your entire route used roadways with speed limits of at least 130 KPH
as of 2014, only Australia (Northern Terrritory), Germany and Texas have roads that qualify.