Centreline 24 Attempt - 15 March

Dan Simmonds

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much guys and gals....

I dare say this one was on the teetering edge of being (almost) as hard as the 100ccc last month. I think mentally at least it was harder, because I kept knowing I had to be even more keen to maintain the GPS average I needed.

Made it into Pt. Augusta with about 1/2 hour to spare this morning, and got a good receipt, after remembering to fill my 10L jerry can from my right pannier.

Traveling at higher N.T. speeds, I was burning fuel much faster than I was accustomed to on the 100ccc, and actually needed the jerry can to support the distance of an unexpected leg where I didn't think it would be needed (Tennant Creek to Alice Springs). This had me concerned I would have to actually locate and buy a 2nd jerry can (5L or another 10L) for the long leg that I knew would require my existing 10L. But crunching the numbers in my head over and over (and over) I realized I could make the last 543km leg with what I had. And no dramas at all with that actually happening.

Yes, I had a bit of a late start, as I wound up at Monsoon's tavern in Darwin on Thursday night for a lovely Barramundi dinner. Low and behold Thursday night is 'Ladies Night' at the Monsoon, and while it wasn't a big night, I am thoroughly guilty of staying a bit longer than expected, and all for very good reason.........I was half expecting Gus to show up from Perth and join me :)

I took very few photos this time (I didn't want to burn the time doing so). Below is the departing photo from 37 Daly Street in Darwin. Half the pump lanes were closed. The truckie (parked behind me) delivering fuel saw me walk out (after I had already gotten my start receipt), and clearly with time on his hands waiting for his tanker to empty, began to talk to me about his time touring Nevada and Utah!! He was most enthused about my bike and the trip, and I was quite happy to chat for a few minutes, even though it delayed the start a bit more still. It was really good to chat with him as it brightened the start of what was going be a very long day.

The further I worked south, the slower things got in terms of lines at the petrol stations inside. It became quite frustrating by the time I got to Katherine, Elliott and especially Alice, as 6-8 Aboriginals were inside in a "line" without a care in the world who was behind them, and clearly with no place important to be. I waited patiently for my turn to pay and get a receipt, and then RUN back to the bike to get going. This extra wait was wearing on my nerves.

Very little drama with cows, which I was most worried about. Roos got bad the instant I jumped back on the Stuart from Coober Pedy. I thought I was in the clear, then all of a sudden it was like a kangaroo family reunion taking place on the Stuart Highway. I pulled the speed back, but I knew I was paying the price in doing so by means of lost time. Coober to Pimba was nearly wall to wall roos. Some close calls but no strikes (I probably need new brake pads now after that stretch of road....)

3,000km in 24? Tabledrain earned that one for sure, and I would need a much more efficient & better outfitted bike before even considering that one. But the future is long...perhaps one day.

Cheers from the Crossroads Motel in Port Augusta.