H2H2HI

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#1
Heaven to Hell to Heaven

Wombattle and I knocked the H2H ride off a few months ago and discussed the enormity and complexity of a potential H2H2H ride. The first leg is not just a SS1600 with an additional 250 kilometres tacked onto it. It encompasses some of Australia's finest motorcycling roads with sweepers that grind foot pegs as you start the journey through the Snowy Mountains, travelling through majestic towns, long plains and remote areas with hundreds of kilometres of bulldust and corrugations to Lake Eyre. If that’s not enough, you do it all again in reverse.

The ride offers opportunities to hone riding skills. Passing through some of the most kangaroo infested areas within Australia whilst dodging wombats, foxes, wild horses, deer whilst rabbits pose little to no threat.

After some planning, an opportunity arose giving me a small window to have a crack at the complete trip. I had a plan, checked the numbers and everything balanced but it was going to be tight. I rang Wombattle and asked if he would like to join me and give it a go as I knew it was on his bucket list. After brief discussions, slight adjustment to my start date, it was a goer. Wombattle said he'd have a look and send a plan through for perusal, his plan arrived shortly after. It differed slightly but I liked it, he included some roads that I had never ridden before so thought I’d give it a go. I raised a concern regarding my ride fitness, I haven't done many long rides for a few months, Wombattle being Wombattle played it down saying it would come back and not to worry.

We chatted, confirmed the plan and the date was set following the IBA Muster. It just happened the Muster was an ideal training ride for me. I met Hagar at Yass and we rode together to the Muster. What Hagar didn't realise, this was a prep ride for me. I was pushing him gently and it got to the point where Hagar was setting a blistering pace and was riding at 2,000 pace, thanks mate. The return ride after the Muster of 700 odd kilometres into Dubbo including a fuel stop, quick snack was completed in just over 7 hours; I felt everything was in synergy again.

Work was demanding; I was putting in long hours as I had numerous trainees that required ongoing preceptoring. I implemented additional work hours allowing me the time for the ride. I received a message a few days out from the ride, (I missed the phone call) saying Wombattle was devastated, but had to pull out! I was numb and called him, bugger, unforeseen circumstances, I was of two minds if I should continue the ride.

I serviced the bike the previous week, it had new brake pads and was partially packed, ready to go and was waiting patiently in the garage. I packed light including; tools with emphasis on puncture gear, spare levers and a gear change linkage. I was happy with the setup, lighting was appropriate for the ride and everything had been extensively tested previously.

Unlike other 'unusual rides I attempt', I hadn't shared the risks unique to this one. I am travelling in remote areas alone, no backup, pushing the boundaries off fatigue and machine with abundant wildlife. I would be pushing the envelope by riding around the clock. Lake Eyre as much of that country has no mobile phone coverage. Due to the remoteness, not many vehicles travel the route especially after dark as wildlife is abundant and if misadventure was to occur; unless the spot could be activated you would not be found until the following day at the earliest.

TRANSPORT LEG

I finished work earlier than usual allowing ample time to complete the transport leg arriving at my commencement point. My actual transport leg was later than expected; I recalculated fuel strategies for my commencement and fuelled at Cooma. If needed, I had the potential to ride non-stop in excess of 750 kilometres, IBA rules cap maximum non-stop distances to 600 kilometres addressing fatigue issues.

This six hour transport leg to the starting point is shorter than my longest of 2,500 kilometres. All I focused on was getting to the starting point safely. To my dismay, just past Jindabyne East, major roadworks were occurring and traffic flow was non-existent for approximately 10 minutes.

That night I 'roughed it' a Perisher Valley, I had a sound three and a half hours deep sleep in my sleeping bag camped on a concrete footpath out of the wind. I woke at the sound of the alarm, stretched and crawled out of the warmth of the sleeping bag. It was cool; sky crystal clear, air crisp with a new moon presenting. What a great day to commence a this ride. I turned on my torch and packed my sleeping bag into a dustproof bag, mounted it on my auxiliary fuel cell and was off within minutes. I departed as planned and arrived at Charlotte Pass just before 01:30, my designated commencement time. My mind was buzzing as it does before many rides,

FIRST LEG

I remained focused ensuring I'd adhere to all ride rules specific to this ride ensuring validity. I didn’t want to stuff it up. Many a rider has been caught not researching the rules thoroughly and having a grasp of them before commencement of their ride.

Photos taken, confirming with me in front of the Charlotte Pass sign, bike speedo and 'Spot' tracker triggered a few minutes after 01:30hrs and I was ready to go, I was off on the downward run into Jindabyne.


Start at Charlotte Pass

The air was brisk as I weaved through Perisher Valley downwards through the mountains towards Jindabyne. As I approached the Kosciusko Park information station approximately a dozen Kangaroos were feeding on their front lawn posing no threat, a kilometre further two deer darted across the roadway posing no threat.

I arrive at Jindabyne for a docket at 02:01hrs take a photo of the receipt in front of the speedo; I am buzzing eager to continue as I pull away from the shopping centre.

I passed over the dam wall, several roadworks signs reflecting what I already knew from the night before reflecting there were potential delays ahead due to roadworks. Yes I knew it; I scored my first delay at a red light. I pull the camera out and snap a shot whilst I wait impatiently for it to change.


First delay

I turn left at Berridale and weave through kangaroo and wombat infested areas as I dart along the narrow isolated road to Adaminaby. The original Adaminaby Township was flooded and is deep under Lake Eucumbene when the Snowy Mountains Scheme was developed last century. Parts of the town were relocated to its current site prior to the area being flooding.

Kiandra appears in the distance, again heaps of history. Once a thriving gold rush town with over 25 stores, 14 pubs and boasting a population exceeding 15,000 in the 1860’s now boasting only a couple of buildings. Visiting the old cemetery is a real eye opener however it is tricky to locate.

The run down Talbingo Mountain is exhilarating, I didn’t have much time to think about the ‘killing fields’ that lay ahead and I throw the bike from side to side weaving my way down the mountain. Once at the bottom I dread the run into Tumut. Historically hundreds and hundreds of kangaroos vacate this area, it is nestled in the Kosciusko National Park and they have no predators, except the occasional motorcyclist and motor vehicle. The road meanders adjacent to Blowering dam, water on one side and majestic mountains on the other. To my surprise only a few kangaroos posed any threat, however the hills are moving with wildlife as the lights pass over them.

I pass Tumut, meander my way out of Adelong and arrive at Gumly Gumly approximately an hour ahead of schedule. I complete a blistering refuel; consume chocolate milk whilst the console operator asks about riding as he was studying for his bike licence. I put my gloves on and press the starter when he runs over saying he forgot to charge me for the fuel. I check the receipt and yep, I was only charged for the milk. I dismount go inside to pay and am now third in the queue. I just burned six minutes! He was apologetic, what can I say it’s no good going off as it’s done, it will only upset me and I moved on. I’ll never that time back I thought as I headed off towards Buronga.


My travelling companion

The S10 sits happily on the speed limit as the sun starts to rise, the miles just roll on. I lost count of the caravans I passed; they were everywhere travelling well under the posted speed limit. I arrive at Buronga, refuel and add an additional 10 litres into the auxiliary tank for the next leg. I’m off again and the run into Port Augusta was event free arriving well ahead of schedule. This was my scheduled meal stop and I ordered a hamburger and small portion of chips, ducked outside and washed my visor, lights, refilled my camel back ready for the next leg.

As I head off, I notice a backlog of traffic as I head over the bridge, an MVA caused some traffic chaos, I was forced to do a ‘U’ turn, backtrack then got around the accident. I turn right on the Stuart Hwy and head towards Roxby Downs some 254 kilometres away. The ‘B’ triples start appearing, they can be a little tricky passing as they are 36.5 metres long (three trailers) and have enough horsepower to easily sit on the speed limit, weigh approximately 100 metric tonnes when fully loaded. Often you can experience wind shear or severe buffering. It is important to pass them efficiently and quickly.


Potential IBA Motel


Woomera

My next scheduled stop is Roxby Downs, I was looking forward to it as I had never been here before. I experienced some magnificent scenery, what an awesome experience, things were running well, my mind clear and hadn’t needed the GPS’s as I had experience an auxiliary power issue some hundreds of kilometres previously. I could not believe how huge this place is, I stereo-typed it as a small village with a few hundred people, how wrong I was. As I refuelled a guy approached me and said, ‘hi, I’m Dave’. He starts to chat about the Super Tenere and the auxiliary fuel cell. He is a contractor from Adelaide that works in Roxby Downs, owns a S10 and was interested in participating on the ‘Tenere Tragic’s’ ride. I fill both tanks to capacity as my next scheduled fuel stop is Peterborough that encompassed a couple hundred kilometres of dirt road that will no doubt burn additional fuel.

I leave Roxby Downs and head towards Borefield Rd; I stop and give my mate a call confirming the turn off location. I chatted for a few minutes to Wombattle and he reassured me that I was pointed in the right direction. Occasionally self-doubt creeps in; my mind can play some serious games causing self-doubt during the ride. I needed reassurance regarding confirmation of the turnoff as I had no auxiliary power to double/triple confirm my location.

Borefield Rd was wide, freshly graded and mild to moderate corrugations. Wildlife was sparse with an occasional kangaroo causing a ‘pucker’ moment. The lights on the S10 are more than adequate, however it doesn’t matter how much light you have the light just doesn’t seem to reflect rather is absorbed by the dirt. The roadway altered in texture from bulldust, light/heavy corrugations, covered in marbles to slick smooth that ran for hundreds of metres at a time. I was well ahead of schedule and didn’t want to push my luck and sat between 80-100 kph. I’m not going to get into a tyre pressure debate however I didn’t deflate my tyres during this leg rather accepted the altered handling characteristics with the higher tyre pressure. I can assure you it is quite exhilarating when at cruising speed the bike is drifting back and forth across the unsealed roadway. The trickiest sections experienced are where when you ride within the tyre tracks that were formed during the last rain. I stood for the majority of the dirt section as I had better control of the bike. The trade-off being my right shoulder pained the entire section as I am still waiting for surgery following a previous ‘off’.

It was dark, isolated and I hadn’t past a vehicle since hitting the dirt. I had travelled approximately 100 kilometres and started to doubt that I was on the right track. No phone a friend here as there is no mobile coverage for hundreds of kilometres. Fatigue is an interesting animal that we all have to manage; it cannot be ignored in this extreme sport of ours. I have reasonable experience in managing it and understand how it affects my body and I have strategies allowing me to manage it. This ride had been fairly straightforward to this point, the lack of traffic, isolation and intense concentration was my issue now. I started to self-doubt the road I was on, was it the correct one even though I knew it couldn’t be anything else. I double checked distances and trusted the maths. Almost exactly to the kilometre I arrived at the Oodnadatta track and headed west towards Lake Eyre. I was buzzing with excitement as I approached Lake Eyre; it is the half-way check point. This has been an absolutely fantastic ride.

It’s dark, dusty and isolated as I park the bike on its side stand to take the appropriate photos and activate the Spot tracker. I had just completed over 1,850 kilometres in under 24hrs. Out of nowhere a ring tailed possum approaches me, no doubt looking for food, all I could share is a protein bar that it grabbed and ran away.


Halfway mark


Won't get a nose bleed here


RETURN LEG

I headed off on the homeward run towards Marree for a docket, riding on familiar terrain now. I had ridden this section numerous times over the last year or so and felt confident and increased my speed. What I had not previously experienced is orange flags located in the middle of the roadway indicating hazards.


Little challengers

What a shocker, these really increased the pulse rate when approached at speed. It didn’t take long to realise that they were mainly located in the middle of the roadway, I just rode towards the side minimising risk of running into them unexpectedly. I was lucky and didn’t see any cattle just a steady movement of Kangaroos across the countryside.

I arrived at Marree at 23:11hrs (est), ahead of schedule and in excellent mental and physical shape. I activated the Spot tracker and entered via the back door of the Hotel. I approached the ATM machine and entered my card, an error message presented on the terminal screen. Well, the ATM was not working, a receipt was not available. Marree is a village with a general store, pub and a handful of houses. At this time of night nothing is open and no one is every around, for some reason everyone is in bed sleeping. I worked around this issue by taking a photo of the ATM and another of me in front of the ATM with well-known pictures behind me on the wall. I wasn’t tired, had enough fuel to make it to Peterborough and decided to continue until I felt the need to rest or find a suitable location for a kip.

A change in weather was felt, I could feel the different in barometric pressure and clouds started building up. As I rode out of Marree the road is sealed, Lyndhurst is approximately 75 kilometres away. A few minutes later it started raining; it only continued for 20 minutes, just enough to make the road greasy and decreasing visibility. I arrived at Lyndhurst at about 01:00hrs and decided to call it a night for a few hours. I set up my sleeping bag adjacent to a picnic table on the cement ground in preference to the aluminium table top.

I woke to horrific noises and realised that it was a mixture of rain and hail hitting the rest area roof. I thought to myself, still half asleep ‘that’s not my problem’; I’m dry and went right back into deep sleep. I woke a little later without the aid of the alarm; I was ready to go. I’d been asleep for almost 3.5 hours, packed the bike and was off again in light rain. I’m very fortunate where I can operate comfortably on four hours sleep on multi day rides.

As I left Lyndhurst, the kangaroos were everywhere. They were drinking from the smooth bitumen on the roadway. I reduced my speed substantially as I swerved through them for seemed eternity. I became a little cocky increasing my speed and ‘knocking’ a few as they moved around. I had to readjust my driving lights twice as they were knocked out of alignment. Numerous kangaroos brushed against the bike as I passed them and on one occasion I ran over a leg of one of them as it skidded and fell over attempting to avoid me.

I increased my tempo being mindful that my fuel situation was static, if I needed fuel at Hawker I would loose at least one hour waiting for the service station to open. I backed off slightly ensuring I had enough fuel to make Peterborough. Passing through Hawker, the kangaroo situation seemed to have eased substantially, then bang, one came out of nowhere and crashed into the front wheel displacing the mud guard. I pulled over, re-seated the guard, readjusted the driving light and was off again. I’m really over hitting Kangaroos. My last major strike caused $22,600 damage and wrote the bike off. At least the S10 has less plastic.

Approximately 15 kilometres short of Orroroo, I pulled over and had to rest. The last few hundred kilometres of riding amongst kangaroos payed its toll, I was unable to complete my self-assessment fatigue activities appropriately. I nestled myself against Wicked Kate, had a power nap and slept for approximately 15 minutes. I awoke without an alarm and was ready, re-focused for the run into Peterborough.

I arrived in Peterborough at 07:06hrs and dumped 44 litres of fuel into the tanks ready for the next leg encompassing approximately 582 kilometres of riding.

A few hours into the ride the traffic had stopped; I filtered towards the front and spoke to a police officer. The road was closed following an accident. I was re-directed towards a detour that added about 35 kilometres to the leg; quick calculations showed I had more than enough fuel to cover the additional distance.


Detour, what next

By the time I refuelled at Balranald it was starting to warm up. I was well ahead of schedule and the plan was working. I felt great and had one more fuel stop before arriving at my destination. Riding along the plains was event free however I noticed that both heavy and light traffic had substantially increased, I made it into Wagga Wagga for my last scheduled fuel stop. I added 24.22 litres of fuel into the tanks calculating this was enough to get me to Charlotte’s and back to Jindabyne.

The run out of Wagga Wagga was slow, heavy traffic had slowed my pace substantially until I reached the Hume Hwy.

The Adelong turnoff approached fast on my right, I took the turn directly behind three cars and a van. This is the shortest route through to Tumut however this was a bad call today. It was slow until I got to the overtaking lane on the other side of Adelong when things pick up a little.

I passed through Tumut, maintained the pace through the ‘Killing Fields’ dodging kangaroos and carcases peppering both sides of the roadway. Warning signs indicated both kangaroo and emu hazards, however I have never seen an emu in the national park.

Riding up Talbingo Mountain is always a buzz, much prefer going up than down especially at night. Rain must have fallen earlier in the evening as the roadway was damp in areas but I kept the power on around the six kilometres of non-stop sharp corners. I hit the top and increased my pace to the speed limit and hammered it on. I slowed as I approached Kiandra and almost immediately the heavens open up and visibility was reduced to approximately 50 metres. I backed off, too late now to close zippers and place waterproof pants on as I was completely soaked. This reminded me when I was riding on the north island in New Zealand with Wombattle. Bang, another kangaroo hits the front of the bike, this is becoming monotonous, everything looks roughly straight and I continue with my visor partially up as visibility is poor as the rain splatters on the visor.

Adaminaby approaches, I’m not tempted to stop for a photo opportunity of the ‘big trout’. It’s just too miserable. A few kilometres further I turn right towards Berridale, the kangaroos are replaced by wombats. Joey’s look cute, don’t be fooled that are all muscle and when an adults appear they need to be avoided at all costs if the rider wants to remain upright. The key, pass them from behind as there on a mission and usually continue straight forward.

Rain is still pelting down; I turn onto the Kosciusko Hwy and am on the final run. As I pass through Jindabyne East four deer are seen scrambling up the near vertical cut-outs and a hundred metres further there’s the buck. Not to be disappointed I hit a red light again at the roadworks.

I arrive Jindabyne, ride up the stairs under the awning near the ATM just to get out of the rain and wind. Obtain the mandatory docket, take a photo and off again. The weather was miserable to say the least, I was thinking twice of the second leg and really not looking forward to it. If this was winter, I knew it would be impassable at the top.

The wind gusts and rain intensified. I was riding with the visor open as the rain hit with such force that the visor continually had a film of water making visibility zero. The rain burned my face and eyes, people that know me know I don’t give up easily. I passed the Kosciusko pay booths, just after that point I never got out of second gear! The bike was blown all over the roadway. It is the worst riding conditions I have ever experience and thought the ride should be called, ‘Heaven to Hell to HELL Insanity’. I passed Perisher Valley, the winds intensified and I really had doubts that I could make it to the summit. This was stupidly; I could smell the peak as I had been there countless time previously having worked in the area for many years. The last hill was challenging, I was in first gear, I wasn’t going to let it beat me; I was cold and didn’t even think about being wet.

I finally arrive at Charlotte Pass, visibility is about twenty metres, it’s raining horizontally, high winds and gusts are making it very difficult walk. It’s impossible to get a photo with the end receipt next to the bikes speedo, it is just too windy. I look at the GPS and observe that I had ridden 3,767 kilometres in under 48hrs.

It took what seemed eternity when I tried to get the bike off the side stand, the winds made this extremely difficult. My plan was to spend the night at Jindabyne. I passed through Perisher again and not much further realised that was not going to happen and I needed to find shelter urgently for my own safety as these conditions were starting to pay a toll on me.

Back home again

I attempt to ride down the mountain however the conditions are worsening and I have a fear of being blown completely off the road. I struggle and realise it’s impossible to get back to Jindabyne so I inch my way to the ranger park check-in and set camp up in the pay-lane out of the rain. I approached the Kosciusko pay booths, crossed the lanes and entered on the far side. Set the bike up as a wind break, set my ground sheet and ‘light weight’ sleeping bag on the cement driveway and changed into dry clothes. I placed my boots and other wind breaking items to reduce the wind that would blow over me during the night. The protein bars never tasted so good! I rang home and Jo gave me the report, not looking good. I had a window just after 06:00hrs to leave when conditions would be favourable.

I can sleep anywhere but this was far from my favourite, I woke after a couple of hours, I was cold, real cold with non-stop shivering. I knew I would be in trouble unless I can stop this cycle. I added more insulation to my body and went off to sleep again and woke about 05:30hrs. The rain ceased, wind palatable, what a great day for a ride!


Staying out of the storm

Next morning I am presented with a lovely morning, I head off reminiscing on the ride homeward planning my next adventure


A brand new day

Edit: Hyperlinks
 
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Brookester

Premier Member
#2
Sheer madness...but hey you managed it well and made it home safely....would love to see the SPOT track & some of your pics at the end don't show???
 
#5
What an amazing ride. Congratulations on completing it and finishing it safely. Your rides certainly do push the boundaries along with inspiring me to push myself to try more challenging rides.
Thanks for sharing it and look forward to some more photos.
 

Nico

Well-known Member. Moderator
#6
Karl, mate... that is one hell of a ride in tough extreme conditions!
Thanks for the excellent report - I have never seen you so descriptive and colourful in your language.
H to H ... then back to back ... sheesh!! Are you sure you are a mortal?
I'm interested on your take on the comparative conditions of the Borefield Rd vs the Outback Hwy (Marree to Lyndhurst)
Just curious...

Well done mate, and can't wait for the next extreme adventure.
 

Gatey

Premier Member
#9
It was an absolute privilege for me to watch your spot unfold to me an historical ride mate.
I had no idea the expidition had reduced to one of you till we spoke after the event. Always another day for this ride Craig Im sure.
You are I'm sure quite crazy mate in a very wonderful way.
Thanks for sharing this ride report. Thanks to for sharing how these things are done.
 

HACKLE

Well-Known Member
#11
Previously I dip me lid for rides like this, [well not exactly like this]. But this time I consulted the operation manual, and I think I'll just remove the upper portion of my cranium and dip that. Words are hard to find. What a ride. What a read. What an ending. Congratulations.
 

Tele

Premier Member
#12
I'm speechless :eek::eek:. Utterly amazing effort in extreme conditions. You are like some super-dude out of the Marvel Comics series. They will make a movie of you next :D:D Wonderful ride and fantastic report Karl.
 

sixty6north

Well-Known Member
#13
Karl, you are such a nutter :p:p:p - but what an incredible ride.

Looking forward to a ride when I get back from holidays - maybe we can finish off that back road from Hill End to Orange - you can go in front and clear the roos for us haha
 

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#14
. . .
I'm interested on your take on the comparative conditions of the Borefield Rd vs the Outback Hwy (Marree to Lyndhurst)
Just curious...

Well done mate, and can't wait for the next extreme adventure.
I'm a creature of habit and prefer the 'Outback Hwy' mainly because I have travelled it several times and am familiar with it. To be honest, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. They are both in the middle of nowhere :) I will be commence prepping my 'sacrificial lamb' next week for the next ride ;)


Well done Karl, amazing ride. Like the Roxby-Lake Eyre-Marree option.

How did the Heidis hold up?
Made the transition to Mitas E07 earlier this year after speaking to 'Jeff the Chef' as I was a little uncomfortable with the aquaplaning I experience with the K60's. The E07's appear to give the same mileage as the K60's, and the only downside being the front tyre is friggin noisy, but I'm deaf anyway. I'm that happy in fact that I have two spare sets in the garage for next month o_O


. . .

Looking forward to a ride when I get back from holidays - maybe we can finish off that back road from Hill End to Orange - you can go in front and clear the roos for us haha
Love that day ride, I'm in, would prefer if we used different bait to attract the roos :p
 

Skidoo

Administrator
Premier Member
#20
And the bar is lifted.
Well done nut job.

Buy an exped mattress
I've got one and used it a few times, spent more time plugging the holes than sleeping even when I used a ground sheet :mad:

I usually have a good sleep on the ground unless it's; cold, wet . . . or hard :)