IBA Memorial Ride SS 1600 (A place of pilgrimage)

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
I like visiting Horricks Pass. I like the roads around the area and I like the way the light plays on the Hills and the Spencer Gulf. I first passed by this way in 2007, liked what I saw then and have continued to come back when I can. And with the annual Memorial Ride and gathering at the Pass I feel like it's become a place of Pilgrimage for me, a reason to ride and reflect, a touchstone on many of the Australian long distance rides that take one past this place called Horrocks Pass.

1:00 am Friday morning I’m up, dressed and fare welled out of the garage by the dog, I collect my receipt from the local ATM in the lightly falling rain and point the bike west to Dubbo.

Start docket

Ready to go!

Nothing to see initially apart from a few roos near Scrivener Dam and the armies of semis on my brief section of the Hume before I take the turnoff to Boorowa, where I stop to check the luggage straps and snap a photo.

Checking on the local wildlife in Boorowa NSW

The towns roll by in the dark, Cowra, Canowindra, Molong then Wellington. There are a few early workers and walkers out in Wellington. I ride into Dubbo on sunrise and grab my customary quick morning coffee from PK’s bakery then continue onto Narromine.

A quick roadside coffee in Dubbo NSW

Riding through Narromine memories of the last FarRally come back. I had ridden out to the airport to collect a bonus there. It was only 2015, amazing how time goes so quickly

Nevertire is next and the sun is out, still cold though.

Nevertire NSW

I don’t know it but Ox has left Newcastle about the same time I left Canberra and will be approx 45 minutes behind me from here on.

Next up is Nyngan for confirmation I’m now in the Outback, the daily chores and duties well and truly left behind.

Nyngan, finally in Outback NSW

I ride on to Cobar enjoying the bright morning sun, where I stop to shed a layer, change gloves and snap a photo.

Cobar NSW

On towards Broken Hill with a brief stop at Emmdale for a snack. Andrew the truckie loves the K1600 and has great delight in telling me (and the rest of the roadhouse) that I’m doing one of those Iron Butt thing rides. He rides a Beema also and we enjoy each others company for 15 minutes, talking bikes and trucks. He waves me off to Broken Hill.

Emmdale Roadhouse, NSW

Fuel up time at Broken Hill. I feel the rust has gone from my routine now and I’m in and out quickly and back on the road to Yunta. The miles role by, the songs play on the IPod and and I let my mind wander as it will. A perfect way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon.

Broken Hill colors red dirt & blue sky

From Yunta, it’s on towards Peterborough, then through Orooroo then Wilmington.

Yunta SA - the town that never closes

My last time through here was at 4:00 am, not a lot to see then, this afternoon the setting sun lights up the colors of the landscape. Beautiful.

Wilmington SA - i'll be back tomorrow!

Riding past the Wilmington Hotel I wave to Daisy and Reg who are relaxing on the Hotel veranda. On to Quorn, to collect my corner docket at the local IGA, who were just closing (great timing on my part!).

Quorn SA - corner docket time

And then in the gorgeous twilight I ride down the ranges into western Port Augusta to collect my finish receipt for the SS 1600.

I've just ridden 1619 kms for a relaxing Saddle Sore 1600. Not a bad way to spend a Friday off work!

Port Augusta (West) the end of the SS1600

It’s still early evening so I continue on west for a while, soaking up the stars and just enjoying the solitude of this section of the Eyre Highway. It's a beautiful evening out here.

Eventually I return to PA to grab a motel room for the night and celebrate the ride with some hot chips and a choc bar.

Celebration time! (a neat thing I learnt from Wombattle)

Its been a good day of riding through Outback NSW to get to Horrocks Pass. Before I fall asleep I decide to head into the Flinders Ranges in the morning before returning to Horrocks for the gathering of riders.