IBA Muster 2018 - Ride In - SS1600 Two Up

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
What started as a plan for the Pillion Piglet to join me on the return ride home from Dalby eventually morphed into an inaugural Saddle Sore 1600 two up for the ride in. Once that was committed to work commitments meant planning around a departure time of no earlier than midday on Friday which eventually meant route selection was easy. A gentle detour of Sydney by way of Oberon, Bells Line and the Putty before re-joining the M1 at Newcastle for the night leg up to Coffs where a few hours’ sleep would be taken, before finishing it off with an easy 700km leg north past the Gold Coast and westward up through the ranges to Dalby.

It sounds so easy when you say it quickly….

predeparture on a warm autumn day

And so just before midday on Friday, on a warm autumn day in the Nation’s Capital I waited outside Bec’s work with a fully fuelled bike ready to go. Bec arrived on time looking slightly flustered and concerned that the starting receipt didn’t contain sufficient information. A quick discussion confirmed that and we made alternative plans to ride back to Deakin a few ks up the road to obtain another receipt. As luck would have it the local ATM in Deakin was closed but fortunately the local café came to the rescue, receipt checked and we were off!

The start receipt

The federal highway north was pretty easy in the bright sunshine and we made good time. I felt slightly odd in starting a Saddle Sore in the middle of the day but otherwise life was beautiful. We called in at the servo in Goulburn for choc milk and sandwich as neither of us had had lunch and things always feel better after food. Sure enough, things did indeed feel better and we enjoyed a glorious afternoon’s ride up through the hills to Oberon where we stopped to collect a corner receipt. Things were taking a tad long at the ATM and I suggest to Pillion Piglet we try somewhere else but she held fast and we were soon on our way. The right decision in the end as we would have wasted more time trying somewhere else for sure.

On our way after lunch in Goulburn

From Oberon we continued our ride north past Duckmaloi (enjoying the road and the view). Pillion Piglet fessed up that she was worried about how things were going at work and as her work phone was in the tank bag she couldn’t check her emails. I suggested we stop to deal with that distraction which was 5 minutes off the bike well spent. PP confirmed all had gone according to plan at work and I took the opportunity to inspect a local tree. Back on the bike and we re-joined the Western Highway to Mt Victoria before heading north to get onto Bells Line for Windsor. Now it’s been some time since I’ve been on Bells Line and downhill on a Friday afternoon was the best choice. Downhill with no traffic in late afternoon autumn sunshine made for a glorious ride, sure we had a few minutes of commuter hell in Richmond and Windsor but that paled into insignificance. We stopped briefly in Windsor to take a moment and ready ourselves for the ride up the Putty.

The view near Duckmaloi

Taking a moment before the night ride up the Putty

Back on the bike and heading north on the Putty, hardly any traffic going our way and we watched the final moments of sunset as we wound our way up to Colo Heights. Not too long after that we had our one surprise of the night, a horse grazing on the side of the road, untethered and unattended as we came around a corner! The horse barely looked at us we passed by so I guess it was accustomed to this. The stars came out, the music came on and it was just us alone on the Putty at night time. Grey Gums café came by with the fires of the campers soon receding into the darkness. Before too long we passed Milbrodale and onto Bulga where we stopped to have a leg stretch.

Sunset on the Putty

From here we made our way towards Newcastle, plenty of traffic now but that was to be expected on a Friday night. BP Beresfield was our next stop and while I fuelled up the tanks Bec went off to find food options for our dinner stop. There may have been some misunderstanding on my part on who was doing what, I fuelled the bike, entertained the servo attendant who was unsure that a bike could take that much fuel, returned to bike to clean lights etc and still no Bec. Anyway I parked the bike and went looking for my pillion, finding her waiting “patiently” for me as she needed a toilet stop. That sorted, food was consumed and we were back out on the road within our allotted time as we settled in for the ride up to Coffs.

And at the northern end of the Putty

The next few hours were uneventful, we watched the moon come up over the coast line while we made our way ever northwards. The M1 was in great shape with no major roadworks to speak of and we made great progress. At our last rest stop before Coffs I chose the dodgiest unlit rest stop ever, I could hear the banjos playing and riding past two shady looking characters in an unmarked ute with no lights on didn’t help. Needless to say this was a brief stop! Just before midnight we rode into Coffs, found our motel and room key, unpacked the bike, laid out our departure routine and took our scheduled 3 hours’ sleep stop. I slept like a log apart from being interrupted by Brookester tooting his horn as he went past at 1:00am…just kidding.

Sir there seems to be a problem with our pumps....it says you put 45 litres into your bike.....

Like any multi day ride the alarm went off way too early, or so it seems, but not too worry. I was up and into my usual routine while the Pillion Piglet slowly emerged from under the covers. Right on schedule we rode out on 4:00am, obtained a receipt and headed north. We had decided before we turned in to take a detour from our planned route and call into the Byron Bay lighthouse for a photo, then brekkie in town. I figured this was good practise for Buttlite, we had the time, we could reroute on the fly, take the photo and put ourselves under a slight amount of pressure. All went well other than me questioning the road we took after the off ramp to Byron Bay, which was really my coping mechanism to double and treble check the route calculations. As it turned out Google was right and Garmin was, well, Garmin. Nuff said. We were also disappointed to find the gates to the lighthouse still closed and locked, so that sufficed for a photo before we then went into town for a much needed pie and coffee. It also seemed like the whole population were out walking, running or surfing. They must be a healthy bunch of people!

Byron Bay Dreaming....gate closed!

Hmmm...pie & coffee for brekkie

Breakfast made things better, we then refuelled and made our way back to the M1 for the next leg up past the Gold Coast. Surprisingly traffic was light and we had no problems bypassing the GC and Brisbane, other than the compulsory slow do-gooders in the fast lane who insist on driving at 95km/hr. We took the correct turnoffs towards Ipswich/Toowomba and then again towards Esk. According to the GPS we had roughly 35 minutes up our sleeve to complete the SS1600 and we were very efficient in collecting corner receipts at Esk and Yarraman. Riding this section of QLD was a first for both of us and we really enjoyed it as the road climbed up and over the Dividing Range. Not too far from Wutul we came upon a house being moved on a truck, heading in our direction of course. This took some time to get past, which made me slightly fidgety about the remaining time but before too long we managed to find space to overtake. From here it was an easy and uneventful ride into Dalby in the late morning, straight to a servo to collect our finishing receipt. It was done! Well almost, we then rode straight around to the Muster where we checked in, completed and submitted our paperwork while saying hello to our fellow IBA riders. Mission accomplished I whisked Pillion Piglet away for a few hours’ sleep. I returned to socialise for a few hours before rousing my Pillion for dinner and the evening’s formal events.

Plenty of time....1623 km in 23.5 hrs

Well done to Pillion Piglet for achieving her first SS1600! 1,623 kms in 23.5 hours.

Satisfaction at a job well done

She did it and proved to herself she can do it. (I don’t know if she will be back for a repeat – I hope she does!) It was my first IBA ride with a pillion and also my first saddle sore where I broke it into two parts with a few hours’ sleep in the middle. Normally I start and finish on the same day so to do it with a pillion and with a different ride strategy gave me a whole new perspective on the time and distance challenge.

And it was great preparation for Buttlite IX in 12 or so weeks.
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Premier Member
What a great read Martin! Thanks for the report and the photos. Top effort with a first-time pillion over such a distance. Great to catch up at Dalby even if the chat was so brief. The ride home for you two was none too shabby either. a great practice weekend for the big adventure to come.
Congratulations to you both for this excellent ride and warmest wishes for the practice sessions ahead


Thanks for the write up Martin and keep up the great training you are both doing. Yep missing the photos as well.


Premier Member
Me three on the photos. Congratulations to you both!

The Muster is a true oddball of a ride, I still have trouble getting my head around the early afternoon kick off. Ed and I did a memorial ride that way one year and swore never to to it again, but here we are!

Great opportunity to throw in some twisty roads though, which you did!
Martin; She did it and proved to herself she can do it. (I don’t know if she will be back for a repeat – I hope she does!) :confused:

Oh yes she will, we'll keep her keen! :p

Congratulations Pillion Piglet on your 1st SS1600, little steps but once you've proved to yourself that you can do it and keep doing them they seem to become a little easier. Keep up the great work. Soooo good to see another Pillion out there.

Great preparation for Buttlite IX..... Go Team OzWi! :cool:


Premier Member
It's great to share the challenge with someone else. You chose well- she's obviously made of the right stuff.
The interwebby won't let me see the photos. Photo hosting is getting to be a pain in the derriere lately.
Well done with the fine timing.

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
It's great to share the challenge with someone else. You chose well- she's obviously made of the right stuff.
The interwebby won't let me see the photos. Photo hosting is getting to be a pain in the derriere lately.
Well done with the fine timing.
Thanks Biggles,

I've just re-posted the photos so hopefully they are now view-able by everyone.



Premier Member
Um... no pix, aw.... but congrats to the both of you on your achievements. Having a break in the middle AND riding 2up presents a whole lot of different challenges and at times, hurdles to overcome. Well done you two and welcome to the world of 2up LD riding! ;)