kwaka's - SS2000K and BB2500K Davo's Memorial Ride - 2010

kwaka

Premier Member
#1
Davo's Memorial Ride 4th September 2010. Horrock's Pass South Australia.
2,668kms/35hrs 25mins
Plan the ride, ride the plan, very apt words indeed.

"The Plan" can and should include a Plan B, C etc just in case things turn pear shaped. Plan A was to attack an SS2000K via this route. Plan B was to settle for a SS1600 instead of the SS2000K, Plan C was to double back at a set location, Plan D was to bail out altogether and this plan nearly eventuated after being virtually drowned on my way to Euston, NSW.

This ride was special in many ways for me, primarily because this would be a tribute ride to commemorate 12 months of life without Davo, many of his fellow FarRiders were making their way to Horrock’s Pass which was the meet point for the tribute. It was also extra special too as I had been fortunate enough to now be in the possession (with approval from Willow and Team Jones) of Davo’s auxiliary tank. This was only mounted on my bike a few weeks previously and so, for the first time I would attempt an IBA ride with a ‘back’ tank. It would be a ride of first's.

SS2000K
Due to the inclement weather that which would affect a great swathe of Australia and in particular, riders heading to the Pass; departure time was moved from 00:00hrs of the 4th Sept. to 22:00hrs on the 3rd Sept. After trying to get some shut eye I gave up, light drizzle started around 21:30hrs locally, greasy roads on the way to the servo for a start docket. Time stamp 22:38hrs. WHAT? Oh, that’s right, the Shell servo’s POS system is set to EST, kick off was actually 22:08hrs CST.

Head to what we call the Mildura Road, the drizzle had stopped and the road was quite dry. I could smell rain and at around 88kms into the ride lots of water on the road. Then the road heading south become greasy and I had quite a few klacker valve moments as the returning drizzle turned to rain, then downpours. The new Conti Road attacks didn't exactly inspire confidence but kept me upright and gripped when the going got dire.

Hard driving rain hit 140kms in to the ride, very wet conditions. Wentworth, Buronga and Gol Gol where, just to be on the safe side, scored a corner receipt to prove my route. From here to just short of Euston I was drowned, 2nd gear crawling pace virtually zero visibility, nearly pulled the plug (pun intended) on the ride.
This is where those mental demons rear their ugly heads. Do I abort or sally on forth? The decision not to abort was made all the more easier knowing full well that several of my fellow FarRiders would be riding in the same atrocious conditions. Each and every one of us, come hell or high water, would pull out all stops to make the meet at Horrock’s Pass and after all, this ride was to honour FarRider One. Soul stirring and motivational stuff indeed.

Besides, I’ve been around long enough to know that this deluge wouldn’t last forever; it could all be over in ten minutes or ten kilometres. The rain found its way into my left glove which started filling up, this was something new and by the time I got to Euston both gloves had water in them. At least the flooding rain lessened to driving rain and then to plain old vanilla flavoured rain.
By the time I arrived at Balranald for fuel, the rain had turned to a persistent drizzle. Here, I lost a stack of time. What should have been just a fuel stop turned into dramas. Firstly, I had trouble getting the filler cap back on the aux/back tank, lost easily 10mins before I got it secured. Getting the drowned gloves back on was a disaster, after struggling for another 10mins and only getting the right glove on, I abandoned any hope of getting my left hand into the left glove. Fortunately I was carrying a set of summer gloves and at least these were dry so put them on. I would lose 20mins with unplanned downtime.

Finally back attacking the plan, the rain came and went and diminished to a light drizzle but the wind started to pick up. With the wind blowing hard out of the N/NNE I started to wonder how this would affect fuel consumption. About 165kms from West Wyalong the sky to the east slowly started to change from the darkest shade of grey to a lighter shade. The rain started to increase and was soon coming in horizontally. Gloves soaked again.
West Wyalong for fuel in daylight, well, not really as it was a medium shade of grey. Still light drizzling rain but the wind has subsided. Heading north bound still plenty of water on the roads and the skies getting darker. I was hoping to make Cobar via Narromine without refuelling so was happy to sit on the Newell speed limit. Around Parkes the rain become heavier and the wind stronger, there goes a rider with yellow wet weather gear. Fellow FarRider I wondered?

Heavy driving rain again but this stops just before Narromine. Here I stop for a corner receipt where I hear the opposite of what I was hearing 12 months ago, too much rain!
The wind was blowing even harder now from the N/NNW and the rain comes and goes. By Nevertire it’s just a drizzle again but the winds are now trying to rip my head off. Neck wrenching stuff indeed! The creeks between Nyngan and Cobar are flowing, this is a first for me, the first couple of the creeks both running at 20cm, woohoo. The rest not so bad but the last one sent a bow wave onto my screen and over my head, wow.
Cobar for what should have been the last fuel stop before the Hill, off again in the last of the rain and about 60kms west of Cobar the road finally is dry. The winds seem to be even stronger now and my neck is getting a workout. The wind is NW as I find out later gusting up to 90kph. This doesn't bode well for fuel and to be on the safe side I fuel up again at Wilcannia.

Here I call Lee and let her know I'm about 2 hours away, she's already got a nice chicken stew on and will be ready for when I get home. Off again and that bloody wind is intent of reefing my head from my shoulders. Give me the rain not this howling wind any time. Broken Hill and again refuel at the Shell servo. Another first completed, using home as a way point on a LD ride, at 17:00hrs I walk in the front door to warmth, a hot meal and a 45 min kip on the Lazyboy.

Lee wakes me at 18:15hrs and I'm on the road again by 18:30. It's virtually dark as the clouds don't allow the sun to form a sunset. From my logistics I know I'll be short by a dozen or so kms for my SS2000K at Yunta. There I fuel up for the last time and make for Oodla Wirra. The wind has now dropped to a bearable level but the rain starts but its just brief showers. At the diner at Oodla Wirra I buy a Powerade and ask for a receipt. Bugger the time stamp on the receipt is 10.16? A whole hour ahead, what....?
“It's set to daylight saving time.” I'm told, “Sorry.” says the somewhat grumpy lady. Ok, even with daylight saving time I'm still in the time window. I'll get another receipt at Peterborough I fire up Kwakatoa and head for there. At Peterborough I park the bike at an ATM, get the docket and what......? 22.09hrs the time stamp is in EST! Oh well even in EST I'm still within the time window.

Back on the bike and as I leave Peterborough it's starts to get really cold, I crank the HotGrips up to full, again these haven't been off since I left home but the cold gets colder. At Orroroo I pull into a rest area and don my inner gloves and balaclava to take the edge of the icy weather. I also return a missed call from Muttley, I find out that Chicky is stuck at Burra because the wind had taken out the power and hence couldn't get fuel. Burra's not that far from Horrock's. He must be feeling a bit down I'd say, poor bugger.
Stevelr had also SMS'd me stating he had something for me. The anticipation grew even more now as I'm very close to Horrock's Pass. Wilmington comes and goes and the left turn that takes you up to the Pass. Into the Cairn lookout turn off and I see LED lights everywhere. It's dark and foggy but I find a spot to park. Immediately calls of Bazz and I'm shaking hands with many familiar FarRiders. I feel right at home! I try and say g'day to everyone and make my way to Ron's tent where he witnesses my IBA log. 2194Kms to the meet, yep nice little ride.

We wait for the last of the expected riders to arrive and very soon Russell and MichaelP arrive. Not long after we're ready for the official but informal tribute to our mate Davo. Russell begins the commemoration, some of us relate stories and memories about Davo, how he inspired with his infectious love of all things Far and Long Distance riding, how he made us feel special. Tackleberry read the FarRider One poem and to end we all gave Davo a very hearty three cheers.

Dark, cold and foggy.

Very soon Ron's tent was packed away, riders headed to Port Augusta, made their way to finish their ride or heading to where they had planned to be after the tribute. I had the opportunity to complete a BB2500K and as much as I felt good enough to head home then and there I and fzIan headed to the Gutta where we were to share a cabin with Russell. Russell was headed to Port Pirie and back so he could complete his SS1600K. Having a sleep was the wise thing to do as I had plenty of time to knock over the BB in the morning.

BB2500K
04:30hrs and the alarm wakes me. I'm up and at them and am filling the tanks just after 05:00hrs at the servo across the road from the Big4. The weather feels quite reasonable, no cloud and I'm looking forward to pleasant riding weather. On the outskirts of town Mr Plod is waiting but I don't give him cause to ask for a donation to the ball. Horrock's looks eerie and like the night before another first, I ride the Pass in the dark. Foggy at the highest part of the Pass and raining on the exit down into Wilmington and, that dreaded cold is back.


Orrorro to Peterborough the rain abates, after Peterborough and after the road works just past the railway line, I take some sun up pics. Oodla Wirra comes and goes, same with Yunta as the slight tailwind helps with fuel consumption. Mannahill, Olary, Cockburn, Thackaringa Hills and home again. I walk in at 09:15hrs and Lee is still in bed having her regular Sunday sleep in, bless her. I tell her I love her and that I still need to get my ending receipt and that I'll be back soon.

As I pull into the Shell servo yet again for my final docket, as I do it suddenly strikes me as to what I've achieved over the last 36hrs. Whew, what a ride but as the saying goes, a hard ride is a good ride, one to remember! This is living! This is Davo's legacy! What a fitting tribute to FarRider One!
 

Gatey

Premier Member
#2
I well remember reading and following the progress of this respectful meeting/gathering. A few weeks latter when the plaque was dedicated I looked at that spot under rain showers and thratening blue black skys and was very proud of all those who attended that first memorial. This place between the Augusta Hwy and Horrocks Hwy is a very special place.
Thanks for posting and re posting this article in a new site Bazz.
 

Rusjel

Premier Member
#5
Thanks for finding that Bazz, brings back great memories of the rain and wind that day. Yes, Davo would have approved of the degree of difficulty!

It was a special evening. I remember that the memorial I prepared was the skeleton upon which we shared their rememberences of Davo. You, Davo, Ghosty and Tack all made memorable contributions. I'll remember that night with pride for the way we remembered Davo and the wild weather, which eased as we gathered just made it more special.

Edit: as I think about this again, I recall how united we all were that night. Regardless of differences between some of us now, I was proud to share that night with everyone there.

Sharing the cabino with you and a great run back to Mildura with Ian just made the weekend better and better.

Would rather not have been facing surgery when I got home, but, rough with the smooth.

Just how Davo would have wanted it.
 
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kwaka

Premier Member
#7
Cheers all.
That was one very tough ride in more ways than one, just the way we like it. Big kudos to those that made the time, put in the effort and braved the elements to be there. Am so privileged and honoured to have been part of that "celebration". Who'd have thought way back then where this would lead.