Nico's Memorial Tribute to TOURA


Well-known Member. Moderator
TOURA Memorial Ride
Ever since Davo (IBA Member David Jones and Founder of FarRiders) passed away while competing in the Iron Butt Rally in 2009, a very good friend of ours has been instrumental in retaining and highlighting the legacy that Davo leaves.

This good mate is Pat McClean, aka TOURA, FarRider #178, IBA Member #49588.

Pat passed away in April this year from brain cancer.

By now all members should be aware of the annual Memorial Rides that take place around Australia, with focus the last several years being a Memorial Ride and Service held at the site of Davo’s Memorial Plaque, near Wilmington SA, on the second Saturday of September.

Last year I took over from Pat as coordinator of the event as he was too ill to attend. I continue to do this in honour of Davo, and now Pat.

Last year when the news of Pat’s illness came to light, it was just before this event.
I went to Sydney and caught up with Pat immediately after his first round of surgery.
I started my Memorial Ride from there, with Pat very proudly signing off as my starting witness.

This year, still with a heavy heart at losing my mate, I thought I would pay tribute to him again.

This time with my riding.

So here is my report.

This year, same as the previous few years, it was a 1600km ride that I had planned.
Due to difficulties that I still face, mainly with chronic pain, I do not travel well with multiple really big days, so my plan was to complete the ride before heading over to Wilmington for the Memorial weekend.
So plan hatched, I headed off from Waurn Ponds (my local BP24) around 4.20am on Monday 5th.

It was a pretty easy run along the Geelong Road/Princes Freeway/M1, with my first stop being up the Hume at Tallarook Caltex North bound.

Fuel and receipt – “T” done.

With the sun rising behind me as I headed past Puckapunyal Army Camp (some memories there!) it was then a long haul through Bendigo, along the Calder Hwy, through Charlton, Seal Lake and into Ouyen. I sputtered in to the Caltex station with a virtually empty tank at a pretty good 411km!
(I was carrying 5L of fuel – so no sweat!)

Fuel and receipt – “O” done

From there it was back along the Calder, stopped for a photo at Nandaly: this is the only sign I can ever recall seeing that expressed a distance as a fraction!

Then turning at Sea Lake, headed ultimately into Ultima.
The lovely lady at the local General Store/Post Office was very helpful, telling me that the shop receipt only had her name on it, so she walked 5 steps to the next counter and I purchased my bottle of ginger beer at the Post Office! Nice.

Drink and receipt – “U” done.

Just out of Ultima, stopped for a shot at Lake Boga, which was the site of the Catalina Flying Boat Repair Depot during the WWII.

Continued on, crossing into NSW then via Deniliquin (fuel), Berrigan, Corowa, again crossing back over the Murray into Rutherglen Vic.

Drink and receipt at the Shell servo – “R” done
Time for a snap : (yes I can vouch for much good port in Rutherglen...the home of good port!)

From here with the sun getting low in the sky, I chose to stay on the Hume, with the sun setting around Broadford, all the way to the Metro Ring Road and go West through Melton, as it was at night, and going via Bendigo/Avoca, or Heathcote/Daylesford, would mean being exposed to greater potential for wildlife.

So staying on the freeway system meant that I went a bit further, but would probably end up being quicker at night, and safer!

Stopped in Melton to add my 5 litres, and then it was onward, upward and coldward (if that’s a word!?) past Ballarat and out to Ararat. Temps dropped from a mild 18deg down the Hume, to a chilly 8-9 deg up there.

Caltex 24 on the highway 6km out of Ararat provided fuel, coffee, food and a phone call home.

And receipt – “A” done

From here, which was my last corner and turnaround, back down the Western Hwy, with many, many trucks this time of night, turn at Beaufort, through Skipton and into much milder temperatures heading for home.

A final stop in Rokewood for a stretch and a freshen up. I snapped the local Presbyterian gothic church (1866) which was lit up beautifully at night. It looks like it is floating. You can just see a little bit of bike in the foreground.

A final receipt at the home BP24 in Waurn Ponds and it was all finished where I started, done and dusted by 12.20am Tuesday.

Major points: Tallarook + Ouyen + Ultima + Rutherglen + Ararat = T.O.U.R.A.

It was a pretty straightforward ride, with no need for sleep, but with my ageing Airhawk, which has been patched up far too many times, going down constantly through the ride, the pain was ever present and probably what kept me alert throughout.

That, and thinking about my good mate Pat kept me connected and determined to finish.

Thanks for reading.

Date: Monday 5th September
Bike: Yamaha XT1200z Super Tenere
GPS Distance: 1,708km

G Map of the Route:

And the mail finally arrived just in time for Christmas!

Last edited:


Just Another Rider
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Excellent Nico, a Great tribute to a mate who was one of a kind...
I can't imagine anyone who met Pat forgetting his unique banter, pulling everyone together to make them feel welcome.


Premier Member
A great tribute to a great bloke.
Enjoyed the read and pics Nicco, congratulations on the ride and certification.
I can't say I have ever seen a sign with a fraction as a distance either.
Well done mate.


Well-known Member. Moderator
Above post edited to replace my Certificate. Reissued because of spelling errors (too many to ignore...)

I also received this patch from Howard, which is a real bonus as I wasn't aware they even existed.
Thanks Howard!

( it isn't really this big! It measures 500 x 350 mm )