SS1600K for the 10th Anniversary of the 1st FarRide


Well-Known Member
It has been ten years since David Jones posted this on the GTRAUS form.

12th April 2006

I propose that as this will hopefully become an ongoing thing that it be known as a FarRide, this being #1

This will be of interest to those who like to take a "longer ride" with the ride being the focus not the coffee breaks.

That ride occurred on the 17th June 2006 with 14 participants. The location for the ride was Thomas Lee Motorcycles in Moree NSW.
I remember Davo posting on the forum and I wondered whether I would be capable of such a long ride. It is just over 1000klms from home to Moree. For my job, I regularly travelled 500 to 600klm per day but this was riding a bike that far.

Cut to Feb 2009 and FarRide East #9 at Nambucca Heads. I had watched the postings since 2006 and FarRiders were a going concern. Over 160 members across Australia. I had been stretching my ride distances and felt that I was ready. I became Member #176 and completed my first IBA ride that weekend.

It was only fitting that I both attend the 10th Anniversary FarRide to Moree and complete another SS1600K to honour both FarRiders and Davo’s legacy. There was going to be a party that night in Moree but I planned to hit the check in time window and then complete my ride; much the same as I did on my first FarRide. Plus, it was my wife’s birthday the next day so I was needing to be back early.
Later in the planning, the weather confirmed my decision as it was going to be wet just like my first FarRide.

Friday afternoon arrived and due to work commitments and wardrobe malfunctions, I missed my planned start time of 2:00pm at the Caltex Balranald. I wanted to get a receipt from there in case Rule #1 kicked in and cancelled my IBA attempt. I finally managed to get to Balranald at 3:20pm. My stop for the night was going to be at Narrandera at the Motel almost opposite the Caltex truck stop. I can heartily recommend that location. Friendly hosts, great showers and very little road noise. Plus, their little daughter thought my Blue Goldwing looked pretty!

The normal pre-ride sleep occurred with me waking every hour or so. I finally got up at 2:15 and put on the kettle. After checking the radar app on the phone, I decided would be wearing the wet gear all day. I put all the gear on and went to take the cover off the bike. There was a slight drizzle mixed with what looked like fog. Very strange conditions. That was when the blood pressure pills started kicking into overdrive. Back inside to have the first of what was going to be an increased number of wee stops for the day. I have decided that the number of times that you have to pee is in direct ratio to the amount of undressing that you have to do to achieve the result. It doesn’t help when the medicine works too effectively for a change.

All dressed up again and I pushed the bike away from the rooms and down the drive a bit before starting it. There is no value in upsetting the locals. Down and across the road to fuel up and convince the lovely lady behind the counter to sign my start verification form. I have two forms these days. One is titled “Verification Form for Iron Butt Ride” and the other is “Eye Witness form for Iron Butt Ride”. I use the one that is the more efficient one for the circumstance. I asked her if she would be working again around midnight and as she was, I arranged for her to sign the finish form too. A bit of shuffling around with the gear and resetting GPS etc and I was off at 3:15.

The first twenty odd kilometres to Grong Grong was slow. Visibility was low and I was in behind a B-Double that was taking it slow too. What a great way to start a timed ride. I had allowed myself a good hour leeway in getting to Moree on time but if this was the way the ride would pan out, then I would need every minute. Rain and fog took turns riding through the ranges south of West Wyalong. Traffic was thin too say the least and there was no wildlife. The roos were probably too smart to be about in this weather. I did notice that the BP at Beckom has 24-hour card service and duly noted that for future reference. Through Wyalong and onto Parkes which would be my first Fuel stop. Not my first stop as the toilet had called already but it would be my first planned stop.

I made it to BP Parkes and filled up and emptied again. This was going to be a long day. I had also lost the pockets on my rain gear. Ripped open as I put my hand in to get my keys. This was going to be a long, long day. A couple of bikes went past as I was getting ready to leave in the pre-dawn light. More brave souls heading to Moree was my thought. The weather had changed to showers by now. I could see their taillights well ahead of me and I did not feel the need to catch them. The roadworks that I had ridden through in April were still happening and were carefully negotiated. All I could think of was Craig and his photos of traffic signals from all his rides. The two leading bikes turned off to Narromine but I decided to go through Dubbo as I knew the Narromine road was subject to flooding. The damm toilet urge hit again on the other side of Dubbo and my only solution was a busy road side stop a bit down the road full of overnight campers and trucks. It didn’t worry me as I needed to find a tree.

I finally made it to Gilgandra and went to pull in to the Caltex but the driveway entrance was flooded. That driveway has a nasty gutter even in the dry, so I kept going to the Shell on the other side of town. The attendant offered to swap roles for the day but I declined. I was quickly back on the road at 9:10 and I still had a fair way to go. The stretch between Gilgandra and Coonabarabran is normally very pretty but today it was just wet and miserable. I caught another rider going through town and slipped in behind him. Opposite the caravan park was a huge crowd and lots of push bikes. And Police, support vehicles and a road display sign saying there would be a three-hour delay to Gunnedah due to the road race.

Now my plan included going to Gunnedah to ride enough kilometres to complete my 1600. I was always going to ride it in the first leg to make sure I finished on the right side of midnight. My mind was racing all the way to the Narrabri turn off. Do I change the plan or take a punt on the original? Original or change, original or change? I had noticed there were lots of push bikes back at the park and I was sure I could see the flashing police lights up ahead in the distance. The motorcyclist ahead of me turned North and I pulled up just past the corner; still undecided. How much delay could I take before I would miss the check in window? In the end I decided on Gunnedah. I mean, I should be near the start of the mob and I am on a motorcycle and would have passing opportunities not available to cars.

Well I was near the start of the mob but I had forgotten how hilly and steep the first twenty kilometres of road is on the Gunnedah road. I only had to pass three groups before I passed the Police escort but getting caught in that 20 kilometres lost me a good twenty minutes. At one stage I was wobbling along in first gear near stalling going up a hill behind fifteen riders.

Strange thoughts of how mad they were riding in the rain struggling to complete their distance over difficult roads were quickly squashed when I thought of how my riding was perceived.

I made two stops in Gunnedah; one to empty and one to fill and get a corner docket. Now I was doing quick calculations. I hate speeding to achieve something that is not life threatening but I also hate having my law abiding speed being hindered. Saturday morning in Gunnedah’s main street is a pain; stopping all the time to allow someone to reverse park. I agree fully with reverse angle parking as a concept. Much better than forward parking when you can’t see past the 4wd next to you to back out. But I don’t agree with it when I am in a hurry. Out on the road to Narrabri and I was calculating times again. I am pretty sure that I would hit the window in the middle with about fifteen minutes to spare.

There was more roadworks between Narrabri and Moree but not too much to hinder progress. I picked up Vlad a short distance to Moree and realised that the weather was clear. Upon reflection, it had actually cleared near Gunnedah but I was too wound up to realise. After leading Vlad to the wrong store, we both finally arrived to a brimming bike park with around fifteen minutes to spare.

There was still a que lined up to check in, so I took my chance to catch my breath and sort out my paperwork. The smell of the BBQ and coffee store was wafting through the air and reminding me that I had not eaten since 2:30 that morning. I checked in and had Michael (Fatman) sign my turn around witness form. The turn-around witness form on my original ride back in 2009 was signed by Davo and I felt that Michael was a suitable alternative. I managed to meet and greet a few riders while munching down a bread roll with sausages. Time arrived for the photo and I then started planning my departure. I still had another 800klm to do.

Lynn (LTP) and I had been discussing my various impediments to my arriving and had narrowed it to two main problems. She commented that bad things happen in three and she was right. While wandering around getting ready to leave, my brother rang to tell me our mother had had a fall at the nursing home and had broken her hip that morning.
We discussed the various scenarios and I decided that my presence was not going to add any value to her treatment and it would still take me till Sunday to get there. (She has since had a ball replacement on her left joint and was out of Hospital in four days. Unfortunately, because of her state, she can’t understand why she can’t walk at the moment.)

With that situation playing on my mind, I headed down to the BP to fill and empty. I checked the radar app and it looked good, so I took off the top half of the wets. I was a little damp underneath, so I appreciated the chance to dry off a bit. Soon I was riding down to Gilgandra. The traffic was kind and I enjoyed this stretch. Coming up to the 1000klm mark always sees me hit a rhythm with the bike. Distances seem not to matter and it is just about enjoying the ride. There were a couple of low clouds over the nearby ranges that impressed me. Another factor was my bladder had finally calmed down and allowed me to just ride.

Dusk faded to dark as I arrived at the Caltex at Gilgandra. I ate a sandwich and had a coffee and then filled up. A couple of bikes had passed along the road, calmly heading to wherever their destinations were. All was good. My next fill was going to be Parkes. After playing with the roadworks again and riding very smoothly, I toyed with the idea of doing the little bit extra through to Forbes for a fill. It was near Forbes that I picked up Philmor at a stop light in the middle of no-where. I also picked up that I was getting tired.

We then hit the fog. Blanketing fog! The Clearwater Erica’s were useless in these conditions but the yellow of the OEM Honda globes worked well. I probably pushed the pace just beyond what was truly safe but there was no wildlife and I needed to finish the ride. I still had enough on board to make it to West Wyalong, so I kept going. Phil hung back a bit as the visibility kept dropping. It wasn’t until about two kilometres out of town that the sky cleared.

I pulled in to the Shell truckstop and Phil tooted as he kept going. I didn’t mind him continuing as that is my style as well. I rarely ride in a group or even with someone else. Another snack and some fuel as well as an empty and I was right to go. The time was 10:00 and I only had another 150klm to go. A truckie at the servo gave me a big talk about where all the cops were and I dutifully thanked him. He had told me that they were patrolling the truck route around town but I wasn’t going that way as it had been dug up for roadworks as well. I proceeded through the VERY quiet streets of West Wyalong to start my stretch to Narrandera. A bit after ten at night and the town was shut except for one pub. And it was Saturday night! I guess it is a sign of the times.

Turn left at the Newell Highway and it was south again. The fog wasn’t as bad on this side of town but you could tell it had been wet. The temperature was down and I was getting tired. Not overly so but I needed to up the ante on the mind games and started singing with the music. It was a welcome sight to come to the right hand turn at Grong Grong and to know that the last leg was here. It was also welcome to be travelling at the speed limit instead of the dawdle I had to ride at 20 hours earlier on this road.

I arrived at the brilliantly lit Avenue of Honour approaching the town and my spirits lifted. I also seemed to get a surge of energy. I did a quick lap of the main street and it was the same as West Wyalong; shut! They must follow the old adage of early to bed…………

At 11:35, I pulled into the Caltex Truck Stop at Narrandera just as Philmor was moving his bike away from the bowsers. I had completed 1675klm by the speedo (1629klm by the GPS) in just over 20 hours with a RTE in the middle. I had used 118 litres of fuel with an average consumption of 5.92 l/100klm. I really can’t think of a better way of spending my day away from the family. It was well worth the 10 cents a kilometre it cost. I filled up the bike and went to have my finish form signed. Philmor was having a bite to eat and he was going to catch a nap before continuing onto Melbourne. If he had told anyone else, they would have called him mad but I just accepted the statement as fact. I bought some juice and went to call it a night back at the motel.

I would like to say that I had paid homage to Davo and the continuing strength of FarRiders as they select new destinations and gain more members. I would like to say that I was glad that I had been successful and had attended the 10th Anniversary ride as I had planned. I would like to say that my mother’s condition was foremost in my mind.

But honestly; I was just tired and went to bed!



Premier Member
Like all good ride reports this one had a bit of everything, both in and out of your head space. Thanks.

I had similar reasons for doing this FarRide. I see the group as something different these days, but I want it to continue to grow, honouring the foundation stone of a home for long distance riders in Oz that is Davo's gift to us all.


Well-known Member. Moderator
Thanks Peter. Good to hear of your highs and lows, your elations and frustrations.
I like how you tied the two together - FarRide and IBA ride.
Indeed, Davo's vision realised.

That FR in Feb'09 was a significant first involvement for a lot of us.
That event I did my first FarRide as a SS1600 and Davo signed off for me.
The birth for me of a passion that remains solid.

Thanks for your detailed report.


Well-Known Member
Why would you call that 2009 ride significant????
Just because you decided to mix two sports; motorcycling and surfing?

It changed a lot of things for a lot of us, especially our way of looking at riding and the distances that could be achieved.
It was certainly a milestone in your life. ;)