The Septuagenarians Story.

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#1
Preparation.
The plan was hatched after Peter (Knave) completed our 50CC. I felt I'd missed an opportunity on the double crossing, after that successful ride, and still feeling ok. Plans were in place for an attempt in November 2018 with Ed (ED535) over twelve months ago, but a 'roo strike put an end to that attempt.

The ride was based around a Moving Average of 105 km/h, which we achieved on the 50CC. The same fuel strategy, ride 300 km add fuel from a jerry can, ride 250 km refuel everything. Dividing the ride down to each day, as a leg, there were 4 legs of the ride with a planned 5 hours off the road, at Ceduna twice.and Scarborough Beach. The fuel strategy provided only three (15 minute) visits to the servos on each leg, with four (5 minute) jerry can refuels each side of those. There was a generous time buffer built in to the ride, I actually asked Jeff if he wanted to have an extra 2 hours sleep at Ceduna on the way back. He declined. Jeff and I had been in contact before he did the IBR, but there was a lot more correspondence after he returned. One of his requests were that he needed a receipt at Caiguna. Caiguna was not a stop on the ride plan, so I made adjustments to the start of the return leg, using the capacity of the VFR's 21L tank.

Nutrition: Breakfast each morning Oat Slices with an Up'n'Go.
Food before bedtime. A choice of canned spaghetti or creamed sweet corn. I carried 2 of each.
During the day. Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices. (4 boxes 6 bars/box. Six bars were removed from their wrapping, each morning and placed in an open Tupperware container, in the tankbag, accessible while riding.
Hydration pack in the seat bag behind me. (adjacent the 2 jerrycans).


The adventure started on Friday 11th, I wandered eastwards to overnight in Yass, then a lazy run up the Hume to Sydney Town. On the way, I checked my fuel refill distances for the return leg, at the Birdcage Rest Area and then Sutton Forest Service Centre (Northbound) Found my way to my accommodation on Alison Road, Randwick. A bit of a dive, but only 6 km from Coogee.

Sunday morning, I did a dummy start, checking roadworks, and my navigation skills and found my way to Pheasants Nest, then found my way back to Coogee in the rain. Went into a tunnel, it was dry, but wet when exited. I don't have an aversion to riding in the rain, or at night, but together it's the “pitts” Returned to the digs and got a few hours sleep. The rest of Sunday was taken up with walks for food and exercise, three times to the Doncaster Hotel in Kensington. That evening I did get lots of shut eye. but only a couple of hours sleep. I may have been excited, even concerned I'd sleep through the start time.
 

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#2
Day One​

Headed to the beach early to get a sample of water/sand then to the Caltex Servo, where I fuelled the bike and jerry 5L and 10L cans. The support crew and witnesses started turning up. Peter (Knave) Martin, John and finally Ed...all crazy buggers out at in the wee small hours of Monday morning. Thanks.



Chatting with Martin and Peter.



With Knave at the start. Time to move.



With the heated gear on, the ride kicked into gear before the planned start of 2am. The escorts dropped off, as I approached the Hume proper, with Peter was the last to leave, prior to Pheasants Nest and I was left alone to amuse myself amongst the trucks, until the Bookham RA my first jerry refuel. Used the amenities, out of there with a minimum of fuss. Successfully dodged two legged wildlife a couple of times, before dawn breaking around Gundagai,



Onto the Sturt Hwy and into the first of the 100 km/h legs. Probably a bit early, but I regularly see the enforcers of the limits along the 40 km to Wagga Wagga. Gumly Gumly was the refuel servo , then through the town heading westward. Between Galore and Sandigo, I caught a movement and something hit my left forearm...my GoPro had broken away from it's mount. Uturn a quick look, nothing obvious, in a 5 minute search, so headed off, after a brief power nap. It was a bit of a slog, with the lower limit until well west of Narrandera. The lack of sleep was catching up, I has another two, the second at my jerry refill at the Ravensworth RA. On the Hay Plain I freshened up, and made good time to Buronga. fuelstop.

Bypassed Mildura, by using Benetook Ave, all the way out to Down Ave before turning back to the Sturt..( Although the highway is open, they are building a roundabout at the Seventeenth St intersection, but both entrances from 17th St are closed. ) Through the dry Millewa, to the S.A. Quarantine Station at Yamba. Told them I'm from Mildura, and was sent on my way.

Onto the Goyder Hwy, turning just before Morgan to a Rest Area just short of the Worlds End Hwy intersection. I needed a wee break as well as the 10L fuel. Three caravans pulled in behind me, I've no idea what for, as there is no amenities block there. The next section is a great ride, a big curvy railway crossing before Hallett, then some good roads climbing over and around the ranges of hills, through Jamestown, Booleroo Centre to Melrose. A clean run over Horrocks Pass to a quick spic stop at Davo's Memorial, before heading into Port Augusta.


Davo's Plaque.


The Banner Shot.....it's a FarRider thing.

I'd fuelled up, but no sight of Jeff. I quick phone call, he was not far away. Although he had my ride plan, it was all in east coast time, easy to misinterpretate as SA time. So I put the short wait into another power nap. This freshed me up know end, and once off the Lincoln Hwy onto the Eyre, heading to Iron Knob, we started to make some good time, despite the crosswind. Through Kimba around sundown, to a refuel at Wudinna RA. A clean run into Ceduna, arriving within minutes of the plan target. After sorting our room out....bed.
 
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Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#3
Day Two​

Jeff let me sleep in... I didn't wake to my alarm (had not put my hearing aids in), probably a good thing. Out on the road in the chilly, dark morning, no live wildlife in sight was encouraging. Had an ablution stop, before I added 10L at Nullabor. We were a little behind the target, with my sleep in and the VFR lay down. As we headed west, the headwind's picked up. With lots of buffeting, the VFR cuts through the crosswinds with ease. At one stage, I looked down to see my handlebars at such an angle, I initially though my forks were twisted from the incident. However it was just the howling crosswind, and the bike doing it's job.

Jeff grabbed a Barista Ice Coffee at Border Village, I followed suit. Food with a bonus. With the W.A. Quarantine Station and the refuel out of the way, the next target was Cocklebiddy, but I rode a few kilometres passed and found a rest area to refuel, so I didn't need to use their toilet facilies.



After the 90 Mile Straight, Balladonia for fuel, I appreciated the timber which helped break the crosswind. I was pleasantly surprised that a little Powerade consumed eased an annoying pain in a knee, I was having trouble with.


Balladonia.

Between Fraser's Range and Norsemen we spied two dead camels. We had an excellent run north through the curves, to Widgiemootha until my visor detached itself from my helmet. Visor fixed, refuelled as well, only 10 km short of the planned Kambalda turn off stop. We'd cleared Coolgardie, and the new road, (that was 20 km of roadworks 4 years prior) and making our way to the last fuel stop before the coast at Southern Cross. We'd managed to get past onto the Northam Bypass before sunset, then settled into the 100 km/h limits through the hills.

Gus knows where he intercepted us, with Lindsay , Bakers Hill I think, then Chris from the GTR-AUS Group also joined the group. Gus led us all to the BP Servo at Scarborough Beach without incident, still around 30 minutes off the plan.


Chris at Scarborough.


And Gus, the WA Interceptor.
 
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Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#4
Day Three​

Sleep at the Rendezvous was short, but welcome, we could see the bikes waiting for us at the BP from our eleventh floor room window. The start docket of the return leg, for the 100CCC to be valid, but be before the 50CC time expires.. was obtained. With the witness documentation done with the help of Steve (Dicky Knee) the restart receipt obtained with 12 minutes to spare, it was down to the beach for a sea/sand sample, then back out onto the road following Gus heading east. Shortly after Gus left us, I'd spotted a small 'roo just of the road. Later on that morning, while leading, I needed to, successfully, avoid another moving away from us out near Southern Cross. The ride plan was changed here, to just using the VFR's 21L tank.. I'd had the electrics on, Jeff was a “little” chilled. We took time out for hot coffee at Southern Cross with the refuel. Next fuel was Norseman, then a stop to take photos of the stinking camels. then to Caiguna for Jeff to complete an SS3000.



We were fighting a strong southerly all day. Stopped at the WA Davo's Memorial briefly, this was suppose to be a 10L refuel, but I felt I could make BV from here, and did.. On the run into Norseman, Caiguna and Border Village the fuel warning light on my VFR came on approximately 20 km from the destination each time.




Out on the road, we disturbed a wedgetail eagle feeding on some road kill, taking off into the wind it then banked, and swung back towards Jeff who was leading at the time. It seemed very close to him. Jeff asked me how close it was after, “I ducked for you” I replied.



With a 10L refill east of Yalata we negotiated one of the high wildlife risk areas without incident, although I did see a wombat scurry off the road, east of Nundroo. It was out along this road around Penong, I just relaxed into the ride for the first time. I think it was that we'd past the high risk area, and there was still a lot of time available to finish the ride. Ceduna was next, checked in and welcome sleep.
 

Grey Gentry

Premier Member
#5
Day Four​

With a promise to Jeff, for a hot coffee at Kimba, back on the road into the chilly night through the Northern Eyre Peninsula wheat region. A 10L refuel at Kimba, but disappointed nothing open for coffee yet that morning. So it was then a wary push along the scrub lined highway to Port Augusta.

I pulled into the Puma, as it seemed fitting to leave Jeff, where we met,.some 63 hours before.

After fuelling we both headed down the Augusta Hwy together, until I turned on to Horrock's Hwy for my ride east. Another enjoyable ride over the pass, was followed by a brief stop in Jamestown to invite some friends (who were heading east) to come for a ride with me, but they'd already left. Back on the road, to a jerry fill in Monash, then Mildura, and a brief call in at home.


Finally I had a tail wind, to see me back east, although a little dusty.


I dropped the spare 5L jerry can off here to make room for some clothes I'd left with Enterprise at the start of the ride. Also picked up a couple of bottles of port for the GTR-AUS meet, and repaired the broken mirror stalk, by cable tying it to the Ram mount the GoPro had been attached to. I need to see the LH lane on the freeway, and in the Sydney, later that evening. It was just the best to get a huge hug from Marls, on arrival and leaving. I was so tempted to have a power nap in my favourite chair too, but resisted the temptation to go inside.


Buronga for fuel, oiled the chain, left a zip open and lost my “quick fill” funnel. Bugger, used the screw-on spout at the Birdcage RA then shortly after it was back into the 100 km/h limit west of Narrandera. Stopped short of Gillenbah, and was found by Giggles, on his way to a FarRide. We had a brief chat, lifting my spirits. Gumly Gumly for fuel, and the last leg began. Planning ahead I felt a break at Gundagai and a coffee would be enough to see see me to the end. Olivers was closed, but the guy was trying to help for a coffee, but then changed his mind. Peeved with the time wasted, I rode on. Goulburn would do for the break and coffee. However was waylaid.



The Canberra lads, Ed, Russ, Glen and Simon intercepted me at the on the Hume around the Barton Hwy entrance. We had a brief chat when I changed the Spot batteries over, and SimonB indicated he's accompany me to Sutton Forest. The newly planned Goulburn stop didn't get a look in, as I was happy to proceed to Sutton Forest, with Simon in tow.


Now Jeff had informed me before we parted, that some of the mad LD riders were going to run the intercept at Pheasants Nest. Peter (Knave) knew my ride plan, and was going to escort me in from Sutton Forest, so it was with much surprise to see some very distinguished riders at the Sutton Forest Service Centre. Ox, 'drain, Frans, and Knave.

Reading back through the ride thread, I think I can thank Dan for letting the others know. Ian, your are welcome crazy, riding down from Queensland to see me finish of this, I feel so humble. Frans, thank you for the coffee. Martin and Rebecca joined the escort at Pheasants Nest. Where did Tele join? And TigerBill? Both were at the finish. The rest of the ride to Coogee Beach was completed without incident, under the required 100 hours for the double crossing. Enterprise, it was great to see the smile on your face at Coogee too.

Having expected and unexpected company for the last 270 km of this adventure lifted my spirits, with that encouragement, I was determined not to throw it away having come so far, and fought to keep it safe until the end.


Thanks for all the support, encouragement and barracking shown on the forum.

Footnote. On the way to Urana from Orange after the GTR-AUS gettogether., Marls found the GoPro on the Monday, a week after I lost it. I had a very good idea where is fell off, and she found it with in 10 minutes of us starting the search.
 
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