Trying to find home...

We had discussed that we were attending the 10th Anniversary of FarRiders at Moree and if you look at a map Moree really is half way to Cooktown, well from where we live anyway (well about one third of the way). It’s only 2000kms or so to Cooktown so why not keep going north, explore new terrain and then attempt an East Coast 50CC Gold. Whilst doing some sight seeing we unfortunately dropped the bike at Port Douglas, Fatman went rolling ontoand down the road and injured his ribs, the bike just received a few minor scratches. This is a new ride just listed by the IBA after Skidoooo and Abe’s previous attempts with Skidoooo being successful a few months ago. On this 50CC you must collect a receipt from Cooktown, Roma, Toowoomba, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Warrnambool. We had discussed our plan with Skidoooo and Abe and we were advised not much is open in the early hours or late hours for that matter in Cooktown, no 24hr servo, but it does have 2 ATM’s although the Westpac auto bank didn’t give Skidoooo a receipt a few months ago and we can say it still doesn’t, we were advised by the locals it hadn’t worked properly for several months. But the ANZ ATM worked a ripper when needed.
A big thanks to Skidoooo and Abe for their advice and knowledge of the route that they were only too happy to share with us. Also to Howard Entman from IBA for approving this ride so quickly which allowed us to attempt it after Moree. Thanks guys.

Cooktown to …..

Both in a deep sleep and the alarm went off at 2.00am, we both were up, dressed and ready to roll. It was a mild 24 degrees, clear skies and we both mount the bike and had a leisurely ride into town to the ANZ auto bank. I jumped off the bike and wandered over to the ATM to obtain a start docket. Meanwhile, Fatman was at the bike ready to complete the paperwork and melting in the warm weather. I took a few snaps then we were back on the road and on the clock.

Ready for take-off from Motel @ Cooktown

At start location Cooktown

We exited the quiet sleepy town of Cooktown at 2.48am, we took our time just to get a feel of the roads to see if there was any animals or roadkill and as per our run up thankfully there was none. Onwards we went, 2 little piglets ran across the road in front of us and I had a giggle to myself, there goes Skidoooo and yep there’s Abe right behind him, the things you think of whilst out riding eh. Not far down the road were some cows off to our right grazing, really shouldn’t you guys be asleep I was thinking but then imagine what they thought. As we approached the exit to Laura, we came across some traffic as there was a rodeo happening that weekend. As we approached the hills we encountered some very thick fog that we rode in for approximately 80kms and the temperature started to drop from the mild 24 degrees to around 17.
The road was an absolute pleasure to ride on, continuous long sweeping roads around the corners, not knowing what was around them, then up into the hills then along the flats, nothing beats a romantic ride in the early hours, just the 2 of us on the road.

First stop was Atherton, where we just refuelled and then got back on the road to get as much bonus time as we could. We travelled down via Innisfail, along our rollercoaster roads in reverse that we had done on the way up via East Palmerston, Wangan, South Johnstone and Boogan before we popped back out onto the Bruce Highway.

Somewhere on the rollercoaster roads

Back on the Bruce Highway

There wasn’t that much traffic around I suppose being a Saturday which was in our favour, we continued on down to Cardwell where we stopped for a quick stretch.

Suns out and warming up time to start peeling clothes off

Cardwell, it’s going to be another nice day

Next stop was for fuel at Townsville

As we left Townsville I noticed that if we had continued down the Bruce Highway we could go to Mackay but alas not this time we were on a mission so we proceeded onwards via Charters Towers onto Belyando Crossing.

Charter Towers

On our way to Belyando Crossing

The sun may be shining but the air is starting to get chilly.

Sun shining to our destination, just over the hill

When we approached Emerald and stopped for fuel we decided that we should put an extra layer or two of clothing on as the sun would be going down soon and the air was getting quite cool. We were making good time and both still feeling pretty good.

Sun starting to disappear

Soldiering on

Sun setting

That’s the end of the pics for the day as the sun started to set not long after leaving Emerald. Travelling up these roads on the way up was a good idea as it gave us a feel of the road conditions and road kill. About two or three weeks prior they had had some decent rain and again the week prior that we came north they had a significant downpour. So we were on the home stretch about 750kms or so to go to Toowoomba where we were to have a sleep. As we travelled down through Springsure I didn’t realise how big the actual town was, and we had stayed there on the way up, I think I was thinking of this ride rather than taking everything in on our travels north. It was starting to get cooler the further we headed south onto Rolleston and down through Injune. Fatman and I thought Injune would be a great place for us to live as we both were born in June. Continuing on towards Roma, which was approximately 65kms or so away and the temperature had dropped significantly, so we pulled over and layered up with more clothing, got back on the bike turned heated seats on high. Now both of us are starting to feel the cold and it was starting to go through us, not long to Roma and we can have a hot drink and something to eat to warm us up. Approximately 60kms out I started to look for the signs that indicate how far to the next town, I noticed the 50km sign then when I thought we’d travelled about 20km or so the next sign was 45km!, What the? We had not long overtaken a B double when Fatman pulled over and got off the bike, he was freezing and starting to shiver and said he didn’t think he could go on. Oh dear this isn’t good, in saying that he said it’s only 20kms to go to Roma so we’d do our scheduled stop and re-evaluate from there. Well he could hardly get back on the bike, he asked me to push him up and then we got gong he got the shivers and wasn’t feeling 100%, so he sat behind the truck that we had overtaken a short time earlier, which he rarely does and followed it almost into Roma. We didn’t even go to our scheduled stop he went straight to a motel, this wasn’t a good sign. I booked us in and the gentleman said looking for a room, then handed me a key, pointed me to the room and said go turn the heater on, have a hot shower, turn electric blanket on and get a good night sleep, we’ll fix things up tomorrow. When I asked what time did we need to exit he replied when you have thawed out and have had a good sleep.

So we obviously pulled the pin at Roma, Rule # 1, and safety 1st.

Start Location Cooktown QLD @ 2.48am on Saturday 25th June 2016
Start ODO : 255,082 km
Finish Location Roma QLD @ 9.53pm on Saturday 25th June 2016
Finish ODO : 256,729 km
Total ODO KMS : 1,647 km
Total Google Maps km : 1,668 km

Next morning at Roma

So you obviously now know why we ended up at Cooktown and yes we have unfinished business!
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Thanks again Lynne great write up and fantastic decision by Fatman to put the ride off for another day, well done!!


Well-known Member. Moderator
Thanks Lynne for the report. It's a shame the big one wasn't possible this time around, but good decision to pull the pin.
No-one ever enjoys getting that cold that you can't move. It's definitely a sickening experience.
Well done regardless.


Premier Member
Really enjoyed catching up with you two at Moree and Parkes, thanks for filling in a few details, great ride!

As a native North Queenslamder I must attempt that ride one day.


Premier Member
Loved the read and fantastic photos! Happy to have helped out with info. Cold really exacerbates fatigue and that was a wise more to wind the ride back. You guys are AWSOME!
Next time round it will be much easier and a great excuse to take more great pics.
And almost forgot that was a great SS1600 you slipped in also!