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Far Riding...

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by cougs, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Far Riding

    I first stumbled on the idea a couple of years back - the Far Riders are a group who's gig is long distance riding for the sake of it...it's about the ride rather than the coffee stop. Having met a guy who did a Far Ride (min 1000km in a day) on a learner GS500 I was keen to test myself and give it a go. Finally I found one that was within reach and suited my calendar last November so I registered and planned for Far Ride East 26, Mallacoota.

    In basic terms, the check in destination (in this case Mallacoota Hotel) must be reached within a 1/2hr window with the rider having completed at least 500km and be able to complete 1000km in total within a 24hr period including the check in time.

    So it was a pretty cool spring morning when I fired up the Nightrod just before 4.30am and rolled slowly to the servo round the corner to fill up and get the all important time stamped receipt. Multiple clothing layers, full face helmet and heated hand grips turned up were the order of the day as I cruised through suburbia heading for the freeway. Once out of town and up to speed the lack of traffic allowed me to soak up the pure pleasure that is riding into a sunrise - the changing colours of the skye, slowly gaining light and fading stars provided a beautiful backdrop thanks to the mostly cloud free sky. And so the first couple of hours were spent - enjoying the music from the iPod, taking in the scenery and generally solving the issues of humanity inside my helmet and own personal bubble.

    It was at my first stop for a stretch between Morwell &Traralgon that I first started paying attention to other riders heading the same way. 'I wonder if he/she's heading to the same spot. I am?' And 'I think I saw them earlier stopped at the BP'. After 5 minutes of wandering in circles sipping water, mentally cataloging every passing biker and breathing in the clean fresh smell of brown coal it was mount up and head off time. The secret to long distance riding, I am told, is not speed but consistency. The ability to sit at or close to the speed limit all day, plan fuel and food stops for maximum efficiency and minimum time loss and (I've added this one) the appropriate levels of caffeine are what you need to succeed in this caper.

    On down the hwy into the rising sun, nodding knowingly at other rugged up riders until it was time for fuel & coffee at Bairnsdale. Apparently Maccas was the spot to be seen as there were about 20 others stopped for the same reasons.....my earlier suspicions of others destination were becoming more and more strong....nearly enough to actually say g'day and ask 'you far riding mate?' But that just wasn't the done thing and the knowing nod was the preferred form of communication for all.

    With the ear buds back pumping out 80s rock (.....and the occasional Disney song, really must keep my daughter away from iTunes) the thoughts turn momentarily from other riders to the big questions of life - who was I really, how do I fit into the big plan, why is my seat so hard on the tailbone...? All and none were answered to certain degrees before the first glance of beautiful morning coastline was seen at the lookout above Lakes Entrance. A chance to wriggle in the seat through town, look sufficiently badass to the early morning locals and awake the caravaners with the smooth rumble of Harley/Porsche v-twin awesomeness and it was back to triple figures again - only this time with some bends and scenery! Fuel again at Cann River and press on to the border where it was a quick U turn and back to Mallacoota where a fair gathering of machinery was filling the main street.

    The tailbone was happy but the legs cramped as I stretched back to 6' and removed helmet & jacket, shook hands with a few riders around me and slowly wandered towards the pub. The fella who seemed to be running the show was suitably dressed in leather pants and Hawaiian shirt - as we're others - but some discreet enquiries confirmed I was I fact in the right place and not caught up in a meeting of the Blue Oyster Bar MC.....the bright shirts are 'a thing' and go well with the orange Far Riders caps worn by some. With fuel docket some 550km old proudly grasped in hand I got my name ticked off, has a quick chat with a few more and turned the bars for home. There was never any real doubt that time that afternoon would be problematic, but with dinner plans some 150km short of my final destination I was looking forward to a couple hrs off the bike before the final stint home. That was still some hrs. In the future however and when I pulled in for fuel in Bruthen that afternoon the temperature had climbed to the early 30s - luckily the knapsack I was carrying and collection of occy straps held the shed layers of clothing securely in place.

    Another couple hundred Km's of cursing the design of Harley seats and human spines and I rolled into mum's driveway for a nice hot lamb roast and icy cold beer. With Tan bringing the kids up we all had a good catch up with the family before it was back on with layers and blasting off into the cool night air for the last leg. Suitably rested and refreshed the trip home was both uneventful and ever memorable - the feeling of pending achievement, love of night riding in the country and satisfaction at all the deep and meaningful (or maybe meaningless...?) thinking that had been undertaken that day was enough to keep me occupied until arrival.

    1310kms, 15hrs door to door, 4 tanks of fuel, many badly sung 80s songs and enough dead bug splatter to warrant the purchase of a new gurni were all underpinned by the burning need to do it again

    ....but this time further....
    • Like Like x 15
  2. Nice work.
  3. impressive.. well written too....
    hmmm.... the day I'm brave enough to make a trip like that...
  4. Yep, I've done two far rides now. They are a great experience. My last one I stretched out to 3000km in 3 days.
  5. Great story, top effort. Took me back to the far ride I did, East number 7, in May 2008. Rode through Stanthorpe at some ridiculously early hour, coldest I have ever been on a bike (and I've ridden Mt Hotham in snow at 1C). Maccas was the inevitable pitstop along the way - and picking the other riders out was fun. Once you've done a far ride, its kind of cool to find your name on the website as a far rider.
  6. Guys, please note that FarRide is one word as is FarRider. There is a story to the "loud shirt" worn by FarRiders. It's actually a sign of respect to the founder, David "Davo" Jones.

    Hey cougs, why didn't you stay for lunch at Mallacoota?

    I just recently attended the FarRide in Balingup, had a good ride across the paddock and back.
    10,500km in 10.5 days. Good fun.
  7. Hmm. I thought it was 1000 miles in a day. There you go...
  8. #9 GoldNine, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    My understanding is that the 1000km Ride To Eat event is the entry level event to becoming a FarRider member and goes up in distances from there.

    edit : the FarRider association or whatever you want to call it is an officially recognized affiliate of the American IronButt Association (IBA) and the minimum distance for membership to the IBA is 1000 miles in 24 hrs.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. That's what I was thinking of.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. FarRiders exists only on the internet, and in the hearts and minds of the riders. There is no formal club or association. The Ironbutt Association is owned by Mike Kneebone.
    Yes, Goldnine a FarRide RTE is a minimum of 1000km in 24 hours. You are also correct that entry level to the IBA is 1000 miles, or 1610 kilometres in 24 hours.

    I may have confused you. A couple of us left Sydney Wednesday early morning, had a snooze at Ceduna, arrived in Perth Thursday evening (completing a 50CC Gold) had sleep, started a FarRide just after noon, riding 600+ km, in a loop to Pemberton, where we slept overnight, then knocked over another loop of 400km Sat morning before the check in. It was then back to Pemberton for a second night, before we headed home. The 10,500km was my total ride, Mildura-Ballarat-Sydney-Perth-Pemberton-Balingup-Pemberton-Mildura.

    coags I forgot to say I enjoyed your ride report, thanks for posting.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. No , no confusion. I've looked into it , something I'm definitely interested in.