Hi all While basking in the late-summer sunshine at the Marysville Bakery last Saturday, Goodie came up with an idea for (yet) another ride. A 10min coffee break turned into 2 hrs... and things went from tentative to.....YEAH, let's do it !!! http://members.optusnet.com.au/mock1/Nth_Thrill/ Northern Thrillogy?? North= Northern Parts of Australia Thri = three= 3 part-ride Thrill= that it'll be !! Basics: This is way, WAY off but needs quite a bit of prepping...which will be a load of fun. Buy postie-bikes at the auctions and set them up for touring (i.e. lots of technical preparation, a real thorough going-over/ making racks to take eskies or such as panniers/ possibly built extra tanks into/onto the bikes for long-range riding, just dream it up and build it. Everything should be rather ingenious and cheap…. than meticulous and flash. By the end of the ride the bikes will be throw-outs...most probably. The whole thing is CAMPING ONLY. 3 stages/ sections spread over about 12-15 months, with 2 weeks of holidays needed for each leg, possibly 3 weeks for the Darwin-Perth leg (5000km). A bike can be "run" by either individuals or groups/ syndicates of up to 3 people, each doing single or multiple sections of the ride. Sections or shares in the bike can be "sold"/ passed on/ taken over by others...whatever. The owner/s of the bike are completely responsible for anything to do with the bike/ ride/ whatever, possibly apart from one point: Depending on numbers, one or 2 extra bikes should be bought on a group-account, everyone chips in at equal parts. They’ll get cleaned/ tested/ then dismantled for 'block-spares" (i.e. complete front-end incl. triple trees/ whole engines/ wheels with good tyres etc.). Those spares are then packed and labelled to be couriered out at a phone call’s notice to where-ever the unlucky one is stranded. Group flight bookings can be arranged, specials on airfares are essential. Section 1: (2 weeks, 3000km, either April-May or Sept-Oct, either end of the dry-season) Trucking ready-to-go-bikes (incl. tents/ camping gear) to Brisbane, flying up a few days later (we've done that before), taking the "esky-panniers" as luggage/ suitcases (therefore they can be packed beforehand and at the last minute before departure). Ride up the Qld. coast, some Highways, some byways, Fraser Island/ Bundaberg/ Whitsundays/ Townsville/ Cairns/ Atherton Tablelands/ Cooktown and back to Townsville. Bikes are stored at a Caravan Park close to town. Caravan Parks commonly store caravans/ campers/ boats/ trailers etc. anyway, why not a batch of posties, fees should be pretty low. INCL. bike purchase/ setup/ registration etc./ flights/ accom/ fuel/ spare-bike-share the total should come to about $3500 The expensive part here is the bike-purchase which only happens once though...and part thereof can be passed on to the other mate of the syndicate doing the next section ( in the case of "syndicates"). Tents/ Camping stuff stays with the bikes. Section 2: (2 weeks, 3000km, about 6-7 months after section 1, either late March-May or Sept-Oct, either end of the dry-season) Townsville/ Charters Towers/ Mt. Isa/ Tennant Creek/ The Alice/ Ayers Rock/ Kakadu/ Darwin. Store bikes again in Darwin (again...Caravan Park) Storage fees/ cheap flights/ accom/ fuel/ the total should come to about $2000-2200. Section 3: (2-3 weeks, near 5000km, about 6-7 months after section 2, either late March-May or Sept-Oct, either end of the dry-season) Darwin/ Kimberleys/ Broome/ Port Hedland/ Monkey Mia/ Perth. Storage fees/ cheap flights/ accom/ fuel/ the total should come to about $2000-2200. Your choice to either ship the bikes back to Melb. (cheap due to LOW backload-rates) or give it away to the Salvos/ ride it off a cliff/ whatever. Needed: A GREAT sense of humour and adventure/ GREAT stamina for those 10hr. days on a POSTIE!! Plenty of tolerance for those times when things get tough. Some mechanical skills.The more, the better Crappy, old gear is fine. As long as it works ok. P-platers no problems... as long as they've got the stamina, it's less about skills and all about endurance. There will be NO backup, we'll have to keep going by our wits and hands. Riding: Many parts will be boooooring, the landscape flat, the road straight and nothing but heat/ dust and flies. Drafting is encouraged as long as no one blocks the way of a Roadtrain ) Some might even make it to the next servo that way, bwahahhaa. Max. 10 "entries", otherwise things go out of hand. Oops, that's another 8, Goodie and I are booked already. When? Prepping can slowly start from now on (since there's lots of stuff to consider/ organize) section 1 is a goer at either April or October 2008. (Sorry, but there's the 6-week European Alps tour in 2007 first, which will rip a damn deep hole into the pockets....for a long time before/ after that ride). We might actually ditch the planned "Goin' Troppo-2006" in favour of getting the Posties and getting them setup. Anyone?