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Unconnecteds Sydney to Brisbane ride

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Unconnected, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. One of the convincing factors for me getting a bike was watching Ewen & Charlies Long Way Round trip, i have always wanted to go for a long multi day ride since i started riding last june, whilst i spent a year researching bikes and riding i was constantly planning long rides that maximised backroads and twisties. Trips to Tasmania and Brisbane being the best destinations for maximum corner carving.

    Until recently there was little reason for me to ride to either of these destinations, but i did a lot of long day weekend rides through western ACT backroads, wee Jasper, Kings Hwy, Nasho/Kv/MacPass and of course Old Road/Putty/Wollumbi and surrounding areas.

    However about three weeks ago a good mate of mine ive known for about 7 years moved up to Brisbane for a job, so now that i had a place to crash and the weather had gone into temporary summer mode, it seemed like the perfect time to go for my first ever multi day tour of just about every backroad, mountain pass and set of twisties between Sydney and Brisbane. It was time to realize one of the reasons of why i bought a bike.


    My bike is a 1988 (24) Honda VFR400R NC24 Tri Colour Limited Edition.

    It has a 400cc V4 that makes around 65hp and a lot of low down talk, it also has very skinny wheels, a very small amount of legroom and agressive clip ons. Its not really the kind of bike to take on a multi day tour, but at least i would enjoy the hell out of it in the twisties.

    I was fairly worried about taking my bike on such a long ride, if there was a mechanical failure the tow truck bill would likely exceed its value. In light of this i topped up the brakes, lubed its chain and checked its oil, seemed fine. I bought along a tyre repair kit, duct tape, cable ties, screw drivers and a cresent wrench, and spare clutch and brake levers.

    So i loaded it up, taking what some may consider a lot of gear, full wets, a textile jacket with removed armour and liner (great to wear over leather jacket if it rains or is very cold), a hi vis vest (i want to kill myself for buying this, but i thought it might come in handy and was worth the 5$ at bunnings) full thermals and a neck warmer. I wore takamii kevlars, my vintage style leather jacket from Ozmotorcycleathers/Gimoto (yes i know textile is better for touring, i dont care i like leather more) and a shirt. Also bought my racing gloves and my casual gloves, but stuck to the casuals after my first fill up.

    For navigation i had my oxford tankbag, which has a clear map window, what i did was slice out the fabric backing, and then place my motorola xoom 2 10" tablet under the window with a pdf of my directions if i needed help, it was great, i could scroll down the directions and i rode with gloved hands through the plastic window. could have even used facebook or watched a tv show, but that probably isnt a great idea. I highly recommend people with tablets do this when they go touring, it worked bloody well.

    So, thats the admin out of the way, and now we were set for the off:


    You will notice in this picture that my fuel tap is set to off if you look closely, this became quite awkward at the lights 800m up the road at peak hour when the bike died...

    Day One (Thursday 23/8/12)

    I had been ambitious with my route, and had hoped to reach as far north as Armidale by nightfall, however leaving my house at 9am probably threw this out the window.

    my main plan had been to ride out of Sydney via the Old road, jump on the F3 too Freemans Reach (decided to skip wollumbi and so on, i ride those roads every weekend anyway) then head through the back of Maitland and other sundry random places left isolated by the construction of the divided F3.

    I reached the Berowa Mobil at about 10am to come across the Ulysses MC assembling for what i was told was a weekly thursday ride up to Sugerloaf mountain, i wasnt sure where that was exactly, but i passed it somewhere along the way i think. I was amazed the at the number of riders they had assembled, at least 30 bikes it seemed, i wheeled over to get air and started chatting to the rider of a Bombardier Spyder, they were quite amused to see me going for a massive ride in such a inappropriate bike, most of them were on proper big touring bikes, Goldwings, ST1300s, 1200GS's and such.

    You can just see my bike hidden behind the huge super tourers by the air pump.

    I was very kindly invited to ride with them, they were heading to Wollumbi then onto sugerloaf, but i was made an Honorary member considering me and the bike are 45 Years old together and road with the fast group (dam those Goldwings can be muscled around) for the ride down the Old Road. It was actually really special to have the flotilla of bikes leading me out of town, considering LWR and LWD were such an inspiration for me getting a bike, to have a send off just like they enjoy on the television was great. So yeah, cheers Ulysses MC.

    I separated from them at peats ridge, and jumped on the F3 at Kariong for the burn up to Freemans Reach, where i left the F3 and started to make my way through the backroads to Bulahdelah and Wootton way. after navigating some nice old towns, i started on the quiet backroads, some of which were so isolated and out of the way they had not even had their lines repainted from yellow to white.

    Interesting sights along the way were what looked to be some massive temple or cult site on top of a ridge covered in trees several stories tall, just west of a small settlement called Girvan. Other highlights included Booral Servo on the bucketts way, here is where i got the best bacon and egg roll i have ever had. Thick cut bacon that was clearly farm fresh and an egg laid probably by the chickens wandering around the servo forecourt. I have not tried other things on the menu, but this place is ace.


    Most of the roads around here were extremely patty caked and pot holed, in parts it was only about a land cruiser wide, which made for a few close calls with locals and commercial vehicles, but nothing the VFR and i couldn't handle.

    Speaking of the bike, it was performing well, the tankbags fullness allowed me to ride with next to no weight on my bars, this allowed the front end to chatter to its hearts content as the bike and i bounced and skipped over the bumpy roads. At speed this is quite exciting, the super skinny tires and worn suspension give it a very "classic IOM" type handling. I think it could use a steering dampener, but its not worth the expense on a 4 grand bike.

    I left the isolated backroads of inner Maitland nearing 1:30pm, getting lost a few times with out cell reception delayed me a bit, either way i quickly jumped on the F3 to ride to the start of one of my favourite roads in the state, Wootton Way, its an old part of the F3, that is very twisty but also 3-4 lanes wide with lots of good cement barriers, its mostly deserted but suffers from lots of leaf litter, however in the dry this isnt an issue.

    Its a great road, full of huge sweepers with great camber, a fast road for sure, anyone wanting to excite themselves on a big bike, should head here. The picture of the road is from when i drove up this road in February to Byron Bay in the cage.


    At this point it was about 2:30, it was clear i wouldnt make it all the way to Port Macquaire then up the Oxley to Walcha and onto Armidale, that was simply out of the question. I still hadn't visited the National Motorcycle Museum at Nabiac yet, a must see for sure. I stopped there and spent an hour pouring over all the bikes, there must have been thousands, i really enjoyed seeing an RC30, the bike my bike is inspired by. One day i would like to own one along side my NC24, just so they can match. So many nice bikes its impossible to list, worth a visit for just 12$.

    The RC30 at Nabiac

    After i left Nabiac, i took the tourist drive into Port Macq, besides being held up in a traffic jam caused by an old bitty driving her bloody mobility scooter over a shoulder less bridge (what the **** mate? when the govt took your license away, i dont think they meant you should ride your effing scooter on a 80kph road)

    Anyway, that traffic jam wound me up a fair bit, so i pulled over at a park for a break and some water and enjoyed the sun going down. I then headed up ocean drive and into port macquaire, some nice views along the way especially at sundown.

    then a bit further up the road,

    I drove into town looking for a dodgey motel with vacancy, there was a place that looked like something out of scarface, i was intrigued, but i pressed on and found the Ozzie Pozzie backpackers run by a nice french girl, for 40 dollars i got a bed and a roof, perfect. I actually really enjoyed the backpackers, spent the night playing pool and having a few beers and pizza with some fun young people from England/Germany/Scotland/France. so that was great. I will be staying here again when i next want to do the oxley.

    I hit the sack at about 11, knowing i would have to get up early for day two, i had not made it nearly far enough that day, and still wanted to do a loop over the great dividing range taking in the Oxley and Gwyndir highways before also going through Lismore, Nimbin, Mulliwimbah and then onto Brisbane. I knew it was going to be a big day.

    But i think thats enough for one post.

    Here is a map of the route i took on the first day:

    Will post up day two later tonight.
    • Like Like x 5
  2. it's not often i will put the xbox controller down mid-Game but this was a great read and great pics - look forward to more from you sir.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. You slabbed the pacific? Brave brave man.
  4. Nice pictures. Looking forward to part 2
  5. Nice, its a fun ride around Nimbin.And i can only describe that place as an oasis of life in the middle of nowhere.
    I heard a few people complaining about the camber of the roads out their , But like you i did it on a completely inappropriate bike & it loved the roads

    I love Girvan , Grew up near their.spent many ours out on Jarrah road ,My Newcastle fun bits ride takes place near that slice of Australia.
  6. Adventure: Is taking inappropriate equipment to out of the way places ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Day Two:

    I had fallen asleep to the sound of heavy rains and wind (and also commodores doing mad skidz n subwoofering) and when i woke up at quarter to six for the off, i knew it wasnt exactly going to be a fun first few hours at least. A big instant coffee and i was ready to hit the Oxley, leaving the comfort of the backpackers at around 6 30.

    The roads were completely soaked, but thankfully it wasnt actually raining. As i rode out of Wauchope, the fog really set in, luckly i was able to follow a rented mine spec hilux through the low land bends on the Oxley before the climb into the mountains. I only had about 3-5 car lengths visiability at the best of times, and sometimes almost none. The roads were covered in leaf littler, sticks, and chunks of rock and clay from the storm the night before.
    I was taking it easy, but still needed to make good time, thankfully all of the 'passion rides' i had done over winter (read, going for a blast into the hunter on a shit morning when its still raining and terrible) had given me some decent experience hitting twisties in the wet, and was able to still enjoy myself around the one dollar mark, either way, i needed to keep up with the ute so i could see where i was going.

    As the road started to climb into the mountains, the fog lifted, but the road debris increased significantly, with sticks, wet leaves and rocks littering the road. the Ute pulled away from me now, as i slowed down to tackle the minefield of the road.
    A few moments later, i came around the bend to find the ute pulled off the road in a lay by with its orange mine light turned on with the driver and co driver standing by the road at corner entrance warning me of a particulary large peice of enbankment that had come away.

    Massive props to the blokes, i think they were the managers or something at some of the road works along the way, visiting the sites for the day or something, (their car was from avis) To pull over and chuck the orange flasher on and warn me of the hazard was above and beyond anything i have ever experienced from another motorist.
    I continued to ride the oxley, surprisingly trouble free besides a few loose back ends at times and shaky front ends from hitting large sticks while leant over. But i stayed loose and the bike sorted itself out. The feeling of joy i felt when i realised i had made it through the mountains with out going down was massive. I was running on time and was bloody keen for breakfast at Walcha.

    As the road opened up, i was very surprised by the landscape i found, i had expected to be riding in very dry arid areas, when infact to my surprise i was actually in the northen version of the southern highlands. It was bloody freezing! the open expanse of fields also produced huge crosswinds that would tear my bike from one side of the lane to the other in an instant, i wound the bike up to a very expensive speed and tucked in to compensate.

    I reached Walcha just before nine, and pulled in at a great cafe (i forget the name) where i was shown to a great lounge room with warm wood fire, huge comfy sofas and pictures of vintage motorcycles on the walls. Literally couldnt have been a better place to stop, great biker brekky of a bacon and egg roll and coffee (one of the other reasons i have a bike is so i can consume bacon and egg rolls every weekend). I had left the DSLR on the bike with the rest of my gear, so this photos are from my galaxy s2.
    I barely took any photos on this second day, which is a shame, but i had too much ground to cover to stop all the time for photos, and the roads where i wanted to stop had few good sidings to pull into.

    After brekky i gassed up the VFR ($1.749/L for 98 :-O the most expensive of the trip) and hit the thunderbolts way, at this point i essentially floored it across most of New England. I had planned to be in Lismore around lunchtime to meet a friend who lived there for University and who i hadnt seen we finished school in 2009. So i had a lot of Arse Hauling to do.

    As a driver of the P Plate vindication generation i have had a lot of practise spotting cops, my technique involved slowing down any time a sedan came upon the horizon ahead of me until i could confirm it was not the HWP. It was a very good one it turned out, as i avoided any undue attention for the entire day.

    After finishing the thunderbolts way, i came upon a road sign that really didnt make me happy, it was much much further to Tenterfield than i thought it was, nearly 200km from where this sign was. I was expecting to be in Lismore by about 12, but considering i had at least 200km of Bruxner to cover after Tenterfield, i knew this wasnt going to happen.

    The new england was not very exciting, i was a bit upset that i didnt get to follow my pre planned route of using the Gwydir and some random roads around dorrigo and coffs, however the last min changes to the route kept it interesting.

    As i said before, i had no idea that New England was a place at a high altitude with bloody freezing tempretures, i had brought along a set of thermals and a neck sock, but mostly was prepared for warm riding.

    I stopped in to Glenn Innes for fuel and break. This was a highlight of the day as i walked into Glenn Innes maccas, straight past the counter and into the bathroom where i literally destroyed the dunny before walking straight back out again with out buying a thing. I felt kinda bad, but oh well.
    Got a photo of my bike at the servo, the town had some nice architecture from the early days, but i had no time to explore, still another hundred or more Kilometers to Tenterfield and the Bruxner, it was also fekking cold and all i could think about was the warm sticky air of Lismore and Queensland.


    So it was back onto the Newy for another burn, it was at this point that i spotted a full country spec HWP SSV kitted out with the works CB radio and roo bar. Not a car i wanted to **** with so i stayed about a corner/crest behind it and made good progress, while still keeping my eye on him to make sure he didnt fang a uey or hide in the bushes. Sounded nice when he eventually did chuck a uturn to go and pull someone over.

    I pulled into the Caltex at Tenterfield for another load of fuel, my bike only had about a 200 click range before reserve, and i had run out of gas at 214 before in sydney. So i was being very careful with my fuel, and filling up as often as i could to prevent catastrophic fuel loss in the middle of no where. I had considered carrying a jerry with 5L in it, but because the only place i could stash it was above my exhaust i decided i would rather run out of fuel then end up in a fireball if i went jerry+Exhaust side down.
    I made the right turn onto the Bruxner and headed for Lismore, at this time it was about 12 30, i was fairly behind schedule with about 200km to run before i would be at my friend house. That being said, after not really getting to enjoy the Oxley at the speed i wanted, i was excited for the Bruxner, it was bloody hot by this stage in the day and the road was bone dry.
    The road was great, in most places the surface was good (considered some of the surfaces i had ridden on) and the corners were fast and flowing. Besides behind help up by a couple of Grey Nomads and quite a brown pants moment when i met a Semi Trailer coming the other direction on a particularly tight bend, it was a incident free ride into Lismore.

    After a chat and a few glasses of cold water at my friends house, i once again set off, riding through Lismore was fairly entertaining. I was in no mood for traffic jams caused by people parking, so i showed the locals how we ride in sydney, splitting and filtering all over the place. I dont think they were very impressed, oh well.
    I pulled into the Liberty on the way out of town heading for Nimbin to get fuel. As i rocked up the two servo attendents came rushing out to see my bike, i told them not to be too excited, that it wasnt an RC30. Too my surprise one of them responded that he knew what it was and was surprised as all hell to see one in Lismore. We had a good chat about the bike while he pumped my gas (service!! just like the good old days/New Zealand) Turns out he used to own a VFR750 back in the day and had always wanted a go on one of the 400's.

    I left the best servo ever and headed up to Nimbin, probably my favourite place in NSW, just because it must be the biggest thorn in the side of the Government there is. Literally this town is almost like its own planet, you cant even begin to imagine just how different it is there to the rest of Australia, you simply must go there and experience it for yourself, even if your not big on the whole hippy/drug etc culture, its worth the trip. It is also surrounded by lots of lovley roads, well, they are pretty torn up in parts, but are completely isolated and very scenic.

    I got into Nimbin around 4:20. I chilled in the town for a while and did a little gift shopping before i left... I was given some directions to Queensland from the old blokes in town. They warned me about the 6 cop cars they had spotted looking for someone the day before, and told me to take it easy incase they were still about. I didnt run into any as i wound my way though the middle of no where, the towering ranges of Nightcap National park at sunset were incredible. Though as the sun started to dip lower and lower i became very aware of the risk of roos and other animals being on the road. Nothing i could really do but keep an eye out and try to ride as quickly as possible so i could get on the M1 in Queensland as soon as possible, i didnt mind being on divided interstate after dark, but out in these backroads if anything were to happen i would be rooted.
    I also really enjoyed the efforts the locals go to to mark out the pot holes and other ****ed parts of the road, i think the RTA and council do it as well, but the majority of spray paint seems to be from the locals judging by all the love hearts and other hippy motifs painted all over the road leading up to the pot holes.


    As i approached Murwilllumbah, i kept wondering how the fck i was going to actually get across the border, it seemed like the road would have to run almost vertically up a mountain to get over the border.
    My question was answered as i started on the Nerang-Murwilllumbah Road, which essentially does run up a mountain as a goat track about a Land Cruiser wide with a massive un fenced drop on one side. However the sun set provided some amazing scenery, i wish i could have stopped to take more photos, but it was somewhere i really didnt want to be after dark.


    I pulled into this layby for some photos, then around the corner i discovered the state border! the feeling of acomplisment was massive, this is the first state border i have driven over, with the ACT state border not really counting (its not a state after all) I got a few more shots, then got back on the bike, hoping to get to Nerang before complete darkness.


    I found it quite funny that literally as soon as i crossed the border, the patty caked goat tracks of NSW became wide, smooth tarmac'd with dividing lines and double armco everywhere. Bloody Queenslanders pay jack shit for rego AND get better roads AND dont get as much bullshit from their HWP? i am seriously considering moving to this state....
    But yeah, the road north of the border was loads of fun, big sweepers that you could really crank it over and get your roll on going. I pulled over to change visors and had my first interaction with a local, stopping to make sure i was all good which was great. People certainly are more chilled out up here.

    I made it to the M1 around 6 30 and began the burn into brissy. Some great things i noticed:

    1. people actually keep left on motorways in Queensland
    2. People do about 130-150 kph on motorways in Queensland (**** yeah!)
    3. Holy shit the roadworthy-ness of cars in Queensland is poor
    (note to self, never by a used car from QLD, having rego doenst mean shit around here)

    After being amazed by the three points above and nearing the CBD i looked down at my odometer, and realised that i had not filled up since Lismore 220km away. I started to panic, i had passed all fuel and was now on the M3 motorway that runs alongside the river with no shoulder and almost no cell battery (i left gps on by mistake, and needed the phone to call my mate for the final directions to his house)

    I jumped off in the CBD stupidly trying to find petrol. I frantically did laps of queen st/elizabeth street etc trying to find some fuel, i knew it was pointless so i had to jump back on the motorway and head towards toowong and the suburbs.

    It was at this point that my HID Headlight died. In friday night peak hour... on a motorway with no shoulder...

    So with no fuel and no headlight on a bike with no hazard lights either i dodged car after car of smidsys (not their fault at all really) chucked a bullshit uey on coronation drive and finally pulled into a shell to fill up and jiggle my wires back together. ****ing intense.

    I got some fuel then, using my almost unbelievable navigation skills (I had only spent two days in brisbane before, back in november being driven around), found my way up park road, onto milton road and then up caxton street into Petrie Terrance where my mate lived and actually pulled into his street by chance to ring him for the final directions. Turned out he was just 4 houses down the street from my position. I had made it!

    Here was my route for day two: http://goo.gl/maps/5k6W7

    Stay tuned for some more observations about Queenslanders and the ride for the way home. Probably some time later tonight.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Nice write up...
  9. A great read for a Tuesday lunch-time at work!
  10. Outstanding ! Welcome to Brisbane.

    Hmm, you must be in a different QLD to me.....
  11. Nice one mate. I enjoyed reading this.

    As for qld roads being better than NSW I'm afraid that this is not the case for most of the state, other than the SE corner where you happened to be visiting.
    Our rego isn't too far behind you either anymore btw.
  12. Day Three (Saturday 25/8/12)

    Went for a random walk around brisbane generally checking shit out in the cbd, took my mates CRX up for a burn around mt Coot-ha which was exciting. Even with the body work i felt safer on my 1988 bike than in his 91 CRX with fairly worn suspension. Oh well it was still NSW plated so at least i was confident in its roadworthyness. Unlike most of the local cars, its my understanding that they dont have a road worthy check annually like we do in NSW. I dont think this is better some how.

    Other things i enjoyed about brisbane was the relaxed nature of the town, the amazing weather (21 degrees at 1am in August) and the natural layout of the streets and city, it felt very natural like sydney. Unlike places like Canberra (where i used to live) and Melbourne, which suffer from being planned cities, which i find boring and strange. I also enjoyed the houses here, the ones that had a fresh coat of paint looked great, very queenslandy all up on stilts and made of wood. I also experienced the 'Queensland house shake' where by any time someone walks around in one of these stilt houses, they reverberate like an earthquake. Interesting.

    Took some nice photos at the botanical gardens, most people wouldnt bring a fat DSLR on a ride, but i was glad i had my 7D Canon.

    Day Four (Sunday the 26/8/12)

    I left Brisbane at about 1:30pm, probably a bit late but oh well, i wasnt using navigation as i couldnt be bothered and essentially remembered the way, i also didnt really have any plans about what i was going to do, i had not made up my mind about whether or not i was going to slab it the whole way home or go for the twisties again. I decided i would press on and see how i felt.

    After riding back over the Nerang - Murwillumbah border road and spending a bit more time chilling in Nimbin having afternoon tea, i continued to head west towards Kyogle, i had planned to head down the Summerland way into grafton to avoid the F3.

    It was on the road to Kyogle that i had my only real near accident, the roads in this area are pretty much ****ed and riding them is like a game of dodge pot hole and they are covered in road works and other roadside warning signs that pretty much are meaningless as the road is ****ed regardless of where you are.

    Anyway there was a road sign saying loose gravel and new tarmac, i ignored it and continued at my pace of around quite a tight corner, however it turned out there was a fair bit of loose gravel around and as i apexed the corner i felt both the front and rear let go and slide outwards about a foot or two. It all happened quite quickly, i stayed relaxed and the bike grabbed back onto the tarmac (i assume i slipped over from inner to outer wheel tracks) and we kept going. Pretty intense, i put it down too wearing my tinted visor much too late in the day, but i was heading west into the setting sun and the clear would have simply been too full on for my sensative eyes.

    I reached Kyogle and geared up for the night, the sun was effectively set now, and i still had to make the run down into grafton before i would be back on the comparably safer F3. As the sun went down i hit the Summerland Way, not the best place to be riding at sundown, with open fields surrounding the road, i knew i had made a bad decision, either way, i had to press on to get through to grafton, so i stuck to the centre of the road and tried to follow other cars as i made my way down the road. However the only car i was following turned out to be a local who turned off after some time, and i was left alone in the middle of no where in the pitch black essentially hoping that a roo wouldn't martyr itself on my VFR.

    Anyway after two nerve racking hours i made it into Grafton to much joy. However i found that i had lost the green textile jacket i had strapped to the side of my bike, as well as the shoes i had purchased at Big W in Pmac. I was pretty disappointed, the jacket was great for wearing over my leathers when it rained (with the liners and armour removed), it was also my dads and he had leant it to me now that he no longer rides, i still havnt told him this.

    I had planned to stop in coffs, and so i filled up with gas and got riding, at this point i had essentially decided just to slab it home, i had seen some signs saying sydney was only about 500 kilometers away (not that far when you have just ridden to queensland) and so i worked out that if i only stopped for petrol every 200 clicks, i could make it home by about three o clock in the morning, a late but not super late night for me, i normally sleep after 12am anyway.

    So, i committed my biggest sin against motorcycling to date, slipped on my high vis vest and hit the slab, i tired to ride along side and behind other cars and semis to share their headlights, i doubt they appreciated the sound of my bike that late at night right next to their head, but oh well, they were definitely having a more comfortable ride than i was.

    I reached coffs and considered stopping, but i had white line fever so i kept on going, i still had fuel. After a little while it was getting bloody cold, nearing 10 degrees, when i reached kempsy at about 10pm, i filled myself up with KFC (got so much food for just $10 as they were closing, they just gave me the rest of what they had) then went and filled the bike up with ulp.

    At this point i was bloody glad i had packed thermals and neck sock (but i wished i had my aldi balacava, which i had lost just after i bought it, ](*,)), and got changed at the servo, also donning my rain pants to help keep the wind out of my kevlar jeans.

    I slabbed it through another tank of fuel, considered stopping at Pmac and Taree, but they were both off the motorway and i couldnt be bothered to go into town to look for a motel so late at night, so i just kept on riding. I reached Buladelah nearing midnight, it was close to 7 degrees, i was ****ing freezing, though had done lots of riding in sub zero temps in the ACT when i was first starting out, the cold was really getting too me especially in my upper body.

    Ended up wrapping a towel i had bought at coles in brisbane around my mid section under my jacket, it made a huge difference and literally is the only way i was able to keep riding. About twenty mins later, the worst happened.

    The one thing i didnt want, was for it to rain. My tires were essentially bald after the blast through New England, it was nearing one o clock in the morning and after losing the textile jacket on Summerland Way i only had my backup (**** yeah for over packing) rain coat that i could wear as a liner under my leather jacket and over the towel to keep myself dry. (at this point i was so happy to have the towel under my jacket, it had been strapped to the bike previously and would have gotten soaked in seconds, rending it useless and probably forcing me to spend a night in the services in my sleeping bag under a picknick table)

    The rain continued for about 45 mins then lightened up around newcastle, i was cheering. My back end had been so unstable with out any tread on its tires, every time i hit a lane arrow the whole bike stepped out of line and shimmied around on the wet concrete slab highway. But it was worse to ride in the wheel tracks, which would have been aquaplane central.

    At this point i could see the glow of sydney in the distance, and i knew i was close. I simply had to press on and cop the rain, i was too close to stop now.

    After filling up at the last services, i went for the final run home. I literally had tears of joy as i went past the Welcome to Sydney sign and up the Warhoonga offramp, to think that my 24 year old, slightly worn out and mostly duct tape bike had carried me on such an epic adventure was something i never thought possible. While i was of course confident enough to embark on the ride, i never really knew what was going to happen, i was terrified that i would need to leave my bike at the side of the road a thousand kays from home with a towing bill that exceeded the value of my bike. Or that i would simply crash and end up in a ditch at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with nobody to come help me, i was flying solo after all.

    But all in all it was the best ****ing thing i ever did, now all i need is the time to ride to tasmania, and maybe a mate to move down there so i have a place to freeload, but im working on that one. (literally)

    Hope you enjoyed the read and photos.

    (sorry about the paragraphs, i have a 30" display so its hard for me to format good sized paragraphs as netriders all have differing screen sizes, also i took no photos apart from the border, as i was slabbing hard)
    • Like Like x 4
  13. You did the return run without an overnighter? Wow. Reminds me of my first time, except it took 16 hours.

    Vividly written, and well done on making it home safe.
  14. Mad read, I'd love to do something like this soon!
  15. You really, really love that bike huh?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Wow, I wouldn't have the patience (or the memory) to write a ride report like that!!!!!
    Congratulations on the ride and the report.
  17. Really? Are you sure? I've never seen this! :-k

    Epic tale of adventure and surviving!

    How much did fuel cost all up?
  18. Thats one mad ride report. Mate you should start a blog so we can all read your utterly mad adventures.
  19. yeah i dont know, maybe it was just at the time i was coming into brissy. but pretty much everyone was in the left lane, with people doing like 120 in the middle and like 140 in the outside. My speedo probably isnt massively accurate i will say.

    The other thing i did notice is holy **** people love blocking green turning arrows at intersections!!! every time i came across a green left arrow and a red straight ahead light, we were blocked by people going straight!

    In sydney that kind of behaviour gets you killed!

    All up the run up cost me $124, not bad at all, the run down cost me $64 dollars and i still have half a tank.

    A lot less then i was expecting, im actually very surprised.
  20. It is great when you have slow people not being ****heads and hogging the right lane at 80km/h. However, it occasionally happens.

    I think QLD should get the "turn left if safe to do so" sign/rule. It's stupid how some turn lanes are also straight lanes, makes people who want to turn, wait 1-3 sets of lights.

    Less than $200 in fuel, nice! Economical?