Well the time has come and we are packed and ready to leave in the morning. Here is our planned route https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=zbwgo9AFRVFw.kBmq8jVN2A4I
We are heading to Coffs Harbour first to help one of our daughters pre-celebrate (slightly) her 40th before heading west via Dorrigo, Armidale, Coonabarabran, Willcania, Broken Hill and Port Augusta.
Ros and Dick
We are now on the countdown and starting to seriously get our gear together for the trip. Fitted new tyres to the bike today (switched from Michelin RP3’s to Pirelli Angel GT’s in case any of our biker friends are interested). These should get us through the whole trip and plenty more after. The bike is now all ready to go. We have booked in for a mid-trip service in Alice Springs and Ros has been on the Internet and booked us in to a few of the high intensity tourist stops like Ularu and Alice Springs. We can’t wait to get on the road.
What self respecting gray nomads would set off without displaying their names on the back of their vehicle?
Now we know who this bike belongs to!
Certainly not us!
Seven days to launch and on the countdown 😮
We arrived back from our shake-down run to South Australia and back today after eight days on the road and 3,369 Kms later. Here is our route >> http://goo.gl/maps/uanqt
The experience was invaluable and showed up a number of shortcomings with our gear and clothing which we can now address before setting off for real in three weeks time. The little HelmetCam video camera worked a treat and I have now mastered basic editing and uploading into YouTube. (See the little clip of us crossing the Murray I put into our previous post).
We managed to live within our budget without too much trouble although Pub/Club food was getting a little tiring after just eight days. We will have to look for a number of self cook opportunities (Cabins/Holiday flats etc) to give us some food variety on our trip.
Ros and Dick
We headed off last Wednesday to attend the Honda ST Club National Rally which is being held at Middleton (Near Victor Harbour) in South Australia.
The first day saw us head off at 8am up the Bells Line of Road to Lithgow then Bathhurst, Cowra, West Wyalong, Rankin Springs arriving at our first stop, Griffith 605kms later at 5pm.The day got quite hot hitting 35c mid afternoon. A great days ride albeit it a little hot at times. We were happy to get off the bike after first full day in the saddle.
Day 2 saw us head out of Griffith (after a quick breakfast at Maccas) enroute to Hay then Balranald, Mildura to our next overnight stop of Loxton in the beautiful SA Riverland area. We had a good run across the Hay Plains with the thermometer sitting on a comfortable 27c getting into Loxton at 4pm after a 620km day.
Day 3 started with a scare when I noticed the bike ignition key ready to break halfway down the stem. Needless to say, a broken key (with the spare safely at home!!) would spell the end of our trip with a replacement of the specialist microchipped key days away at least. Holding my breath, I gently eased the mortally cracked key into the ignition, and to our huge relief, it slip all the way in and enable the engine to be started. The key will now remain permenantly inserted into the ignition until we get home. The next removal of the key will have a 50/50 chance of leaving the lower portion in the ignition. Not a nice thought but fortunately, one that can now be dealt with when we arrive home. The ride for the day saw a comfortable 294 km covered to reach our destination at Middleton crossing the mighty Murray at Tailum Bend (see the little YouTube video clip we made of our crossing http://youtu.be/MjoLDADMtsc) , stopping for lunch at the quaint Strathalbyn before arriving at the Middleton Caravan Park at around 2.30pm to meet up with the thirty or so Honda ST Club members already in residence. The remainder of the bikes rolled up over the next few hours with around 40 bikes hailing from all points of the compass around Australia.
Lunch stop on our group ride around the Fleurieu Peninsula with some of the 39 other Honda ST’s from all over Australia. A great experience
Which is ours? The red one of course
The obligatory bike lineup
Just to prove we were there!
Needless to say, we had a great couple of days before taking our leave and heading home after our group breakfast this morning. We headed out at 8.30am for the return trip choosing a different route to see some new country on the way. We headed back through Strathalbyn then on to Pinaroo where I managed to flatten the battery by leaving the ignition on (including the headlight) for 30 minutes or so whilst taking a rest stop. Our 30 minute stop turned into an hour and a half whilst we waited for the local SAAC serviceman (Av-a-chat) to show up (courtesy of the NRMA) to jump start our battery for us. We finally got underway again and headed through Ouyen to our stop over tonight at the picturesque Swan Hill on the banks of the mighty Murray.
Tomorrow (day 6) we plan to head for Narranderra passing through some of the great Victorian countryside.
Bye for now
Ros and Dick
We are now down to just four weeks before we set off. We are heading off this week for our shake down run to South Australia and back (over 7 days) to attend the Ozstoc National Rally as well as give our bike and gear a test run. Check out our new gadget which will enable us to take helmet cam action videos.
Here’s a sample Video I took the other day to check it out.
The time is looming up and we are starting to get serious about our planning. We bought a GPS device the other day called a Spot Messenger to help us keep in touch during some of the more remote sections of the trip. It is a neat device that enables us to send 4 different, pre-programmed messages at the push of a button from virtually anywhere in Australia to up to 10 nominated email/Mobile phones via satellite. The messages range from “All ok” to “SOS”. We certainly hope we don’t have to use the last one but it is nice to know it is there just in case.
We are heading off on a test run in three weeks time to attend the OZSTOC ( http://www.ozstoc.com.au) Annual National Rally in Middleton SA. We plan to do the 3,000km round trip in 7 days including the couple of days hobnobbing with the 60 or so other Honda ST nuts who coming from every state and territory. This is our planned route.http://goo.gl/maps/sAsVC
Ros and Dick
Time is racing away and we now only have 12 weeks before we head off. We have done a couple of longish runs on the bike to keep our hand in and are doing a test run down to SA and back in March. We have been refining the kit we plan to take. We will only be taking what we can fit in our panniers and top box. No tank bag (I don’t like them) and nothing tied on anywhere. If it doesn’t fit then we don’t take it. This is a shot of the type gear I will have in my pannier bag with Ros working on a similar shortlist for her side.
In the top box we have our emergency gear, various riding layers, netbook computer, camera and daily snacks and drinks.
We are not quite on a countdown yet but it won’t be long
Ros and I are planning to ride our Honda ST1300 motorbike in a circumnavigation of Australia in 2013 roughly following Highway 1 in a clockwise direction. (with a couple of deviations to Darwin and Cairns). We are setting up this Blog to keep all our friends and relatives up to date on our travels as we tootle around this great country of ours.