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Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 04:11 PM

OUTBACK ODYSSEY on KLR. if I can, you can
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Preparation almost complete:

I now knew I could be in BIG trouble. Only minutes before I was happy that the re assembly of my swingarm linkages after regreasing was complete. Then in the blink of a eye, my right hand was implaled by the alloy rod on the bottom of my footrest. It was jammed between the stand handle and 190kg KLR650. there was only 2mm still showing and I thought "thats gotta be in a long way" . the next couple of seconds are still a bit of a blur. I only had my left hand free to lift the bike off. that done. I wrapped my hand in an old tee shirt, drove up the the local hospital and after 5 hours, morphine, X-rays and stitches I drove home thinking how lucky I was to be able to move all my fingers. Fortunately it did not go right through, saved by a couple of layers of skin. Infection was my biggest concern now with only 18 days to departure.

bigredcherokee 11-26-2011 04:18 PM


Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 04:19 PM

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3 mths later my hand looks and feels almost like the old one.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 04:29 PM

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Thursday, 22/9/11.. No more talk, just hop on and ride. Odo reading was 2930km, still in showroom condition. St George was my destination today 532 km to the south west. Smooth riding on bitumen with no dramas. Great to be in the saddle at last.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 04:44 PM

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Day 2.

Another 500km day today with Thargomindah in sight . Strong southerly wind blowing and many emus, roos, cattle and sheep to keep ones reflex in tune.

My plan was to ride to Birdsville, via Windorah. Then down the Cordillo road to Innamincka, then to Cameron corner via Merty Merty and back to Brisbane via Tibooburra and Lightning Ridge. nearly 5000 km with about 1800km on the dirt.

Day 3.

I would experience the first dirt today with about 40km of hard pack clay on the way to Quilpie via Toompine pub. This section would be quite slippery if it were wet. A quick lunch and the last 240km to Windorah was uneventful.

PacificPT 11-26-2011 04:55 PM

Looking forward to more. The hand hopefully won't slow you down at all. Looked very painful.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 06:28 PM

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11 years ago I had this crazy idea to ride a Mountain Bike ( MTB) from Charleville the Burke & Wills "dig tree" via Birdsville. A distance of about 1500km. there were a few problems, carrying enough water was the main one as there were a couple of sections around 400km with no water available. I managed to fix 22 1/4 ltres on but unfortunately this ride proved to be a bit too ambitious. I gave it away at Birdsville after 990km.

I am now 62, and the fact I failed to complete that ride has been chewing away at me for too long. I mention this only as I was very keen to see any changes along this road. It is now wider, more signs and even a few rest stops.

Day 4. Windorah to Birdsville .390km. ( first 110k bitumen) the strong southerly was still blowing . I stopped for a quick photo op and the old KLR blew over. To my surprise I couldn't lift it up, I had started to un pack a bit of weight when a caravan came along to help. I can remember thinking, this situation could be interesting if I threw it away in the sand on the Cordillo road. Apart from a near miss with a roo the next 9 hrs went smoothly.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 06:41 PM

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A couple of comparison pics of the country. 11 yrs later

June 2000. sand dune 30k east of birdsville

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 06:42 PM

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Same dune..11yrs 3mths later

conchscooter 11-26-2011 07:00 PM

Great pictures and great composure to get the first one. Don't try a stunt like that in the US because all that hospital time would cost you at least 5,000 devalued US dollars in our healthcare delivery "system." And a few items refused coverage by your insurance if you have any. they refuse to cover things on principle just to be difficult.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 07:38 PM

Yep, we do have a public ( free) hospital / health system in Australia. It is great if you have a REAL problem but a bit slow if not. I've only got high praise with my last two visits. Funny thing is, my wife is a nurse at the same hospital, she had just finished 2 x night shifts and was asleep in the bedroom above the garage. I know she loves her sleep so I didn't wake her. She rang my mobil later that afternoon as they were giving me a bit of morphine /clean . I told her I was buying a few nuts & bolts so she would go back to sleep. I had to do a deal with the doctor to go easy on the morph as I had to drive home.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 07:58 PM

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Day 5: It was really good to get back to Bidsville, though the town did look a little worse for wear, the Working musum had closed the week before I arrived, also Blue Poles art Gallery. The caravan park did not serve meals any more but a new Bakery had opened. ( Yum) I decided to go out to Big Red ( highest sand dune in the Simson desert, at about 200ft. ) unfortunately the road was flooded from recent heavy rain and I had to detour a extra 40km and cross several sand dunes. This was not possible on the tyres I had ( standard fitment Dunlops) but I got some good pics away.

The Simpson crossing was closed due to fire. ( only out there could you get floods and fire together) I also revisited the Dingo caves and Waddi trees about 20 km north up the Bedourie rd. These Waddi trees only grow in 3 places in the world. live for a 1000 yrs, germinate only every 100 yrs or so and are so hard it is difficult to drive a nail in.

on the way to Big red

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 08:00 PM

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Great country.. the photo does not do it justice...looking west.

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 08:03 PM

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Outback Milage...don't forget your tooth brush

Ian Robinson 11-26-2011 08:07 PM

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Most city folk push too hard on these roads...with $million 4x4s and trailer they are unstopable.


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