For a long time I had and have been following the ride reports of guy who lives in Australia, it seems like this fellow was always on the road going to some of the most interesting and beautiful places, the photos he posted were great.
Sadly for some reason Jock whose screen name here was "Old Ozzy" is now perma-banned. I had hoped to be able to write a ride report working with Jock as I did when I toured the UK with Inmate Tarka, working with Steve I think that ride report turned out well as he filled in the details whilst I posted the photos and commentary from my recollections. I tried working behind the scenes to get Jock reinstated but failed in that effort, that being the case this ride report will not be nearly as good as it could have been.
About six months ago, Jock had posted a ride report over on "Farm Rules", that really caught my eye, the photos were very interesting as they showed terrain like none I had ever seen before. I posted to Jock's thread telling him how much I enjoyed reading his ride reports and mentioned that it was a dream of mine to someday ride in Australia. I then received a PM from Jock in which he invited me to come to Oz and ride with him. This set in motion a series of PM and email exchanges where within a month a plan was worked out that would have me spending a month riding with Jock, down under.
Before I go any further with this, I must tell you folks that without Jock's generosity as he supplied the round trip plane ticket and to Jon the Australian Ural importer who supplied me with a rig to ride whilst in Oz this trip would NEVER have happened. Thank you Jock and Jon from the bottom of my heart your kindness and generosity made this a trip of a life time.
Now that you folks know how this all got started, lets get on the road. I left from Seattle on July 22nd, flew down to LA and from there to Brisbane Australia arriving there the morning of July 23rd. Man I am tellin ya that was a LONG flight squeezed in-between two guys who were built like pro foot ball players who each needed a seat much wider then what we were herded into. When I arrived in Brisbane I had no trouble spotting Jock as I had seen many photos of him. Here we are greeting each other at the airport, I am the ugly guy in the black hat, Jock is the feller who looks like Santa without his red suit.
Anja, one of Jock's friends accompanied him to the airport as he had parked his truck at her home, she gave us a ride to her home where we picked up Jock's truck and headed to his home about 200 klicks north. When we got to Jocks home he had to ride his KLR to the local place where you get license plates as he needed a new plate for that bike. Jock rode the KLR, I rode his Yamaha Tenre (sp) 660, I might add that this would be the FIRST time I had ever ridden on the LEFT side of the road.
We arrived with out incident, but I did have a couple of heart fluttering moments crossing intersections and not being used to looking for traffic coming from the right.
Jock gets his new plate.
On the way back to Jock's home we ride past huge fields of sugar cane being harvested, I had never seen machines like this before.
We stop for a light snack, I think this is where I had some fish and chips, quite good.
This water crossing is a few miles from Jock's home, we didn't cross at this time but did so later near the end of my trip. The water is now about 12-18 inches deep, there is a concrete road bed laid down so that when the water is low enough traffic can cross this stream. There are many of these types of water crossings in Oz.
Here's a better shot of the crossing showing its full lenght with Jock in the photo to give a sense of scale.
When get back to Jock's home I get a chance to check out his garage and some of his projects. On the work bench behind Jock is a "Postie-bike", Jock a couple of weeks before my arrival had competed in a race ACROSS Australia a distance of over 6,000 klick IIRC, he did it in 8 days on a 110cc bike, talk about having an "Iron Butt"
The wide tires shown in this photo were used on the Postie-bike when Jock rode the bike across the Simpson Desert, he is the FIRST person to have done such an insane thing.
The day comes to an end with a fine meal prepared by Barb, she didn't want her photo taken but later on I did get one of her.
We spent the next day getting gear sorted and packing for the trip to the dealership where I would pick up the Ural that I would be using for this trip. Stay tuned.