Day twenty of the rideabout, would take us from Bramwell Station the site of the OCR to Cooktown. The days ride was to prove to be one filled with a couple of minor inconveniences and one major disaster, the first hold up of the day, just a few miles from the OCR Zac has a flat tire.
This fellow stopped to see if we were OK or needed any assistance.
Take note of the "outback jack".
Another rider stops to see if we are OK.
A new tube in place, the tire and wheel being reinstalled.
Checking the tire pressure before we roll on to our next stop.
We stop for a quick snack and gas.
Whilst at this gas station, our second stop of the day, I look over the rig and can see that the rear tire on the rig is badly worn, I am hoping to make it to Cooktown before having to change it.
I didn't make it more then 20 clicks from where we stopped for gas and the rear tire literally blew out
I was hauling arse down a good stretch of gravel road doing about 105-110 kph when the rear of the rig started to violently move from side to side. It was a very good thing there was on other traffic on the road as I was from one side of the road to the other a couple of times before being able to get the rig under control and safely off to the side of the road. I have had many flat tires while riding on a Ural but never one that blew out at speed on such a loose surface, this is an experience I do NOT wish onto others.
The tire had worn completely through and the tube had blown, we put the spare tire on and continued the journey.
Many miles later we stop at this ranger station to plan the next leg of our route.
AND THIS, is why I wanted Jock to be able to participate in this ride report, the photo I took while at the ranger station is the last photo I was able to take on this day of the ride. My camera battery went dead and I had no way of recharging it.
Later that day we were to ride through a large national park that held THOUSANDS of very large ant or termite mounds that went on for as far as the eye could see, we traveled over dry river beds some covered in rock making passage very difficult, we did three water crossing one quite deep, and to top it off the timing chain broke on Jock's Yamaha which had to be left along side of the road to be recovered the next day.
I don't have any photos of these events and the ride report is much poorer because of it. When the Yamaha broke down we took all of Jock's gear from it and loaded it into and onto the Ural, it was getting dark, the road was nasty. We started out with Jock riding behind me on the bike, this was causing handling problems so we rearranged stuff in the sidecar so that he could sit on top of the loaded gear in the sidecar and so we made it into Cooktown when it was quite dark.
Oh I might add there was a stretch of road covered during the day that was absolutely the WORST I was to ride on during my entire trip in the land of Oz. This road was southeast of the national park, I honestly couldn't tell if the surface was badly broken pavement or super hard packed dark gray clay that was eroded into ruts and bumps that left one feeling like they were driving over sharp edged drop offs more like driving over a curb along side of the road.
The suspension on a Ural heavily loaded as was the one I was riding doesn't have enough travel to soak up such sharp drops by the time we had endured this lenght of road my lower back was killing me. I tried to stand on the pegs for the worst bumps but every now and then I'd miss one and the resulting slam to my tail bone made it feel like someone had hit me in the spine with a sledge hammer. YES, by the time we made it to Cooktown, I was beat, I had had just about all the fun my old body could stand in one day. To be continued..................