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Old 03-12-2015, 06:16 PM   #1
robstarr OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Oddometer: 20
2 Postie bikes and 4 days. Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Our first decent trip!

Hi all, this will take me some time to post as I've got a lot on at work but I wanted to make a start and will continue with pics and updates as I go.

I've been wanting to head on a trip for a long time and the goal is a very long trip. Luckily I've met a lady (Elli) who has similar goals of travel and adventure and she's got on board with me. To get her license she decided on the same bike as me whilst she learns and in time we'll possibly upgrade, we may not either. Currently Elli is on her learners so trips like this are great for her experience and time on the bike.

We both a ride Honda CT110 each. Ex Australian Post issue. Mine is a 1994 model, hers a 2002.

We were planning on heading from Noosa to Nanango via a direct route through a combination of back roads and forest tracks. From Nanango, west further, up to Chinchilla, north of Gympie, Rainbow Beach then back to Noosa. A fantastic few days of riding ahead of us.

We decided a week or so out that we'd do this trip and started packing the bikes. We had a plan that we'd used google maps to help us with and long story short, before we knew it, the day of the adventure was upon us! Very excited we readied the steeds, did a final mechanical check and pottered off.

We were buzzing along from Noosa to Cooroy, excited at the possibilities ahead of us. We are trying to keep to the back roads due to the postie bikes lack of speed. This one stretch unfortunately is one we have to take to get to those back roads. At times we've moved to the shoulder to let the back log of cars move past. Shoulder riding is not what we want but this is a VERY wide shoulder, designed for the many pushbikes that ride this road in prep for our local triathlon.

We make it to Cooroy, I turn left and zig zag my way through the town centre heading for our first real back road. All of a sudden though I look in the mirror and Elli is not there.

This always creates a little panic in me. My heart skips, gets nervous. She is a newish rider and on her learners. I pull over and wait. Nothing. 30 seconds have passed and I can't take it anymore, I turn and head back. I can't find her for a bit then there she is, pulled over in a carpark looking at me with a sad/deafeted look on her face.

She points to her bike as I pull up. She's OK and that's all I care about. Until of course, I see she has a flat tyre. We'd made it a whole 10k's and got our first flat!

I should also note I've NEVER changed a motorbike tyre. Oh well, no time like now to learn. We get out the tools and I make a start. It's then that I realise I don't have all the tools I need. I'm missing the spanner that will undo the rer wheel nut. Thank God we're in a town! I head into the town centre and grab what I think I need whilst also looking to see if any mechanics are open. It's Saturday afternoon and none are. This is my moment to learn to change this tyre.

I get into it and find the culprit.

I then start with my new tyre irons, screwdrivers, the lot and get jiggy. This isn't so bad! It's taken time due to the shop run but I'm getting there:

Tyre patched (the hole was very obvious) and tube replaced, some time later (due learners mistakes) I am about to put the tyre back on. I realise we have no pump! What?! What stupid beginners mistakes! All I can think of is what would have happened if we were in the thick of a bush situation. We'd be screwed. We're so lucky this happened in town.

I head into town (again) and get a pushbike pump from the dollar store. Returning, I pump it 3 times and it snaps. Cheap junk. Back into town (again) and hit the IGA and grab another pump. A few dollars more but still crap. It starts to pump up the tyre and we're making progress.

At this point a lovely old guy pulls up on his massive bike and decides we can't continue with the silly pump and heads home to bring his real pump back. I put on the tyre whilst he's gone and a few minutes later her returns with a high quality foot pump. What a legend. A few minutes later we're pumped up, bike tested, all is fine and we're away again. We thank him and he simply brushes it off. A biker should help a biker type attitude. Great guy.

Spirits renewed we head off in the direction of Carter's Ridge. The road is stunning! Winding corners, beautiful views. This is what it's all about.

I look back and again, Elli is gone. I can't believe it! I spin around head back and again, she's on the side of the road with a flat back tyre. I'm going to have to learn to do this better.

I have her ride my bike forward to a driveway and I push her bike there. I make a start and change the tyre again. Many bikes are flying past. These are fast street bikes though and nobody is stopping. I'd say about 15 bikes went past whilst we were there. I really don't mind as I'm onto it, but it did feel strange after the older guy was so adamant about a biker helping a biker.

This time a ute drives past, comes back and pulls up behind us. A very gnarly, yet kind looking guy hops out. Introduces himself as Pat. Pat had seen us in town earlier in the day, gone to a friends and was on his way home only to see us again. He's a biker and decided, like the good old guy from earlier that he should check we're fine.

Pat's great, he's got a world of experience and guides me through some great tips on tyre changing. When I tell him I don't have a spare tube he gives me a kind lecture on spare tubes and their importance on a trip like ours. I'm in agreement by this stage. He suggests the flat was probably from riding on the verge when coming from Noosa to Cooroy. Note to self, no more verge riding, cars can wait or we pull off at intersections if required.

After some time we're back on the road but the shitty pump from the IGA was not getting us much pressure in the tyre. He offers to let us stop at his place up ahead, use his air compressor and pump up the tyre. What a legend! We kindly accept his offer.

On the road we go slow with Elli in front as her tyre is only about half pressure. Things are going well then all of a sudden I see her tyre deflate in an instant and she's riding on the rims. The back wheel starts sliding left and right and with not much experience she goes off the road and luckily comes to a stop before the bike falls down.

I race to stop and put my bike on its stand whilst Pat pulls over. We both reach her at the same time and help her up. By this point, at flat tyre number 3 Elli is over it and I completely understand. With a bit of a breather, we decide Elli will drive Pat's ute ahead, Pat will ride my bike and I'll walk Elli's bike under power to his place. Off we go with me trailing in the distance. What a shit start to an epic trip!

Eventually I make it to Pat's. He guides me to his shed. What a great setup. He has 2 bikes, beautiful bikes mind you. We have a bit of a break, talk bikes and we begin work on the tyre (again!).

The tube this time had torn at the valve. A massive rip. Maybe I didn't do up the nut enough? Hard to say but that tube was dead. Not good news. As luck would have it Pat had just been visiting his mate who owns a motobike tyre shop on the Noosa Cooroy road. I couldn't believe our luck. The shop had closed for the day and the owner was heading to a BBQ with his family.

In another example of bikers helping bikers the owner agreed to interrupt his family time, get us 2 new tubes and meet Pat in Cooroy to bring the tubes. Pat and Elli headed off on his massive road bike whilst I prepped the bike and had a break. Some time later they arrive back. Elli grinning ear to ear from experiencing the power of a truly massive bike. Pat grinning ear to ear from experiencing a beautiful young lady on his pillion. Sometimes everybody wins.

We get into it, a brand new tube and pump her up on the air compressor. As we put the tyre back on we notice, you guessed it. Flat again! This is too weird. We're starting to lose our minds a bit and light is disappearing. Off again with the tyre, check the tube and we notice TWO holes. This can't be right.

Elli starts patching them for a backup tube whilst we put the last new tube on the bike. Pump it up again, go to put it on the bike again and ANOTHER flat. 2 holes again. Get stuffed! This is beyond a joke and we're losing it as fast as we're losing light. We realise instantly what the problem is. We check the rim and sure enough the protective rubber strip is stuffed and the spokes have poked holes in our 2 new tubes.

We could cry at this point but we're on a mission and must get this done. Pat's amazing. He just won't give up. He decides to engage the old bush trick of using an old tube to replace the worn out protective rubber on the wheel. Stanley knife in hand we fashion a new layer and replace the old one. This creates a tighter space for the tube and it's hard to get the valve in but eventually we have success.

We pump her up and it stays up. With light now gone we quickly thank Pat, decide Imbil is where we're staying that night and make haste to get there. We invite Pat for a pub meal at Imbil but he's just too humble and won't accept it.

With many thanks we race off for Imbil, worried about Elli's tyre but making it in one piece. The campsite is full strangely enough so we stay in a motel. It's an experience all of its own but we're happy to be in town.

To the pub! Schnitzel, lots of beer, stumble home to the motel and crash out exhausted.

We made it a total of 50Km on our first day. In one way it was a complete disaster. In another way it was a lesson in being prepared. The best bit though is we met a great guy who helped us out that we plan on keeping in touch with. We may have even made a new friend.

Day 1 was a lesson in tyre changing and being prepared. Pat if you ever read this. Thanks so much!

(I'll continue updating the rest of the trip in the coming days. Lots more photos in the future updates).

robstarr screwed with this post 03-12-2015 at 06:23 PM
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:51 AM   #2
Will ride for food.
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Prescott Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 351
I love Postie bikes!
This is a great adventure - can't wait for more installments.
What if there were no more hypothetical questions?
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:28 PM   #3
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Joined: Dec 2013
Location: is going to
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journeys teaches something to us,Way is a teacher
Thansk for sharing your raport with us
Go,by what?where? that dosent matter just go
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:37 PM   #4
Blue Mule
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: The Land of Cheese and Beer
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You know Jock Adams?

"The universe is wider than our views of it." - Henry David Thoreau
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:12 PM   #5
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Oddometer: 1

I think it's not really an adventure if something doesn't go wrong. They're the stories you look back on :)

Ex postie here, so love the idea of touring with postie bikes! I think they make awesome adventure bikes, very capable, lots of storage plus doing more than 80kph just means more wind noise and less time looking at the scenery!

Love to hear more :)
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #6
robstarr OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
Oddometer: 20
Day 2... belated

Apologies for the delay here. Life got in the way in a major way and I had a very nice overseas trip to Europe jump in the middle. Most excellent. :-)

Back to the story:

Day 2:

Today we left Imbil, headed to the large lake nearby with the aim to move around the lake, follow the farmers roads and back tracks and make our way to Nanango through the forest. Oh my, what a day this turned out to be.

I should note again, Elli is on her learners. This is a major jump for her.
Within the first hour we'd crossed about 4 creek crossing, climbed some incredible hill climbs, some so steep I had to get off, walk the bike up under power whilst sliding all over the place and walk back down to get Elli's bike and do the same with hers.

Elli had a few small falls today, once just before a creek crossing (luckily not in it). It was insane for a learner rider and had I knows better (and now I do) I'd have never taken her on such a trip so early on in her riding career.

As usual though, people were great. It started off with amazing farm roads snaking alongside a beautiful creek. Bella creek is what it's actually called and for good reason.

This first leg of the day is where the creek crossings were. Nothing major, all were shallow but very slippery with sand and large, smooth rocks. A really nice ride for those with more experience.

The next leg of the day came the very hilly country with the crazy hill climbs. I believe one rider we came across told us it's called Widow Maker and there were 4WD cars there testing their luck on the back track on their way to a large 4WD park in the same direction we were headed.

Poor Elli, she was riding slowly, was scared and in general was beyond her abilities. To counter we simply kept it really slow, stopped regularly to reset her mind and catch up, enjoy a drink and a snack etc and make the most of it. Nothing bad happened and she learned a lot on this part of the trip.

After some hours of relentlessly steep yet beautiful hills which provided amazing vistas we eventually made it to the large 4WD park entrance, stopped to have lunch and then started the third leg of the day... The unknown forest. This was a gamble. We could cut through the large pine forest using back tracks we'd guestimated on google maps or we could go the long way around the forestry roads that the trucks etc use. We chose the short cut... uhuh. :-)

Some 3 hours later we emerged from the maze after some mind melting choices of which direction to take, how to get around the large horned cattle blocking our way. We even had a young steer (about double my height when seated on my bike) decide we weren't getting past! Beeping, revving, getting ready to turn and race away from him at an instant. It was crazy scary and lots of fun. When we finally found our way out of there and hit the tarmac it was indeed a feeling of achievement and the rewards were amazing. Beautiful country, perfect country roads and little to no traffic.

The last leg was from the forest to Nanango via the back and mostly sealed roads. What a pleasure. We only had one small section of highway to deal with for about 5 kilometers. There were very few cars and eventually we rolled into Nanango, secured some food from the local IGA, got a campsite and settled in for some well earned beers. Today was indeed an epic day that took us a lot of distance through creeks, hills, forests, back roads and will be very memorable for a lifetime.

Again, I am sorry for the delay. I hope these pictures help. :-)

(after the creeks, about to hit the hills. Sorry no photos of the creek crossings, we were pretty pre-occupied)

One of the smaller hills. With a helpful guy that we came across helping Elli build her nerves.

The helpful rider again, after the hill. He rode with us for some time slowly to ensure we were fine on our little bikes. A really nice guy.

The hills behind Gympie on the way to Nanango. Only the farmers who live there know how beautiful it is.

Stopping for lunch. We're MANY hours into the day now. Quite tired and in need of a break.

The forest and her twisting, turning maze of doom. This was quite the adventure. We could have easily got lost in here.

A low key finish to the day in Nanango. Tent set, beers flowing, food cooking... What a truly memorable day.

Part 3 won't be so far away, promise. :-)
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