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Old 10-26-2013, 03:46 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker7one
Good tale well told, keep it up ,thanks.
I know some of that country, thanks for giving me the revisit.
Revisits are cool. Other RR I've read here of my old stomping grounds have always brought a wry smile.

Quote:
...And thanks for sharing a bit of the history.

BTW, with what camera did you take the wide shot, Day 5?
It turned out great.
Going for the ride is always good, but these days I do a bit more study on the history of places. So sharing the history is a pleasure.

The first image on day 5 was taken on a Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3MOS HD SD card camcorder: http://www.panasonic.com.au/Products...DT750/Overview
The still images are 14.5MP. Then cropped with PhotoStudio 5 and height reduced to 350 pixels.
(Not sure how much detail you're after!).

The images are a mixture of everybody's pictures. Between us we took about 19G of images and video. If the kids are bad, I make them sit with me and watch it!
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:50 AM   #32
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Lost, like when you’re in a strange town visiting that strange cat loving Auntie who has been harassing you to visit so she can see the kids, who insisted on giving you directions after she had too much medicine. But who the hell were we going to ask for directions from out here?

Anyway these blokes wanted an adventure they should just harden up a bit and enjoy where I’ve brought them to.

However it was probably best not to mention that as things were a little tense, Pyro could whip out the BBQ plate and have a fire under it in no time, the others have me carved up eaten with my bones and bike buried by sundown - easy.

I’d better come up with a plan.

200m from the intersection there was an unmanned gas pumping station. While the guys were consulting there maps, I went for a ride to see if there was some sort of comms to contact Oil & Gas Mission Control. Nothing there. Then as luck would have it, a field service ute trundles down the road.


Bloke “Bit lost are we?”

No shit Sherlock!

Anyway we had a bit of a yarn, we had, I had missed the turn and we were in the middle of the Fly Lake gas fields on their very flash private road. Pointing us in the right direction, he also mentioned that the track north of Walker Crossing was single lane wheel tracks and that he had rescue a bike rider the day before who had gone under a 4wd.
We got going again in the right direction, along the right road and soon arrived at Walkers Crossing.




We had lunch and contemplated our next move. Originally we were going to camp the night here, but there was no water in the creek, it was rather hot and the flies were pretty thick.

Then this bloke & missus rocks up with push bikes in the back of the ute. He had just completed a Mountain Bike race across the Simpson Desert, doing it in a race time of 36 hours coming 12th! Makes us all look pretty soft!

http://desertchallenge.org/

After lunch, we decided to push on and look for a good camp site in a couple of hours. Pyro would drive ahead and talk to the south bound traffic on the UHF to give the bikes a clear path. This part of the ride was hard work, lots of deep sand in tyre ruts. The scenery was interesting with the trees and shrubs adapted to the heat and lack of water. I didn’t get any photos as it was hot and we had to be totally focused on the job.
About 3pm we found a dried up water hole with a good amount of shade, we contemplated setting up camp. A south bound 4wd pulled up to have a yarn, he suggested a camping spot by a river 20km up the road, sounds great. 5km up the road we went past a prime spot, geez this other place must be flash!

Then next 15km the vegetation thinned out to just dunes and salt bush. So we push on another 10km, another 10km to eventually we pop out of the last dune into this:









Sturt Stony Desert. The Gibber Plains, Gibbers, Gibbers and more Gibbers.
The idea of camping on the Gibber Plains was somehow bizarrely attractive, but it was too early in the day and still way to hot. Riding this track wasn’t too bad, there was one line with few Gibbers, but it took some concentration to get right.

Over a grid we came to a ‘Y’ junction with no signs. This time we got out the Garmin eTrax and maps, worked out where we were and where we wanted to be, then looked at the tyre tracks. We turned right, followed the track through some station and ended up at the Birdsville track next to the Koonchera Dune. Yogi and I fuelled up out of the Jerry cans and we headed north.



Not long after the touristy photo in the old ute, Tanks bike died and refused to start, the clutch case was also extremely hot. Then the stepper motor on the Tiger decided to out in sympathy FFS. Vapour lock on the DR, dust in the Tigers stepper motor.

With only 83km to Birdsville and 45min of daylight left we decided to make a run for the pub. Only had to dodge a few bulls, not many roos & emus. Hit the Queensland border just on dark, pulled into town not long after. Got a room, beer and food. Big Day.

While having a quiet beer we were told of all the horror stories of the season’s bike accidents. How bad the track was from the people towing camper trailers across the QAA line to the Birdsville races. Lots of interesting and not so interesting stories.

About 370km. more interested in having a beer than looking at the mileage! Apart from the stepper motor, the Tiger once again did the job well, however the fuel consumption went up... Something to keep in mind for the soft sand.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:29 AM   #33
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Forgot the map again:


The blue line was plan A, past Cordillo Down, The green line in the Walkers Crossing track, sort of, as the track doesn't show up on Google, I made it as close to what I could find.
I've tried to find the track we went but Google earths photos are too old. It will just have to remain a mystery.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #34
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Those pumps are called "Beam Pumps", usually they run off the natural gas they pump out keeping them self sufficient.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:35 AM   #35
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Thanks zoro, this one was a diesel job. I thought they just did oil, I'll put the bit about Beam Pumps in my CV when I'm chasing work out there.

Day 7 Birdsville



The iconic Birdsville Pub



The pub’s Variety Bash weapon. > http://www.variety.org.au/bash

Our plan for the day was to ride out to Big Red, do a few dunes to assess the conditions. Up until now the ride had its moments but nothing that was over the top hard. After the appropriate amount of caffeine and prescription drugs, we took off. Pyro, Tank & Flash in the Prado, Yogi and me on the bikes.

Not sure about the road out to Big Red. Not sure if it gets used so much, the local council reckon everybody will drive it anyway, local mechanics need to make money from repairs or its there as a joke and the locals have another track, but words fail me how to convey how bad the 36km of road is.
We pull up at the picnic table to let some air out of the tyres. The travel sign gave you a good idea what to expect. We had a bit of yarn with some city people with their flash 4wd’s, the wives waiting impatiently in the heat, while their husbands pumped up the tyres with their new and shiny pump kits.


Large size> http://people.aapt.net.au/~groovin/desert_ride/d703.JPG

Then we were ready to go play.

I’d never rode up a proper dune before, sat there looking at it, thought “oh well, better get on with it then”

http://youtu.be/bgN0tbeluHc


I thought Little Red was relatively easy, Yogi was wrapped, both up now drama.



On top of little red looking west. We had a bit of a look around soaked in the view and decided to ride out to the next dune.

Next dune was a bit more intimidating.

http://youtu.be/_WGzqWLhNis

Looking west from the second dune, the track was cut up and soft. This gave us a better idea what we would be facing.



On the way back we could see the tracks up Big Red were chopped up, so we gave that a miss and decided to go back up Little Red.

http://youtu.be/E92VHwzfyqc


I did aim for the right wheel track but hit that hole at the base, it was all over from there. Pushing the bike up in first gear even with the help of Tank, Pyro and Flash really knocked me about. Not as fit as I once was! Yogi came up the right wheel track peddling hard with a big roost tail out the back, his DRZ’s motor pinging rattling and sounded like it wasn’t happy at all.



Stopped on the way back while waiting for the others to catch up. Contemplating whether or not I’d ride the Simpson. It was about 40degC the heat haze across the flat shimmered like an exotic dancer beckoning you to touch her, then you get the crap beat out of you by the bouncers.



The lure of the Simpson out to Poeppels was strong. It's hot, the next couple of days were forecast hotter, the track was in bad condition, I'm not fit enough to pick the bike up time after time in the soft sand in that heat. Simple risk assessment stuff. I pulled the pin on the ride.

After dinner we decided on our next move. Pyro still wanted to do the Inside Track then up the K1 line to Poeppels, then back along the QAA, Flash & I were in as passengers. Yogi and Tank need to do some maintenance on their bikes. Teed up leaving the Tiger and trailer on the pub with the manager, trip sorted.



They knock up some good tucker at the pub.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #36
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Day 8 Birdsville to Poeppel Corner

As this leg of the journey involves riding in a 4wd, it will be brief. The information is more about the tracks for your trip preparation.



Trailer and bike enclosed in the ring of safety



While on our way to the bakery for breakfast, we spot old mate taking the camels for a morning walk.

Route information: Inside track, generally good, few interesting cattle grid crossings, take care, with the last 20km(?) back in the Sturt Stony Desert. Much better than the Outside track.



Flash filming me getting a few special rocks for the kids, not just any rocks, special rocks.



Route information: If you are heading north along the Birdsville track and wish to do The Inside Track, this the turn off, don’t miss it!




Looking north west at the intersection.



Warburton track, I’m sure you can work that pic out for yourself
Route information: Warburton track; interesting scenery, sandy, a bit like Walkers Crossing.




This the start of the Rig Road, the road is supposed to have a clay base and be easier than the French line. You would have to get the shovel out and dig to the peak off the first dune we are standing on!



K1 Line, like the Warburton track, sandy, easy in other places, interesting scenery.



We found a flattish treed area to camp, about 20km south of Poeppel Corner, I’ll put the GPS coordinates up in the ride wrap up bit.
Really enjoyed the camp out there, worth the effort even though I didn’t take the bike. I’m sure I would have made this part of the trip without any drama. Once again the stars were incredible and the nothingness intoxicating.

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Old 10-29-2013, 03:46 AM   #37
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Thanks for taking us along. Very much enjoying the RR
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:35 PM   #38
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Glad your enjoying it Tom.

Day 9 Poeppel Corner to Birdsville


Up before the sun, overnight was quite cool but wouldn’t last long. We had our caffeine, bacon & egg sandwiches, but no prescription drugs for me today. Put out the fire, clean the camping area, packed and hit the track to Poeppel Corner.
Time for a rant. Why the hell can’t people take their rubbish back with them (deleted the real rant)…Grrrr.



So, we made it. The history about this corner and the original survey team is a good read.
http://www.simpsondesert.fl.net.au/myths/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poeppel_Corner
http://migration.historysa.com.au/co...ls-corner-post

Route information: There are two ways to get up to the QAA line, NNW from the corner a bit of a challenge, then there is the easier continuing along the French line to the K1 Line then head north along the edge of the dry lake



Some interesting sights along the QAA line.
Route information: QAA line; my take on the condition of the track, at the time we went over it, was I had made the correct decision (for me) to leave the bike parked. With the west approach of many dunes badly chopped up.

Maybe I could have made it riding east to west up the steeper face, but the Prado would have struggled, it’s all academic now.

http://youtu.be/f8OZrh1GYzw


I haven’t driven dunes either until this trip! Now Pyro shows how to get up Big Red:

http://youtu.be/3_c9y2SXttY




Just after I’ve taken this shot, Pyro yells out, there’s a bike coming over the last dune! Turn around, to see this:

http://youtu.be/F_E-4JWBsSg


Now I know of an inmate who was supposed to be doing the QAA about today with another 6 riders, hmmm a solo rider in this heat! Iron man? Crazy man? If it's the inmate, where are the other riders? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

We got back to the Birdsville pub, Ben the Manager asks if we took the bikes out. Then proceeds to tell us that there is some sort of drama with some other bikes out in the Simpson, the rescue copper is on its way, no aviation fuel can be used by anybody else.

Things get a little bit strange here. The local copper is out of town, the pub is getting calls from wives, emergency services etc. It appears there is are bikes crashed, stranded and with busted up riders all over the deserts from the Walkers Crossing Track to the Hay River Track. We have a few beers, listen to a few wild rumours of what people have heard.

It’s clear that nobody in town really has a clue what’s really going on. After dinner I decide to go for a walk and find the rider to make sure he’s ok and offer some assistance if possible.

In the Caravan Park there is the KTM with ADV sticker on the back. I knock on the door and introduce myself to Guy, he pours me a Rum. We have a yarn about the ride, there doesn’t seem much I can do to help. There are no signs of any medical problem (dehydration etc.)

The bloke is fit, knows how to ride and knows how to keep hydrated. Enduro competition will give you those skills. Meanwhile his phone is going every minute or so with a family member/friend or wives of the other riders checking in. I’m satisfied he’s not going collapse/drop dead leave him to answer the phone.

Wander back to the hotel not long before the Copper arrives.

http://youtu.be/o2l7Yagq-TA


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/two-men-rescued-in-simpson-desert/5013306
The whole story is long and a little complex, the guys got rescued, nobody died but there are lessons to be learned:
The Lone Ranger should have known whether Tonto would suck the poison out BEFORE the snake bit him on the dick.(Yes I do know how to treat snakebite).
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #39
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I've been a bit busy doing family stuff, so anyway on with the story:

Day 10 Birdsville to Yaraka

While doing maintenance, Yogi found that his cam chain tensioner had failed. It was all over for his ride on this trip. They decided that they would load both bikes on the trailer for the trip back to Brisbane.



The day was going to be hot, there was a strong northerly blowing, (see the flags above the pub), it was to get worse. I rode out of town with the guys in Pyro’s 4wd following. We were heading east to Windorah, the wind had picked up to a sand blasting furnace. I suspect the guys were enjoying an air conditioned vehicle



Keeping the bike in a wheel track, let along find a smooth line was hard work. Every now and then there would be a stretch on tarmac (some would double as an emergency land strip for the RFDS) this would give me a chance to rest and suck down some water.



Dreamtime Serpent near Betoota.
http://www.thediamantina.com.au/betoota/
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-1...etoota/4317884



One rest stop was particularly stunning and worth stopping at; “Deon’s Lookout”.



I had to turn the bike into the wind to stop it from getting blown over!

At around 2pm we arrived at Windorah. After fuelling up and lunch I decide it was too hot to continue, the guys wanted to head straight back to Brisbane, it was time to go our own way. Loaded the rest of my gear on the bike, headed over to the bike rider friendly Western Star Hotel had a few drinks and waited.
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_...ueensland.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windorah
http://www.barcoo.qld.gov.au/about-b...towns/windorah

About 5:30pm I headed north east to Yaraka. Windorah is on the Thomson River, Channel Country. East of town there was one bridge after another with remnants of waterholes, debris and damage from various floods. This country is harsh, it’s either in drought or flood.

I made Retreat just on dark, on a wide graded dirt road. 95km to go - this would be interesting.
Heading north east on newly laid tar seal the road at 60kmh was easy, the LED light bar really proved its worth, dodging kangaroos was a test of complete concentration. The tar ran out after 50km, I just had to be smooth on the brakes.

About 20km out of Yaraka a young buck is on the road, I could tell this bloke was going to be trouble. Slowed down, the buck turned bounded twice off to the left, I picked up the throttle then it turned to me one bound it was right next to my left leg, next bound it was into the front of the bike.

STUPID BLOODY ANIMAL, it happened so fast I didn’t even have time to kick it. Getting the bike back under control. I turned around to see any luggage had been knock off and kick the roo if it was still there. No roo, no dislodged luggage but interestingly the tyre tracks took a sudden move sideways where the impact happened! Made Yaraka with no further drama.

Yaraka must be an aboriginal name for “Night time meeting place of kangaroos” they were everywhere.

Rode up the main street of town to find the pub shut, it was only 8:30pm! Found a house with an outside light on to ask if there was a camping ground, the lady there asked suggested I could camp on the porch of the community hall. Shower toilets and shelter, excellent.





With mounting points broken underneath, I may have to replace the guard.




About 585km of straight road, bloody hard work. Stepper motor playing up doesn't help.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #40
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Day 11 Yaraka to Springsure



Community hall at Yaraka.

Up before the sun, packed and on the road to Blackall with morning’s cool temperature. Good road lots of roos out, just before the one house local of Emmet it turns into an incredibly poor rocky goat track (I don’t think the local council likes the family who lives there).

10 minutes later there is a new shiny 4wd stopped in the middle of the track. Jim and Jenny, retired graziers from Muttaburra, had destroyed a tyre on the crap road. Gave them a hand to change the tyre, then away again. He was travelling at 110kmh, I suggested slowing down maybe a good idea.

For years I’ve heard there’s ‘stuff-all (fuck-all) at Blackall’, so I really wanted to see their ‘stuff-all’. Actually the town was very pleasant with lots to see, including the Jackie Howe museum



Shearing legend Jacky Howe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackall,_Queensland
http://www.btrc.qld.gov.au/blackall-vic



Having breakfast at the Bakery, I first meet up with Ron and Susie a retired couple doing the Grey Nomad thing. Had a look around, fuelled up then headed south east to Tambo on the Landsborough Hwy.

As I was travelling slowly enjoying the ‘stuff all’, this 4wd towing a large off road caravan passed me. The rear luggage rack had snapped, dragging all their crap with sparks from a push bike and various other pieces of debris spraying everywhere including me, along the road. Called them up on the UHF, stopped to help but there wasn’t much I could do.



Just out of Tambo on the Wilderness Way. (After running into Ron and Susie again at Tambo).

This road/track goes over the Great Dividing Range and through the Salvator Rosa Section western side of the Carnarvon National Park.

Not long after this picture the tar seal ends, I see a car coming kicking up a lot of dust and decide to wait. The lady pulls up and says “you know the road ahead is all dirt and there’s lots of bulldust?” “Yep, no worries” I reply. She looks at me in that disapproving School Mistress way and says “Alright then” in the tone I use when someone is going to do something stupid. Hmm, I can’t be that bad.

Running heavy it was a bit of a challenge in places and poorly sign posted, but a rewarding ride. Things did get a bit interesting once in the Park, going down a steep grade there was a section of twisty deep bulldust single track that I thought would have me off the bike. Once again the Tiger just did the job.



Down the bottom a grader had recently cleaned up the track making viewing the scenery very pleasant.



Once on the Dawson Development Road, conditions quickly deteriorated. I’m sure there must have/is warring families between Tambo and Springsure. There local council have made the road so bad in an effort to keep the families separated.

Got to a mates place at Springsure, had a few rums into the late hours.



From Windorah to Springsure, 696km. 47.2ltrs.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #41
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Day 12 Springsure to Eidsvold

I had heard a historical story about the Wills Massacre (or ‘Cullin-La-Ringo’ massacre), as I was nursing a bit of a hangover, a delayed start maybe a good thing. 15km south of town on Wealwandangie Road is the Old Rainworth Fort, there is some interesting ye olde stuff about the place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cullin-La-Ringo_massacre
http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2...ars-young.html





The Apple IIe, indeed an historical item! (syntax error..who remembers that?)



Who’s a pretty boy?



Fuelled up, and headed south east towards Rolleston along the Dawson Hwy.



Compared bike modifications with Duncan at a Rolleston service station.



Even nursing a hangover the boredom of riding bitumen got to me. Headed south along the Fitzroy Development road, stopped to let some air out of the tyres.



Then had to cut east through the forest to get to Theodore. However I left the zipper undone and lost my maps. Oh dear! Hmm, it’s 22km then left for 15km then right then a few more km then left or was it right..



Navigation by the sun is no problem, but I thought taking photos of signs will help the Archaeologists when they find my body.



Not really knowing exactly where I was, I decided to ask at this farm house. The guy gave me directions to town, I was only one valley west.



Dawson River Weir just south of Theodore.
Had a late lunch at a Bakery in Theodore, looked around town then south east to Cracow.



The infamous Fred Brophy’s pub at Cracow.
http://www.sbs.com.au/documentary/pr...ack-Fight-Club
The original plan was to camp at Cracow and have a few quiet beers into the night. But the hangover had other ideas. After a ‘hair of the dog’ beer and look around the pub I was back on the bike heading east.



End of the dirt, pumped tyres up to road pressures and emptied my jerry can into the tank. After a few roos had jumped out, I thought looking for a camp site may be a good idea. 10km west of Eidsvold there was a camp site, pulled in there to find Ron and Susie.

Set up camp, had cups of tea, dinner and shared stories. They had followed me through the Wilderness Way track the day before. Ron said they had a good laugh at some of the interesting tyre tracks in the soft stuff!
When Ron was 17, with no licence, he and a couple of mates rode British singles from Melbourne to Alice Springs. Fixing his bike along the way with bits of fencing wire after losing engine mounting bolts! We’re all soft these days.



447km 19.27 litres of fuel
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:11 PM   #42
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Day 13 Eidsvold to Hervey Bay.

The easy ride home.



Lazy way to set up camp



Ron and Susie with their home made camper enjoying life. Interesting characters, great company.



The back road from Eidsvold to Binjour saw my first snake of the trip, was going to stop but it was an Eastern Brown (http://www.australiangeographic.com.....htm?gid=11893) and thought maybe not! So stopped 100 yards up the road to take a pic of some cows, usually no dangerous unless packing heat;

http://youtu.be/FQMbXvn2RNI




Morning coffee at Gayndah.



Passing a war memorial at Gooroolba I noticed a floral wreath outside the memorial, put it back and read the names. Most towns have a memorial in honour of those who have served and not returned.
http://australia.gov.au/about-austra...tory/anzac-day
http://www.awm.gov.au/

Then on up the road towards Childers. Dropped in on an old whiskery grey haired bloke for a cup of tea and a yarn. Couldn’t bring myself to do the last stretch down the Bruce Hwy, so cut through Duckinwilla forest.





Don't want to get that wrong.

Casually rolling back home at 1pm. Greeted the family, had a shower and unpacked the bike.



According to the trip meter, I travelled 4037 km, with a ride time of 57.29 hours, the bike averaged 4.9 l/100km at an average speed of 67.8 kmh.

That was that then.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:34 PM   #43
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Excellent, entertaining tale, thanks for sharing
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:03 PM   #44
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Thanks Berg,
I'm a bit busy at the moment, I'll do the post mortem in a couple of days.

Really hard to get back into work mode after a good ride!
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:54 AM   #45
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Central Qld
Oddometer: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirt_bloke View Post


Really hard to get back into work mode after a good ride!

Ain't that the truth!!

The best medicine is to start planning another

Good write up Pete and nice to meet you.
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BMW Adventure bikes..... just an excuse to go home early
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