Around South America and beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cejnys, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    That reminds me of the flies we have here in summer. I wear clear safety glasses to stop them from getting in my eyes. They are very annoying and relentless. Thank Dog they don't bite! I don't know their proper names but I call them "eye flies"! :cry
    JJ
  2. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    Hey JJ, I think they are called bush flies. They are a bit smaller than home flies and thousand times more annoying. And I think they are more stupid because they are easy to kill, which makes no difference at all because there are so many! I always end up walking around and smashing my face like some retard
  3. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

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    when I was in northern Maine, they were called black flies.
  4. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    LOL!! Sounds just like the ones here! Try some clear safety glasses. It will at least keep them from your eyes and are cheap to buy.
    JJ

    PS....They're not the dreaded Black Flies which bite. We have them as well! Also noseeums which are tiny and bite like hell!!....and mosquitoes the size of helicopters that carry off small children.....
    jj
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  5. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    :oscar
    I knew there had to be some explanation!


    :hide
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  6. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Hmmm...On another note, in today's world It is derogatory and possibly racist to use color in a description, therefore from this time on I am going to refer to the dark colored biting flies as mutherfucker flies....
  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    :jack

    Anything one says can and will be used against them!

    :fpalm
  8. pranajerni

    pranajerni Been here awhile

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    my brother's a retard.
  9. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    I am sorry for what I wrote pranajerni, I did not mean to offend anyone!
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  10. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    The next day started really well; AJ made nice breakfast and we set off for the CSR. The first parts were pretty easy with many heavy corrugations. For the bike it was ok, for AJ’s old land cruiser not so much. Things started to brake on the old Toyota like they were made out of sugar.

    [​IMG]

    Then we hit the first sand parts. At the beginning the corrugations were covered by sand which was really nice for AJ as he could nicely ride over them. If the sand was up to 10 cm the 990 was doing pretty well, as it still got a bit of traction from the hard bottom while floating on a small layer of sand. When the sand started to be deeper it started to be much harder.

    It was nearly impossible to keep the bike on a straight line. The rear wheel was always all over the place while it was nearly impossible to keep the front wheel above the sand.

    Because the bike was heavy it was hard to stop these back wheel kicks; many times I was going sideways and trying to correct the heavy bike was impossible. With fully loaded 990 its not an easy task. It did not take long and I had my first crash. It was one of these situations when the rear started going off line, I corrected it few times and lost speed, front wheel dug in the sand and I was down.


    Trying to lift the bike with all the fuel on it was impossible. The temperature was getting close to 45 celsius and the sand was probably around 65. My water consumption was very high, especially when I had to lift the bike. To be able to do it I had to remove some canisters, and had to give it 110% to put my 990 back on 2 wheels. AJ was ahead of me so he could not help me. After the first successful attempt I was already exhausted. If I remember correctly I drunk the whole water bottle in 15 seconds. I could easily make tea or coffee how hot the drinking water was, nevertheless I will never forget how great it tasted.

    I was determined to keep going; the same problem with heavy bike and deep sand repeated itself and I crashed probably 5 more times. At that time AJ was driving behind me so he always jumped out of his car and helped me to lift up the bike.

    Here I am waiting for AJ to catch up with me and help me to lift the bike. Fortunately there were some small bushes which provided some shade

    [​IMG]

    The last crash was pretty un/fortunate. The bike got thrown to the left side and my foot got stuck on small but strong piece of gras. As my bike was still moving, the left pannier crashed my ankle agains the ground. It took me some effort to pull it out. Immediately I knew that this was bad one. First I could not feel anything because I was high on adrenaline, then the adrenalin started to wear out and very sharp pain came to my ankle.

    I took my foot out of my boot and it did not look good. It was hard to move the ankle and it got much bigger. After about 30 min we decided that we would set up a camp at the place I crashed because I could not ride anymore. I just could not get my foot back into the boot.

    At this time of the year there is nobody on the CSR so camping on the actual road was not a problem.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I went to bed I did not feel good; I had a fever and my leg was hurting like hell. I started to think about possible scenarios. It started to be obvious that the bike in this set up was too heavy for this type of riding.

    This was still considered as an easy part; I could not imagine what would happen if we get to the hard part with very deep sand. I did not have much sleep that night; I was very determined to go ahead and finish this road but on the other side I was injured and the bike was not even close to be suitable for tackling sand dunes.

    The next morning I woke up around 3:30; the sunrise was around 4. I could not stop, I was thinking about the next step. Go back or keep going.

    This photo taken by AJ describes the atmosphere quite well

    [​IMG]

    I really wanted to go; the road looked like loads of fun just to have the right equipment. One point we even discussed whether to put my stuff into AJ’s land cruiser. It would make a huge difference. The problem with this arrangement was that his car was already overloaded. His suspension was to its max and due to the corrugations already 4 things broke on his car (including lost exhaust).

    I could see that he was not happy about fitting more stuff in his car so I did not push it any further. To recover a bike from that area is fairly easy, you just need a pick up truck and a week or two of someones time; recovering a car is a totally different challenge.

    In the morning I tried to fit my foot into the boot but it was still too big and painful to do it. There was not traffic on the road so we just camped there hoping that the ankle gets better. It was bloody hot, around 45 degrees and we started to get low on water.

    After a short calculation we figured out that we would have to get more water early the next day to be able to survive.

    There were two options; well 49 was about 70 km ahead of us or the Billiluna community was 80km back. If I could not ride AJ would have to take his car and go to get water, while I would have to wait for him with the bike. I would not risk to leave the bike on a side of the road unattended.

    Mid afternoon I tried to put my left feet into the boot and it went in with quite a bit of pain; that was a very positive sign. I could hardly walk but I could imagine that riding would be ok. I could do gears changing with the whole leg instead of the foot only.

    We started to pack immediately; the next question to answer was “which way?” My heart was screaming “well 49!!!”, my head was saying “Billiluna.....”

    This was a very difficult decision. I really appreciated that AJ did not interfere with my thinking and let me decide. I knew that he would love to head towards the well 49; and I was very close of picking that direction.

    One of the big driver for my decision was the fact that I wanted to have fun on this road, and it would be so much fun out there if I was riding the right bike!!! Also I started to be concern about our safety. If my foot was damaged a bit more and AJ’s car had something more serious broken then we would be in a serious trouble; water usage was very high. Plus getting more water in this type of terrain is far from easy.

    It looks like I found another reason for getting much smaller adventure bike.

    Even the ride back to Billiluna was not easy and it confirmed that I made the ride decision. I still had few falls, AJ was driving behind me so he had to jump out of the car and help me to lift the bike up. With my bad ankle it was more challenging with every fall.

    [​IMG]

    We made it to Billiluna just before the sunset. Our friend Alan was in front of his house waiving at us and shouting that he was expecting us for dinner so he cooked more bolognese that day.

    He told us that he expected us to get back due to rain and blocked road
  11. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Wow! The realities of adventure riding. Awesome write up!:clap
    JJ
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  12. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    Would you have risked this adventure on your own or was it clear from the beginning that you were looking for a companion?

  13. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Hell of a track to cover with that big KTM with loads of fuel aboard. I’ve been saving up my pennies to have one of those easy pesy chauffeured trips on the CSR with cold beer every night out of the support truck riding a fun little bike.
    That track is one of the main reasons I want to visit Australia.
    Too bad the old LandCruiser didn’t have any more room/weight to spare. Hats of for making a run at it in Summertime. Think you choose wisely preserving bike and body.

    Looking forward to the rest of your route down under.
  14. cejnys

    cejnys Been here awhile

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    More I was learning about the CSR more I knew that I should team up with somebody else. I’m not saying that it is not possible to do it alone. I’m my opinion there are few conditions that need to be met.

    Of course I have not seen much of the CSR but even this short experience made me learn a big lesson.

    If I were going alone or with another bike (without car support) I would follow these points:

    1) time of the year changes the conditions dramatically. High temperatures during a day can kill you...literally. During spring/summer it’s very easy to run out of water or being dehydrated. Lower temperatures mean you can carry less water, less weight.

    2) smaller cc bike is key. You have to be able to cover minimum of 1000 km without a petrol station. 990 takes 6.50-8 liters per 100 when off-road. That mans you have to carry up to 80 liters of fuel.

    I would pick a bike with up to 3.5 liters per 100 km consumption. That means you would have to carry only 35 liters with you.

    3) the bike needs to be light. Lighter bike is much better in sand. Also there is a chance of dropping the bike quite a bit and lifting a light bike will save you loads of energy.

    4) I would put new tires just before entering the CSR. I installed new tires in Darwin; by the time I made it to Billiluna my rear was half way used. After the first 80 km of the CSR I could see some searious tear & wear. I was doubting whether it could take 1500 km more. What I understand you need good tires during the whole CSR

    5) on a bike I would be very limited with food. Dry food is fine for few weeks. I found dry milk pretty tasty and with good muesli provides a decent source of energy. Not being hungry for 21 days and carry everything with you it’s a good challenge. There is a possibility to buy food in the middle but I don’t know what can you buy and hiw much it is.

    There are many other things; these five points I see as major ones.
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  15. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    At least you didn't pay out $500 for 50 litres of rotopax kit. $30 for those 3 plastic cannisters?
  16. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Excellent report on an absolutely outstanding adventure. The CSR is definitely on my bucket list.
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  17. Kona990

    Kona990 Been here awhile

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    Wow Rad!!! good you made it back, things could of definitely been way worse with your ankle...and no joke that extreme heat can kill you!!! I experienced heat like that in Afghanistan
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  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    :( sorry Rad. Hope you're healing up now.
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  19. Cuzen

    Cuzen Been here awhile

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    Glade things turned out pretty good....it could have got ugly. Ride safe.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Radim good to see you made the right decision I applaud that. This route, along with many others in outback Australia are not to be trifled with. They can be killers. If the locals don't touch them in the summer then that needs to be heeded. Some on here have encouraged you to attempt it. Thing is they are from Europe, Nth America and else where. To be brutally honest they generally haven't a clue, as to what is required to attempt a ride like this.

    I'd like to add, I really appreciate both the honesty of your RR and the way you internalise your thinking once out in these remote places, assessing the situation and pulling together a logical plan.

    Keep it up, get the leg mended and we'll share a beer in a month or so, cheers, Graeme.
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