Following the Front Wheel- Postie Bike Ride

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by RDT953, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    As suggested in the title, this is a ride with minimal planning in regards to route and schedule.
    The intention is to get my bike from Darwin to Dili for a ride around and through Timor-Leste and then head to Western Timor (Indonesia) to take a ferry from Kupang to Flores.
    As I write this I'm waiting for a phone call from Toll Marine, the shipping company to tell me to come and collect my bike. So far I'm just under one month behind my intended start date due to delays in shipping. I'm learning very early that not having a fixed schedule is a definite advantage in this part of the world.
    Postie Bike should have been here in Dili after; several previous delays on the 23rd so I flew over on the 24th with the intention of collecting it the next day. If I manage to collect it today I'll be very happy.

    Introducing Postie Bike.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Postie%20pics/temporary-1.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Postie%20pics/temporary-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Adventure Ready photo temporary-1.jpg"/></a>

    I'm at Timor Backpackers with Hemuli, who is on his own adventure RTW on a slightly larger bike, he's waiting for his bike to go in the opposite direction.

    I'll update as often as I can and try to keep the RR interesting with lots of pics rather than lots of words.
    #1
  2. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy Sometimes I'm A Jerk

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    Sounds like fun.

    I'm in!

    :lurk
    #2
  3. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    In a container on one of those ships out there is my bike.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/P1100345.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/P1100345.jpg" border="0" alt="So near, and yet! photo P1100345.jpg"/></a>
    #3
  4. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Is this why the boats are so far behind schedule?

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/P1100341.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/P1100341.jpg" border="0" alt="Safety Sam photo P1100341.jpg"/></a>
    #4
  5. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    At last, reunited with Postie Bike

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20130930_008.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20130930_008.jpg" border="0" alt="Being set free photo WP_20130930_008.jpg"/></a>

    Now to see how many more kilometers we can clock up.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20130930_009.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20130930_009.jpg" border="0" alt="Starting Odometer reading photo WP_20130930_009.jpg"/></a>

    Heading up to Mount Ramelau tomorrow then back to Dili to collect my passport and visa for Indonesia. The plan is to then head east along the coast looking for good fishing spots

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/WP_20130929_007.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/WP_20130929_007.jpg" border="0" alt="Part of Timor photo WP_20130929_007.jpg"/></a>
    #5
  6. haildamage

    haildamage Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    181
    Location:
    Location: Kyoto, Japan
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. foxaviz

    foxaviz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Klaten, Indonesia
    Give me a honk in this thread in time you pass the East/Central Java border! I'll be glad to pick you up and show you around the town of Yogyakarta :thumb Perhaps I'll give you an escort as well on your road to West Java/Jakarta. Enjoy the trip and stay safe.
    #7
  8. nathanthepostman

    nathanthepostman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    610
    yeah nice one mate, nice set up you've got there. Ride on!
    #8
  9. tradern

    tradern Windsor NSW

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Windsor NSW
    Best of luck and have a blast Robin! Wish I was tagging along!!!
    #9
  10. kakkerlak

    kakkerlak n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Well done....... so far. Looking forward to reading about your further travels!
    #10
  11. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,072
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Loooks like fun!
    Tell us a bit about how you've set the bike up. I have an old Trail 90 .
    #11
  12. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Thanks for the good wishes and the responses.
    Bike has no mechanical modifications at all, the only changes have been the additional fuel tank and luggage.
    Spare parts tube and longer tube for tent poles and fishing rod made by me.
    Pannier rack made by Orna Steel in Darwin
    Saddle bags by Andy Strapz

    Well I braved the Dili traffic this morning and set off; the journey has begun at last. Actually Dili traffic is pretty well behaved. Managed to take a wrong turn and did a bit of a loop back through town but got my bearings sorted and headed up and up and up. Locals are great with directions most of the time. I stopped to offer assistance to a local rider stopped on the side of the road, he was fine just filling his oil. We were heading in the same direction and played tag for the rest of the trip. He found me later in the day looking for the track to the mountain and pointed me in the right direction.

    Bloody oath I look stupid on this thing, no wonder the locals stop and gawk.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/Ridebegins.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/Ridebegins.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Ridebegins.jpg"/></a>

    The highest altitude I got yo on the road was around 2200m, bike handled it pretty well.

    Have to leave it at that for now, data speed up here is painfully slow and photobucket is misbehaving.
    #12
  13. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    When I pulled up there was nobody in sight but within 30 seconds a swarm of kids dissolved from the trees. I caught the youngest eyeing off my hand of bananas so I shared them around. Made the kids pretty happy and I still had enough for lunch.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/Happywithgiftofbananas.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/Happywithgiftofbananas.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo Happywithgiftofbananas.jpg"/></a>
    #13
  14. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    In some places the road was terrible and the rest was just bloody awful. The last 20k to Hatubuilico looked like the Romans had made it, just fist sized stones in the dirt. Nothing a Postie can't handle of course.
    I thought this washout was worth the picture. This was one of the better parts of the road.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/washaway.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/washaway.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo washaway.jpg"/></a>
    #14
  15. foxaviz

    foxaviz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Klaten, Indonesia
    :thumb Two thumbs up! :thumb
    Keep it goin'!
    #15
  16. blek

    blek Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
    Hello there. I've finished my Trans-Sumatran trip and now heading back home. Whenever you ride near my small city, Dompu, West Nusa Tenggara, Sumbawa Island, contact me. My e-mail is blackdramon(at)gmail(dot)com

    Here is a thread that you might find useful on your journey around Nusa Tenggara. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=824611
    #16
  17. kyotoviking

    kyotoviking Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Kobe, Japan.
    Awesome. The Viking is very happy. Wishing you a nice ride, and I am really happy you're making this ride report and bringing us with you. Thank you!!!
    #17
  18. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    Writing this at 0500. It seems to be the best time of day for internet speed. Had a very quiet night.

    Had a huge day yesterday. Up before the sun for a look at the mountain in that nice soft light that happens before the sun breaks through. Breakfast of strong sweet black Timor coffee and bread rolls then back down the mountain to Dili to collect my passport with a shiny new visa for Indonesia. Postie Bike (PB) much prefers downhill to uphill.
    Now camped in complete solitude on a beach about 85klm east of Dili. Do believe I'll break out the fishing gear in the morning.
    Managed to overlook shopping in my rush to get out of Dili so its bananas and water for dinner, same as lunch. Makes for a cheap day $3 plus $10 for fuel.

    First view of the mountain

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100365.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100365.jpg" border="0" alt="First sight of Ramelau photo P1100365.jpg"/></a>

    Strong winds in the morning created dramatic rapidly changing cloud formations

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100377.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100377.jpg" border="0" alt="Clouds being stretched by strong winds photo P1100377.jpg"/></a>

    Heading back down the mountain with PB

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100384.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100384.jpg" border="0" alt="Down the mountain photo P1100384.jpg"/></a>

    Stopped in at the Fire Station in Aileu, retired Firefighters can't resist fire stations. Was made very welcome by the crew.

    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100390.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100390.jpg" border="0" alt="Aileu Fire Dept. photo P1100390.jpg"/></a>
    #18
  19. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    I'll be calling.
    #19
  20. RDT953

    RDT953 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    288
    Location:
    Kobe Japan
    After wild camping on the coast between Manatuto and Baucau I headed off with the intent of getting to Lospalos, however somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn and found out I was heading towards Viqueque. I’d intended to come back this way in any case so I just kept going. The country is pretty dry but the mountain scenery is still pretty spectacular.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_007.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_007.jpg" border="0" alt="Mountains photo WP_20131003_007.jpg"/></a>
    The road was still pretty crappy but I could make reasonable time averaging 20 to 30 kmh while I was moving but the frequent stops for sightseeing and photography slowed me down more.
    The town of Viqueque is set in a nice pocket of rainforest with a lovely waterfall right in town. I found a guesthouse and considered staying the night but the price at $40 was out of my range so I kept going to the southern coast of Timor.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_010.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_010.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131003_010.jpg"/></a>
    I stopped briefly to have a look at the beach and was considering setting up camp in what looked to be a coconut plantation but some bloke came along and said something which by his arm action and tone sounded like “piss off Noddy, you’re not camping here” but it could well have been “ look at that sky, what a brilliant day” however I still had a few hours of sun left so decided to play it safe and keep going.
    A bit further along I passed a family farm and spied the father busy at work on what was once a tree but now was being transformed into a boat so I invited myself in and by means of hand and body language asked if I could watch. Anyway to keep it short, I was treated like the honoured guest and invited to sit in the only chair in the shade. I took a couple of pics and some video of the bloke hard at work and then the little kids lined up for a photo so I took one of them. Now I bought out the friend maker; my little Polaroid instant photo printer and before their very eyes produced a print of the kids. Mother was over the moon with this and ran out to the road to show people going by. When she got back and calmed down we took a nice family portrait to print as well, then a couple of the older sisters wanted a photo.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_016.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_016.jpg" border="0" alt="Boat building photo WP_20131003_016.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_017.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_017.jpg" border="0" alt="First photo photo WP_20131003_017.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100405.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/P1100405.jpg" border="0" alt="Boat builders kids photo P1100405.jpg"/></a>
    Hit the road again as time was running out to find a decent camp. About halfway between Beacu and Iliomar I came to the perfect spot.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_021.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_021.jpg" border="0" alt="Wild camp second night photo WP_20131003_021.jpg"/></a>
    I thought I was in the middle of nowhere; I’d gotten well off the road and hadn’t seen a car or any other vehicle for over an hour. I just got dinner cooking and bugger me some bloke comes walking up the hill, waltzes over and sits down to stare at me. After the usual pleasantries I gave him a pack of dried banana and wished he would take that as a parting gift but he just sat and stared. I tried my best to let him know it was getting late and that he really should be moving on but just more sitting and staring at my tent, stove, food, water, and Postie Bike most of all. You might imagine what was going on in my head when without a word but a big smile and wave he ups and off over the hill. Phew! Why do we always think the worst of people?
    Anyway I had a great sleep and up at sparrow fart to get the cam packed up, try for internet, unsuccessfully and hit the road.
    This next section from camp to Iliomar was to be some of the roughest road so far but also the most rewarding. This section is pretty much virgin coastal rainforest and is lovely to ride through. The road descended into deep gullies to cross small creeks and then climbed high for sweeping views of the coast. At times I was concerned that if I couldn’t climb the other side of the gully that I might not be able to backtrack either, but I should never have doubted the Postie it just kept going.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_003.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_003.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131004_003.jpg"/></a>
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_006.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131004_006.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo WP_20131004_006.jpg"/></a>
    Now I’m in to very remote areas seldom visited by travellers, the villages here are about as traditional as they can get and at times I feel like I’m riding through the pages of National Geographic.
    <a href="http://s1160.photobucket.com/user/RDT953/media/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_019.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1160.photobucket.com/albums/q493/RDT953/Touring%20East%20Timor%20by%20Postie%20Bike/WP_20131003_019.jpg" border="0" alt="Traditional village Timor Leste photo WP_20131003_019.jpg"/></a>
    The road continued up into the mountains, some sections very rough but other sections of smooth surface made road shaded by a canopy of leafy trees, it was so good to get into 4th gear for a while. I’d fitted a tiny voltage converter to charge the computer but with such slow progress the motor hasn’t been revving hard enough to produce much in the way of electricity. Even with the headlight turned off the computer only managed to get up to about 30 percent charge.
    #20