Mr. Cob, goes for a ride-about, down under.........

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Mr. Cob, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,385
    Location:
    BFE, SW Oregon/SF BayO'rhea
    Great stuff so far! Keep it coming!

    :lurk
    #21
  2. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy backtodirt,

    I must have forgotten to include in the first post of this ride report that my time in Oz was from July 23rd to August 23rd of 2012, I have been home for a while and just now got around to writing this ride report. Thanks for your post and explanation of utility costs etc. The cost of electricity where I live is also expensive, we pay around 200 bucks a month and we have some of the largest hydro-electric dams in the nation in our State, much of the power generated in the State I live in is sent to other States where it is sold at a cheaper rate then what we pay, that's politics for you.

    Jock and all the Aussies I met whilst in your country took very good care of me, Jock is now riding in the USA and is staying with folks all over the country, he'll be back in Oz by the end of this month. Jock is a good mate and great fun to ride with.
    #22
  3. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,644
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    Let me know if he needs anything if he's in NY.
    Now post some more pictures dammit!
    #23
  4. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy All,

    Day five of the rideabout, was a great one, Mark rode his bike and gave us a guided tour of many cool places and parks. As I don't remember the names of the towns and parks we rode through I am just going to post a lot of photos to give you an idea of the fun we had, THANKS Mark for being our tour guide on this wonderful, clear but very chilly day. :clap First photo, we leave from Marks home, during the day we ride south toward Canberra.
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    Jock and his bike.
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    Mark and his bike.
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    The remains of an old light house.
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    We stop for a snack before riding to the next park, 3 dollars for a candy bar, 3 and a half bucks for a can of Coke.
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    We walk to a look out point.
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    Mark rode with us to this pub-store, here we had some lunch before again heading south. Thank you Mark for your kind hospitality, for lodging us, feeding us and filling us with beer and wine, for being our tour guide whilst in your area. If you should ever make it to my side of the big pond and find yourself in the Great Nor-Wet, please contact me and allow me to repay your hospitality. :deal
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    Across the street from the pub, "Ned Kelly" kept an eye on things.
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    After Mark left, Jock and I continued to ride south, there was no room at this inn, so we rode on.
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    By the time we found a place to stay it was getting dark and COLD, we were near Canberra the capital city of Australia. We found a room, got a evening meal some drinks and found free wifi in a coffee shop. It dropped below freezing during the night, I am glad we had a room and weren't yet camping.
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    So ended day five of the rideabout, it was a great day filled with many spectacular views and just plain fun, Mark and Jock are fine folks to ride and just hang out with. Stay tuned, day six would be both a very good day and for me a very hard one at times but well worth it.
    #24
  5. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy All,

    The early part of day six of the rideabout, was spent paying my respects to my Australian Brothers who also fought in the Vietnam war. When I first talked to Jock about coming to Australia I mentioned to him that one of the things most important to me whilst in Australia was to visit their memorial to their Vietnam Vets, he assured me that this would be part of our plan.

    As we rode around Canberra looking for the memorial we passed by many of the government buildings, I sure hope I remember these building correctly, I think this is the new capital building. While taking this and a couple of other photos the mobile security team asked us to move on, they didn't want us stopped near any of the buildings, I guess a couple of old gray haired guys looked like terrorists to them.:lol3 This is the new government building.
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    The Australian flag.
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    The old government house.
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    Looking back at the new government house from where all the war memorials are located.
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    There is a long boulevard along both sides of which are located memorials to all who have served in all the wars that Australia has participated in, we were pressed for time so I didn't get the chance to view all of them as I would have liked to. We did spend about 15 minutes at the Vietnam memorial, seeing this memorial, and especially reading the words engraved on its stone walls brought back many old memories both good and bad. My Armored unit several times worked with the Aussie Armored Troops, I am glad to have had the privilege to honor them by viewing this memorial.
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    I urge you to go to my Smugmug page and view this and other photos of the words on the inside of this memorial in the original size so you can easily read what is chiseled in the stone, words that in some cases will break your hearts and if you were there or lost someone there will bring tears to your eyes.
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    We rode from the Vietnam memorial to the war museum that was about a half mile away. The museum held may exhibits from past wars.
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    There were many bronze panels, listing the units and members of those units who had died in the wars Australia has fought.
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    This panel lists the Armored units in Vietnam and those killed.
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    We went inside the museum to look for the Vietnam section of the display. Here we found a display with an M113, Armored Personal Carrier, the same type of tracked vehicle I spent much of my time in Vietnam in command of.
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    The inside of the APC, sorry for the gloomy photos the display was not lit very well and I am a poor photographer.
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    Thank you Jock for taking me to the memorial and the museum, it meant a lot to me to pay my respects to my Australian Bothers in Arms. :devildog

    We were running late, we were supposed to meet a local Ural rider who would lead us to the Russian Embassy where we would be greeted by the Russian staff who worked there, they were very interested in visiting with us and I was looking forward to seeing how we would be received by them. Before going to the embassy Bob met us and we had a snack, hot coffee and another of those great hot meat pies. Bob is in the center of this photo.
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    I had a steak-bacon and mushroom, pie. :dg
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    When we arrived at the embassy, they would only allow two of us in, security I suppose, so Bob and I rode our Ural's into the embassy grounds,
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    Whilst Jock was left looking through the gate.
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    Once the ice was broken, we all had a lot of fun talking through the interpretor to the staff and their families. Many of the older folks were very happy to see the Ural's as many had ridden in them when they were childern and the Ural was the family car, pickup truck, school bus and farm to market vehicle. Many wanted a ride so Bob and I spent the better part of an hour giving everyone a ride around the main building of the embassy, the kids especially loved this.
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    I talked to the interpretor and asked if Jock could also be allowed inside the embassy, I guess after looking at the three of us, all old geezers it was deemed that we were not a threat and so Jock was also let inside the fence.
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    This little girl really loved the Ural's, she jumped up and down laughing and just wanted to ride all day.
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    The Russian's presented me with a bottle of very special wine, on the label was a photo of Uri Gargarian (sp), the first man into space. I have yet to open this wine, I am saving it for a special occasion.
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    Mark, I gave to the Russian interpretor the flask you gave to me, I hope this is OK I didn't have anything with me that would have made a proper gift but he was very pleased with this flask.
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    We were having a lot of fun at the embassy, I enjoyed meeting the Russian's and kids were great; however we had a lot of miles to cover as we would be spending the night with Inmate "Dirty Dennis" and we had to "find" his home out in the country. So we said our goodbyes to the staff at the embassy, Bob rode with us for a while as we headed out of Canberra toward Dennis's home. Canberra would be the southern most pint of my sojourn, from here we would head northwest.

    Finding Dennis's home was in one way a lot of fun in that we traveled just about every road in the area and at the same time frustrating as it was getting dark and COLD. Jock finally got Dennis on his cell phone and we met at a cross roads where we had taken a wrong turn. When we arrived there was a fire going in the wood stove, cold beer and warm conversation after we had put the bikes away in the garage. Later we had a great meal and swapped lies well into the evening. Here are Dennis's wife, Dennis, a long time friend of the family and Jock. Sorry I have forgotten names.
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    Dennis takes our dinner photo.
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    YES, I got another dog fix whilst at Dennis's home.
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    And so day six came to a close; it had been a day of sad reflection and heart felt laughter, a great day to be alive and amongst new friends in a far off land, a day to be remembered and cherished. Stay tuned.
    #25
  6. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,276
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Way to go Mr.Cob!!! :clap

    It was a remarkable coincidence to met you last month near Wet Fest.

    As always, it's great to hang out with you.
    Stay well my friend.
    Q~
    #26
  7. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy Questor,

    Thanks for getting me in the program, and yes it was kinda neat meeting you in the middle of nowhere last summer. I have tested the gear in the heat and dust, now in a short while I'll be testing it in the rain and cold. Ride hard my friend. :deal
    #27
  8. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,644
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    Mr. Cob- "Ural Ambassador to the World". :freaky
    #28
  9. MartyL

    MartyL Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    183
    Who says a Ural won't take you places. Mr. COB, you touch many lives. You da man! Ride on!!!:clap
    #29
  10. patiodadio

    patiodadio Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Backwoods of Kentucky
    Subscribed :lurk




    .
    #30
  11. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,784
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Awesome trip, thanks for posting the pics and story.
    #31
  12. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy All,

    Jock sent me an email that included a map of this trip, each day is marked on the map in a different color, sorry for the poor photos, they are of my computer screen, still this should give you an idea of where we were on any given day of the sojourn. Here is the over all map,
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    Here is a detail of the part of Oz that we traveled.
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    Remember that day six of the rideabout took us to Canberra, the southern most part of the ride, from Canberra we rode northwest to Dennis's home. Day seven of the rideabout, started out very cold in the morning and got colder as we rode. Here's a shot of Dennis's home and the garage we parked in for the night.
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    It wasn't long before we stopped to put on more clothing, I put on my cold weather gloves and neck warmer, Jock put on his blue rain-cold weather cover-alls. The wind and the air moving past us as we rode penetrated any opening in our riding gear.
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    Jock now looking like "Papa Smurf" we continued on.
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    I have no idea where this old building was, I just thought it would make a good photo.
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    We stopped at this bike shop to buy some oil and spare tire for Jock's bike, for a few days I had seen that Jock's hands were cold and convinced him to buy a pair of cold weather gloves whilst at this shop.
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    We stopped here for lunch and then rode on.
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    I didn't take many photos, it was COLD and we were just knocking down the miles-klicks, we would stop for gas, grab a quick snack and then hit the road. Just as it was starting to get dark we found a room in the town of Scone, we put our gear in the room and went into the pub for food and drinks.
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    One thing I really liked about the Aussie's they talk straight as can be seen by this sign in the cigarette machine in the pub.
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    On day eight of the rideabout we met up with Zac, the other Yank who would spend the next couple of weeks riding with us. On the way to meet Zac we would again be riding in the mountains, beautiful country.
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    The grades were steep, we passed many large trucks.
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    The weather was kinda overcast, looked like it would rain but it didn't, but it was cold.
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    Jock's friend Gene who races a sidecar equipped iron head Sporster, had picked Zac up at the airport and given him a ride to where Jock had left the KLR. Zac then rode the KLR and Gene drove his car to the bike museum where we met up. Gene is standing on the left, Jock in the middle, Zac on the right.
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    After Gene had left to go home, Jock, Zac and I continued our journey, we stopped at this store to buy a funnel.
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    We rode the rest of the day on our way to Inmate "Rev Tiny" home where would spend the night. Tiny lives in a very neat 100 plus year old house.
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    After we were settled in, I did an oil change on the Ural, Tiny then took us to a club where we had a good dinner and more beer. Tiny, who is HUGE and his wife are seated on the left.
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    The morning of day nine of the rideabout, before Tiny left for work we took this photo, Cob, Zac, Tiny and Jock.
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    Zac and Jock spent a few hours getting crash bars bolted onto the KLR, some parts had to be reworked and some hardware scrounged but they were successful in the end.
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    The crash bars in place, the air filter cleaned, Zac has his gear loaded, we are ready to hit the road.
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    Before we leave from Tiny's home, I had to get one more dog fix.
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    We stop for food and fuel.
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    I liked this guy.
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    Every time we stopped if there were people around they asked questions and wanted to talk about the Ural.
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    We rode until we camped at a caravan park near or in Burke, it only got down to -2C that night so it wasn't bad. I had a GOOD sleeping bag, nice air mattress all this on top of a small fold down cot, having a sidecar to haul your gear in means being able to be COMFORTABLE, important when you get to be an old fat geezer.
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    Zac's tent.
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    Jock's tent.
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    Getting up the next morning, day ten of the rideabout, it was down right CHILLY outside.
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    A bit of heavy frost on the bike seats.
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    In the morning after breaking camp we rode into town for food and fuel, stopped at park and looked at the river which was heavy with silt.
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    An old pump engine was on display.
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    Later we again stop for food and fuel, here we filled up the red spare gas can for the first time. From here on we would be heading into the out back, the Ural was getting around 25-27 miles per gallon, so having the two 2.5 gallon spare gas cans was needed to insure I made it between fuel stops.
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    THIS, is what I had come to Australia for, the next two and a half weeks would be thousands of klicks-miles of this type of road sometimes MUCH worse, oh yeah we're havin FUN NOW.
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    In the photos of the dirt, gravel, sometimes very narrow paved roads that will follow in this ride report the surface looks to be very smooth, NOTHING could be further from the truth. The sand in places was very deep, depending on what time of day it was and how the shadows lay across the road made it very difficult to see the ruts, HOLES and sometimes rocks that lay beneath what looked like a freshly maintained surface. The dust in places was very bad making riding within sight of each other next to impossible. Because of the dust and the very POOR design of the air box-filter on the Ural, I rode the Ural ahead of Jock and Zac for most of the trip. That way I could set the pace and keep the air filter clean for a long time before having to service it.

    Jock would tell me where we were going, show me on the map what to look for and then send me on my way, THANKS for doing this Jock, it made the trip much more enjoyable, in this way I could stop and take photos, ride at my own pace if I wanted to just take in the scenery and not have to beat the Ural trying to keep up with the bikes when we came to hills. Oh and if you think that having the Ural set the pace meant SLOW, your mistaken I was running the Ural at 85-100 kph, 53-63 mph 95% of the way and on these types of roads that is not to slow.

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    Again we stop for fuel.
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    The first of three rear tires that I would wear out on this trip, I would run the rear tire until it went flat, I only had one spare tire other then the mounted spare and I needed to get as much mileage out of the tires as possible.
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    The spare tire installed, we are ready to roll............
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    The road gets narrower and nastier.
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    Then it opens up again.
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    Its getting dark, the temperature is dropping, the road is covered in fist sized rock.
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    We fuel up before finding lodging for the night.
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    We stayed at the Family Pub, in Tib.
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    Parked around back.
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    Ate some great food.
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    And drank lots of beer.
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    The next day we would head further into the out back, see lots of wild critters and "Road Trains", I was sure having a great time. Stay tuned.
    #32
  13. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy All,

    Day eleven of the rideabout, would take us from Tib to Camerons Corner.

    The morning broke with a clear sky, the air brisk, we loaded our gear and prepared to leave.
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    Packed up, fueled up, we are ready to roll.
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    This would be one of the shorter days in the saddle, as the sign shows at this junction we were 79 klicks from Tib with only 60 to go before reaching Camerons Corner.
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    Today I would see many Emu's sometimes as many as flocks of 8-10 birds in a group. It was hard to get a good photo of them as they didn't come close to the road.
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    New South Wales, the signs were numerous in places.
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    Information about the Park and the surrounding area.
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    I approach the Dingo gate.
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    Pass through the gate.
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    And close it behind me.
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    Crossing into South Australia.
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    I get to Cameron Corner before Jock and Zac, I visit with some other riders and wait for my mates to appear.
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    Inside the pub, I see this article about Jock, Jock is a pretty well known guy and knows personally many of the folks who run the pubs we have visited, these folks he has known for years.
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    Jock and Zac arrive, we share the first of a few meals and many beers.
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    Whilst Jock and Zac rode through the Park, I replaced the worn out spare tire with the new one I had been carrying, a small wire spool made the perfect work bench for such a job.
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    I use some hand soap to ease the new tire onto the rim.
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    I take this opportunity to do some maintenance on the rig, to include cleaning the dirty air filter.
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    After Jock and Zac return, Jock goes for a ride on the Ural.
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    Zac also takes the Ural for a spin.
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    Just before sundown, I notice that the tire on the rear of the rig is low, I pull it off to find a slow leak from something that had worked its way into and then out of the tire. I pull the tire and repair the tube.
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    The evening would find me getting an early start at sleeping whilst Jock and Zac drank beer well into the wee hours.

    Day twelve of the rideabout, did NOT start well............ upon getting ready to leave, I find that the tire-tube I had repaired was FLAT :baldy So I replace the worn now flat tire with the spare wheel on which the day before I had installed the new tire. I would replace the tube in the older tire at my next opportunity.
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    We gas up and get ready to start a LONG day of riding on our way to Toompine.
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    Another middle of nowhere gas stop.
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    It was shortly after refueling that the Ural stated to run quite badly, at first I thought it was dirty air filter, so I pulled it out and checked it, the filter was clean.
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    While working on the rig we were passed by this truck, LOTS of dust was kicked up even though the truck was going rather slowly.
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    After reinstalling the air filter, we continued on, the Ural running worse and worse as each mile passed by. I thought I knew what the problem was but I couldn't work on it until we ran the tank out of gas. We didn't have anything to use to drain the gas tank on the rig into the spare can, we needed EVERY drop of fuel to get to the next station so we couldn't just drain the gas on the ground. I had noticed that the paint used to coat the filler neck area of the gas tank had started to bubble over the last couple of days, this is a known problem in the USA were the phucking ehtonal gas eats this paint and causes it to foul the filter screens in the petcock.
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    So we rode on, slowly but still moving, traveling down the level parts of the road in second gear, climbing the hills in first the engine struggling to run with no fuel.

    I was hoping to make it to the next fueling stop but about 10 klicks from our next stop the rig ran out of fuel. Jock took the spare gas can into to town to fill it, while he was gone I pulled the petcock, this is what I found.
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    Using the tools that come in the rigs tool kit, I pulled the petcock, disassembled it, cleaned it, reassembled it and reinstalled it on the gas tank just in time to pour the new gas in that Jock had arrived with.
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    All the while I was working on the petcock I was cussing out the folks at Ural for continuing to use that paint in the filler neck as they knew it was causing problems with some types of gasoline. YES, I love the Ural and am very good friends with the folks who OWN the company but that doesn't mean that at times I don't get upset with them. As soon as I could I sent an email to Ilya telling him that this HAD to be addressed, he replied that the new gas tanks starting in the 2013 model year would have the filler neck area of the tank zinc plated and NOT painted. :clap So we rode on, the Ural running as it had before PERFECTLY.

    We fuel up at the next station-pub and have a cold drink and a meat pie before setting out on the rest of the days journey.
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    The road stretches before us to the far horizon.............
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    When we get to the next town, the main gas station is out of gas.
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    Jock asks around and finds out that there is another station that is closed for the day but the owner will allow us to fuel up so we can keep going to each our destination before dark.
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    We reach our destination, a pub just outside of Toompine. we camp in a small field near a gun club.
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    As luck would have it, a large group of people were at the pub and celebrating the 21st birthday of a young man. We were invited to participate in the celebration, eat our fill at a great BBQ, and drink our fill of 2 dollar beers from the pub. Needless to say we took advantage of this, ate and drank our fill. What a great ending to what had started out a bad day especially when the darn petcock was fouled. Stay tuned the sag will continue.
    #33
  14. quint7

    quint7 "I drove a boat thru the desert"

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA
    You're living one of my dreams with this one Mr. Cob.

    Any chance you've figured out about what gas is costing you in US dollars? (per liter or gallon or however) And in the bush vs. in the cities?

    The petcock thing..... you are THE Ural master.
    #34
  15. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy quint7,

    The US and Australian dollar are or were at the time of my trip about on par, only a few cents difference between them. Cost of gasoline averaged about $6.50 per gallon. I really didn't notice much difference in price through out the trip. If you get the chance to travel in Oz, DO IT, you won't be disappointed. :deal
    #35
  16. brad1098

    brad1098 /\ dumb

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    859
    Location:
    So. IL.
    Loving the RR Mr. Cob.
    I was able to host Jock on his trip of America this week.
    I look forward to meeting you somday in the NW
    Cheers-Brad
    #36
  17. quint7

    quint7 "I drove a boat thru the desert"

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA
    Thank you sir. Gas seems reasonable to me. It definitely is #1 on my list. Glad you got to pay respects to your fellow tread-heads. I spent 6 years on the Marine Corps' version of an APC (an AmTrac), including Gulf #1. :freaky
    #37
  18. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy brad1098,

    I am glad you got the chance to meet and spend some time with Jock, he is one heck of a guy and a good rider. If your ever up in the Great Nor-Wet, please look me up. :deal
    #38
  19. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    9,525
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy quint7,

    Thank you for your service to our country. :devildog

    Where ever I travel, I make it a point to seek out and pay my respects to monuments to those who have served and fallen, most of my ride reports have photos of the monuments I have visited whilst in the area. Its kinda weird how the clank and clatter of armored vehicles stays with you over the years, I miss it.
    #39
  20. quint7

    quint7 "I drove a boat thru the desert"

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA
    And you too sir. I do the same in my travels around the US. Lots of history out there in statue and monument form. We should be building more across the nation to show our respect for the men and women who raised their right hand. Inmate RTWDoug has some fantastic memorial pictures from his cross Europe ride and I am always on the lookout for threads with similar reports. I've been to the Imperial War Museum in London and I'm sure the Aussie's did their's right too.

    I'll shut up and read from here on. :freaky
    #40