OUTBACK ODYSSEY on KLR. if I can, you can

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Ian Robinson, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    EARLY SEPTEMBER 2011.

    Preparation almost complete:

    I now knew I could be in BIG trouble. Only minutes before I was happy that the re assembly of my swingarm linkages after regreasing was complete. Then in the blink of a eye, my right hand was implaled by the alloy rod on the bottom of my footrest. It was jammed between the stand handle and 190kg KLR650. there was only 2mm still showing and I thought "thats gotta be in a long way" . the next couple of seconds are still a bit of a blur. I only had my left hand free to lift the bike off. that done. I wrapped my hand in an old tee shirt, drove up the the local hospital and after 5 hours, morphine, X-rays and stitches I drove home thinking how lucky I was to be able to move all my fingers. Fortunately it did not go right through, saved by a couple of layers of skin. Infection was my biggest concern now with only 18 days to departure.

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  2. bigredcherokee

    bigredcherokee Been here awhile

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    ouch.:eek1
    #2
  3. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    3 mths later my hand looks and feels almost like the old one.

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    #3
  4. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Thursday, 22/9/11.. No more talk, just hop on and ride. Odo reading was 2930km, still in showroom condition. St George was my destination today 532 km to the south west. Smooth riding on bitumen with no dramas. Great to be in the saddle at last.

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    #4
  5. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Day 2.

    Another 500km day today with Thargomindah in sight . Strong southerly wind blowing and many emus, roos, cattle and sheep to keep ones reflex in tune.

    My plan was to ride to Birdsville, via Windorah. Then down the Cordillo road to Innamincka, then to Cameron corner via Merty Merty and back to Brisbane via Tibooburra and Lightning Ridge. nearly 5000 km with about 1800km on the dirt.

    Day 3.

    I would experience the first dirt today with about 40km of hard pack clay on the way to Quilpie via Toompine pub. This section would be quite slippery if it were wet. A quick lunch and the last 240km to Windorah was uneventful.

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    #5
  6. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to more. The hand hopefully won't slow you down at all. Looked very painful.
    #6
  7. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    11 years ago I had this crazy idea to ride a Mountain Bike ( MTB) from Charleville the Burke & Wills "dig tree" via Birdsville. A distance of about 1500km. there were a few problems, carrying enough water was the main one as there were a couple of sections around 400km with no water available. I managed to fix 22 1/4 ltres on but unfortunately this ride proved to be a bit too ambitious. I gave it away at Birdsville after 990km.

    I am now 62, and the fact I failed to complete that ride has been chewing away at me for too long. I mention this only as I was very keen to see any changes along this road. It is now wider, more signs and even a few rest stops.

    Day 4. Windorah to Birdsville .390km. ( first 110k bitumen) the strong southerly was still blowing . I stopped for a quick photo op and the old KLR blew over. To my surprise I couldn't lift it up, I had started to un pack a bit of weight when a caravan came along to help. I can remember thinking, this situation could be interesting if I threw it away in the sand on the Cordillo road. Apart from a near miss with a roo the next 9 hrs went smoothly.

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  8. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    A couple of comparison pics of the country. 11 yrs later

    June 2000. sand dune 30k east of birdsville

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    #8
  9. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Same dune..11yrs 3mths later

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    #9
  10. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Great pictures and great composure to get the first one. Don't try a stunt like that in the US because all that hospital time would cost you at least 5,000 devalued US dollars in our healthcare delivery "system." And a few items refused coverage by your insurance if you have any. they refuse to cover things on principle just to be difficult.
    #10
  11. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Yep, we do have a public ( free) hospital / health system in Australia. It is great if you have a REAL problem but a bit slow if not. I've only got high praise with my last two visits. Funny thing is, my wife is a nurse at the same hospital, she had just finished 2 x night shifts and was asleep in the bedroom above the garage. I know she loves her sleep so I didn't wake her. She rang my mobil later that afternoon as they were giving me a bit of morphine /clean . I told her I was buying a few nuts & bolts so she would go back to sleep. I had to do a deal with the doctor to go easy on the morph as I had to drive home.
    #11
  12. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Day 5: It was really good to get back to Bidsville, though the town did look a little worse for wear, the Working musum had closed the week before I arrived, also Blue Poles art Gallery. The caravan park did not serve meals any more but a new Bakery had opened. ( Yum) I decided to go out to Big Red ( highest sand dune in the Simson desert, at about 200ft. ) unfortunately the road was flooded from recent heavy rain and I had to detour a extra 40km and cross several sand dunes. This was not possible on the tyres I had ( standard fitment Dunlops) but I got some good pics away.

    The Simpson crossing was closed due to fire. ( only out there could you get floods and fire together) I also revisited the Dingo caves and Waddi trees about 20 km north up the Bedourie rd. These Waddi trees only grow in 3 places in the world. live for a 1000 yrs, germinate only every 100 yrs or so and are so hard it is difficult to drive a nail in.

    on the way to Big red

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    #12
  13. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Great country.. the photo does not do it justice...looking west.

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    #13
  14. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Outback Milage...don't forget your tooth brush

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  15. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Most city folk push too hard on these roads...with $million 4x4s and trailer they are unstopable.

    .

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    #15
  16. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Waddi trees from the dingo caves ( looking west) ...I had taken this same photo 11 yrs earlier. Would you believe that it was EXACTLY the same.

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    #16
  17. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Day 6 Birdsville to Innamincka via Cordillo road 426km. ...depart 7am

    This was the day with some stress. I had been told by everybody I asked not to ride it. Go down the Arrabury rd instead they said, it's better. I was now into new country. I thought I'd ride down to the Cadelga ruins about 40km and make a final decision then . Once I crossed the South Australian border the roads deteriorated. Having said that , I learned quickly that when the road is real bad they can change just a quick. So speeds varied a fair bit.

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  18. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    All ruins have a huge story to tell.. I spent a fair time here just thinking of all the sweat trying to survive.

    Cadelga ruins.

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  19. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    I had no Sat. ph and mobils had no reception out this far. I was unsure which way to go ( Arrabury or Cordillo) But made the call to continue.. I passed a couple of 4bys during the day and gave one a note to text my wife when they arrived in Birdsville. I didn't fancy getting lost out here with no one knowing. Road conditions covered every thing on a scale of 1 to 10.

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    #19
  20. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    I was aware that if I dropped the bike I'd have to unload to pick it up and reload, maybe an hour lost. So I rode with caution. this is Cordillo Downs sheep shearing shed ( no longer in use and once Australians largest)

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    #20