...almost a ride?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by auntymal, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. auntymal

    auntymal Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Heaven, North of "Gotham City" Oz
    The strange and terrible saga of 2217ks in 24hrs, “Iron Butt Association, USA, certified” on an ST2 Ducky.

    After much ribbing about Ducati “reliability”, fuelled by significant amounts of celebrating at the annual C.H.U.M.P.s. (jounos), ride to Genoa, Victoria, in February this year, I decided to have a 'go', at getting a certificate. I had no idea how complex the audit proccess was, nor how 'clever', former 'round Australia record holder, Tex O'Grady had been in planting the seed, and telling me his mark was greater than what I needed to ride, to ensure I went “one better”, as it were. For the record, Tex's, 'round Oz mark was 8 days 23 hrs and 57 minutes, from memory, set in 1978. ½ of it was dirt, then and the distance about 18,000ks. Tex and I had done a fair amount of riding together over the years, usually with a K9 on his tank! He was off on a charity ride after Chumps, in Melbourne, and suggested I could head home the long way, and to “keep my fuel receipts”.

    I stayed the Sunday, at Genoa Pub, resting and watching the cricket. Listening to the weather, and making a few calls. Turning in early I rose on the Monday, and gave the trusty ST2, a once over. The publican at Genoa is also the postmistress. She was my “start time witness”. Thanks, Heather. (best free range eggs on toast you've ever had in your life!) Time out 9.26 am. I headed down the coast to Cann River then turned North to Bombala. Best riding of the trip, best roads, highest average, 119 for the first hour, and wonderful fun in the endless hills. Reality took hold after that opening stint. Bombala through to Gunning, brought population and traffic density, and a sober approach. Not 'till West Wyalong was I able to “get on with it” again to put some time in the bank. The run from Cooma on had been fraught with ever worsening wind.

    I decided there would be an “open ended” philosophy to the run. I would go “tank to tank” and see how I felt. I would pick the direction, based on weather and time elapsed, reviewing my estimates as I rode. There are “1000k”, “1600k” and “2000k” certificates. I elected to just bump along and see if I could get near Tex's 24hr mark, as a goal. Condoblin for fuel, wind gone, and easy riding, how far could I get before sundown? The answer was Dubbo. The shadows were jumping out of the way after that. I settled on a 100k policy after some “furry reminders”. Orange, and the bike feels wrong. Fuel, tyre check, front is way down. Re pressure, check for foreign bodies, nothing. Re check, time is awastin'. Press on, just as the rain starts, and gets worse, and worse......Lithgow, wet riding gear is disintegrating. Coffee, visor, tyre still down again, re-pump with my own gear, and go.

    This was one of the hardest parts of the trip, and possibly the most dangerous. Heavy fog, and constant rain, road works, line re-marking, more rain, tail gating prime movers with lights on high beam, I stick to the speed limit and treat it as an upper limit. I can't afford an error here. I possibly/probably couldn't pick up the bike now. Too much body pain for that, past injuries now gather there respective forces and the physical battle rages while the concentration has to prevail if survival and goal attainment are to be realised. I'm down to 40k in some sections, there is diesel on the wet road, and I slide very gently even at 40. I wonder if “I'm lucky”, its rained hard and washed the road clean to this point?...maybe it was worse earlier? Finally the road patches to dry in spots, and I look forward to checking the front tyre again at Pennant Hills. Its summer, but its cold now, with everything on, and still wet, the body is protesting, and I'm getting very slow dismounting and re-mounting etc. Tyre is low again, I change the valve and re-pressure, fingers crossed.

    The weather improved, only light rain occaisionally now, and I was Taree bound, but had forgotten the 100 odd k of speed limited roadworks north of Newcastle. This would hurt, time wise, but could be used, in part to re-charge, I looked on the bright side and calculated sun rise must be imminent. Then it rained hard again, just to remind me to “live” in minute tight compartments and recall the number of past 1000k + days in the saddle, and that 1600k, the 'old' 1000 mile mark was past. There was no point in stopping, better to do the 24hrs as so much of it had already been done. Very slow at Taree, deliberate, careful, get off, limp, pay, piss, limp, get on.....remember to pressure the front....get off again, its low again...pressure front...go. When is sun rise?..oh great here come the roadworks again.

    Shortly after dawn, now heading South, a familiar 'race' van pulls up beside me, “Johnson Refrigeration” emblazoned on the flanks. Its Mick Johnson, long time Ducati racer, in Bears, and Pro Twins, he waves, I gesticulate back but there is no time to yarn so I ride on. Could not believe the coincidence of seeing him on the road, after all those hours/ks etc...Head down I make for the Caltex Servo at Wyong, 2000+ks have elapsed, fuel, sun, warmth, tyre, low again! I overinflate and head for the overpass to turn North again, in an effort to make up time I vapourise the straight expressway, and find the bike won't turn onto the Newcastle Link road, easy, bit by bit, I back off, and wobble to the verge, front gone, dead flat....that only took about 14 minutes!!.....less than an hour to go......If you go 'over', the whole run is excluded there is a lot of traffic, hey, this is the Newcastle equivalent of “peak hour”. Blow up the tyre with a proprietry tyre fix product, the can explodes, glad that did'nt happen in the pannier! Tyre still flat, can I ride it flat at walking pace just to get a credit card transaction somewhere so its not all wasted? Possibly not, try the second can of magic tyre fix stuff, hold my breath and it works like a charm. I empty the whole lot in and go for it.

    I soon learn lane splitting with panniers is not a good idea in peak hour traffic, and there are traffic lights! I take to the footpath to jump the cue heading for the servo. Park, look at the tyre, no foam, no bubbles, still 'up', I buy a bag of jelly snakes and tuck the precious receipt in with the others. Its time 'wasted' but if I loose the front tyre before Frasers, it won't be a total loss. Traffic is impossible, traffic lights everywhere, I'm a few minutes early, hey, I could do another twenty mintutes odd, but at 40 to 50 kph, I might only get another 10k in these conditions. Stop. Its over. “Loopy” Lewis sells me a toy of Loris Capirossi's GP bike and tells me I smell “like a wet moose rapt in a smouldering rubber blanket”. He is my finishing witness and writes this fact in his letter which is part of the submission to the I.B.A. in the States. The front header is covered in melted rubber, and I have been wet then dry then wet many times. 2217K in 24 hrs, only to hear Tex laugh heartily, while “confessing” he added a couple of hundred to his mark to “keep me honest”! Bike now 151,000k.

    The subsequent audit and documentary file pressentation to the Yanks gave rise to some amusing comments. “How much sleep did you get??” and “Why did you do two sets of 'Canyons'?” reference to the Snowy and Blue Mountains etc, and “What did your crew think of that?” etc. They take this stuff really seriously. I reckon 2500k is do-able; even 3000k?...but only using outback roads, and a radio equipped, pathfinder vehicle, to enable the “Russian Roulette” of the night hours to be productive. Remember, plenty of riders have 'met' animals in daylight hours. Average for the 24hrs was about 92kph. Alone and impromptu, it was the best I could manage. Thanks to Crusty for suggesting a 1000mile run some years ago. It always “pecked” at me, Crusty.

    Aunty Mal:freaky
    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. AfricaWim

    AfricaWim Grumpy Old Fart

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    331
    Location:
    South Burnett, QLD Australia
    Is that correct?? If so, that is not too shabby for a "fragile" Duck..:thumb
    #2
  3. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,881
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Way to go :beer:beer


    Did you figure out what caused the tire to deflate?

    Cheers
    #3
  4. auntymal

    auntymal Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Heaven, North of "Gotham City" Oz
    ...I hear you brother, I've been afflicted with the seduction of the ducky since 1976... juz cant help it! Few 'bikes can deliver the visceral riding experience that brand can, some, but not all..... Ran the Ducati Bears F1 Racing team for 15 years, won muliple national titles, only blew up one engine, 3 seasons old. did 150,000k on my 860GT, same on my 900SS ('76) and (now) "as the post is from '09 ride" 187,000k on the ST2, without the heads off, (factory compression at that figure), 140,000k on the clutch which was not slipping but had worn out its basket to the tune on 4mm, and now resides with the Ducati factory, I have also owned many BM's and now own a Buell Ulysses, but am an "ordinary" dirt rider, better on my TS250X Suzuki, but have real trouble kick starting it as I've had 2 x broken femurs and the right one twice, and a broken pelvis etc, among other things. Recently, ('Easter 2010) I was lucky enough to get a "gold" from the I.B.A. i.e. 2500k in > 24hrs,= 2523k, but havent done the story yet as I've had a cancer scare, all good thank goodness! Anyway, I truely believe any modern motorbike is a "good thing", (compared to what we used to ride), and my only "secret" is have the best people work on it and, "warm ups and oil changes"= every 5000k= my formula etc. I have not always agreed with Ducati, although I am a devotee, the canning of the 'Super Sport' which we used to create a world first in as much as winning the Production 6 hr 2 years in a row, here in Oz, (when 916 4 valvers were all the rage) we beat a lot of so called superbikes both days/years!... and the same deleting of the ST series....oh well, an imperfect world...But seriously, I believe that Ducati provide riders with a machine that flatters them and in the early days this efffect was amplified when compared to Honda 4's and Kwaka 9's etc. These days, there are 'no bad motorbikes'....just ones we prefer, and although I lurve Ducatis, I long since gave up being concerned with what was written on the tank etc. Now, it's about the people and the experience, everyone should "do what makes them happy". Finally, Ducati takes a race bike and converts it into a road bike, having said that, they better emulate Honda and "GET ON WITH IT!!!" at GP level coz I just cant stand the torture of seeing them "downgraded and undermined" like now. (it's truely heartbreaking), God bless Casey, no one could have ridden that thing as well as him, and, you know what, Honda deserve to win and Ducati need a really solid kick up the arse!!... I ride every day I am well enough, the stopwatch is ticking for all of us, the price we pay for being here, no? We ride because one day we wont be able to, and that is a sad, sad, SAD, day..... "Sun & Corners", aunty Mal:freaky
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  5. auntymal

    auntymal Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Heaven, North of "Gotham City" Oz
    ...
    ...never ever workedout the "mode of failure", had me on tenterhooks though!!!...ended up ditching the tyre, and valve, stuck on a second hand Dunlop N Tech that was SO GOOD, I took it off, and put it on again, when I'm going riding with the serious dudes, that tyre is like having an "unfair advantage" as a road tyre!!!... its like being able to "see in the dark" and "be invisible"...I can, on the road, hurtle into any unknown corner and simply tip the thing on its ear and go round!...unbelievable!...I take it off and use ordinary fronts the rest of the time coz I know I'll never get another hoop like it, simply awesome!...and I can't afford to end up in hospital again.:rofl
    #5
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  6. insomnia

    insomnia Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    wide awake in my kitchen
    This is the best ride report on hear It done me good to read it . Aunty Mal you are a legend :beer you gritted your teeth and got on with it despite the pain that your were going through that you play down . I greatly admire endurance riders and its my dream to earn an iron butt certificate myself . next year mid summer I will give it a go that's it no more dreaming its time for action it will be my focus until then the training starts today .

    Anyone wondering if they should buy a Ducati st2 and doing a search on hear should take it now that's it is ok to don't mind the bar stool experts that never even rode a Ducati not to mind run one for any length of time . changing the belts is not a mammoth task just watch a bunch of youtube videos those 2 valve engines are tough and a better bike than a st4 or st3 . an st2 is good solid bike and very good value for money these days and if you get one with panniers you have a bike for all seasons and every one should take heed to warm up their bike what ever make or model and show your machine a bit of respect . treat it well and it will pay you in kind get on a cold bike and flog it hard it will suffer for it.
    #6