[australia] Megaaaaa-riiiiiide!!!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by oodeano, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

    Joined:
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    The Events of MEGAAAA_RIIIIIIDE!!

    I should point out first up that this is cross posted identically and simultaneously between ADVRider and Stromtrooper. The planning (if you can call it that :)http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17078) all occurred on Stromtrooper and somehow before it came to fruition I bought a DR and took it instead of the Strom. I figure I'll be spending a bit more time on ADV so it won't hurt to contribute it there too. I'm not the only Strommer on this trip that's bought a DR either...a trend perhaps?

    It ended up not being a Megaaa-Riiide together I guess, but a mixup of different people on different days - bit of a different format. James (brother) came down from Brisbane for days 2-4 etc. Novel. New faces most days.

    Day1 - 16/11/07:

    I was a little late to meet Pablo and Carolyn at Mackers Dural, let's not get into that.

    To Wisemans Ferry and onto Old Northern Rd.

    Time for a little sidetrack play on the new toy. Rocky little side track - it's nice to have a bit more ground clearance and a bash plate:
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    Right onto George Downes and left at "The Letter A" odd name for a town? We took a leftie down to Basin Camp.

    I had been down this trail once before on the Strom and I don't remember it being quite this rough? Of course, that doesn't show up in the pics . .
    Pablo just before the avatar shot:
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    Carolyn at the same spot:
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    All seemed to be going swimmingly - I was stopped playing silly buggers with the camera.
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    Pablo, check . . .Carolyn?

    Err, No.

    5 mins backtrack, a quick check of wrists and noggins before the obligatory pic . . .
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    Then - I think someone's taking the piss out of me?
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    Just for that - from the other side:
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    It took 10 mins for the TDM to agree to start again and away we went once more.

    A quick lookout stop:
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    Into Cessnock for a burger before Pablo turned home, Carolyn and I took mostly big roads to get to Port Macquarie by about 8pm. James had been there for about 45 mins by then having ridden down from Brisbane with some sport-bike blokes from work.

    Showers, Sips, Food, Sleep.

    One memory of the food. The lass that served us at SSS steakhouse (there's a few around) showed us the shank that forms part of 'The Shank Challenge.' Any entree followed by a 2.5KG (5.5 LB) beef shank. If you can finish that they give you dessert. If you can finish that they give you a hat (woot woo!!) and put your name on a plaque on the wall . . .

    If you're feeling SHANKY you know where to go!
    #1
  2. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    Day2 - 17/11/07:
    Day 2 was all about the Oxley highway and the bushland to the north of it Cotton-Bimbang, Werrikimbe, Oxley Wild Rivers etc. I have never done any of that but James had never been along the Oxley at all.

    The Oxley was (as per usual I hate to say) EPIC!

    [​IMG]

    It's bitumen but still . . .

    Not a lot more to say really. Ater the usual carrot cake and coke at Gingers creek we headed off - I went and found the trail head and nobody showed up.

    Apparently it was going great till James hit second gear - then we did a lot of this:
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    Some of this:
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    and some putting up with some of this:
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    The lesson here being that if you buy a second hand bike and the chain looks dodgy - change it!!!

    We spent a few hours here - it wasn't all bad as Carolyn and I got in a few laps of the OX going back to Wauchope. We found Mud 'n' Tar motorcycles open while replacing windows due to a potato gun incident and managed to get a new chain - no sprockets though. James managed to cobble together a chain with borrowed joining links and the chain off the guy that owns(?) Ginger's XR250 in the shed. We met in the middle and went back to the bike shop and fitted the chain in the carpark while downing late burgers for lunch.

    Another run up the Ox on the way and the result, Uralla for the overnight stop at about 6:30pm I think? Zero dirt. Thank $%&* it didn't break 70 k's into the middle of nowhere or we'd still be there?

    By all accounts Stretch and Scott had a delightful run up Thunderbolt's.
    [​IMG]

    We exited the Top Pub in Uralla just after midnight. It might have been because they were closing . . . or because they ran out of rum - can't remember :)

    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Lookin' good!! :thumb Keep it comin' :lurk
    #3
  4. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    Day 3 began with Carolyn's new favourite trick - the worst sunscreen in the world - it's gotta go!!

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    A quick 75km South ont he highway to Kootingal for a leftie onto Swamp Oak Creek Rd. It's just a road between and through farms but it's picturesque and dirt.

    A tyre check at the start of the dirt:

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    ..and to test James decided to bring back his favourite 80's (he's been off them for a long time!!) motorcycle trick - the toe drag!!

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    Start of the creek:
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    20km later we come to a creek crossing and the bridge is out - how convenient . .

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    I went back for another crack of course:

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    I then decided to try to get a really nice shot of the DoctoR and maybe even me under the bridge. It looked like it was only 6 inches deep and would make a great pic location.

    This is what I was after:

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    It was a bit deeper than that, the water was over the axles and onto the cases - I guess it's not a good thing to leave water that high on it while I fiddle with the camera for 5 mins - I decided not to stop. It got a bit out of hand - a few out of the multitude of pics will do the job:

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    FUN!!!

    From there we took a leftie toward Walcha on a steep 4WD only track - also fun and fast!! Thorugh a bunch more farmland towards Nowendoc for lunch.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. whitey222

    whitey222 occasionally adventurous

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    Onya Dean, and go the mighty DR ! :clap
    #5
  6. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    Thanks Graham - you might remember Stretch from the Yengo ride...

    You may even know him from other rides??

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. whitey222

    whitey222 occasionally adventurous

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    I do indeed.
    #7
  8. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    Day 3 afternoon:

    Nowendoc has a cafe now - the burgers were OK too:

    [​IMG]

    The afternoon of Day 3 was my favourite afternoon of riding - ever!!

    Unfortunately Stretch decided to take the Strom and run away while it was in one piece - before the rougher stuff started. It was all Strom-able but some of it would have been tough work. I've rarely met a trail I would not take my Strom on but I guess Hamburger Hill would be out of bounds too - it should have been for us as well...

    Also unfortunately when the riding is good I'd rather be doing that that taking pics. Of course I regret that afterwards - I will however give you the best of what I've got!

    We headed out of Nowendoc aiming for some Nat parks via a bit of the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) - or the roads it runs beside anyway. The roads on my map looked more like private driveways in real life, we were a little reluctant to take them? It was open and close gates - bits of farm and bits of nat park/state forest - some fantastic double trail behind a house on a hill. Open a gate into several switchbacks up a massive grassy paddock shooing cows and out onto what turned out to be Mummel trail in Mummel Gulf Nat Park.

    Rough rocky double trail descent and through another gate (this time with BNT markers -whew, on the right track) into more private property, green pastures - 4 or 5 creek crossings up the hill out out onto a major track. The only times we stopped were for gates and to look at each other giggling through helmets and say "I cannot believe this track" - I'm giggling now just thinking about it!!

    I know, I know - no pics!!

    This is from the rest stop on the next trail - basically looking back over what we'd come through:

    [​IMG]

    About 10km south we took the next minor track marked on my map - now forever known as "The Green Ledge".

    It's a lefty off the main track through a gate. There's no private property/no entry signs and you can ride straight in off the main trail on the other side? Down a rocky fire trail into a valley. On one the left is all Nat Park - peaking at 870 metres. On the right is all farmland - again peaking at 870 metres. In the valley is 500 metres. The track used to be fire trail but the grass has grown over it forming -- the green ledge!!

    It weaves through the valley and creek crossings occasionally attempting an escape up the wall of the valley, only to drop back down to the floor and direct us through more creek crossings.

    15 or 20 km of this interspersed with gates and a few cattle - and I only manage a couple of pics. We did have a few more of those "I CANNOT believe this track" moments too.

    The Green Ledge - right in the bottom of the valley:

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    The main track at the other end of the green ledge:

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    It was HOT work - 70km in 4.5 hours if I remember correctly. You'd think I'd have had time for more pics with that rate of progress?

    15km further south on the main track and we came to a more major crossing - time for a dip:

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    5km Further South beore the next left into Dingo State Forest (FAST double track) and Tapin Tops National park - a 500m~ish climb. From here it should (could) have been an easy run out to Gloucester . . .

    I foolishly stopped to show James where we (Adam and I) had turned back on Stroms a month or so before - this is me holding Adams up after an 'incident'. I have just realised mine is far enough down the trail to be out of sight:

    [​IMG]

    Sure, that bit was easy on real dirt bikes and there was some leaf covered, rarely used treats in the middle but then it got steeper, uglier and rockier. Hamburger Hill - aka Sonny's camp fire trail.

    The descent was a one footer - full groaning front brake and some arkward leaning back to keep the rear wheel on the ground at times. At one point James got a little out of control and had to take a runoff into a drain. At that point (ie TOO LATE!) we decided to re-assess our decision to go down the hill any further - we didn't even know if there was an exit and there was no way we would be able to ride back up the next sections.

    Some pushing and lifting to turn James Dominator around and then 25 mins of trying to get the thing up 50 metres of hill to where we figured we could ride out for sure. Clutch slipping, wheel standing, sweating, me eating dirt while pushing (I sould barely stand up let alone push!!) and we were 15 metres in - great - this could get ugly. Getting dark, can't get out upwards and don't know where the down goes - how did we get sucked into this!!!

    It should be easier on the DoctoR but I'm not looking forward to trying . . .
    Nearly over the next major ridge and it finally went wrong properly - millimetres from a massive overhead letgo James threw it away uphill instead - executing a lovely barrel roll down the hill and back onto his feet in the process. He's OK but he bike has a few ouchies.

    We decide it's not going to happen and resign ourselves to going down down down and finding out where is goes.

    I will go back and get pics of Hamburger Hill eventually!!

    Out the bottom into some not often used track, 20 creek crossings and a few overgrown km later we emerge into some farming land - whew!!

    The track was great - the only pic:

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    Onto bitumen and it's dark. Some sneaky twisties and more winding dirt along a north facing hill watching a lightening storm pass over where we had just been - very lucky!! Into Gloucester just on 8pm to find Stretch and Carolyn finishing dinner. I think I forgot to mention that Carolyn had left us for the day to stay on bitumen!!

    Dinner and 2 rums and I am basically asleep in my chair!!!

    My favourite afternoon of riding so far!!
    #8
  9. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

    Joined:
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    Im sure it would have been. Great pics so far and an interesting story. Keep going please.
    #9
  10. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Day 4:

    Though we were aiming (in conflict with my 10PM or later reputation) to be back in Sydney by about 6PM, the stories of yesterday's trails scared Stretch off. He elected not to ride with us today, instead taking a longer detour to the North - MEOW! We were aiming to meet up at Moonan Flats pub. Carolyn however was feeling brave and elected to come with us Straight across the Barringtons. We were travelling on the main tourist trail so it had to be pretty easy.

    Creek at the bottom:

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    Flowers of some kind were in bloom across the top of the mountains - we'd come across several-acre patches of them lining the sides of the road:

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    The road climbs to a peak of about 1500m at Thunderbolt's lookout. For those not familiar with AU history, I believe (from my school memories) that the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt used lookouts throughout this region to spot wagons to pillage and police on his trail. There must be half a dozen Thunderbolt's lookout's around the area and numerous other features named after him.

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    I also the the DoctoR for a look at the view:

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    ...and I took shot of us both :) - with the camera 'mounted' in a tree, no room for a tripod without a topbox

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    The Western exit of the Barringtons is spectacular. I have taken a stitch of this (and the lookout view above come to think of it) but haven't put it together yet - will do when I get the chance.

    In the meantime:

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    Down the hill into Moonan - the pub:

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    Apparently we missed Stretch by 15 mins!!!

    On leaving Moonan we came across a truck rolled over on the side of the road. It looked recent enough to stop and make sure there was nobody in it. I doubt it was more than a day or so ago.

    [​IMG]

    Scone, Singleton for lunch, Putty Rd and on into Sydney at 6:45 PM - Megaaa-Riiide over!!

    Thanks to everybody who came - I had a great time. Looking forward to doing it again soon!!
    #10
  11. D3V1L6

    D3V1L6 nOobIeSt

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    Great report!
    #11
  12. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Im jealous, great pics from a great ride
    #12
  13. oodeano

    oodeano Some Guy

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    Rather than make this thread 3 feet wide I'll just post URL's to these. I guess you can open them in ie and play with your window for the right effect or download them - nearly 2MB each either way.


    I think they came out pretty well!!

    Thunderbolt's lookout:

    Link


    Barrington's Exit:

    Link
    #13