cairns greater region riders

Discussion in 'Australia' started by soul_adventurer, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

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    316
    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Just part way through visiting other end of the Mitchell

    Pics here - much fun

    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...a-KLR-650-second-season&p=1747997#post1747997

    wet ride home down the coast coming up

    •••

    The ride down the Rex after lunch was hilarious - deluging and felt like riding down a shallow smooth stream bed - damn that thing is steep in parts :eek1 still not all that aware of how the knobbies do in the rain.

    330k ride in the wet season :clap - not a bad day and some lovely flocks of galah on the way to the Mitchell turn off.
    Pair of wampoo as well - damn they are glorious. That highway was just flat out deserted early in the morning....cept for the wildlife and not so wild life...I think the size of the mcycle confuses the cattle - they take their time moving and then startle.
  2. beanbandit

    beanbandit Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    port douglas,fnq australia
    hi, a good place to meet other riders, marina view restaurant at the marina port douglas, sunday morning breakfast, a all you can eat deal. plenty of motorcyclist.
  3. kezzajohnson

    kezzajohnson kezza

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cairns - Queensland Australia
    Congrats on making it to the other side of the Mitchell (the long way). Great photos and yes, that is quite a bit higher than when were on the other side last week. That loop's definately going to be out for a while, but I am determined to do the loop when things dry out.

    Those cows look interested :topes
  4. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    I am seriously trying to get here for 2 months in the dry season - it's hot and muggy at home late July and through August.
    The nicest riding seasons are on either side of that - June in particular with long northern days and autumn is glorious.

    Have a look at what we ride in in late Sept and October
    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...rrow-as-well-post-upi-yours&highlight=colours

    Won't be this year as a Baltic Cruise is booked for a couple of weeks in Sept but 2014 I might split up my time here ( immigration permitting ) and do 2 x 2 month stints ).
    One a Canadian winter escape ( tho they hardly had one this year ) and escape the hot smoggy days of mid summer there - Toronto has many days over 30 and horrid air plus being on the Great Lakes it's damp.

    •••

    Speaking of damp - geez - can I assume the wet has arrived - 6" of rain last night!!!
  5. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

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    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Maybe I should consider this :D

    [​IMG]
  6. Checkmate3

    Checkmate3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
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    510
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    FNQ
    Morning folks,
    Been in Cairns since 1987 but brand new to this forum. Did some riding in my younger days but then had the whole
    wife/kids/mortgage thing which slowed me down somewhat.
    Anyhow....
    Bought an 08 KLR about a month ago and looking for some riding buddies in the Cairns area.
    I'm at Smithfield, I see macdoc is at Edge Hill, are you busy today? I'd be interested in having a chat about your KLR and the local trail scene in general.
    I'll get in touch as soon as I work out how to do the PM thing,
  7. galbo950

    galbo950 Been here awhile

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    Oct 2, 2007
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    610
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    FNQ
    Theres a couple of us up here in FNQ. Thinking about doing a ride middle to end of next week. Weekdays are best suited for riding for me.

  8. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Absolutely pissing down rain at Skybury

    A nice morning riding up the Palmerston since the Gillies was closed.

    - wet noon at Herbertville after a having fun on that Ravenshoe - old Palmerston HWY mebbe - will go back there as it started to rain but lovely mix of rainforest and open farmland and quite twisty.

    Saw a longish black snake that was pretty quick - did not stop as he was a 3-4' long and there ARE some nasties about I''m told - any idea what it might have been. Was very active and alert and recoiled into an S as I rode past.
    Given his speed would not have got a photo. Asking GF what it was - had a triangular shape to the body.

    Also a flock of gorgeous yet to be identified medium sized parrot family in the rain forest section of the Old Palmerston. Lots of red - mostly red around the head then into blue with distinct white tail feathers when flying.

    Took the alternate western road from Herberton to Mareeba and decided to hit Skybury for late lunch and coffee.......just got gear spread out in the sun and soon raining so hard had to migrate inside.

    Just a small cell but nailed me dead on. :cry

    [​IMG]

    slowed now - still can't see the next tree tho.

    Barron was in full flight yesterday

    [​IMG]

    had to laugh at the ironic sign.

    [​IMG]

    Biridge you say???:huh

    I'll end up with about 320k today - nice after all that rain. Got in a short spin up to Kuranda but too wet yesterday.

    Tomorrow looks sweet.
  9. kezzajohnson

    kezzajohnson kezza

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cairns - Queensland Australia
    Sounds to me like that might have been a Black Whipsnake. The fastest sidewinding snake on earth and a little bit venomous too.

    [​IMG]

    Great picture of Barron Falls you got there.
  10. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Think you are correct - this pic looks very close to what I saw as it was coiled in a similar way. I clearly startled it as a car had gone by me not long before and I guess the snake figured it was clear - was surprised at the speed it reacted. and there is that triangle shape in the body.

    [​IMG]

    •••

    Gonna try and get out early for a ride up the Cook to Daintree area providing it's open ( was closed today I'm told ) - otherwise have to go up the range.
    Riding partner welcome - leave 6.30/7.

    Think it's to wet to do a Black Mountain road redux from the other end. What say the Koah locals??
  11. kezzajohnson

    kezzajohnson kezza

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cairns - Queensland Australia
    Sorry, got your message little too late. Promise I'll get out for another ride with you soon.

    Cheers Kezza
  12. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    ach - not too soon :huh - muscles aching from two long days in a row tho much to enjoy on a gorgeous day.
    ....tired puppy but some good stuff up in the Daintree area. If some of this is obvious for locals it's also being written for the Canadian rider forum.

    ••••••

    Cows, cassowary and The Creb track...:D

    Got off a tad late to meet Eammon in his little corner of paradise at the very end of Stanton Road but we slipped through Buchan's Point mess just about as they were getting ready to close up at 8 am for a major repair effort and thanks to me chasing a rainbow photo ( marginal results ) we just about had the road to ourselves

    The Cook Highway is always a sweet ride along the coast but the rains brought a lot of slides with it.

    [​IMG]

    Underneath this debris are a few boulders - one the size of a cube van that highway crews were trying to blast apart. They were drilling it as we passed the slide area.
    We snuck through almost the last before they closed it for the morning and had the road to ourselves - nice when it's a sweet twisty along the Pacific Ocean. :D

    [​IMG]

    and no traffic to deal with. Mandatory tourist shot.

    Eammon led the way to the beginning of the Creb track after coffee and a sandwich at Daintree Village. He had to face down some fractious cattle and we played dodge em with a tractor in the mix. Such INTERESTING road hazards. :D

    Cornered..!
    [​IMG]

    Okay saw the big bugger off

    [​IMG]

    This looks more my size but damn it's loud -


    [​IMG]

    Eammon discovered one good use for his rather loud exhaust getting the bull to move. ;)

    Had to deal both ways with a small but agile calf munching on an overhang and cross ways on the track - quick enough on his feet and very erratic

    Travelled on to the beginning of the Creb Track
    [​IMG]
    where it crosses the Daintree ( think submersible needed just now ).
    [​IMG]

    Damn that is lovely country
    [​IMG]

    Retraced back to the Daintree ferry up past Cape Trib and that is a lovely ride when not too crowded - varied surfaces - some slippy.

    Eammon spotted a cassowary clan crossing the road ahead - a van had slowed after seeing them- I was too far back :cry

    I missed the best shot of the day further up. I was in need of a break and holed up at a beach bistro a few km past Cape Trib but before the river crossing.
    Eammon continued on and said he managed to bump his way across and back tho he gave himself a one in ten chance of falling in. No pictorial record tho ....will check it out another day carrying less valuable gear in the top case and less tired. Was out of water and needed another coffee by midday. Gorgeous beach and nice facilities including a pool and decent food. Might take GF up for a couple days
    http://www.capetribbeach.com.au/

    Too late to sneak back in the narrow time window of the Cook being open so had some fun going up the Rex - was good to see another rider on the same bike also with knobbies so gave me some confidence in mine in the corners. Really is a sweet bit of twist and first time I had a go uphill and in the dry. Been feeling more comfortable with the front end skin. Knobbies on pavement are a new experience for me.

    Passed a pair of odd looking trikes - loaded with 3 people each and no sun protection......crisp fried most likely by the end of the day.

    Took a break for pie at a road house and then over the Quaid and Black Mountain Road( quite dry ) to Kuranda and home.

    Only one near miss with a yahoo 4x4 deciding to take the inside of a curve on a muddy slippy bit of blind corner - the small problem with his line being I was occupying that space ( quite correctly ) at the time.

    Forced to actually haul the KLR to a halt while he slithered back on to his side of the road and the top side of the curve at some speed...bit of quasi-good natured yelling and shaking of fist and it was all over - hugged the edges a bit more after that. ;) ....when my heartbeat got back down.

    Tall 4x4 grill looks awfully menacing flying by too close for comfort but kudos to the driver - I'm sure he did not expect to have a mcycle materialize in front him on a fun bit of muddy twisty.

    Easy ride home from there - exited on the Kuranda road and loafed behind a tandem dump truck wending his way down with a tail of traffic.

    Actual today was 11 hours just realized - crashed and burned when I got home - catch up on some missing sleep and let Celebrex do it's magic on aches and pains.
  13. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Lovely day and thinking about a night ride since GF has to work from 9 on and it looks lovely out. Bit overcast now but hopefully will clear.

    Thinking either up the coast a bit north away from the lights - wondered if anyone had suggestion.

    or somewhere in the tablelands.

    Lights on the KLR are nothing compared to my ride at home which are just a treat at night but figured they'll do at leisurely speeds. One thing the new KLRs have is decent lighting.
  14. Checkmate3

    Checkmate3 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
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    FNQ
    Macdoc,
    nice report as usual, were you some sort of travel writer in another life?
    As far as night riding goes, mate I wouldn't bother. You have been riding around this country enough by now to
    have noticed the amount of dead wildlife littering the verges. They don't just lay down by the side of the road and forget to wake up! I have hit a small wallaby on an XT500 and lost a lot of hair and skin and the bike left bits of plastic and aluminium scattered all over. And that was in the day time. There are no shortage of nocturnal beasties on our country roads, I get nervous at night in a car out there unless it's got lots of spot lights and a serious roo bar.
    On an older KLR with knobby tires, average brakes and poor lighting,, well, I wouldn't do it. But that's just me.
    You might be some sort of weirdo covert Canadian thrill seeker remeniscing about your younger days dicing with caribou in the Yukon.....:D
    BUT, don't let me slow you down. In all probability you'll have a very nice ride, stars out, gum trees in the moonlight,
    red eyes peering at you from the bushes etc etc. Thing is, if you spend enough time on our country roads, sooner or later you will hit something. And it doesn't even have to be too far from the city. I see fresh meat every day or so between my place and town and that is semi-rural/canefields mostly..........
    In any case if you do go, make sure your camera is in a good case. In the unlikely event of a mishap, you(or one of the ambos or passers-by) will be able to get some good piccies for us to enjoy.:evil
  15. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Don't need to go to the Yukon for Caribou - just amble 1,000 km north on The James Bay Road as we did.
    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...mes-Bay-Road-in-June/page2&highlight=matagami

    Had one running in the bush along the side the road. THAT was a first. :huh

    I hear you about road hazards in Oz - you certainly have a variety as I've noted in the blog back home where you'll see a somewhat enhanced/translated version of some of my posts here.
    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...a-KLR-650-second-season&p=1752090#post1752090

    Not a travel writer tho would love to - just well travelled and part of the marketing of my company is my adventures hither and yon. Clients follow along and live vicariously what I'm doing on various adventures.
    My signature currently has Aus flag, a KLR image and a link to the blog above.
    So I'll get responses like this today -

    I'm fortunate I can work anywhere there is an internet connection and with kids gone can take 3 months to dodge winter while still buying and selling per usual. Staff at home do the rest.

    Used to do Western Cape in South Africa which is drop dead stunning
    http://www.lieselkershoff.com/gallery_488467.html
    but then met an Aussie girl from Cairns and there are long term plans afoot now to be here long term once I/we retire.

    The adventure blogs keep me in touch with friends and clients and it's good social networking as we run the biz from a big house and I simply don't get out during the winter months - I ride 9 months of the year otherwise and get my socializing mainly with other riders. There is a popular meetup spot north of me that I call my northern office...free internet, great coffee, comfie chairs and sometimes hundreds of riders in and out ( as well as bicyclists, horse back riders and hikers ).

    It's part of the Niagara Escarpment that winds through Ontario ( there is a continuous hiking trail along it - some 600 km.
    And a fun if short stretch of twisties
    [​IMG]

    It's a jump off spot for many decent riding roads ( tho yours are world class ), my old sailplane port is nearby as an alternate hang out and it's away from the too smoggy, too hot and too busy metro Toronto area.
    Just a nice 40 km ride - even a couple of twisties on the way up and some spectacular colour in the fall.

    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...a-be-gorgeous-tomorrow-as-well-post-upi-yours

    Which brings me to critters and night riding which I do a lot at home.

    You have roos - we have deer - thousands upon thousands - there was even a small herd in the Toronto airport ravines they had a hard time getting rid of.
    Just about every ride in the rural areas I'll see one or two in the fields or crossing the road during the day.

    Further north from us moose and bear are risk factors - and short of a transport truck - the drivers end up on the wrong side of the equation hitting either of those.

    Our fav twisties area is Northern Pennsylvania and you add size large elk to the risk factor. Bottom line in that area you simply don't ride at night.
    It's gorgeous tho, almost no police, and you can ride and ride and rarely see a vehicle during the week.
    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...r-endless-twisties&highlight=pennsylvania+elk
    When it gets dusk you pick up a car and use them as a deer sweeper ahead of you if you get caught out.

    My ride at home has an expensive custom seat ( I have sciatica ) courtesy of a 67 year old rider who hit a deer at 100kph ( he never had chance to touch the brakes )

    Rider older than me T-boned this deer at 60 mph

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...killed the deer - kept the Burgman 650 upright and rode it home. ( Insurance wrote it off ) - so I got the $1200 seat for half price :D

    So familiar with critters - you have more intermediates - we have raccoons and skunks which tend to go crunch under the wheels tho a big a raccoon might cause an upset.

    I only ride at night hard on roads I know very well and the Burgman high beams are superb - twisties at night are a treat- most tho are just moonlight cruises at 40-60 kph on empty roads and visibility across the fields is good tho wooded areas require taking it easy.
    At 2-3 am there is simply no traffic.....I detest riding against traffic at night.

    If I do go out here, I'll stick with traffic up the coast - find a sweeper to shadow then pull off maybe at Palm Cove or some such.

    Not looking to go any distance - just get away from the city lights.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I can imagine how crazy some of the roads are at night with no cattle fences and roos, pigs and wandering cattle about. :huh
  16. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Think I have a new ride planned for tomorrow or Monday
    I came across this

    http://www.chillagoe.com/roads/herberton.htm

    and might add Chillagoe to the mix - looks like and interesting area.

    It's 150km loop partly dirt - Herberton to Mareeba on a bit of a back route.
    add the rest to and from and about a 300km day = thinking best to get to Herberton first by way of the Palmerston since the Gillies is closed....then west on the suggested route - see how the day goes how far west I get and head home via Mareeba

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    400 km - 8-9 hours at tourista pace. Guess I'll leave early :D

    riding partner welcome

    Suggestions welcome
  17. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

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    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Lots of creeks to splash through :D

    [​IMG]

    most shallow a few over a foot - most causeway but not all. Had fun on the Petford Road.

    417km - 9 hours with a couple of 1/2 hour breaks. Good food at the cafe in Herberton.
    Chatted with another Cairns rider out for a spin on his road bike.

    It's a long hike to get there tho with the Gillies closed

    Perfect day to start but got wet in the Misty Mountain area - had thought about redoing that Old Palmerston but not in the wet again.
    Cleared up but missed my turn for Herberton, backtracked just a bit by way of the Barron River Road - very nice - part paved- part dirt. That's why the extra distance.

    Picked up Petford which starts out with nice twistie pavement and then gets into ups and downs into numerous creek valley's - some only a hundred meters apart.

    MOre pics and details here.

    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforu...a-KLR-650-second-season&p=1754043#post1754043

    Saw some sort of eagle sitting on a dead branch on the way up the Palmerston - looked very much like the bald eagles from home only brownish with a white head.

    Also another one of those mid size parrot family - red body and blue wings as he flew directly away from me.
    Was just near Milaa Millaa.

    Once I get rested and if I get a dry day will do one more run up the Palmerston and this time cut south on the Old Palmerston and then south again to Ravenshoe and the lake further down which I'm NOT going to try and spell.

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone know about Cardstone road on the other side of the range there? Looks interesting and very very wet.

    http://www.wettropics.gov.au/ttd/trackdtl?idtrack=42

    Very interesting area.

    •••

    ah - identified the intermediate parrot I saw today and in a flock in the same area two days ago.
    Gorgeous

    [​IMG]

    http://www.ozanimals.com/Bird/Crimson-Rosella/Platycercus/elegans.html
  18. snatchy

    snatchy Adventurer

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    Nth East OZ
    You are doing a few trips lately. Well done on getting out there.

    The Tully valley/Cardstone area is nice and worth a look if you have time. It is all dead simple if you have a map. Start near Tully then the gorge road goes roughly west up the valley, parallel to the Tully river until it stops at the end where there is a small hydro power station. There is a small side dirt road (h-road) worth a look which goes to coachable creek - mentioned in the link. Unfortunately it does not link up with any other trails through the rainforest. There are rafting tours that take people down the whitewater daily and you can see them in a few spots from the road.

    Let me know if you are coming down, i might be keen for a ride with you if the rain isn't falling too hard (like it is right now :eek1).
  19. macdoc

    macdoc Canuck in Cairns

    Joined:
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    Jan- Apr Cairns Qld - May- Dec Southern Ontario
    Thanks - thinking this week and pick a dry day if such exists - what's your availability.
    Gotcha - coast road to Tully - head west til it stops. :D

    ••••

    damn - glad I went yesterday - 89 mm already this morning in Cairns, 56 in the last hour and no end in sight.
  20. snatchy

    snatchy Adventurer

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    Nth East OZ
    It has been a bit wet!
    I am only free on the weekend unfortunately. What about yourself? At least the forecast looks a bit better later in the week, though the chance of a cyclone forming in the coral sea isn't quite what we want to hear.