Mid-Life Blues; Lets Go Riding, first up Australia.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Happyidiot, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Ha, ha, ha Oldbeer, clear but cold I bet. Great photo's bet you had a great ride !

    We really enjoyed out time in Tauranga, it's a great spot. How's the "new" bike ?

    I have no doubt, that team wiljen, will be back, we had a great 4 weeks on NZ's North Island.

    Will
  2. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    2HI

    Pleased to see you back on the road soon and feeling a bit better!

    Will be heading to Vivid Tuesday n Wednesday nights - the weather had better behave!

    Looking forward to your next riding

    :-)

    S
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  3. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Glad the rain cleared up for you to do some sightseeing even though I'm not Sydney's biggest fan there is lots to see and do. Enjoy the ride.
    Garry
  4. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Shaggie & MaverickAus,

    Great to be back on the road & out of Sydney. Only a mere 120kms to Gosford. Today we visited an older family member who is very, very ill & does not have long to go, (my late Gandfather's youngest & last remaining brother). So that was a sobering couple of hours, that we were ok too deal with. Not many of the pre WW2 older generation left anymore.

    Copped a bit of rain but really not too bad or for very long. Bikes are running well & we have heaps of time to meander north. Definitely checking out that Oxley Hwy Ride.

    Shaggie, if you haven't seen Vivid before I think you will be amazed like us, apparently it gets bigger every year, looks like you will have some decent weather as well ..... enjoy.

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    Afternoon Coffee break in Gosford, while trying to find somewhere to stay.
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  5. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Could have helped ya but only just saw this now there is a motel across the road from the big club on your way into Gosford, Gosford RSL it's reasonably priced and you get free membership to the RSL. They have good cheap meals too, oh well maybe someone else can use the info. Sorry about your Grandfathers brother.
    Enjoy the Oxley.
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  6. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Hi Garry,

    We still went to the Gosford RSL for Dinner, it was pretty good & we stayed at the Budget Ibis across the road. Not much longer now until we start clocking up some more nights in the old Northface 3p tent.

    Looks like some shocking weather/rain headed your way & north, so not only will the Oxley Hwy be a great ride it looks like a good weather avoidance option. I'll do a decent RR update soon once we are properly into the swing of things. Only good stuff today was our ride through the Lakes Way to Forster. Other then that it was monotonous Pacific Hwy miles.

    Will

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    Near Bung Wahl on the back way to Forster, 255kms covered today.
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  7. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    When it's sunny going across the bridge at Forster/Tuncurry is stunning the water colour is a beautiful turquoise and with the white sand just brilliant. Lol funny you got the motel / club I suggested long before I suggested it, I guess it is the first motel on the way into town. Don't forget the bike museum at Nabiac if you have the time.
    The forecast up here is gradually looking better as the week goes on.
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  8. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Wasn't a bad day here today reasonably warm and no rain (after raining all night).
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  9. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Tuesday 13th of June, 160kms, (extremely wet).


    Gee it's busy over here on the East Coast, nothing like the sedate unpopulated West side of Oz. Doesn't help that it's the end of the Queens Birthday Long Weekend, yesterday we spent most of our ride stuck on the A1, Pacific Highway, it's dual carriageway & very busy. There are Police Patrol Cars, Speed Cameras & Speed Averaging Cameras all over it. Big illuminated signs warning of Double Demerit Points & numerous no tolerance to speeding signs. Whoa how can people live like this, you are so busy watching your speedo & GPS speed readout that there is no time to watch the road !!!

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    Spot the Copper !

    We have to get off this motorway crap, yesterday we did ride the last section via the Lakes Way to Forster/Tuncurry, that was slightly quieter & nice. Last night we holed up in The Great Lakes Caravan Park. The Cabin is shaped like a Yurt & divided into 3 seperate self contained rooms. Lucky we went for a cabin as it absolutely poured with rain during the night. In the morning it was still drizzling on & off but we thought it would be worthwhile taking the chance.....wrong !

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    Looking across the water to Forster NSW.

    Further north about 200kms away, between Coffs Harbour & the Gold Coast a massive storm is predicted to hit & affect that coastal area for up to 48 hours. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting rain falls of between 100mm to 200mm....that is heaps of the wet stuff my friends !


    Fellow Advrider "MaverickAus" advised for us too take the Oxley Highway. After checking it out on various websites around Google it does seem to have quite a reputation. For NSW it's rated at number 2 for motorcyclists after Putty Road (where ever that road is ?). I have no doubt there are other great roads in this highly policed State but I honestly know nothing about them. So it's raining bucket loads, the start of the Oxley Hwy, Wauchope isn't very far north of us and it leads inland to Tamworth & beyond. Cold nights but clear days, has got to be better then the rain, right ?!?!


    Not far out of Tuncurry, the rain started & it was heavy. We pulled over and stopped in a roadside shelter near Taree for nearly an hour. It eased up & we continued northward it didn't take long to start "pissing" down again. We exited the A1 at Bago Road which is a pot holed bitumen mess that traverses the Bago Forest. Both Jen & I took it exceptionally easy along this poor excuse of a road.

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    Waiting for the rain to ease up....not happy Jen.

    Soon after we passed through Wauchope, just as we were nearly through the town an old Red GQ Nissan Patrol 4WD Ute pulled out of the Shops right into my path. Some old local Farmer who is visually impaired & with all the rain, pretty much blind is my guess. I had to brake reasonably heavily but I had seen him coming so was ready.


    So now we are on the Oxley stuck behind this 25yo Red Ute that's traveling super cautiously in front of us, the road is windy & pot holed, there are no safe passing opportunities so we just follow the "Old Bloke" for about 20kms until he pulls over at some more shops in the tiny town of Long Flat. All the while it is still raining, raining, raining....


    Not far past Ellenborough, the rain is torrential, everything is now wet, gloves, crotch, pants, jacket, helmet, boots, my Sena intercom has stopped working (water?). No photos, but we could barely see anything anyway. We just pushed on carefully taking the numerous corners nice and easy. We even passed another Motorcyclist on a large Jap Sports Bike headed east. Giving each other a big wave I could almost read his mind "More Crazy Idiots out here".


    I must admit I was wondering how far we would get & where we would end up today ? I noticed a roadside sign advertising a Farm Stay or Country Resort Stay, called Mount Seaview or something. That could be our chance to bail out early on this wet miserable day.


    I spot the entrance a couple of kilometres further along, pull across the road to the opposite side & roll to a stop at the start of the "Mount Seaview" Driveway. Jenny stops along side me, I notice her Sena Intercom is still flashing blue & working. It's now 2pm, still raining & we decide to ride the 2kms into the Mount Seaview "Resort". It appears a little rundown & no one else seems to be staying here. There is a newish car parked near Reception, which I take as a good sign.....Think Bates Motel & weird horror movie stuff at this point.....!


    Dismounting the Tenere I head into Reception, sopping wet. The young lady Receptionist tells me the various accommodation costs & options available. I yell out the door to Jenny who is still sitting on her idling bike, ready for a quick get away. "Hey do ya want a Spa Room" & get a big thumbs up. So it's a bit of luxury after one of the wettest days we have ever ridden in.

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    We are wet enough for one day so bail out at an unusual Resort along the Oxley Hwy.

    As it turns out we are the only "Guests" staying here. There are about 5 other "Staff" all under the age of 25, a mixture of Backpackers & Jackaroos. Jenny & I end up sharing dinner & beers with the staff. It turns into an interesting night with an interesting group of young people living & traveling the world in their own fashion. Thanks for a good night guys.....memorable :-)


    There is no internet or mobile phone reception so I won't be able to post this RR until tomorrow, this place is completely off the 21st century comms grid, Wow ! I did fire off the Spot Tracker ... you know just in case !
    Seriously if you every come through this way Mount Seaview Resort is a great spot to overnight, just leave your phone in your bag, you won't need it.
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  10. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    MaverickAus,
    Oxley was great ! One very close near miss with a dual cab Ute cutting the corner badly. I'll hunt down the GoPro pic as it was running at the time....
    Luckily for us we have seen Forster on a good day in our distant past. We were disappointed that the Car Museum in Gosford was closed while we were there & the next day as well (suppose to be the best in Oz.)
    We arrived into Tamworth at 4pm today with the sun shining ..... nice. Unfortunately I'm thinking we may now stay inland for awhile so probably won't make it to Coffs Harbour... sorry Mate, our Ride is fairly organic & unplanned.

    Will
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  11. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Wednesday June the 14th . 210kms Mount Seaview to Tamworth along the Oxley Highway. No rain which was a welcomed change.

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    Day 65 to Day 74 (6th to 14th of June) 835kms. We did spend 6 days in Sydney.

    I'll keep this RR post short guys, the ride along Oxley Highway was as good as promised, it was a bit slippery & you need to be on your toes to avoid oncoming traffic that thinks it's ok to cut the corners & cross the double white line onto your side of the road.

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    The Caravaners struggle to keep on their side of the road, at least they are traveling slowly.

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    We take it very easy, the roads are quite slippery & who knows what's around the next corner.

    It was a quiet day in my Helmet as the new Sena 20S intercom we purchased back in NZ can't handle a bit of rain & no longer works. It shows it's charging but won't turn on. I tried all the tricks, swapped it with Jenny's, dried it out, etc.

    Jenny's unit is working fine, but that's not much use too us is it. We will try for a warranty claim with Sena & see how it goes. The only interim solution I can come up with is to by another expensive Sena 20S unit & once we get (if) the current unit repaired or replaced then we'll have a spare for another helmet or sell it secondhand.

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    Aspley Falls, just before you arrive into Walcha.

    We stopped at Walcha for lunch & come 4pm arrived at Tamworth, the sun is now shining. Planning on spending a couple of days here :-)
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  12. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    14th of June Continued, 210kms Mount Seaview to Tamworth along the Oxley Highway.

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    Shit tidy it up Mate, lucky I'm going slow, he was fairly hiking it.

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    This bloke is in more of a hurry then the Happyidiots to finish the Oxley Highway. See ya Bud :-)

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    Moonbi Lookout, Jenny's happy because she didn't have to listen to me coughing all day.


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    At the Moonbi Lookout, I'm happy because there is no rain & I had a peaceful day inside my Helmet.
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  13. workhorse

    workhorse Motorcycle as a medium of travel

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    Ive just got onto your fantastic journey. Great writing and pics.
    You two would have ridden past my turnoff (Comboyne) as you headed out of Wauchope. If I had read it earlier I could have offered a warm dry place for the night. Maybe next time.
    I would be interested to hear yours and Jenny's opinion of the Honda on this trip.
    Safe travels.

    michael
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  14. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    No worries Guys, nothing was set in concrete and I did suggest you go inland :) As long as you are both safe and enjoying the trip (apart from the rain and idiot drivers).

    There is a bike museum in Tamworth if you are interested http://www.powerhousemotorcyclemuseum.com.au/ on the Armidale Road you will go past it. Between Tamworth and Armidale at Uralla you can hang out with Captain Thunderbolt

    [​IMG]

    Armidale is Australia's highest (elevation) city it will be coolish especially around Guyra and through to Glen Innes. If you decide to come back to the coast you can do so at Armidale or Glen Innes both ways are very scenic with some enjoyable winding roads. If you stay inland you will go through Tenterfield from there if you go towards Rathdowny you will go across Mt Lindesay Highway which is another fun road.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Garry
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  15. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Great Photo's Garry !
    Thinking of taking the Fossickers Way towards Goondiwindi. Thanks for highlighting some of the alternative options, must say going to the highest town in Oz does have me interested.
    Will

    Oh good news my Sena 20S fired up this morning, that is a relief :-)
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  16. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Hi Workhorse, at the time we would have taken you up on that offer....we were so wet ! The Mount Seaview Resort turned out to be a quirky stop so it all ended well.

    The Honda CB500X is going well, there is about 18000kms on it now. Apart from the Avon tyres, after market brake/clutch levers, H&B Engine Guard & Bark Busters it is in original condition. Jenny says she is really happy with it & doesn't seem to have any issue keeping up with the Big Yamaha. It's fuel economy is always around 3.9 litres per 100kms. Which would give it a total range of nearly 450kms. Seat is reasonably comfortable.
    The only issue has been the chain & Sprockets requiring replacement in Sydney (but that is partly my fault). I'll be curious to see how the little CBx is going once we get it home later this year. I do try to make sure the oil & filter (on both bikes) is changed out every 5000kms with quality oil.

    Glad to have you following, we are open to any suggestions as our Ride progresses, a lot of the places we are traveling through are new to us West Aussies.
    Will

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    "Little Bubby" Jenny's Honda CB500X, so far performing strongly on this Tour.
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  17. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Hi Will & Jenny, good news on the Sena, if you go that way watch out for cattle on the way to Bingara I've been through there twice in the last year and both times saw cattle around. Of course it's lovely and sunny here now :) Mum and I are going to Nana Glen for lunch (40k north).

    Cheers
    Garry
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  18. Happyidiot

    Happyidiot Busy making the dream happen !

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    Friday the 16th of June....day 75 since leaving the Travel Home Base....today we covered 360kms. :-)

    Hi Adv Readers,

    Full freestyling here, no notes or checking my spelling...just going to smash out a short RR post before bed.

    Right now we are in Queensland sitting in our tent and it's 9pm. Today we rode from Tamworth (NSW) to Goondiwindi just on the other side of the MacIntyre River in Queensland (360kms). How cool is that ! Never ridden a motorbike or bicycle in Qld. Goondiwindi in Aboriginal means "place of birds" well there is enough water around for them. Decent sized town of about 5000 people & it's biggest claim to fame is "The Goondiwindi Grey" a famous race horse from the 60's/70's. Nice enough place, we may even stay another day...?

    Great ride today, roads were a bit rough at times from an excess of large trucks, lots of cotton fluff on the side of the roads. So even though all the crop has been harvested it's pretty obvious what the cash crop is in this district.

    Tamworth was good to check out, the Country Music Hall of Fame kept us amused yesterday for about an hour, we also rode around two up on the Tenere & looked all over the town, pretty big place. Had lunch on the Main Street while sipping on a beer.....nice !

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    1954 Panther, ridden by Geoff Mack & his Wife from Enland to Australia in the 50's, approximately 20000kms. So what is Geoff Mack famous for in Australian Country Music....."I've Been Everywhere Man". (Tamworth).

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    Short stop in Warialda, NSW.

    We are both going well, both over all our ailments now except for Jenny's worn our right knee. Really looking forward to scratching around and seeing some new stuff in this part of Australia. Don't even mind being in the tent when the weather is suitable.

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    Into Queensland. Now What ? Ride I guess !

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    Jenny sets up our three person tent for the first time since Victoria's Great Ocean Road. Goondiwindi, Qld.
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  19. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    Wooo hooo Queensland
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  20. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    In 1995 I spent a month in Cairns and Townsville area with a small group of Canadian friends. Of course you have to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. The Kuranda Plateau was a good excursion. The train ride was amazing! http://www.kuranda.org/
    Around Cairns I loved the Mangoes purchased from roadside huts with a honour box to put your money in. They were the most delicious fruit I have ever eaten! We were there for the termite hatching and the Stink Beetle migration. Of course the 27ft of annual rainfall was a bit of a damper!!
    JJ
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