The slow ride home - Canada to Australia on a pair of CT110 Honda Postie Bikes

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tncpowell, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    I have always enjoyed reading others trip reports on ADVrider. So i figured I could just write mine up on a blog page. But I also want to share it here too. I am still trying to figure out my writing style, and this is going to be about 2 weeks behind, so please bear with me.

    This trip is all about testing my little steed, Mabel, and all the gear for a Prudhoe to Ushuaia adventure. In April this year my wife and I are shipping our postie bikes, CT110's, to either Vancouver or Anchorage and will ride as far north as we can go and then as far south. I know it has been done before, but this is the first time for us! Any, I hope you guys enjoy the write up! I also intend to do some type of video a few times a week also.

    The first section is a short ride to see some old friends, but the second part is the start of a proper ride.
    #1
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  2. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Mabel is crashed into!

    So today I finished bolting all of Mabel’s new parts on. Heated grips, tool tube, inverter, topbox, plus tidied up some wiring. I thought I would load her up with her panniers and go and do some laundry and fuel up. Im off tomorrow on a 1500km camping trip on her so thought it would be good to see how she handled around town fully loaded as a bit of a trial.

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    I rode about 3km up the road and was going through a roundabout when WHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We were t-boned by a car. The driver said she just didn’t see me. Mabel was hit hard but between her crash bars and her panniers she took all the hit and saved my leg from being broken. Mabel was flung about 10 meters across the road and I bounced off the bonnet and followed her on my knees.

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    Broke my heart to see my little bike laying there in the centre of the road. Her crash bar twisted and bent, handlebars twisted, both panniers smashed to pieces and her pannier rack so miss-shapen it was beyond repair.

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    After I dragged her off the road I gave her a kick and she fired straight back into life! Good old Mabel!

    So tomorrow I will fix her up with some new bits and steal Rosie's pannier frame, Rosie is my wife's bike's name. I am going on this road trip tomorrow!
    What a start to this new life on the road.
    #2
  3. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    So after some nice guy from Facebook helped me out with a heap of new parts, I managed to rebuild Mabel last night under the headlight of my Tenere. These little bikes are so easy to work on! Simple to fix and cheap! Mabel currently runs a Lifan 125 which is brand new, but after a massive smash like that I am unsure of how the motor may fair up. Time will tell I am sure! So this little adventure is a quick trip from Adelaide in South Australia to a place called Streaky Bay.

    So after her little crash, I fixed Mabel’s bent bits up and headed off for Streaky Bay. Some 700kms away. I have some time to fill in while I wait for Chantelle to finish work. What better way to do that than a road trip on a postie right?

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    I still cant believe Mabel got hit by a car! Even harder to believe that just the next day here we are on the road. I am crossing my fingers that Mabel hasn’t sustained any damage that I cant see, She seems to be running well, as per usual!

    Mabel and I hit the road around 1100 am. I have to head into the city of Adelaide first to pick up my riding jacket which has had some repairs, and some new badges sewn on. Please please no one hit us today!

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    Once I have my jacket I jump back on Mabel. I set the GPS for Streaky Bay and set it to avoid highways, interstates and toll roads. So it puts me straight onto the A1. Australia’s main highway that goes interstate and I’m sure has tolls in places on it!



    I quickly ignore the GPS and dodging trucks and crazy drivers zip across 3 lanes of traffic and take the first exit. Ahh the serenity of the back roads. Just me, Mabel, an army tank, and the farmers out here now.

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    We ride and ride and ride. I keep the throttle open and hold a constant 65 km/hr. I’m really trying to see how this Lifan holds up. After 200kms I check the engine over. She is blowing oil out of her breather hose like mad and has used 3/4 of her oil. Uh oh.

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    After taking every back road possible I rock up at Kimba.. My stop for the night. Thanks Wikicamps for the free stopover. With toilets and a $1 hot shower mind you! I chuck the tent up as the sun drops away over the horizon. Then I cook an amazing feast. Camp tuna mornay! Mmmm mm! Then its time for a quick episode of Topgear and lights out. I rode just shy of 600 kms today. My ass hurts....

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    #3
  4. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    With only 240 k’s to go to Streaky Bay, I got up early and was packed up ready to go by 730. Then it was off into town for a pic with with a big Galah, I’m not the big galah by the way! I grab a pic of the sign on the way out and head west for Streaky.

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    Once again I just ride and before I know it I hit the outskirts of Streaky Bay.

    Ive been looking forward to getting here. I am meeting up with some great friends of mine. Two of the loveliest people you could ever wish to be friends with. Dave and Anne. Time to turn off for a couple of days and relax with a few beers.

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    #4
  5. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Unfortunately its time to head for home.

    We have sold our yacht and I have to go back to Adelaide to empty our few belongings out of her so she is ready for her new owner. So after a beautiful brunch of chorizo, mushrooms and poached eggs on toast, I top up Mabel’s oil, again, and kick her into life. Bye Dave, bye Anne! I had such an amazing time and look forward to seeing you both again in March.

    I set off with Kimba being the destination again for tonight. But suddenly I am there and its way to early to stop for the day. I decide to push on for a camp just past Port Augusta. I am glad I did! Fabulous riding along a very quiet Eyre highway today. Hardly any trucks to contend with.

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    I hoon past such places as Iron Knob, a massive iron ore mine.

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    Mabel’s Lifan is singing or maybe just screaming in pain. Shame about the constant trail of oil.We are going through it at a rate of knots! Seems like a good strong engine otherwise. I suspect the crash may have hurt her insides. Luckily I kept her original engine and I will put that back in when I reach Adelaide.

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    I head through Port Augusta and straight into a massive head wind. Poor Mabel is down to 45 km/hr in spots. Her engine straining hard. Both of me and Mabel started feeling the strain of a big days ride and neither of us can wait for camp.

    Once again I turn off the A1 and head into the hills, this time along Horrocks Pass. A twisty curvy dream of bitumen goodness which leads right to my camp for the night.

    What a camp spot it is! With stunning views of the Flinders Ranges. I kicked back and listened to some good tunes and wished that I had of thought to stop and grab some Stones ginger wine. Another good days ride and another amazing camp! Tomorrow I head for home.

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    #5
  6. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Homeward Bound.

    Today was a meandering slow ride type of day. I really didnt want to go home. I love being on the road like this. Still, all in good time this is all we shall be doing! As usual I was up early and packed up by 800. I was pretty keen to check out a few spots that I had ridden past before but had never bothered to check out. First up was Hancocks Lookout. With stunning views out over the Flinders, it was well worth the 7km ride to get here!

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    Doesnt that look bloody beautiful! Plus I guess the scenery is nice too.....

    Such a stunning spot. I could have sat there for hours. But there were too many other places calling our names! I spun Mabel’s tires and headed back down the dirt road and aimed for Mt Remarkable National Park.

    After paying my $10 entrance fee, which I am always happy to do, I sat in 1st gear and climbed steep hill after steep hill. The I descended down the other side at breakneck speed. I had to alternate between using my front brake and rear brake as they quickly became hot and useless. More stunning vistas awaited at every turn and every crest. Worth the $10!

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    As I wandered home I decided to stop off and do a geocache. For those of you who don’t know the fun that is geocaching, well you should check it out! This treasure hunt led me down a rutted steep track through gates and across rocky creek beds, until finally arriving at a sheer cliff face. I eventually found the cache and signed the book. This was my way of stalling from actually going home.

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    Then it was back roads and gravel tracks as much as possible before finding myself back in suburbia. Tomorrow I will swap engines around and get ready to head to Jindabyne in a few days! For those of you considering the Lifans, mine seemed like a great engine, however by the time i arrived back in Adelaide I had oil leaking from the head, from the output shaft seal, and constantly pouring from the breather. Before the crash I had no oil leaks at all and could comfortably sit on 90 on the freeways.

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    #6
  7. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    I am really playing some catch up here everyone! Please dont mind my bombardment of the trip on here. I am currently having a holiday, from the holiday that is my life, or known as a mid-holiday-pre-holiday-holiday, and will keep everything on here up to date once I am back on the road!
    #7
  8. gjn201

    gjn201 Wannabe Ranulph

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    How's the tent? Can it free stand like the blurb says?

    G
    #8
  9. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Leaving Adelaide! Again! Yay!!!!

    So I’m off again! Mabel has her Honda engine back and it seems to be running fine. Sitting in Adelaide on my own while I wait for Chantelle seems so boring. So I’m going to hit the road on Mabel. This time we are heading for the Great Ocean Road and then onto Canberra via The Snowy Mountains. I fly out to Christmas Island on Monday 18th from Canberra, so as long as I am there for that flight all will be good!

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    I managed to get away reasonably early today. I sold my Tenere and the guy who bought it turned up nice and early to pick it up. First stop for us was fuel. I ended up chatting to the lady behind the till for about 20 minutes. She was very interesting and had done a lot of touring on motorbikes when she was younger. Now that she is feeling her age she chucks her camp gear into the back of her little Toyota Corolla and heads off. Lovely to meet her!

    I set the GPS to shortest distance to Warrnambool, which is where the Great Ocean Road starts, and firing Mabel into life I headed on out of the city.

    My path took us up through the lovely winding hilly roads of the Adelaide hills. Just glorious. I even got to see a koala crossing the road. Then we saw a Rhino! It was all very exciting. In fact as we go along you will notice that life in general excites me very much! Live it. Love it.

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    I eventually cleared the hills and after stopping to do a geocache caught the free ferry at Tailem bend and then swung south towards a camp site just out of Mount Gambier. I wasn’t sure if I would get that far today. There’s was quite a strong wind blowing and poor Mabel was straining flat out at 60 km/hr.

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    I stopped along the way for a few photos, including one of the Big Lobster. I love Australia's fascination with Big things!

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    After that I pretty well rode flat out all the way to camp. We made it! It has been a big day and I know that with a few Stones Macs to help me along, that I will sleep well tonight.

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    #9
  10. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Well yes....and no. Its an AMAZING tent and I love it. I rate it as the best tent I have ever owned. It is free standing except for the vestibules. They need to be either pegged out or tied to something.
    #10
  11. gjn201

    gjn201 Wannabe Ranulph

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    Th
    Thanks,
    G. (Adelaide hills!)
    #11
  12. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    The Great Ocean Road.

    Today was bound to be a long day. I cant help myself sometimes and I just ride for hours. I was looking at around 400kms today to get from camp to the end of the Great Ocean Road. But first Mabel needed a much earned service. So today she gets oil, sparkplug, air filter, new 15t front cog and a valve adjustment! Woohoo!

    I packed up camp in some amazing early morning sunshine. I ended up having the whole camp to myself last night which was awesome! I thought I heard someone shoot a gun at some stage but it was probably my imagination. Anyway, I packed Mabel up and we headed for Warrnambool.

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    Unfortunately we had to sit on one of the main highways for a little while which meant trucks. Im in an area of Victoria that does have a lot of plantation timber harvesting. So I was constantly being passed by log trucks and chipping trucks. I always move over as far as I can when I see these guys coming. They appreciate it and it keeps me alive. The trucks are generally really good and they give me a heap of room and a toot or a flash of the indicators to say thanks for moving over. Victorian car drivers on the other hand are the worst drivers I have ever had the misfortune to share the road with. I am constantly being over taken on double solid white lines, over hills and around bends. Or they crowd me in the lane and some pass barely 2 foot away from me while still doing their 100 km/hr +. I cant wait to get out of this Victoria.

    Just outside of Warrnambool is an old volcano called Tower Hill formed over 30,000 years ago! It can be driven down into and I did just that. Lots of cool wildlife down there and more terrible drivers. Sick of being pushed off the road by impatient bastards so I scampered for the exit.
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    Once I got into Warrnambool I fuelled Mabel up and headed to Hungry Jacks to fuel myself up. I ordered an extra burger thinking I will have it for dinner tonight. After stuffing my face and sticking the extra burger into my food bag I point Mabel’s little face toward the Great Ocean Road.

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    This was such a scenic, if somewhat damp ride, but with my camera battery dying and my phone battery nearly dead too I didn’t get many photos.

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    I scooted along through the Ottways National Park. Full of lush green rainforest type vegetation and then hit the curvy cliff hugging roads of the Great Ocean Road itself. Built at the between 1919 and 1932 by returned soldiers in memory of their fallen comrades, this road stretches for some 240 odd km of scenic enchantment. Gorgeous!

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    ust recently there has been a massive fire here and a big part of the bush that stands above the road is gone. Thoughts go out to those who lost properties in there. Out of respect for those who had lost their homes I decided to not take any photos of the devastation.

    Once I got down into Lorne I made a beeline for my most favourite free camp in Victoria. It had a few people there and some noisy backpackers but I was so stuffed that I put my phone on to charge, setup camp, made dinner, and crashed.

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    #12
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  13. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Heading for the Snowy Mountains!

    Today I was hoping to make it to just out side of Albury-Wodonga. I packed up camp under the watchful, wary eye of a kangaroo. It was a bit damp still and I was contemplating putting my wet weather gear on. But decided against it. I’m glad I did to, as the temperatures quickly climbed.

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    I programmed the GPS to take me via all the back roads to the start of the road that goes over the Snowies. This being Albury-Wodonga. It was here I hoped to pick up a new rear tyre for Mabel, as hers was beginning to look like the top of a balding middle aged man’s head. The GPS seemed to sort of get it right this time, and I only had to spend an hour getting out of the traffic in Geelong. Bloody thing!

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    After I negotiated the messy snarl that is a city, it was all scenic roads through national parks, up over 4wd only hills and down quiet single lane back roads.

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    I stopped to find a few geocaches along the way, one of which was actually up a tree. It was a quiet road so I started climbing. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I was clinging onto the tree like some moronic monkey in my riding boots, leather jacket, and helmet, every man and his dog decided they need to drive past and gawk. Turns out I was only a few km’s from a car manufacturers test track, so I am guessing they were all shift change staff.

    After not finding the geocache, maybe it wasn’t up the tree after all, I continued onwards. I went up over high ridge lines offering views over stunning valleys and hills. The sky becoming blue and cloudless as the temperature climbed.

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    Then it was back onto gravel roads and heading for camp. A small place around 120 km’s from Albury-Wodonga. I finally arrived in a cloud of dust and flies and found that I had it to myself. Bliss!

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    I set up my tent and began the process of unpacking everything. I felt something, no two things, no lots of things, crawling up my legs under my jeans. I had stupidly not looked at the ground before setting up and as a result I was camped over several massive Bull-ant nests. I dismantled the tent and moved about 10 meters away.

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    My inverter seems to have died today, so I have very little power in my laptop battery. I get a call from Mike of Lamda Motorcycles, click HERE for all your CT110 parts and advice, and order a few parts and have a nice chat, so I decided to give him a plug on here.... He is such an easy guy to chat to and has also told me he will help us out as much as he can on our trip! Awesome! Enough power in the laptop to watch an episode of Topgear while I drink a bottle of champagne and have a cigar. Then its lights out!

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    #13
  14. USA1

    USA1 Adventurer

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    Thanks mate for taking us with you on your journey, and Mabel's, to visit friends and to do a post crash shakedown ride. I really enjoyed your ride report as well as having the chance to see a few interesting photo's from Oz. I have only been down under once, for a short business trip. I'm looking forward to going back someday and hopefully riding. I'm looking forward to reading more and to hear about the results regarding the engine swap.
    Cheers,
    Carl
    #14
  15. USA1

    USA1 Adventurer

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    Looks as though your latest post and mine crossed paths. Looks as though Mabel and yourself are doing well. What a great way to end a day on the road with a beverage and cigar.
    #15
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  16. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Mabel needs a tyre!

    Up at sunrise today. My favourite time of the day is always early morning. Listening to the bush coming to life as the first bright orange rays of sunshine crash through the trees. I love the bush.

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    I have around 120kms or so to go to get to Albury-Wodonga. I have a quick cup of tea and some porridge. I think it might be a warm one today. It’s already quite warm and only very early. So I pack up Mabel and head off.

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    I dodge through roadworks and roundabouts. I climb rutted steep narrow tracks strewn with rocks the size of my head, and Mabel bravely sticks her chest out and putters on. Go Mabel!

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    As we slide out of one gravel intersection and onto some bumpy tarmac I realise I have been past here before. We are nearly in a town called Glenrowan! For those of you who dont know the significance of this, let me explain.

    Here in Australia, way back in the day, bush rangers used to range this bush in these parts. Seen in a weird romantic way as being almost like a Robin Hood type of character. Except they didnt rob from the rich and give to the poor. They just robbed. In this part of Victoria, it was Australia’s most famous and much loved bush ranger and his gang who made their last stand against the police before eventually being captured in 1880. Ned Kelly and the Kelly gang. As I am sure you can imagine, everything in this town has a Ned Kelly theme. As I passed through early there wasn’t much open. So I grabbed a picture of the big Ned and continued on.

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    The temperature was well and truly on the rise by now and I could feel the heat coming off Mabel’s little engine and the hot bitumen. Just on the outskirts of Albury, maybe 6 km’s to go, and I was faced with a steep hill. Ignoring all the warning signs I clicked Mabel down a gear and racing her engine we hooned up the slope. I was soon back down to first gear, her engine screaming in pain. Her speed dropped and dropped until it was too slow to even keep her standing up. I pulled on the brakes, kicked her stand down and climbed off. It was steep. I gave the hot ticking engine 5 minutes to cool down a little before kicking her into life. As I muttered a million apologies to Mabel for making her work so hard on this hill, I put her into 1st gear and with a gentle rev I pushed her up the hill while she leant on my side. This is one hill she just could not carry me up. As the hill started to flatten out Mabel made a run for the top, dragging me stumbling and swearing alongside. But we made it. I was stuffed. Sweat poured off me. I am an unfit bastard!

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    I also learnt that stopping halfway up an extremely steep hill for a photo is all well and good. Just don't put the bike on the centre stand while its facing uphill. I couldn't get her back off the stand. And then the photo doesn't even do the hill justice anyway!!

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    After that hill it is all downwards, through sweeping curves. I built up a blistering pace of 75 km/hr. All the way into town.

    I grabbed a tyre from Albury Yamaha and after strapping it to the bike I headed off out of town. Todays destination was Khancoban. A gorgeous little town that reminds me so much of a Canadian country town. Khancoban is also at the very beginning of the wonderful ride up into the mountains.

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    I had a few pit stops along the way due to the heat. Both for me and for the bike. She was hot. I was hot. An old fella told me that it was 42 degrees Celsius today. Everything was HOT!

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    Before I knew it I was in Khancoban and it was only 3pm. Too hot to camp and with the mountains beckoning I set off for Jindabyne. Possibly the most beautiful town in all of Australia. I had around 100 km’s to go and figured on 2 to 2.5 hours due to the massive slopes I had to crawl up.

    Along the way we were passed by a group of Harleys who gave us a friendly wave. But even with me ducking down low Mabel was soon left behind, wallowing in the throaty bellow of their chrome exhausts.

    Woohoo. We made it up to Dead Horse Gap. The highest pass on this twisting road of goodness. Mabel really started to struggle. I haven’t been able to get her carby to run right since putting a rebuild kit through it and she was working hard for the right air/fuel mix at this altitude. 1570 mt above sea level. From here it was pretty wall all downhill to Jindabyne, a beer and a steak.

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    Pretty much 3 hours after I left Khancoban, I arrived in Jindabyne and headed for the caravan park. After today’s hot riding I was desperate for a shower and to wash my sweat soaked clothing’. Plus last night in the tent I thought things were smelling a little….well, groinal. Just as I finished setting my tent up a massive gale ripped across the lake and was followed by freezing cold temperatures and pouring rain with a symphony of thunder! From stinking hot to bloody cold and wet with its arse blowing out, all in a day. What a country!

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    After the rain settled down I ran to the hot showers. Oh my god it felt amazing! Then in clean clothes I marched off to the pub for a steak before crashing out and sleeping through til the morning.

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    #16
  17. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    No worries Carl. I love sharing our journey and look forward to doing so over the next few years. Australia is an a amazing country, as is every country we have been to, and its just so vast. I am feeling very excited to be heading off to Alaska though soon I must admit! We are looking at 5 odd years on the road! Cant wait!!
    #17
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  18. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Met another Postie biker.

    I’ve decided that I would like a break today and will stay in Jindabyne for another night before heading off towards Canberra. Why not right??

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    I woke up to a chilly wind blowing in off of the lake, but no rain at least! The one neighbor I had has already left. Probably got sick of my snoring and bailed in the middle of the night! Today I am going to do my laundry, bum around, go shopping,and maybe look at some videos I am trying to make.

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    After I finished my laundry I decided to go for a quick run back up to Dead Horse Gap. I have been fiddling with the carby a bit and thought this would be a good chance to see if I have fixed it. Also there is another postie adventurer in the area and I am keen to meet up with him.

    His name is RD and I have watched all of his videos on the youtubes. Sure seems like a great guy and his videos are brilliant. Check him out here :

    YouTubes: http://bit.ly/itsRDTube
    InstaGrams: http://bit.ly/itsRDagram
    FaceBooks: http://bit.ly/itsRDBook

    He also has a Busking Hat going where you can donate a little cash to him to keep his show on the road for longer. Half of any donations go to the Black Dog Institue which is pretty cool too! So please do think about donating to him!

    Donate to RD here: http://bit.ly/itsrdtimeBuskingHat

    So without having to pack a single thing I head off on a naked Mabel at about 1030. As we crawl up slopes, her carby still isn’t right, Í see another rider fly over a crest and come zooming towards me. I recognise the bike. Its RD coming to find me from the other direction! We stop on the side of the road and chinwag for a while before we head back to Jindabyne to compare gear and just chat.

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    Before we know it, its mid afternoon and RD has to get underway to go shopping and camp for the night. After he left I realised he could have just chucked his tent up on my site. Sorry RD!

    Afterwards its another bit of lounging around and watching Topgear, I'm getting addicted to this show, as more rain falls. Tonight I am having Tuna Mornay and Stones and then an early night. Tomorrow I shall head for Canberra. Via a quick ride up into the Snowies! Night!
    #18
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  19. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Onwards! Via going backwards first....

    Woke up to an amazing sunrise today! Bloody cold though. I sat in my tent and watched the colour’s of the sun play over the lake before packing up my gear. I really want a Jindabyne sticker for my bike and a pin for my jacket.

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    After I pack up camp I head over to the visitors centre where I find myself a sticker and a pin. Right next door to the visitors centre is a cafe. So I figure I might treat myself to a hot breakfast! Poached eggs and a real sweet milky Chai tea. YUMMO!

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    After an awesome brekky I head back up towards Deadhorse Gap. Again. Along the way there is a beautiful old stone cottage in a paddock amongst the mountains. There’s a car there and I pull up ask ask for permission to ride up to the house for a photo. The kind old fella opens the gates for me and lets me in. I race up the rocky track and grab my photos before heading back to the road. I’m starting to miss my DSLR camera. The Iphone is ok but it just doesn’t quite capture the perfect image. Might be time to think about a real camera.

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    After a slow climb, carby is still playing up, we make it back to Deadhorse. The view is amazing up here! I could spend hours staring at it. But I have to move on. I hop onto Mabel and zip back down the hill. I visit the Ski Tube, which is totally abandoned at this time of year. After trying to find a parking spot I have a wander around.

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    I am chatting to RD via text and after talking about my carby woes he invites me to his camp to see if we cant diagnose the problem. So we head off back up the mountains.

    After a quick chat RD and myself pull Mabel’s carb off and RD strips it down. I decide to remove the airbox on the off chance that it may ave a crack or hole in the back of it. RD pronounces the carb as healthy and in good nick, the airbox on the other hand has a big hole in the back of it. Possibly from the crash.

    Neither of us has silicone or glue to patch it up so we use some RTV gasket silicone and patch it up followed by a layer of RD’s cloth tape.

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    I did clean all that dirt and muck off before I reattached it to the bike!

    We scoff some chocolate while we wait for the RTV to dry a bit and chat about posties and travel.

    After we refit the airbox and the carby its getting on a bit and therefore time for me to go. I say seeya to RD and head off. I hope to make it to Cooma and a camp ground this arvo. I have to turn the heated grips right up full as my hands are frozen!

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    I take all the back roads again and end up driving down Black Ridge Road. The views back over the mountains are stunning. Once again I have the road to myself. After about 2.5 hours I make it to Cooma and head for the camp site. Its right on the side of a highway but by pitching my tent hard up against the far side of a pile of dirt I can block out a fair bit of the road noise.

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    Its not a bad campsite, its free, has toilets, a river, and views. There’s a couple of RVs here and a backpacker van. I make some dinner, read one of Jeremy Clarkson’s books and then its time for bed.

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    That's how I do dinner!
    #19
  20. Seadragon16

    Seadragon16 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    Colchester, UK
    I'm in! Loving that you're going to do the trip on a postie :D

    Just a word of advice that I've learnt from experience if I may? I'm currently in Guatemala and four months into a trip that started in Canada, following a similar route to the one you have planned. Before we started we debated long and hard what bikes to take, and while our original plan was a small 250cc or less dual sport we eventually settled on Vstrom 650's. I'm not knocking the bike, it has been great and super reliable so far, but we both agree (along with almost every other rider we've met along the way on a bigger bike) that we should have gone small. Small, with minimal luggage.

    The reason I say this is that you've got the bike spot on, but if there was one other thing I wish was different about my trip and that was that I had a third of the luggage. I have virtually identical luggage capacity to what you have on your little bike - side pelicans, a large top box and a dry bag for camping stuff. On a day to day basis I use less than the contents of one pelican case. I've thrown a load of stuff out that I just didn't need.

    If I could start again I'd buy a small bike and carry only a medium sized backpack strapped to the back. I could fit everything I need into that space. Just something to consider.

    Looking forward to following along!
    #20