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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    Nice! Yes we thought long and hard about bikes. We started off thinking of the Ct110's then onto Sym Symba's, then onto DR650's and KLR's. Then onto BMW 800's and Tenere's. But after reading books and blogs of the likes of Nathan Millward and Ed March we settled back on the CT110s. We have no need to rush. They are cheap to run and fix. Honda bikes in the smaller CC's are everywhere so parts are more readily available. All that!

    The luggage has been chopped back to almost nothing. I have 2 pairs of pants, 3 sets of undies, 2 tshirts, thermals and a jumper, 2 pairs of socks, a small cook set, about 3 days of food, a self inflating sleeping mat, a inflatable pillow (which folds down to around matchbox size), sleeping bag and liner, some spare parts, the top box has electronics in it and the dry bag has our tent! She looks way more loaded than she is but the cases are all fairly small.
    #21
  2. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Onwards to Canberra!

    I had a decent sleep last night. Even the highway traffic noise didn't bother me. I woke up and hopped outside to admire the morning view and was greeted by an old man in a motorhome dumping his chemical toilet contents onto the ground. What a dickhead. I was getting myself really wound up and wanted to go over and rub his face in it. Instead I took a photo of the motorhome and of his rego and packed up my camp. I certainly wont be staying in this campsite again.

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    After I had camp packed away and a cup of tea brewing I decided to finally change Mabel’s rear tyre. Hers was looking more like a racing slick every day. All in all and easy process and I had it done in about half an hour.

    I have been in touch with another postie rider who has constantly been about a day behind me. We were planning on meeting up in Cooma around lunch time today so I cruised into Cooma to be a tourist. I had a wander through the Snowy Hydro display centre, very interesting, wandered up and down the Cooma main street and sat down for a bacon and egg toastie. What a wonderful way to spend a morning.

    Around lunch time I got a message saying the other guy is late and about 1.5 hours away. So I decided to head towards Canberra knowing I’ll see him there.

    The GPS took me the back way to Canberra. Through amazing national parks and every way I looked there was beautiful scenery.

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    I stopped and picked up a geocache along the way and dropped off some spam for RD into a geocache box. This one is hidden high above the road way out on top of a narrow rock. The views from up there were staggering.

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    I continued on towards Canberra, enjoying the mix of gravel and bitumen roading. I cruised through sweeping bends, raced down hills, and chugged up the other side. It was such a great day of riding.

    At Tharwa I could have headed straight into Canberra or turned left and skirted through the hills and valleys that surrounded the city. I turned left.

    More scenic roads followed and eventually off on a side road I spied a single gravel track going straight up a hill side to the top of the hill. I figured that the views would be lovely up there and may even offer a lookout over the city. I gave Mabel everything she had, which wasn't much, and we slid and bounced and screamed together heading for the top. We didn't make it. We didn’t even make it half way up. The track became so steep that Mabel ran out of forwards puff and began sliding backwards. I could hold her and had to jump off to save my own neck. She slammed onto her side and slithered 20 odd metres back down the hill. Her little eye looking up at me in confusion. I felt terrible.

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    I ran down to her, nearly falling on my ass in the process. I picked her up. Wiped the gravel from her panniers and kicking her in the guts, she fired into life and we left that place. Yes I get very attached to my machines. I give them a personality and all. But I am not ashamed of it! I love my bike!

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    We raced down into a gorgeous spot called The Cotter. There was a beautiful camp ground there that I have stayed at before and I will stay at again when I get back from Christmas Island.

    I had a nice ride into Canberra, and to the caravan park we would call home for the next night. I like Canberra. Because it is a designed city it has been beautifully set out. Nice wide highways through country side. Each highway connecting the city to small satellite suburbs. Its very pretty and very calm and quiet.

    I set up camp and decided to shower and then read while waiting for the other postie rider to turn up.

    Eventually Johl turned up. He has ridden his bike from across the other side of the country. He is riding from Perth to Sydney just because he can! He set his camp up and we headed out for a burger and a chat before a ride through Canberra at night and back to camp. Another great day out on Mabel. Nice to meet you Johl!

    Tomorrow I have to sort my stuff out as I have one day left before heading off for 2.5 weeks.

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    #22
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  3. Seadragon16

    Seadragon16 Adventurer

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    I wish so much that we'd gone that one step further and ended up back where we first started. I met Nathan at the London Bike Show last year with his postie bike and we'd been following Ed and Rachel too. Everything about small bikes made sense, but we were swayed in the end. Across Canada and the US the bigger bikes were great, but from Mexico onwards they've been cumbersome and have certainly made it a different trip to the one it would have been on something much smaller. So much so that we've decided to spend more time in Central America and not continue with these bikes to South America on this trip.

    Next time it'll be little bikes and minimalist packing! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.
    #23
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  4. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    I dont smoke normally but I do enjoy maybe 3 or 4 cigars each year. It was such a good day that I decided it needed to be celebrated in style!
    #24
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  5. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Will you be back to do South America? Its amazing how many people i meet who are sort of weirdly impressed that someone will do these trips on a small bike, but they always suggest I get a bigger bike. So I can do highway speeds. Which to be honest highways are the one thing I love avoiding. I might have to go and check out your blog!
    #25
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  6. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Time to fly out.

    Today its time to pack up all my gear, sort out what I want to leave behind and what i want to take to Christmas Island. I am looking forward to seeing Chantelle and my friends over there greatly, but I am also sad to leave Mabel behind for just now.

    Ill be back on the 8th of February and the trip shall continue! Forever! well maybe not forever but for a few years.

    I’ll be using the next couple of weeks to rethink some of my gear and plan a better setup for charging my laptop etc. Thanks RD for letting me steal your ideas! I shall be using them!

    I leave the caravan park fairly late this morning and under amazing skies I head off in search of some breakfast. I could cook my porridge but I feel like something else!

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    Eventually after a lot of riding around aimlessly I head to the old Bus Depot markets. I find some amazing food and sit back and people watch.

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    After this there’s not much left to do but head for the airport. I pack Mabel away and say goodbye for now.

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    Speak soon!
    #26
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  7. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    My first attempt at a video. I will get better. Truly! maybe....probably.....

    #27
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  8. Seadragon16

    Seadragon16 Adventurer

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    Yep, I'll be back to do South America, but I'll fly down and buy a little bike in Colombia most likely. Might not be my next trip though, other places such as riding some of Asia and some of Eastern Europe on a little bike are fast creeping up my list.
    #28
  9. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

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    This is a fantastic report, tncpowell!!! Like many others, I can't resist the rides done on a small bike. I'm loving this, and not just because you named your lil Honda Mabel (that's my dog's name too).
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    Mabel and I will be following along:clap
    #29
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  10. Spicciani2

    Spicciani2 Been here awhile

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    How many years? (5 odd)
    Thats a decent stretch on a small bike but it looks like youve packed plenty
    #30
  11. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Yes mate. We would like to be away 5 years at least. More if we can. We have sold everything we own and are now homeless. Haha. It looks like theres more on the bike than there really is.
    #31
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  12. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Aww your Mabel is beautiful! Thankyou for the kind words! Ill be back to Mabel in just under 2 weeks and I cant wait! I have a new camera so I will bombard you all with pictures!
    #32
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  13. Fordfixer

    Fordfixer Semi Old Fart

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    The auxiliary hi/lo range from a North American CT 110 would be so handy for the riding you are doing.Have had 3 CT 90's , 2 CT110's and 1 extremely rare CT 125 over the years. The CT 125 was like your Honda farm bikes. The CT 125 was only imported into North America in 1977
    #33
  14. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    After a brief hiatus I am back on the road! I have been planning on heading to the Aussie adventure film festival in Bright so it was pack up the bike and go time!

    I was very excited to get off the plane and see Mabel sitting under her cover patiently waiting for me. It was like a reunion of long lost pals! Her way of showing me she was happy to see me was to sulkily not start for about 30 kicks.

    When she eventually started I headed out of Canberra to a nice little camp spot called The Cotter. I got there about 10pm, setup camp and fell promptly asleep.
    #34
  15. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Today I struck out for Bright. It was a stunning day for riding and I met up with some good friends and rode with them. Gotta love the little posties! It was a pretty uneventful day so here's a heap of photos instead!

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    Mabel has had an oil change and seems to be running as great as ever! She has a new carb in her now which seems to have improved her no end.

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    #35
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  16. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    So as I wind down the days until Chantelle finishes work I find myself following many amazing winding roads through the Snowys. It’s so gorgeous here. From amazing mountains to stunning twisty roads.

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    After following the Snowy river back through to Jindabyne I have retraced my old path over and through the Snowys.

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    I exited the main road after a town called Khancoban and turned east once more towards Tumut. Many of these towns in this area exist to service the Snowy Hydro Scheme which supplies backup power to a big chunk of the country.

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    Mabel was back down to first gear for quite a few hills here. Her little engine has developed a bit of a deep knock and I am worried about her health. But we pushed on. Climbing higher and higher.

    I crossed dam walls and flew down windy roads. The scenery was just stunning.

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    After a short day I turned off the bitumen and headed for camp. Today finds me camped high up on a plataeu as I meander towards Yass.

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    #36
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  17. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    So finally I can post up every day again. While I was on Christmas island my laptop seemed to take a hit during a power surge. Now I have a new laptop and an updated way to charge it off of Mabel.

    Not much to report today. Just a nice ride across more mountains and through to Canberra. Albeit along a very dusty road!

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    I did get time to spread out all my stuff to see just how much gear I was carrying. I would like to shed some weight but I don't know what else I have left to leave behind.

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    So as of this pos I am now in Canberra. Im off to be a tourist today!
    #37
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  18. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Very nice. Looking forward to more.
    #38
  19. USA1

    USA1 Adventurer

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    It's nice to see you and Mabel back on the road again. I'm looking forward to riding along virtually with you as before. Welcome back mate!
    Cheers!
    #39
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  20. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

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    I'm looking forward to following your adventures over the next few years.
    I ride a '77 CT-90 here in the states myself. Furthest I've ever gone with it
    so far has been about 60 miles from home. But I'm looking forward to
    going further.
    Safe travels my friend!
    #40
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