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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    Anytime! Glad you enjoyed them!
    #81
  2. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Thanks mate!!
    #82
  3. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Sometimes you just have one of those days. We woke up this morning at a nice hour. The house was warm and there was thick slices of home made bread ready for toasting.

    We lounged around the old house for an hour or two before finally dragging the bikes out and packing them up. Today we were headed for Canberra.

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    What a morning to ride!
    We grabbed some oil on the way out as both bikes were due an oil change. Especially Mabel. She was about 500 km's past due. Terrible considering we change the oil every 1000 km's! We headed out of Yass and about 10 minutes up the road we pulled into a gravel pit and began the 5 minute job of dropping the oil into an old coke bottle.

    With fresh oil we headed off through some stunning back roads. Over steep hills and around sharp corners. Riding bliss!

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    After a while we hit a dirt road. I was beginning to feel like Mabel was a bit...well off. She just felt unhappy. Also I was sure she was really noisey, but I put it down to me just noticing her various squeaks and moans and rattles because she felt off.

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    Then with a terrible rattle she just stopped. Her back wheel locked up and we slid to a halt. Uh oh. My stomach dropped. I could smell hot hot hot oil. I hopped off of and as soon as I looked down, I could see a growing pool of oil below her.

    Shizen!!!!!

    I obviously hadn't done her sump plug up tight enough and as a result it had rattled out somewhere along the way and her oil had been steadily draining out until she was bone dry. Mabel! What have I done to you! I jumped on Rosie and followed the little trail of oil back to see if I could find her sump plug. After about 10 km's I got to the initial 'splash' of oil. But no plug. I headed back and decided to call into a farmhouse to see if they may have some old bolts laying around that just may fit. I got lucky. I found a bolt that was too long and the thread to coarse but it was the right diameter. It would have to do.

    I forced the bolt into the threads in Mabel's sump. Knowing that I was ruining her, But surprisingly it went in nicely. As it was too long I used a nut about half way along the thread to help shorten it. Luckily we hadn't had a chance to chuck out the old oil from the two bikes, so I filled her up with that. I filled her up a lot!

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    The home made sump plug.
    By now it had been about 2 hours since she seized and stopped. I was hoping that by cooling down she may have unseized herself. I put my foot on her kick start and pushed down. She turned over. But didn't start. "Come on Mabel", Chantelle and I pleaded, "Please start"

    Another kick. Nothing

    Another.

    Another.

    Another.

    Mabel was dead. My little trooper. I had let her down. She was no more.......

    Oh hang on, the key. I hadn't turned her key on! I flicked the ignition on and gave her an almighty kick! With a roar and a rattle she screamed into life! YAY! I don't have any pics or videos of this as I was so worried I had destroyed Mabel with just over a week til she flies out to Canada.

    Once she was warm she settled into a nice smooth idle albeit with a knock knock knock at idle. With nothing left to do but limp her the 30 km's to Canberra, we set off. After 5 mins I stopped and checked to make sure her new sump plug was holding. It was. Weirdly her knock was also gone and she was purring like she always did.

    We cruised along with me adding more speed and more revs. I figured if the engine was stuffed I would have to replace it anyway. But she was strong. She pulled like a teenage boy and cruised happily at 70 km/hr

    We eventually made it to our stop for the night. We are staying with one of our lovely friends that we met over on Christmas Island. I rode to a motorbike shop and bought Mabel a new sump plug and some JB Weld to glue it in if the threads were stuffed. They weren't. The new plug went in and tightened up nicely. She also got a nice dose of fresh oil.

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    Tomorrow we shall see if she will live!
    #83
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  4. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We had a bit of a sleep in today. Which was nice. Our friends house is lovely and quiet which made for a great nights rest. All too soon it was time to get up and start getting ready to get on the road.

    We had to make a detour to the hardware place because Rosie's muffler heat shield was loose and the damn rattling noise was driving me insane every time Chantelle rode any where near me!

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    With screws and some extra bits in hand we decided to be naughty and splurged on McDonalds for breky/lunch. We normally allow ourselves one 'treat' meal each week. We wasted it this time.

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    After our disappointing meal we set the GPS to take us to Cooma via the back roads. Or in this case straight down the Monaro Highway. With all the trucks. This gave us a reminder that basically no one knows how to drive! We had one truck over take us on double white lines and forced another car coming the opposite way off onto the shoulder. Eediot!

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    Our planned camp came up very quickly so we chose another one near a town called Cheese..I mean Bega. They make cheese in Bega and I now have cheese on the cheese. I mean brain.

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    Our friend from Canberra had recommended we check out Brown Mountain on the way to Bega. It was STUNNING. We stopped at a place called Piper Lookout which had incredible views all the way to the ocean! Well on a clear day. Which was not this day. Even the toilets had a view.

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    From there we basically rolled all the way down from over 1000 mtrs to just over 250 mtrs above sea level. So many fun fun twisty curvy turns and hair pins. During the descent Rosie was farting and popping. Chantelle is convinced Rosie is stealing our baked beans.

    We passed through several gorgeous little country towns and Chantelle fell in love with one called Bemboka. She really regretted her choice of McDonalds here as there was a small bakery that made real pies! Notice that I said it was HER choice to eat Maccas. NOT mine.

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    We camped not far from there at a free camp in a beautiful park in Candelo.

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    Mabel has run really well today. No signs of her rattles and all seems well. Tomorrow both Mabel and Rosie get there valves done before we leave.
    #84
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  5. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

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    Sack that mechanic who didn't tighten the sump plug - well at least he probably won't do that again -ever!
    #85
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  6. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Haha. EVER again. In fact he now checks it every bloody 5 minutes!
    #86
  7. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Well, after a night of almost no sleep, due to some serious traffic and barking dog noise all night, we crawled out of our tent. Bleary eyed and grumpy. Cursing all and sundry, but mostly the man cheerfully whistling a tune across the river.....

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    I forgot to mention that we had a show with dinner last night. 3 young backpacker boys pulled up in a van near us and proceeded to strip down to their underwear. They then extravagantly and almost sexually slathered each other in some cream????? We figured it was sunscreen, even though the sun was almost gone....maybe it was baby oil?

    Back to today. This morning while we were glaring at everyone and everything, especially that stupid noisey thing called nature, the boys all clambered out of the one Toyota van they were sharing and started stretching their wrists and shoulders...Excessively.....

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    So we also had breakfast and a weird show. Once the food and copious amounts of scarily strong coffee were consumed we got our asses into gear and headed for Bega, the cheese mecca.

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    We are big cheese fans and all we could think about was cheese. Everything turned into something cheese related. We were riding Cheese and Cheesey and we had some gorgeous cheeseside to cheese through. The cheese went on for miles in every direction. Lots of rolling cheeses and some beautiful cheesey corners. See what I mean? CHEESE!

    At Bega we rolled into the cheese factory. I had a beard full of drool at the thought of allllll the free cheese I was going to eat. Turns out they had heaps! We had double and triple helpings. MMMMMMM.

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    Then we turned to the fudge cabinet and the milkshakes. One chocolate milkshake and a slab of chocolate fudge later and we were both feeling ill and sorry for ourselves.

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    We waddled back to the bikes moaning up a storm about our full tums and then rode towards the coast.

    We cruised for Tathra because the visitor information guy in Bega told us that apart from the cheese factory we may as well go elsewhere to see anything of interest. Interesting tactic for a visitors centre!

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    From Tathra we followed the coast until we eventually ended up on the A1. This bee-lined us for an early camp just outside of Narooma where we did a little bike maintenance and then chilled out. Tonight we have enjoyed 2 bottles of red and a camp fire. We are both hoping for a damn good sleep tonight!

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    #87
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  8. hyrumfoink

    hyrumfoink real gone~

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    wow... sounds like mabel is a miracle child... amazing. did you give her a nice cheese sandwich after what you put her through?
    hmmmm...i do wonder what those backpacker boys were doing in there...? viva mabel viva mabel!
    #88
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  9. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Yay for Mabel!!!!! I dont really think I want to know what they were up to!
    #89
  10. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    After an attempted sleep in (daylight savings has finished) we were up and at it. Coffee was brewing while we packed camp away and soon we were on our way to Batemans Bay.

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    Not far from camp we stopped in at a cool old church built from granite. The cool colours and textures grabbed my attention as we went past it, so we had to go back. It looked like an old castle from a fantasy book.

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    We were soon chatting lovely English couple who looked after the place. The have a great passion for the church and were keen to show us around and Doris was keen to tell us about the history of the church. Turns out the old church organ is one of only 7 imported to Australia and is now only one of two that actually still works. Unfortunately though, they have had to install a burglar alarm as some nasty thieves had been making off with some old pieces of the pulpit. Seriously? Why? I don't understand stealing from churches, Well any where really...

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    We grabbed some photos and headed off as Sunday Service was about to begin.

    We just meandered through to Batemans Bay via a few touristy coastal roads and occasionally the A1 Highway. We were only doing a short ride today as I still am not sleeping well and I was absolutely buggered.

    Once in Batemans we did a quick shop for some fresh green thingos, and I grabbed some packets of deliciously tasty and sugary biscuits.

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    Our camp wasn't far from here and we rode the short yet very scenic road there.Once we arrived Mabel set about collecting firewood and pretending to be a log truck, while Rosie lounged about being lazy.

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    Not a bad day in the end. Short and sweet. Plus I ate a whole pack of biscuits and had to go back to the shops for more. Green stuff was ok too.

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    Tomorrow...maybe Jervis Bay...
    #90
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  11. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We packed up our camp under grey and ominous skies today. I tried to get the fire going, but unless I have a few liters of petrol... Basically I am the worst fire starter ever. In the end I successfully smoked Chantelle out of the camp and made all our camp gear smell of wood smoke.

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    From camp we were headed north to Jervis Bay. It wasn't a very long ride but we were sure making slow progress. We stopped about an hour up the road for lunch and got chatting to two old fellas. Peter and Bob. Funny guys! Peter invited us back to his farm to stay the night which was lovely, and if we weren't trying to go further then we definitely would have.

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    One thing we want to try to do is bring the people we meet into our blog a little more. Something along the lines of People of Over Yonda. We are thinking we will make a new page on our website and take a photo of the person and get a story from them. Let us know what you think. There's some amazing people out there with amazing stories to tell.

    From there we donned our wet weather gear as the rain started to come down. By the time we got to Jervis Bay we were both frozen and damp. Why does wet weather gear always leak in the crotch area???

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    We had a short look around Jervis Bay but the weather sent us scurrying for camp. Which turned out to be further away than we realised. When we finally rocked up it was dark. So we threw the tent up on a flat bit of ground, cooked some dinner and both of us crawled into our sleeping bags. Not a very exciting day today. But Bob and Peter sure were funny.

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    Tomorrow we return to Canberra to pick up some parts sent to us by Lambda Motorcycles.
    #91
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  12. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    So after Chantelle's nasty crash, we had to order some new bits an pieces for her bike. They are currently at our friends place awaiting pickup so today's goal is to go there and get them before heading for Sydney. Only a few more days now before Rosie and Mabel board a jet plane!

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    We were awoken by the beautiful warm sun flooding our campsite this morning. A welcome relief after yesterdays rainy ride. We didn't have any phone signal here last night so we had a night with phones off and internet's off. Kind of peaceful!

    Turns out our random camp spot was quite pleasant. We had lots of possums around last night and those little guys aren't shy!

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    After we packed all our gear away, slowly mind as we were enjoying our cups of tea and coffee in the morning sun, we were soon on our way towards the big smoke of Canberra.

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    We followed some lovely little back roads and it wasn't long before we were at our friends place. From there we headed up to Yass where we had a bed awaiting us.

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    It was a really uneventful day today. Some nice riding, but mostly in areas we have already been through. We are both very tired and feel we are nearly due a day off the bikes. Its quite hard work this being on holidays full time you see....

    Tomorrow shall get better! We are heading to just northwest of Sydney to check out the Blue Mountains.
    #92
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  13. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We actually left from Yass and headed towards Sydney today.Finally! We wanted to get to the Blue Mountians via Goulburn as everyone has said what a great place it is. So with GPS in hand we hit the main Federal Highway. It was horrid! Full of trucks and crazy drivers, and we couldnt wait to hit the back roads. So enough though we were finally climbing hills with nary a vehicle in sight. But the bloody wind. WOW.

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    It was so windy. At one stage both of us thought we were about to be blown off the road. The gusts were enough to make us swerve all over the road, and to anyone sitting behind us, we must have looked like drunks!

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    Eventually we hit the little town of Goulburn. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. Busier than we thought that's for sure! It also had a lot of churches.

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    We had heard about the Big Merino with the big set of bollocks, and I wanted to see them. I mean it...the merino that is...

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    After I fondled his nurries we cruised out of town in search of a camp. The wind was so ferocius by now that we were both aching to get off the road.
    Our first pick of camps was in a little valley next to a creek. Very beautiful and picturesque but the wind was howling and there were several trucks pumping water out of the creek.

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    We decided to press on a bit further and accidentally stumbled across a campsite run by National Parks. And it was free! Bonus!! Plus it was at the bottom of a super steep climb, which we could save for tomorrow!

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    After pitching the tent and attending to today's bike maintenance we sat and watched the kangaroos eat grass while the sun went down. The wind died down briefly so that the rain could have a chance. This drove us into the tent for the night.

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    Tomorrow we shall head towards a town called Lithgow.
    #93
  14. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    After a nice sleep in, we woke to the roo's eating grass around our tent. What a beautiful morning! Made even better by Rosie having a flat tyre, thanks to a pinched tube, and a broken spoke too!

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    After fixing her tube and removing the snapped spoke we had a cup of tea and watched the sun creep up over the hills. What a beautiful start to the day.

    We fired the two bikes up and took off for the steep climb out of there.

    It was crazy steep. We were back down to second gear for a while, and with both engines protesting we finally crested the hill. That's when the chill set in.

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    We spent the best part of today hovering around the 1200mts above sea level.

    In a short time we were soon in Oberon. Our camp today lay not much further on, so we stopped at the bakery for a hot feed.

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    We had a nice chat to a German fellow who has been cycling all over the country and is on his way through to Brisbane. Crazy!!

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    We set our camp co-ordinates into the GPS and off we went. This camp was at the top of a mountain and the way there was a very narrow, very steep, and very rock ride. In the end we decided to turn back and chose another camp. The ground was so rough here and so steep and the poor postie bikes were really struggling.

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    Once we hit camp we set up the tent and lit a nice fire. After a few glasses, or two bottles, of red wine, we stopped feeling the cold so much.

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    We cooked up a little dinner of mushroom stew and crawled into bed.

    We should get to Lithgow tomorrow. It is only about 30 km away...
    #94
  15. motopoet

    motopoet The Moto Poet

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    Wooohooooo! Gotta love the bitter cold mixed with a nice glass of wine :) remind us, what's the plan as far as the Americas?! Ill be heading South from NY on my Yamaha XT250 end of year so hopefully we can meet on the road. By the way, Any intention of hitting NY? If so, dinner and a bed are available - PM me.

    How is your luggage and overall set up working out - tents, sleeping bags, cookware, etc?!

    Ride on friends!
    @motopoet

    www.themotopoet.wordpress.com
    #95
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  16. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We woke to a very damp day today. The clouds where all around us. Literally!!!!! Our tent was drenched. Luckily its a good tent and we were warm and dry inside!!!

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    We didn't have far to go today as we are just really killing time until we have to be in Sydney. We met a lovely South African couple who are travelling around in an awesome Unimog truck! Wish I had of thought to snap a pic of it and them! Nice to meet you guys and happy travels! So we packed up and cruised off through the Blue Mountains. In our gorgeous fluro yellow wet weather clothing.

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    We rode to Lithgow where we decided to treat ourselves to a meal, as we had come in under budget for the week. Once again Chantelle decided that she wanted MacDonalds. She never learns! So we had burgers and fries and a vanilla thickshake. Maybe I will choose next time! Channy thinks it was the best burger she has ever had... Hmmm...I dunno about that....

    There were a heap of motorbikes in the Maccas carpark as heaps of girls on bikes were heading for Dubbo for the World Record attempt of most women on a bike in one place at the same time.

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    Our camp for today was only 15 kms up the road and before we knew it we were all set up and chilling out. We had a visitor come by to say hello, Jax from www.postienotes.com.au! She has travelled all over Oz on her little postie Mo and has only got 500 km's left until Mo's little odometer ticks back over to all noughts again!

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    After a quick chat Jax was off on her way to Dubbo. Only to get a little ways up the road and suffer her very first puncture! Mabel and I rode off to meet her and lend some help! Which was great because on the way back we were treated to an amazing sunset!

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    Back at camp Channy and I had a few glasses of port to warm us up as we cooked some dinner.

    Tomorrow we shall head to Katoomba and on towards Sydney
    #96
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  17. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Gday! The wine helps...alot!!!! Our plan is to leave ride out of vancouver in the next two weeks or so and head for Prudhoe Bay. From there we shall do a U turn and head south. We want to cover as much of Canada and the US as we can! NY is high on our list of must do's. It would be unbelievable if we get to stay wit a New Yorker!!!!!

    Our gear so far is doing ok. We are going to make the switch from hard panniers to some type of soft luggage though. As Chantelle did suffer a bit of an incident thanks to a pannier slightly hitting and cracking her ankle......Shhh. We havent told the parents that one...
    #97
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  18. motopoet

    motopoet The Moto Poet

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    Awesome!

    I use wolfman expedition saddles... waterproof and tested on rwd trips. They also have a bigger set called Rocky Mountain I believe, but seem too big to throw on the Hondas, plus may be overkill.

    www.wolfmanluggage.com

    David C.
    @motopoet

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    #98
  19. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    It was a misty cool morning today. The lake was hidden by fog and it was only 50 meters away!

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    We packed up our very damp, well totally soaking wet, tent and rode to the corner of the camp ground where there was FREE hot showers! So happy!

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    After a thorough soaking and soaping and smelling suspiciously clean, we sat down in the park nearby and had a warm brekky of porridge.

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    With breakfast out of the way we set the GPS to take us to Katoomba. We rode along some gorgeous back roads and around a lake called Lake Lyell. The views in every direction were incredible!

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    Unfortunately from this point on we had to do some highway miles. Luckily there were kilometers of roadworks, all with a signposted speed limit of 60 km/hr. Our speed! This had to be one of the most scenic highways we have travelled on in Australia so far! The road was cut into the sides of mountains and the views were staggering.

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    Once we got to Katoomba we did the good old tourist route and checked out a few lookouts.

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    From there it was push, push to get the last of the riding done to our camp at Bargo Pub.

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    What a great camp! We met a great guy in the pub and had a nice chat to him too!

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    As a bit of an extra for today, we would like to admit that we have no idea as to what we are doing. One bike is bent quite badly in the front end, and the other has a very suspect engine...... What can go wrong?
    #99
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  20. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Well.. well... wellllll.Not much to report today. After a nice chat with some fellow bikers at camp this morning we set off with clear skies and warmer weather.

    We rode the very short, but very long distance into Sydney. There's no photos to show as we were stuck in the mechanical mayhem of traffic four hours.We are resting up tonight in a nice little lodge with a real bed and hot showers.

    Tomorrow is the day we take the bikes to the cargo peoples of Matzens Cargo. Well hopefully. We have a little shopping bits to do first!

    Getting closer now!

    Who's excited?? We are!!!
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