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guzzimike 09-13-2010 02:42 AM

All The Way To Nowhere & Back Again
This whole thing started 2 years ago on the way to the Border Run.
I apparently annoyed 2 cops so much that they teamed up and gave me 2 tickets to the value of $850 and 7 demerits.
Time to get off road bikes and back on the dirt!
At the BR I met a few riders on their way to the Off Centre Rally and thought, "Next one, in 2 years, I'm going."
Now the OCR is held every 2 years and has 3 criteria.
1. At least 200km of dirt to get there
2. Pub
3. Fuel
Fast forward to Aug 2010.
I'm off to try the quadrella
Border Run
Dargo Rally.
We meet at the usual latte joint, so beloved by BMW riders and after a few hiccups, (forgot my phone) headed off into the Jarrah forest east of Perth for a little warm up.
This did not meet universal acclaim among the troops, some thought we were going too far to be buggerizing around on bush tracks, but hey.
At the end of the bush tracks we came to good dirt roads which took us to Hyden and then on to the traditional early starters first night stop, The Breakaways, on the Hyden Norseman Rd.

Here we are told by Ben that the F800 is the greatest bike in the world, hang about, no it isn't, the KTM 690 is, no wait..........................
We are still confused.
Friday morning we knock over the last 150k into Norseman, (named after a racehorse, not a Viking) and hit the tar for an easy run to our 2nd nights camp 30ks east of Balladonia.
Time to sharpen the on bike camera skills.
Robin on the 1150, this bike has 300k km

Chris 1200GS

Eaglebeak, Suzuki 1300 outfit, on it's first long trip

And me, on the best bike in the world.

Saturday morning saw more of the same, with stops at well remembered landmarks.

Top of the Madura pass, where Robin gave us an enlightening talk on the Geology of the place and Eaglebeak brewed up a cuppa on his fold out stove, Bloody sidecars, too many comforts, may as well stay home, he says with just a touch of envy.
So it was on to the Border Run and the usual frivolities that go on at this iconic Aussie get together.
To be Confused er Continued

Phil_Fong 09-13-2010 02:51 AM

:lurk :lurk :lurk

bully1 09-13-2010 02:54 AM

c'mon you've been home 48 hours

guzzimike 09-13-2010 03:02 AM

Yeah and Fotofuckit has just imploded


Originally Posted by bully1
c'mon you've been home 48 hours

pops 09-13-2010 03:08 AM

:thumb Hi Guzziemike.
This should be good :clap .

bully1 09-13-2010 03:12 AM

oh well you'll be able to brag about it at the meeting tonight

Sundowner 09-13-2010 03:21 AM

Heya mate. :wave Enjoying this story already. :thumb Were the locks changed by the time you got home? :D 5 weeks is a great ride. :clap :lurk

guzzimike 09-13-2010 03:26 AM

With aching heads we face the tar Sunday morning, pull out the laptop in Ceduna and find, not for the last time, that the weather has not been kind and road closures are the order of the day.
Not to be deterred, in true ADV style we decide to go anyway, if it turns to shit we can always revert to plan F/305.
After picking up a few supplies, Chris needed a new thong (or 2) we head on out to Wirrulla where we pick up Paul on the mighty ex Stevered 1200ADV and hit the dirt.
This road from Wirrulla to Kingoonya is sometimes a bit sandy, but with the recent rain the sand is firm and we make good time to be past the lakes by camp time.
Paul has a fancy new tent.

But check out the bed beside it, Robin did.

Some guys are so soft, words fail me.
Chez Guzzi was a little more basic.

Chris also took out a second mortgage on the family home and lashed out on a new tent.
He complained that it leaked, but we all know what a dicky prostate can do.

A bit of bench racing around the fire, an early start, (Robin, do you sleep at all?) and it's off up the track, very picturesque country this, but missed most of the photogenic stuff.

Kingoonya, on the trans line consists of a pub. But they do good toasties and the beer was fine.


Clancy 09-13-2010 04:05 AM

:ear :clap

holmesie 09-13-2010 04:12 AM

This is gonna be a great report :1drink

guzzimike 09-13-2010 06:07 PM

We trundle out to Glendambo, on the Stuart Hwy and it is here that the weather turns to shit.

By the time we get to Woomera and then up to Roxby Downs it is throwing it down, we arrive in Roxby to find they have closed the Borefield track 15mins earlier.

What to do?
After much consensus, and the fact that we are like drowned rats at this stage, we decide to return to Woomera and await developments on the weather front. (It's OK Chris, I found later the Tanami was closed too, so the rabbits were out of reach)
The Pub in Woomera resembles nothing so much as a 1950's military base, which indeed is what it was. Some of the accutrements remain.

Next morning dawned fine (ish) so a plan was hatched to slab it to Coober Pedy and then hatch another plan.
Phone calls were made and it was decided to press on with plan A-Z, which was to try to get to the OCR come hell or high water.
Firstly we would trek out to William Creek and wait for the Oodnadata track to open.
Rivetting scenery along the Track.

At William Creek we discovered the Ood was open down to the Borefield, so, in view of the fact that it was blowing it's guts out and there's no cover at WC, we decided to cruise on down to Coward Springs were there is a great little campground.

This loverly surface you see here turns to shit very quickly with a bit of rain on it, it's the sort of stuff that when you walk on it, (with difficulty) you grow about a centimetre with each step, it also has a gret affinity with bike tyres, and come to think of it, with anything else it touches.

I was leading at this stage, slip sliding away and when I stopped, not seeing lights behind me, about 20k's from Coward Springs and had a bit of a look around, it looked like this.

Good spot to retire.
The old Ghan line used to follow the Oodnadata track and I thought the abandoned rail line might give us a camping spot out of the mud, but no, the railbed was just more mud.

The pics don't really do this mud justice, but the 2 GS's had great difficulty, with mud packing between the front tyre and guard, locking up the front wheel, with predictable results. Chris came off 5 times in as many k's and Robin 3.
Paul, on the Thundermiester ADV had no front guard, so had no problems and the GS800, with it's narrower front wheel and more clearance around the brake calipers and stuff, seemed to handle it better.
Or maybe I'm just a legend rider:rofl:rofl:rofl
Chris removed the front guard of his 12, but Robin's 1150 has a crossover brake line which made this impossible, so out came the Leatherman......

Pretty cool mod huh?
By this time we had run out of light, so it was camp in the mud time

The good thing about this crap is it dries as quickly as it wets, so by the morning it was ridable to Coward Springs, where Chris, who had hurt his back in one of his offs, tried out Paul's Gay Bed.

Coward Springs comes highly recomended, a sandy oasis in a sea of mud.
Great bathroom with "Donkey"

And a spa, courtesy of the Great Artesian Basin, at a constant 22deg.

As I said earlier, the Oodnadata Track follows the old Alice Springs to Port Augusta rail line, the legendry "Ghan"
I travelled on this train in the 1976, it took a day and a half from The Alice to Marree and averaged 15km/h!
It was some trip, I don't remember Coward Springs (don't remember a lot, we drank the train dry!) but it was a siding on the way, the old buidings remain.
This was the train drivers accomodation.

We had a relaxing day at CS, did the washing, even had time for a gratuitous plug for Smelly Dog.

The momentous morning arrived and we weaved round the mud puddles to Maree, where we ran into Stevered and the boys from TBAM who had come down a very muddy Birdsville Track and informed us (wrongly) that the Strezlecki Track was closed.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back and when we arrived in Lydhurst, to hear another shitty weather forcast, Robin announced he'd had enough and was taking his bat and ball and going home.
The others agreed.
Me? "Fuck no, I'm not going home, I only just got here."
In the next exciting episode I tackle my next iconic Aussie track.....alone.

holmesie 09-13-2010 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by guzzimike
I was leading at this stage, slip sliding away and when I stopped, not seeing lights behind me, about 20k's from Coward Springs and had a bit of a look around, it looked like this.

Right about here we camped off the road alongside the old railway around this time last year when Coward Springs was full for some reason - absolutely magic spot :1drink

Vince_WA 09-13-2010 10:03 PM

Keep it coming !!!!
Don't stop now - more pics and story please !!!!! Can't wait for the next instalment .....

Shmerel 09-13-2010 10:10 PM

great one mike. :clap

wot make is that mattress bed? :ear

guzzimike 09-13-2010 11:43 PM

The Strezlecki Track turned out to be a breeze.
Dirt Superhighway.

But there's water in this desert

I met a road gang foreman along the road who told me where the short cut is that saves 70k by cutting off the Merty-Merty loop.
This was a bit of a challenge and I was glad it was only 25km long, as the detours around the bog holes were pretty deep sand.
After a quick refuel and obligatary snap of Australia's most photographed bus...............

I was drinking beer in the corner store at Cameron Corner by 1/4 to 5, having left Lyndhurst at noon.
The famous Corner Store

Friday was my birthday, and the day I was going to hit Wanaaring, venue for the 2010 OCR, so it was up and at 'em.
The corner.............................

The corner store is in Queensland, I then returned to South Australia and then through the gate into New South Wales.

More great roads.

Between every dune was this, water, pretty rare to see this country like this.

Tibooburra is about as far from anywhere as you can get in NSW and has that frontier feel to it. I stopped for a beer, it was my b'day after all.

Bike porn photo

About 50ks out of Tib. I had the closest thing to a moment I had on the whole trip, Ignoring a "Road Hazard" sign I hit a bloody big hole in the road at the old Dollar Twenty. I reckon the hole was about half a metre deep and for a moment there I wondered whether we were coming out the other side. Time for lunch by the lake.

And so on to Wanaaring, where the first person I meet is Andrew (Eaglebeak, remember him?) And so set up my camp in the caravan park and slip on my drinking shoes.

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