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Old 09-19-2011, 03:11 AM   #3
Crom-o OP
Red Centre Rider
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Plenty Hwy NE of Alice Springs NT
Oddometer: 319
23 Jul 11 – Day 1 Yunta to Mungerannie

This being the first official day of the rally we had a half hour late start, not that I slept in. After a quick brekkie at the Roadhouse, we were all ready to head off by 0800, well we were actually watching the clock tick down before heading up the Arkaroola Track for the first leg into Hawker. Spacing our selves out to stay out of each other dust, Ian took the lead with Kevin in the middle and me running sweep. Keeping an eye on the GPS I saw our first turn coming up, Ian was out of sight but I could still see Kevin, he’d missed the turn. I though great start this is, first turn and I’ve gotta chase him down already. I got along side him and signalled to stop, Kevin didn’t respond, so I gave it a quick squirt and then got hard on the breaks and pulled up. I thought to myself, well the idea of this is for each rider to navigate their own way and figured he’ll work it out soon enough, so I turned back to try and catch Ian again. I caught Ian at our first gate and explained what was going on. Ian and I agreed to keep going as Kevin was only doing part of the rally and may have had other plans for this section. After winding our way through some beautiful gullies crossing dry creek beds and getting into a nice rhythm we arrived at Hawker, time for some fuel and a quick coffee. Whilst enjoying the coffee and getting some warmth back into our bodies, Kevin arrived. After a quick chat to see how he was travelling I came to realise he didn’t have the route loaded in his GPS, hence he had no idea where the corners were and the exact way we were going. With this knowledge we pulled out and settled back into the same order heading through even more of the scenic Flinders Ranges via Wilpena, Blinman onto Parachilna. Pulling up at the Hwy, Kevin and I thought “where’s Ian?” We hadn’t passed him and he wasn’t waiting, so we pushed onto Lyndhurst where Kevin needed to get fuel. We still hadn’t come across Ian and my phone started yelling at me saying it had a message. The message was from John Hudson, the organiser of the rally, telling me that Ian had stopped in Parachilna and we’d passed him. With time getting on and our goal to get to Mungerannie by 1800 slipping away, Kevin and I were still discussing what to do when Ian rolled in. He was all smiles and said there was still a steak sandwich waiting for both of us back in Parachilna where he’d pulled in for lunch. Apparently he’d told us that was his plan, but in all the excitement of the first day we must have missed that one. Back together again and making sure we all knew what each others plans were, we opened up the 3 Katie’s and legged it up to Marree for a quick refuel and then kept pushing on up the Birdsville Track. Approaching the signs for the Cooper Creek Ferry detour I saw Kevin pulled up and looking over his 690R. He told me it’d been running like a dog since Lyndhurst and had died as he was slowing for the corner and that he was having trouble getting it going again. While Kevin investigated the problem I tried getting on the UHF to let the guys at the ferry know that we’d been held up and to let Ian know. Kevin ended up adjusting the fuel map setting, thinking he may have got crook fuel in Lyndhurst and also cleaned and re-seated a wire in the CDI and the 690R purred back into life. As we rolled up to the ferry we could see Ian had already loaded up his 690R and was waving for us to come straight on. A very quick trip over the very flooded Cooper and we were back on our way and still looking pretty good to make it to Mungerannie by 1800. Riding along side Kevin along the dirt super Hwy that is the Birdsville Track I could hear and see his bike was still running rough, with not far to go we pushed on and pulled up out the front of Pub just as the sun was sinking below the horizon. Ian had booked a room, so he sorted that while I fuelled the bike and gave her a quick going over and congratulated her on a great days riding. After a couple of beers and some Barra which I was told “Out of a cardboard box” when I asked where it’d come from I rolled out the swag under the carport for Ian’s room and kept the bikes company for the night.
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