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Old 09-19-2011, 03:30 AM   #14
Crom-o OP
Red Centre Rider
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Plenty Hwy NE of Alice Springs NT
Oddometer: 319
3 Aug 11 Day 12 Wodonga to Renmark

Waking to the smell of even more of Mums cooking, I started psyching myself up for a +800km day in the saddle. Leaving Mums a bit early I made my way through my old home town checking out what had changed and re-joined the rally course just on 0730. Having done the trip from Adelaide to Wodonga many times, I knew that the ride through to Hattah was going to be a variety of mainly fast open farming roads linked by the odd bit of bitty. Leaving the Hume Hwy about 15kms south of Wodonga and hitting the back roads I opened up the throttle and got on with it. Stopping in Deniliquin and Swan Hill for fuel and a quick feed I made it to Hattah by about 1400, after seeing that Id cracked my fastest speed for the trip somewhere around Deniliquin. With the boring bit out of the way, I topped up the fuel, stripped a few layers of clothes off and sucked down some fluids in preparation for the sand +200km of sand which lay ahead. About 40km out of Hattah I came across the gate which was in our route notes and as I eased the bike through it I picked up on some fairly fresh tracks. Knowing theyd most likely be Ian and Gregs I started to think about how far ahead they were and if Id catch them? With this in mind I did my usual and open the throttle just that bit more, I was on the chase like a Greyhound who genuinely thinks that its a real rabbit running along the top of the dog track fence. Finding my rhythm and really enjoying the ride, it wasnt long before I looked down at the dash to notice the bike temp was getting very high. I decided to play it safe and pulled over in a shady spot to let the bike and me cool down for a bit. Happy the bike was good to go again I pushed on thinking that the right hand turn to run along the Vic/SA border couldnt be too far away. Another half hour in and the bike overheated again, this wasnt looking good. Pulling up I noticed the radiator boiling over a bit, thinking this is just great, I let it cool down again and then emptied the remains of one of my drink bladders into the radiator hoping it would see me through to Remark. Not long after pulling off again I hit the border and having ridden this part of the Border track before I knew I could make Renmark easily by the 1800 stop time and would be enjoying a cold beer with tea rather than cooking up a rat-pack meal and potentially cracking the bottle of wine Id brought the missus in Bathurst. With the sun falling and the roos coming out I rolled into the servo to hear the phone going of, it was Ian and before the call was over he was wandering up to me from the motel next door. Ian being the father figure of our small team, could see that Id had a hard slog and was quick to help me with fuelling the bike and getting it around to the motel room where he and Greg had got a room big enough for a Catholic family who believed in the rhythm method for contraception. It was great to back together as a team again and over a few beers and dinner we all got in some good bench racing about what wed been through on our own for the last couple of days.
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