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Old 03-21-2009, 10:46 PM   #1
masterbrewer OP
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Lake Gairdner Dry Lake Speed Trials 2009

(Continued on from here

G'day Guys & Gals from feet up lifestyle, sunny South Australia
(well! ....... for the next 6 weeks anyway )

In life people say .................... "timing is everything" but out here .................. "everything is timing"

This trip has been three years in the waiting.

Setting the atmosphere of a road trip to Lake Gairdner

And of course my favourite .......... ahh! ........... yes

The Lake Gairdner salt lake is blindingly white and flat for as far as the eye can see. This lonely spot in the South Australian desert is shimmering in the heat - and shaking to the roar of dozens of open exhausted, revved-up car and motorbike engines waiting their turn to race the clock all-out in a straight line towards the empty horizon in search of glory.

** Pump up the volume Pump up ya volume and enjoy the rumble

When you hear this, the heart starts to race and you know you have arrived

and to show I'm not biased

more drool ... ...

and of course nothing beats the rush of adrenalin as the wheels spin at 218mph........

Turbocharged Hayabusa ..... (listen around 18 second mark)

This unique and beautiful land known as the Gawler Ranges is an asset to the state of South Australia, set apart from all other and only one of two places in the world that is capable of holding such a unique event as Land Speed Records .... the other ............ Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.

The History of Lands Speed Records

From the beginning even before the wheel was invented, it was destined to be the supreme land formation where land speeds were to be tested.

Yes, dry lake racing & spectating Australian style was going to be "no picnic", but for many it is this "doing it tough thing" that is part of the attraction.

And it was in this calm & peaceful desert atmosphere that the wind whispered in the air:

"until you have come and broken bones with the earth, will you truely feel the power of its soul"

(quote masterbrewer ............... circa 2009)

Yeah right ......................

In reality ..................... the dark morning air challenged our senses as Aussie Jase & I rode through the waft of country aromas assailing our nostrils, to meet UncleGra on the 8am Wallaroo ferry, two hours north of Adelaide for the trip across Spencer Gulf to Lucky Bay, Eyre Peninsula.

Relaxing & feeling out of place on the 2 hour across the gulf ride, apart from Jase talking "politics" with the gorgeous, young bar waitress.

On arrival at Cowell Bakery, we were subjected to the worst tasting food ever experienced from a bakery in ages.

However pleasure was soon restored riding south along the coast to the scenic Port Gibbon

Turning west into the Minbrie Ranges, home of the worlds oldest & greatest reserves of Jade and the Mt Millar wind farm, we looked back over our beautiful country.

Riding fabulously linked open winding & undulating back roads north west to Wudinna required the occasional re-focus of the senses to avoid overshooting unsuspecting "give way" signed intersections.

Near the Darke Peak mountain range we casually observed isolated thunderous downpours on the northern horizon with little consequence.

and doing the touristy thing at Mount Wudinna granite rock outcrop before refueling bike & rider at Wudinna.

On departure we were delighted to experience the fresh sights & smells of the glistening land before us, pleased with ourselves to have avoided the rain.

As we rode the wet roads north into the park, we were greeted by a 4x4 crew who shrugged their shoulders when we told them where we were heading.

Being self sufficient, our aim was to just reach the nearest camp before dusk.

By late afternoon after paying the National Park self registration & camping fees, we proceeded cautiously over the damp roads past the Ranger who had advised the day before that the roads were mainly sandy/gravel based & should be rideable with only the occasional surface water to negotiate. He did seem rather sheepish when he collected Jase,

However over 15mm of rain had fallen that afternoon before we got there which made for some interesting action.

Approximately 10kms in, Aussie Jase went down awkardly, dislocating his foot & fracturing his fibular.

UncleGra went back & returned with the ranger who had just finished washing his new 4x4 & was about to sit down for his evening meal. We loaded Jase in & saw him off to Wudinna hospital.

After a quick examination the hospital packed him up & sent him home to Adelaide on the usual public bus service. We parked Jase's bike in the Rangers lockup shed for later shipment home.

As the full moon was rising, we headed back to find a camp site, unfortunately concentration was now at a low ebb after being on the road since 5am

And we soon stopped when we saw the first campsite sign .......................... ooppps

After a peaceful night we set off hoping the water had drained away

But it wasn't long before we struck "the clay pan" & both front & rear wheels locked up & down she goes.

With little footing available, all we could do is jerk the rear then the front of the TDM over & over again until it was on "harder" ground before trying to stand it up & start removing the mudguards.

Luckily it was still relatively early morning & the temperature was still low but climbing fast.

After over 2 hours or so we succesfully cleared the clay pan & it was again easy riding all-be-it with an extra tonne of mud or so.

Once we reached the Minnapa/Yardea/Thurlga/Mt Ive road things were not quite as challenging, but still managed to create an occasional heart flutter.

Finally as we coasted the last rise, we were greeted with the amazing site of Lake Gairdner and those magical, mystical "flying" machines that is "Land Speed Racing."

The lake's edge is well set up for catering, thanks to Mt Ive station owners serving everything from schnitzels & salad, burgers to egg & bacon rolls etc to ice cold wine, beer & spirits ........................ all at very reasonable prices (eg can beer $4) ................

view of the canteen from the lake

This erotic weapon, which topped the charts @ 225mph this year, is made from a B-52 bommer belly fuel tank. (not sure where he puts the batteries to make it vibrate, though)

Looking east from the pits some 4 miles onto the salt, the wind was into our faces at over 50kph dumping over 45mm of rain onto the next days escape road to Iron Knob and some 6 inches on station properties to the south.

Amazingly the rain stopped short of the lake surface

Taxi anyone? .............. it can take you from A to B @ 188mph!

A husband/wife drive this Studebaker and when she joined the 200 mph club & he fell just short, there were apparantly quite loud arguments happening in that camp for some time after.

We were fortunate to appreciate the beauty of the lake too, as we hitched the 4 miles home from the pits

And as the sun was setting, we set up camp just over the hill from the lake & cold beer

The next day we were able to ride onto the lake surface to watch the start line action, after blow dusting the bikes & making sure that no dry mud would fall off too.

Now that's a bloody big sucka out front on this one

and of course .................... the Vespa

Even a superkart charged the salted horizon, apparantly achieving 3 or 4 x 360 degree spins on crossing the finish line

Friday morning we witnessed more action at the start line before refueling at Mt Ive, sinking the sub and tackling the washed out roads from the previous days thunderstorms to Iron Knob.

The now deserted town of Iron Knob

Concentration was at an all time high as we left Mt Ive on the only useable track, often being the slippery, snaking, drying, deep vehicle ruts while negotiating around bogged cars, vans towing race cars & a semi trailer and the other option of riding blindly through lakes of water totally covering the whole road & praying the base surface is not rutted too. Consequently sorry guys, no pics.

It was here where my foot was wrenched back by a higher than expected rut which fractured my fibular. Of course it was Friday 13th ...... of all dates.

As my leg felt only like a slight sprain, I paid little attention & was quite surprised when I arrived home after over 600 (boring tarmac) kms & 8 hours in the saddle to see this;

Of course there was a pit stop at Port Augusta before inflicting oursleves to the long boring tarmac ride to Adelaide for me & Wallaroo for UncleGra overnight before trailering his bike east the next day.

Remember folks .................note ya calendars .............. book ya holidays

DLRA Speed Week 2010 March 8th-12th

Special thanks to UncleGra for all your help and all Youtube contributors for their generosity.

Cya all soon.

masterbrewer screwed with this post 12-11-2012 at 10:05 PM
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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Seriously thinking about doing next year March 8 2010.
Knit fast, Dye warm.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot, the salt flats are amazing and everything looks wonderful except for the mud eh?

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Old 03-21-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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magic !!!!!
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:41 AM   #5
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Great stuff MB

Bad luck about the leg injuries, thanks for the first vid. I had a Monaro that was similar but I sold it. I'm going to go and kick myself for that, again.
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Some men like the foul'n,
Some men like to hear........
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:53 AM   #6
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Cool go the TDM
Happiness is a warm barrel....i don't care if its the bikes barrel or the rifles barrel!

WR250r of with extra added Awesomeness!
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:01 AM   #7
I did that.
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Originally Posted by davorallyfan

Seriously thinking about doing next year March 8 2010.
Do it Davo. Unforgettable. And I have a neat 6 day route to get you there too.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:21 AM   #8
Aussie Trev
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I had goose bumps for the entire run of the Monaro. Thanks for that MB. I rang Bernie and played the Falcon over the phone to him (He's a Ford fan) and if we can I'm sure we'll be starters next year. He may ride but I'll do the support vehicle thing - I really do like my you think Wireless Broadband will work out there??

Great read.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #9
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:33 AM   #10
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Excellent stuff boys.

Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:16 AM   #11
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Good stuff
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:32 AM   #12
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Great Ride report fella's and great pics!!! The yellow Monaro belongs to a couple of old mates of mine from Albury - have to go check the results now to see hoe they fared (hopefully no broken bones like you lot...)

... just took the valve cover off the KLE500 to check the valves @ 76,000km - exhaust 0.001" tighter than spec; inlets just fine.... now that'd be a bee's dick???

... was expecting 100K from this bike; now aiming for 150K ...
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:51 AM   #13
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Great report & photos MB.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DRTrev
I had goose bumps for the entire run of the Monaro. Thanks for that MB. I rang Bernie and played the Falcon over the phone to him (He's a Ford fan) Great read.
Thanks Trev & others for sharing my excitement.

The closest I've come to re-living that experience in the past has been at events like this;

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:59 AM   #15
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March 8-12th 2010... duly noted !

Excellent write up MB !
Some Pics
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