|05-08-2008, 02:00 AM||#1|
Joined: Apr 2006
Charge Of The Midgets_Cape York Posties Pt.1
WHY the hell do you wanna go touring on an ex-Australia Post Honda-Postie with 2 big tourers in the garage?? :looney:
If you’re really serious about that question…. you’re missing the point of what motorcycling is ALL ABOUT!!!
Let’s try a few off-the-cuff replies then:
Because life at 50kmh on a spindly-legged, totally underpowered bike makes you SEE things along the way.
Because slow travel creates a FEEL for the countryside and places travelled, rather than skimming past at warp-factor and being oblivious to all and everything to the right and left of that strip of asphalt or dirt ahead.
Because it’s a challenge in a lot of ways…..and because there’s so much time to really soak things up, think about them and enjoy the warm feeling of actually being part of it…AND LIFE!!
One of the biggest perks though is slipping through the time-continuum… the perception of someone travelling on a tiny bike (and a well-known and loved Postie-bike at that) makes people along the way stop and react and behave like “in the good, old days” of the ‘50’s and ‘60s… where one had a lot more time for each other than in today’s world.
The public interest in enormous…. waves and smiles from truckers… pedestrians old and young… local tradies and fisherman… and just about everyone else.
City or country-hamlet…. everywhere!
There’s no hesitation at all to walk up to the rider and strike up some conversation, tell life-stories and feelings like between old friends…and all that from the first second of contact.:wow:
You NEVER get that when travelling with a “big” bike!!
The locals smile rather than scorn you when the postie chuffs out onto the jetty (“Pedestrians Only!!”)… waves and thumbs-up when chugging through fenced-off areas and local parks where even dogs aren’t allowed…:chug:
You just get away with MURDER on a little CT110!!! All you have to do is to show up and smile….they LOVE you for it!!
If all that, and another dozen or 2 reasons, are incomprehensible to you…GREAT!!
Keep chasing the latest model scratcher for that extra poofteenth of a horsepower and this season’s Dainese-Clownsuit for the sake of beating the wind-drag at the 100kmh speedlimit…keep scouring Ebay for some Titanium earplugs to offset the $4000 Yoshi-howl….and leave touring the real, full-of-human-warmth-world out there for the slow traveller on a Postie (or whatever)… we’re THANKING YOU FOR IT!! :so:so
I hope, the following story will bring some of those points across.
It’s a tale of deep joy, of desperate situations, of lots of warmth and the best of human interactions.
A tale of making mistakes (and learning from them)…of “impossible” routes and nearly getting beaten by the circumstances.
Of busted engines, T-shirt-riding along 90km beaches and cruising the twisties through the sugar-cane fields and banana-plantations of Northern Queensland.
Of getting bogged… running against incoming tides and ferry-departure-times….of saving the precious camera while sinking rapidly into sandy creeks, arse first.
Of shivering into the sinking sun on the washed-over decks of the barge to Hervey Bay in a half-meter swell…and of meeting lots and lots of wonderful people along the way.
Doing all this as an early celebration of our 30th anniversary with my best mate in life: Goodie !!!
(Yep, the contract has just been renewed :whistle:s:s:)
|05-08-2008, 02:03 AM||#2|
Joined: Apr 2006
Old, unwanted and/ or disposable…that’s the state of our gear (apart from the bikes, of course:).
And it better have more than one function, too.
Will the trusty old nylon-chateau hold up on its last and final trip? There are more bent and buckled pegs in the bag than straight ones…and where eyelets used to be, there are multiple layers of duct-tape. They survived the last 2 years…
The old Frank Thomas Goretex boots….on their way out for years and the last 50.000km worth of rides…they won’t come back home this time!:mad:
The old socks and out-of-shape T-shirts…will all the stuff hold together for the next 2 weeks?
Nailed into the breath-expelling poverty-class Virgin seat, the 2hr. flight to Brisbane left plenty of time for disturbing thoughts and doubts about all sorts of things…
Would the bikes hold up?… how’d we go in the deep Fraser Island sand? Would we even make it onto the beach for the barge?… how’d the tiny engines go for days on end with the throttle pinned to the stop, lugging rider and a huge pile of gear across the semi-deserts of inland-Queensland on our way north to Cairns?
Perhaps the nay-sayers WERE right and this was a stupid thing to even think about…
“Dear passengers, descending into Brisbane now, occasional showers and 28C presently…”
Nightmare’s over, let’s hook into it!:so
Guy (saab463) has not only suckered Glen (loxsmith) into joining us for the
2.stage (Cape York) of the ride in August s:…. but also promised to pick us up from the airport and get us across to the depot of Gilders Transport, where the 2 little CT’s are dozing away, strapped to a pallet.
The Gilders folks have agreed to open their store on a Saturday for us pick up the bikes and get going…so here’s a first BIG THANK-YOU in both directions. :chug::chug:
Stuff, only the “net” can create…:
The slats of the pallet have cracked in transport and the 2 bikes are leaning into eachother... no harm done, there’ll be plenty more scratches to come.
On go the mirrors and Guy gives us a hand getting the bikes off the timbers
Somehow I’ve got the feeling that he wants to hang around until we’re finally wobbling out of the yard….or really, rather join us for the trip.:poke:
First stop, the local servo to fill up all tanks…Christ, it’s steamy around here, it’s wet all around and there’s another fat blackbelly hanging right above us.
8k’s of local freeway turn me into jelly, crossing those on/off-ramps at 60 when the rest of the traffic runs at nearly twice that, takes a keen eye and some razor-sharp timing coupled with some bold moves:…and somehow we find our way to Gap Creek Road, a mostly sealed road to the west of Mt. Cootha, leading via some steep dips and climbs through the outskirts of the small National Park… bypassing most of the endless Brisbane suburbs towards Samford in the process.
Thanks Mr. Google Earth!!:so:so
Black skies drive us on towards Dayboro as a few sporties whiz past, eyes like dunny-seats at the sight of the 2 loaded-to-the-gunwhales CTs :bs
and things get drizzly up Mt. Mee, leaving nothing to gaze at but woolly grey surrounds from the Rest Area at the top... as we climb into the wets.
A quick left at d’Aguilar (shaddap Guy/Glen :so), then onto the Kilcoy-Beerwah Rd for a few k’s…
GE had spit out another road thought of as a dirt-shortcut running north from the hamlet of Stanmore towards Maleny…which turned out to be a dead-end.
With the black clouds pushing, we made a quick decision to try another tack…up the Bellthorpe Range Road!!!
What a cracker of a road!!!:glu:glu:glu
A tiny single-laner with some super-tight hairpins scrambles steeply (down to first here, cause if it ain’t steep, the corners are too tight for anything else) up the mountain, the wafts of fog add an eerie spin to the whole thing while fat drops fell out of the canopy above….the Mystical Mountain Way!:so:so
Onto Plums Rd and Broken Ridge, just as eerie but nearly a highway in comparison rool:
And YES, the cows came home!
A rare moment: Some cracks in the cloud cover reveal the Glasshouse Mountains and coastal plains….and it’s still around the 28C.:wow:
Alongside the Maleny-Kenilworth Road, a bit further north
The pub at Kenilworth proves the only joint in town offering beds… we don’t really feel like pitching tent after a day like that.
Booked out by a Biker-mob from Bundaberg.(
Lots of stares, lots of laughs…no beds!
At $120/night, the little BnB out of town is a bit stiff for us and it’s off for the 40odd k’s to Eumundi on the Bruce Hwy. (that’s about 45Min on a postie, folks)…. dark clouds and fading daylight merging into indefinite grey muck… then dark, just as it turns out that Eumundi offers the same as Kenilworth: NO available beds anywhere.
Jeezaz, what is it with this place?:???::???:
It’s Saturday…but not even a Long Weekend…and definitely no BrisVegas or beaches anywhere close!
We’re soaked, the high temps/ high humidity don’t help…the wet-gear is like a mobile sauna…it’s just after 6… pitch-dark…
....and raining again.
Nothing for it, we have to take the Bruce Hwy, Australia’s No1 Hwy. and ride the shoulder for the 8 k’s south to Yandina, a small town with a supposedly big Caravan Park.
It’s only 8k’s….but 8k’s of HELL. Traffic and Big Rigs barely see us and whiz past as we’re wobbling along the shoulder in the dark, trying to dodge walls of spray, specs so fogged up that the whole world seems to consist only of the sound of a million tyres swishing through endless puddles with the expectations of a major hit into the back any second.
It’s truly scary!:eek::eek:
The reception closes straight after we toddle off, keys to a small cabin in hand :so…and hugely relieved to have escaped the last 20 min. on the Fwy.
The Chinese in town produces some decent tucker, the rain has stopped, the walk back/ forth has done us good….as have the few coldies :chug:.
The drizzle starts again as Bazza from the cabin opposite pokes his nose through the uprights of the veranda: “ Hi guys, can you give me some clues as in what to wear for a date out?…..and, hmmm….are those Postie-bikes? When I lived in Bright, we used to…..”
It was a bit strange for a ‘pickup-line’, but what the hell….nice guy!!:
And Baz, if you read this: G-day, mate…and we made it to Cairns, buddy!!s:s:
|05-08-2008, 02:04 AM||#3|
Joined: Apr 2006
A wave from Baz and it’s off into the dark:(, low-ceilinged morning for the hour along the backroads to Tewantin, jump-off point for the Great Sandy National Park and the Coloured Sands of the Cooloola Coast north of Noosa.
Running for cover…
It just won’t quit bucketing, check those drops bouncing off the footpath :glu
We’re getting used to the new ‘travel-rhythm’ of going to bed early and getting up with the very first tinge of daylight.
The very extended brecky at the bakery in Tewantin takes the day to ~9.30... when finally the rain lets off a bit.:???:
Time to check conditions of the beach along the Cooloola coast for our first-ever sand-run on the posties :wow:.
The coast has taken a battering lately, Leisha track just below Double Island Point in the north (check near top of map), is closed due to a sand-slip….which leaves us with the 4WD-only Freshwater track to get to Rainbow Beach :mad:…or return to Tewantin and do the big loop on sealed roads to Rainbow.:mad::mad::mad:
(maps shown in this thread are copyright by EPA/ National Parks Queensland and used for demonstration purposes only)
The ladies behind the counter at National Parks Office just laugh and shake their heads….”Postie-bikes???? NO WAY!!! You won’t even make it onto the beach…”
The skipper of the ferry across Noosa River at Tewantin nearly has a fit:::
“I shouldn’t take you across, you’re nuts. Anyway, take cutting No.3 out to the beach, that’d be the easiest. See ya back in an hour for the return-trip.”
Stiff shit, mate….you won’t see another 3bux out of each of us :bs…. Cutting No.1 is a decent wobble but a piece of cake:so:so
20m run-up to make 2. gear bite good and solid, weight to the back, hang loose and let the front flap about….and if things get too slow, start duck-walking the thing.s:
On the beach at first go and in no time :so:so
Let the FUN begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The receding tide’s still high but there’s enough of the hardpack near the water’s edge for some easy cruising.
Hmmmm….better think about this one first though :???:
Pissfarting around….the mighty OneTen lays donuts on the beach:bs:bs
At least the rain has stopped, but the humidity is something else….time for a break and a sip from the waterbottle.
A bit further north…the Coloured Sands :glu
As long as we can keep things on-song and stick to the firm stuff near the water, speeds are around the 60kmh. Here the tyres-at-road-pressures make the going easy.
Veering off into the looser, drier sand, the going gets tough.:eek:
No way we can drop tyre pressures, we haven’t got rim-locks…. at low pressures we’d get better traction, but the tubes would bunch up inside the tyres as the tyres rotate on the rims, until they rip the valve-stems off the tubes.
We only got 1 spare tube packed for both of us….those things weigh a ton and cost precious space…
The first rays of sunshine bathe everything in a golden glow :wow::so
Parking…rapid-style…just hop off where she bogs :chug:
|05-08-2008, 02:07 AM||#4|
Joined: Apr 2006
We ride up the beach towards the tip at Double Island Point to check out the site where the “Cherry Venture” ran aground a few years back. The site is bare apart from a big info-board stuck in the sand and some timber posts to mark the site.
Back to the Freshwater Road exit…
We stand on the beach:???:…. one eye cast towards the south, where beach, breakers and salt-spray blend into some murky whitish-grey in the distance….the other eye ogling the deep sand-ruts into the bush, the track disappearing in a maze of peaks and troughs beyond…:???:
The unknown beckons, let’s give it a whirl….run-up in 2., arse squashing the pack at the back....and give it the berries.
2.gear dies about halfway through the deep stuff, quickly into 1. and keep her going…wobble, wobble, oops:wow:, still upright….go, go, GOOOOO.
Goodie takes a gentler approach and has to duck-walk the last bit.
Past the Camping-Area and the track is strictly single-lane, climbing into the green canopy ahead. Things get rough, but still manageable…:wow:
Deep troughs, roots, murky puddles without bottom….lumps, that make the skidplate scrape….it’s a hell of a lot of fun, even when the front-end dives clunkily into the stops again and again.
Way too busy to take pics...
A big diesel roars towards us….looks like someone hollered for help, it’s the local towies from Rainbow Beach.
One of the steep drops towards a creek
Things get easier the further we go…
Another few k’s and Rainbow Beach turns out somewhat different to what we’d memorized…Australia’s Coastal Sell-Out has firmly taken hold of the place, nothing much left of the sleepy, little Gateway-to-Fraser (.
With rivers of sweat running any which way inside our clobber, we don’t feel like staying around….or pitching tent…we nick of north on a little side-road towards the Tin Can Bay Inlet and Rainbow Waters Holiday-Park, a few k’s out of town.:so
What a rousing reception !!!!!!!!::
Friendly folks….and 3 posties as service-vehicles for the huge, park-like place.
Great hosts, full of laughs and goodwill, it’s like coming home!!s:s:
Postie-riders….come in all shapes and sizes :whistle:
“The exhaust rusted out and our resident grease-monkey fixed it, sounds great, doesn’t it?”:bs
While drying out…
….and an early dinner/ late lunch...
….another postie rocks up, little dust clouds swirling on it’s slalom between caravans and cabins.
“ Hey guys, heard from Mark that a couple of posties rocked up….I’m Steve and the local Grease-monkey here”….BIIIIGGG GRIN!!
So, you’re the one who fixed that exhaust?
“Yeah, the old one’s got a big hole up the arse-end and I used a piece of curtain-rod instead, then bent a few ‘baffles’ into it with the multi-grips!! Sounds great, aye??”
I LIKE this guy…. instantly!:so:so
“Come around tonight for a few tinnies… we’ll have a fire going, the smoke will keep the Widgees away….you know, they’re like mozzies, but don’t bite ya, they piss on ya and if ya scratch, it’s worse than a mozzie-bite. Bet ya didn’t know THAT, aye?
Now I like him even more!!:so:so
It’s a great night around the fire with Steve and his wife…what characters!:wow::lollol::lollol:
And in the end it turns out that they’re taking a long break from their business in Ulladulla….Motorcycle Repairs and contract Postie-servicing for Aussie Post.:wow::wow:
To be continued...
|05-08-2008, 02:54 AM||#5|
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: East of the Blue Mountains. Sydney Australia.
your bloody keen mate.....good on ya.
Prepare for the worst and dare the good Lord to dissapoint you.
|05-08-2008, 03:08 AM||#6|
Aussie BM rider, West Oz.
Joined: Jun 2005
Top stuff and fully agree with your opening comments about travelling slowly. I learnt that cycling 5,000 to Uluru and return in 96.
|05-08-2008, 03:10 AM||#7|
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Hawkesbury NSW Australia
Love your work! Can't wait for the rest...
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got!
|05-08-2008, 03:16 AM||#8|
Joined: Apr 2006
You ain't seen nothing yet, mate
I'm shitting myself thinking about the actual Cape run...but hell, we'll give it a whirl
|05-08-2008, 05:17 AM||#10|
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Idaho Falls. ID. USA
You know, the more I read Ride reports like this, the more I think that I could get by with a bike 1/10th the size of my current one.
This is cool.
Tell us more.
|05-08-2008, 05:17 AM||#11|
Joined: Apr 2006
|05-08-2008, 05:20 AM||#12|
Joined: Apr 2006
Finally the sun’s out!!!!:lao
……and time to whiz past Steve’s, Tanya’s and Piston’s (the 4-legged member of the trio :so) chateau to say Goodbyes… admire Steve’s “workshop” in daylight (a big fold-out table with superb views across Tin Can Inlet, where he earns their keep by repairing and servicing all the small-engined stuff of the Caravan Park like chainsaws/ mowers and the like s:).
Bellies are still aching from last night’s laughter on our way to the barge.
Vehicle and camping permits are bought at the IGA-supermarket in town…
Some different sort of fun…:eek:
…before the ramp goes up
“You’re not serious, aren’t you?” :looney::looney:
The skipper gives us some tips and tries to talk us into a return-ticket by dropping prices :P
“Tide’s pretty high still…. just follow the cars onto the bypass-road and exit at kilometer11….make that kilometer18 for you!
Just off the ferry, the tracks disappear into the bush; the crossing’s cruel on the two cc-dwarfs.
The bypass road is rough and hard-going, the ruts aren’t too deep but harsh enough to make both ends bottom out continuously.:eek:
At km11 we’ve had enough of it, it’s getting warm, too…let’s see if we can make the beach, catch a breeze…and if the water’s low enough for us to find a tiny strip of hardpack, too narrow for cars, but enough for us, perhaps?
And so starts an 80km dream-run up the Eastern Shores of the Biggest Sand Island in the world.
One word: MAGIC!!!
I’ll let the pics do the talking as we’re flying up the hardpack past Eurong, climb up the timber-reinforced hill into Happy Valley for drinks and nibblies…
No fuel needed, we should be good for at least 300k’s sand-riding, having topped up in Rainbow Beach.
Goodie blocking the runway:)….
The “Maheno” Wreck….and some of the tour-guides are STUMPED at the sight of the 2 CT’s: :eek::eek:
“Never seen one of those on the island…but last week there were a couple of guys on big enduros, rode side-by-side on the Indian Head Bypass and crashed into eachother, had to be flown out with broken wrists, both of ‘em….” :(
Go north, my friend….
Getting towards dead-low tide, the beach gets wider and wider…speeds are up apart from the creek-crossings. Some of them very shallow and wide, just wetting a section of beach…others a little deeper with sharp entries and exits.
Past more Coloured Sands formations at Red Canyon
We’re taking our time…. ride into the soft stuff higher up till the nose sinks too deep, sit and just gaze into the surf…what an incredible place!!!
It’s mid-afternoon when we finally hit the end of the beach near Indian Head, a big, rocky outcrop with only one way around it….the Bypass Road.
This is strictly 4WD-only….guess why?
A lousy 7-8k’s to the Waddy Point Camp turn-off…
The heat is stifling… the going EXTEMELY slow and very, very physical.
It’s deep and loose, the tracks are trenches filled with roots and pockets of loose/deep sand, we start to learn to tell consistency by shades and hues of colour.
That’s in between endless bogs, pushes, ripping the front-end out of the loose stuff after getting bogged…..rivers of sweat, soaked helmets, gloves slipping off all the time, boots barely hanging on.g:g:
Add 3k’s from the ridge down to Waddy Point Camp and there’s 11k’s in 2.5hrs of fighting, cursing, screaming in frustration, pushing, shoving and heaving….and laying down by the side of the track in total exhaustion, gulping our water-bottles into a vacuum-pack.
By the time we stand in front of the Ranger’s office at Waddy Point, we’re totally stuffed, leaning against the bikes, barely able to stand.
“Bookings required for this camp-site! For bookings call….yaddayadda”
Needless to say, that by now we’re totally out of mobile-reach.
Of fark, gimme a BREAK !!!
The Ranger shows up and decides that’s it’s fine for us to stay “but close the gate, the whole place is dingo-fenced….ahhhh….and there are showers in the toilet-block at the far end….even 3min hot one’s if you’ve got a spare dollar!!”
I coulda kissed him…:so
The afternoon turns golden… then dark within 20 minutes as we’re setting up camp and get the dehydrated curry-beef-pasta-whatever going....
On any other day I wouldn’t feed this crap to a dog… tonite it's a 5-star banquet.
Let’s top it off with another muesli bar for dessert.
Then listen to all the rustle in the bush around us for a short while….
Sleep comes like being hit with a club, by 8 o’clock we couldn’t give a rat's arse if the whole island would be floating to Antarctica…
~130k’s total, 10hrs
Gosh…WHAT A DAY !!!!
|05-08-2008, 05:23 AM||#13|
Joined: Apr 2006
Thanks everyone for the encouragement, it's fun writing it up, too.
|05-08-2008, 09:20 AM||#14|
King of all manfu
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: DAYTONA USA
Nice report and nicer bikes. Great story and love the expression "tinnies, bucketing" good stuff.
You picked them little gusy cause they are a blast to rip around on. Something about simple little bikes????
I have 3 other but just got this TW200 for the wife and it's my new fav. I haved a blast cleaning it up and decking it out. Still havent taken it up to the Iron Horse (pub). But have taken it over to the beach every day.
It makes me wonder why you have so much gear on in the heat. No lid law in Florida not sure about the flip flop law but I'm guilty. The shifter fits right on top of my Teva flop strap like it was ment to be.
Guns keep society safe.
Colemanfu screwed with this post 05-08-2008 at 10:36 AM
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