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Old 07-23-2014, 05:38 AM   #1
AngryAndo OP
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My APC Rally 2014

In Mid May 2014 I went for a ride with my mate Andrew.
Along with 14 others we rode the APC Rally starting in Wodonga in Victoria which is just south of the NSW border.
Many others started at other start points and I believe there were 80 riders all up.

You wont read much about the Rally on this forum while it's on, but this is another Adventure ride and this is my story.

A group of 16 riders gathered at a service station in Wodonga about to set off on an epic 7000+ Km ride which would hopefully end up back here in an about14 days time.


We had 7 KTM's, 5 Suzukis, 2 Triumph Tigers and 2 Yamaha's.









Most of us headed out of town together although there was at least one KTM that had battery problems and headed for the bike shops before they even started.

Early on it was a bit of a procession before different riding speeds and abilities together with early bike problems tended to split the groups up.




















We followed some bush tracks like the one above a lot of farm roads and unfortunately a fair bit of bitumen.

Although we all started together we didn't see a lot of other riders until we got to fuel stops or meal stops.

This was lunch on Day 1, we had just arrived and others were heading off.






By the time we got to Swan Hill my headlight was flashing on and off so it was out with the tools to try and fix a broken low beam wire. Andrew did some fine tuning on the DR while he waited for me.





The last bit of Day 1 was pretty much heading west along Cocumba Rd from Swan Hill to Ouyen.







Three riders went on into Hattah and camped out while the rest of us are at the Ouyen pub. One rider Lionel on a Yamaha has gear box damage and is out of the event. We did try to convince him to get it fixed and meet us in Dargo for the last day and a bit.


Celebrations at the end of day 1



Day 2:
We headed out of Ouyen quite early and before it was really daylight and headed north towards Hattah then rode 130km west across the Hattah Desert.

This was all bloody sand and certainly split us up so much that there were a couple of riders I didn't see again for the whole two weeks.

After Hattah and the border track we ended up in Renmark before heading further northwards through Dangalli Conservation Park to Yunta.

Border track





Where the border track meets to highway.



We arrived in Yunta late in the afternoon together with two other riders and spent a few minutes discussing if we should stay here tonight or go on to Craddock.

We decided to go on so I called the Craddock pub and booked a couple of rooms before we headed off.

It turned out that several of the riders ahead of us hadn't bothered to call and book rooms so when they arrived the pub was booked out. (hehe)

On the way we were taken past a couple of historically significant points before heading off again towards Craddock.





Still 100km from Craddock and the sun was going down. we ended up riding in the dark for over an hour and my headlight was playing up again.






We finally made it to Craddock Pub and joined the others (11 in total) in what can only be described as a very social night.
We caught up to the three who camped out in Hattah last night but lost four riders who are back at Yunta.

End of day 2.

More to come
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AngryAndo screwed with this post 07-23-2014 at 05:49 AM
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:14 AM   #2
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Day 3

Day 3

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Old 07-23-2014, 09:39 PM   #3
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Good so far

What is next? graham did you carry camping equipment ( tent etc.)

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Old 07-24-2014, 05:30 AM   #4
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Day 3 continued

After a great night at the Craddock pub the publican and her family got up and cooked us breakfast before we set off.



James Suzuki was playing up and wouldn't start. After a bit of stuffing around they got it going and he set off only to stop 200m down the road.
When working on it they had turned off the fuel and forgot to turn it back on. It started OK and away we went.

It was only about 20 Km to Hawker and we all regrouped again as the service station didn't open for another 20 mins.

Out of Hawker we followed an interesting route following a railway line with some very sandy sections.

Just behind us disaster struck Steve on the 1190 KTM when he bottomed out the rear wheel which ripped out the rear mud guard and exposed all the computer wiring for the ABS and other electronics on the bike.

Following the rules of adventure riding several guys stopped to assist and after a lot of stuffing around managed to get the bike running again.

We got into the Flinders Ranges mid morning and stopped at a few lookouts along the way.







We went through the Flinders fairly quickly and headed north to Arkaroola for fuel and a late lunch. Arkaroola was 30 or 40 Km out of the way but we needed full fuel capacity for the next section through to Cameron Corner.

From Arkaroola we headed north east to the Strzelecki track through Moolawatana and some really good riding.

Some was tight and twisty and some was like this.






Once we hit the Strzelecki track it was some pretty boring riding to our overnight camp at Montecollina Bore where we caught up to Keith and Peter on the Tigers and Darren on the 690KTM.

We set up camp just before dark and cooked some dinner when we heard a bike coming up the road. It was Steve on the 1190 with all his electrics duct taped up under his missing rear guard.

Montecollina Bore had the worst flies I have seen for years although they disappeared just after dark to be replaced by the moths and mozzies.

This is our camp site for the night. There are plenty of fire places but unfortunately no fire wood for 50Km.





Day 4

This is where we turned off the Strzelecki Track towards Cameron Corner






We stopped at Cameron Corner for Breakfast and fuel then headed off again towards Thargomindah but not before the obligatory photo at the corner post.



Next stop 97 Km later another outback photo opportunity not to be missed.



Soon after this we entered Bulloo Downs Station and we on Station roads for many hours. We had smooth fast roads, Rocks ready to destroy you and your bike and then Bulldust holes big enough to swallow you. Two of our group Matt & Darren came together in a nasty crash in one of those holes. Heavily concussed they camped out for the night then headed to Dalby to do repairs.






I don't have any more photos from today but we eventually arrived in Thargomindah late afternoon and booked into the pub.
Surprisingly after only six of us together last night we had 11 of the Wodonga starters together tonight which was Pizza night at the pub.
It feels like we "Got the band back together"

Outside our rooms at Thargo.

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Old 07-24-2014, 06:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XRman View Post
What is next? graham did you carry camping equipment ( tent etc.)
Hi Kim,
we all carried camping gear although most of us only used it once or twice.
Tent v Swag is an argument you could have with every adventure rider and they would all be right. On this trip most seemed to have tents including myself although generally I would prefer a swag.

I carried the tent because it is lighter and packs smaller, also as Andrew and I had agreed before we left that the Pub was the way to go I didn't expect to camp out much unless it was necessary. When you are riding such long days camping tends to cost you at least an hour at each end of the day.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:28 AM   #6
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Thanks AngryAndo. Reliving the memories. I started and finished at Wisemans Ferry on my trusty Honda Dominator. It was an awesome ride and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Cheers
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryAndo View Post
.............

Just behind us disaster struck Steve on the 1190 KTM when he bottomed out the rear wheel which ripped out the rear mud guard and exposed all the computer wiring for the ABS and other electronics on the bike.
...............
Top RR, thanks.

FWIW, I've seen this happen before, on last year's TK Ride. Does seem to be an issue with these things.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:14 PM   #8
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great photos

We did a fair bit of this trail on our GTgroup ride last year. You are right about the friendly flies at the bore. our goal was to reach Cameron Corner, which we did in 3 days from Portland.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:57 AM   #9
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Day 5

We all headed off early this morning, rode about 40 minutes in the dark with an aim of getting as far as possible today to make the next day a short ride into Dalby for tyres and bike service.

First stop was Hungerford for fuel, Just outside town the course followed the dingo fence which not only keeps out Dingos but keeps in Emus.

Originally there had been talk of pushing on to Hungerford last night but I am sure glad we didn't, the Roos along this section were plentiful and to top it off any accommodation in Hungerford was taken by a large group of guys (and girls??) on postie bikes. We passed plenty of them today.



Today we crossed the border so many times I wasn't sure which state I was in most of the time.





Here is a sample of some of the long outback roads we rode on today.



We stopped at a small aboriginal town called Wellmoringal for lunch.
The cheapest food we bought on the whole trip.



After having a large group of riders together last night there was only 4 of us tonight at Mungindi. Several of the others had pushed on to Goondiwindi but for us that would have meant well over 100km in the dark. We stayed with Dan and Dave in the dodgiest accommodation of the trip so far.



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Old 07-25-2014, 07:41 AM   #10
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Good story mate, even though I'll never understand why youd pay to do it. but I'm glad you are getting out and riding these awesome places. Memories likes these last forever.

I also saw a the biggest emu mob I'd ever seen down on the dog fence a little further west than Hungerford.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
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Day 6

Another reasonably early start but at least it was daylight.

I took this photo just out of town which made it hard enough to see, just down the road we hit the dirt and I found myself stuck behind a 4WD throwing up that much dust I couldn't see anything.



Today was all about getting to Dalby for bike servicing so didn't stop for many photos.

Andrew and I got into Goondiwindi fueled up and hit the bakery for breakfast.

I took a detour to the local Suzuki dealer and found James there getting his bike checked out, it really hadn't been going that well since Craddock.

He ended up with a full top end rebuild on his DRZ, it took a couple of days and we didn't see him again although he finished up just six hours behind us on the last day.

When we eventually arrived in Dalby we were all back together again even if only for a couple of hours.

We had Matt and Darren who had limped in there after their big off a couple of days ago, Steve on the 1190 trying to get all the electronics sorted, Keith and Peter on the Tigers, Dave and Dan (AKA The Pilots) on KTM's, The other Darren on the 690 KTM, Andrew and I on our DR's and the Maclean brothers on a DR650 and a DRZ.









As we finished at Dalby we all headed off, Peter, Keith, Darren, Andrew and I headed off to Cooyar, the others all stayed at Dalby I think.

The Cooyar Pub, we had a great night with a few of the locals in a great pub.



More to come.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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Excellent mix of pics and text. My fav kind of RR. Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:45 AM   #13
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Day 7

Last night the five of us who were at Cooyar agreed that now we were coming into the Great Dividing Range it would be beneficial for all to try and stay as a group. Not necessarily riding close together but making sure we regrouped occasionally and stay together each night.

We had a cooked breakfast at the Cooyar pub this morning and then set off.

Darren was clearly riding faster than anyone else in the group but he managed to keep close to the group by stopping at every lookout, waterfall etc just to take a photo.

If there wasn't something to stop at he would just stop in the middle of the track and take a photo.

Don't believe me? here is the proof.



We had a lot of bitumen (too much) and open dirt roads today all the way to Drake. Having put a new rear knobby on at Dalby it sort of got to you that there was so much road just ripping it apart.

Our track notes told us there were some good bush camps before Drake, we were there too early to stop but I did stop to take a photo crossing a bridge at one of these.



From Drake to Tenterfield the course finally got off the road a bit and I started to enjoy the riding more.

Then as we left Tenterfield we travelled less than 1 km before we were into the bush and a great ride on forest roads, bush tracks and twisty farm roads all the way to Deepwater where we rode across a small river and we were in town. That was about 1km of bitumen and 80km of blasting along easy to medium trails. What a hoot!!

From Deepwater it was farm roads and then about 10km of highway to get into Glen Innes where we stayed in a pub.

There was an undercover car park out the back where we could work on the bikes while it Pissed down. Then it was into our rooms for showers before dinner.

A small note to all adv riders here. If you stay in a pub etc always let the publican know your intentions for the following morning.

Normally, where we parked our bikes tonight is locked up when the pub closes and not unlocked until about 8:30 which was a couple of hours after we intended to leave. The publican made arrangements so we could get out early without him having to get out of bed early.

I didn't get many photos today but I did get this one.



We checked the Spot trackers and found that Steve on the 1190 was at Deepwater just 40km behind us and the Pilots at Tenterfield a further 80km back.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:56 AM   #14
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Day 8

Today we were expecting the going to get a bit more difficult with a couple of medium sections and even a couple of hard hills.

We set off just on daylight and all stuck close to each other for around 100km before we stopped to regroup on Old Grafton Road.



When we set off the first rider radioed back to say he had just ridden through the convict built tunnel just 200 metres further along the road.

We looked again and we could see the tunnel from where we were.



So we stopped again for more photos before setting off again.









Just a bit further on I took this video of Andrew.




We then continued on to Ebor for fuel and Willawarrin Pub for lunch.
Here we all stripped off some layers of clothing as the day had warmed up considerably.

Our track notes told us the next section had "A hill" that may cause some problems. In fact there were three that challenged us a bit but we all got up.

This section was 125 km all dirt and seemed to take forever. Some time Mid afternoon Peter got a puncture which probably cost us about an hour all up.

Keith helping out with the puncture



Check out the clever device for keeping the bike up without a centre stand.








We finally got into Kempsey late afternoon where Darren and Andrew had been waiting for quite a while.

While they waited Andrew spotted a couple of problems on his bike and also on Darrens.

Darrens lower shocker bolt had undone and partially come out. Because it had hit the mounting it was bent and most likely could not be used again.





Thankfully Darren was able to get a replacement bolt from Supercheap Auto and worked on the bike in the pub car park that night while we all stood around offering expert (but most likely unwanted) advice.

There is a bit of video too, it is included in the longer video at the end of this ride report.

Steve on the 1190 is also in town but at a different pub. I expect we may see him tomorrow.
The Pilots are in a cabin at Bellbrook with the McLean Brothers, they are 145 Km behind.
I am sure we will see them again somewhere.

I just discovered my day count is out so have gone back and changed them all.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:53 AM   #15
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Torture

Graeme this is torture to me. I so wanted to do the APC, but the Gods prevented it! Keep going, the RR is great.
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