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Old 01-08-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
Joe Watson OP
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Location: Sunshine Coast, Qld, Aus.
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Longest Day Ride 2009 – Coast to Corner

Alrighty, well this one started with me last year when I attempted the same thing but was unsuccessful. Check my topics in my signature to check it out. The basis of the ride is to go from the East coast of Australia to Cameron Corer (or beyond as the case may seem) on the summer solstice. Quick facts are – around 14.5hrs of daylight and around 1450km to travel. Last year, I was unsuccessful, this year I was very motivated and determined to make it.

I thought back to some advice that Davo Jones (RIP) gave me last year about fatigue and what to do for long distance rides, so I tried my best to prepare my body in the weeks prior to the 21st. I first did a nice little adventure ride down to my starting point to scope out fuel and a good starting point ready for my practice run. I then did the practice ride to judge the first section, check on fuel usage etc and rode out to my first fuel stop. Here is a mini ride report inside a ride report now for the pre practice ride…..

So, I needed to get to Bribie Island from the northern Sunshine Coast. I got out the maps and loaded up mapsources and set out the wonkiest, far out, longest, zigzagiest trail south.

Started in Pomona. The official end of my DR, no going back now with the mighty V-Strom

Out Black Mountain way, dead end!

I knew today was going to have a few dead ends, but there is always away around to get to the other side of where you want to be.

Um, out near Obi Obi or something


Up the top at Mary Cairne Cross Park

Awesome views of the glasshouse mountains

So not only do they have AWESOME views, they have the house to match too!

The infamous BALD KNOB! I think Phil actually lives on the top of the knob. He has a shed big enough to house himself, his bikes, a can of beans and his video camera and only comes out to shoot the Motorbikin series……so the rumor goes anyway.

Hmmmm, one more dead end for the day

I then came up to Peachester and went along the Range road to the glasshouse mountains…..WOW is all I can say. It was a dead set motocross track, well it feels like it when you are on a big old V-Strom with road tyres!!! Bottomed out on a fair few of the erosion mounds, bit of soft sand through there too.

Made it through though and popped out under this beauty

Refuel of bike and rider

I then checked out all of the fuel stations and found the closest 24hr fuel to the east coast of Bribie which was only 4km from the beach, very handy for my starting point.

So now with the Pre Practice ride, it was time to on to the practice ride. I picked a date and set the alarm for 3:30am.

I hooked it down the highway to the servo I had chosen before, topped it right up and headed to the starting point I decided on and waited for the 4:50am official starting time which was sunrise on the east coast of Bribie island.

Starting time, and away I go!!

I rode hard and I rode constant, through many towns, through Dalby…..fuel is getting low, but I should, according to my calculations make it to the pre-determined fuel stop I had planned for the actual ride………nope, 30km short and she was done……..

Had to wait for some fuel there for a while and then headed to the fuel stop. I decided then, that I would make more fuel stops through the actual day of the ride rather than unstrapping the fuel bladder and filling from that and then having to fill it at the next fuel stop anyway. The ride was all about efficiency. I made good time up till the fuel stop too….

So with that out of the way, it was time to turn the bike around and head for home and re-arrange my plans for the longest day ride in the fuel stops I was going to do.

Some beautiful sunflowers on the ride home

BIG too, the size of dinner plates.

Made it home, you can add another 100 odd kilometers to that too for the ride from home to Bribie

Ok, so the day was approaching fast, Mitas E-09s fitted front and rear now, bike fully service, prepped and loaded, ready to ride. Body was getting into a good sleep pattern and I was really keeping up my fluids. SPOT page was setup and ready, here is the finished spot run, there and home again –

Got up at 3.30am again and hit the road for the 100 kilometers or so to my starting point……………rain……rain……rain……NOOOOOO. Man, this was not what I wanted, not at all!!! I was SOAKED to the bone, before I had even started my ride…..At this point, I was seriously considering heading home, but after all that prep work etc, I don’t think so. Headed over to the starting point ready for the beginning photo, wet as you can see!!

From here in, not many interesting photos, just quick snaps of times, although I will give you an idea of distance. So started at Bribie at 4:50 and was in Dalby for first fuel 247km away at 7:10

Dalby to St George – 303km It was on this stretch that I passed Ron who was also doing the LDR challenge. He started from Wynnum around 100km south of where I did, we ended up leap frogging all day, I will add his youtube video at the end of the ride report.

St George to Cunnamulla. This was my lunch break. My stops so far had only been around 5mins at a time max. So here I grabbed a drink and downed some bars. Every stop I was getting to, I was there earlier and earlier than my plan, so I was making spectacular time!

It was along the St George stetch that I again overtook Ron as he stopped for fuel in Bollon. Around 10km out of Bollon my bike stopped………just stopped…….dead……nothing. I pulled over. Well, that was it, I had done it, going far too hard on the bike and I had killed it. It was STINKING hot and I didn’t want to take my helmet off because I knew the amount of flies that would pounce when I did. When I turned the key on the dash said CHECK and the temp was at FULL. I thought I had cooked it and would have to wait for it to cool down, then I had thoughts of the clutch switch or the kickstand switch…..DAMN ITS HOT!!! I knew Ron wouldn’t be far behind so I had plans just to do the thumbs up and wave him on if he came past because I didn’t want to wreck his attempt at the challenge because my bike had died. I had enough fuel and water to be safe. As I start looking over the bike…….um, why is the killswitch off??? OH MAN!!! I must have bumped it with my hand somehow. On with the killswitch and she fires up, saddle up and hook on with many “Woots” in the helmet let me tell you.

As boring as the road is, some nice views do pop up

These were everywhere too. We in Aus, well I do anyway, call them Willy Willy’s. Some of them were quite large, very very interesting too and I saw heaps that day.

Into Thargomindah which was 200km

More Willy Willy’s from Thargomindah to Noccundra

The aim was to be at Noccundra by 4:00pm to give me a good 3.5hrs to ride the hard stuff. I had a drink, filled my water pack and fueled up and was OUT OF THERE by 3:17pm so was making incredible time

Well, it was dirt and sand from here on in. I was absolutely cooking it on the gravel section and when the sand/hard packed sand started, I didn’t slow either. I was at the first Cameron Corner turnoff by 5:08.

At this pace, I will be at the corner by 6 – 6:30…………….


I came off……and boy did I do a good job of it too!!! I had been going absolutely flat knackers all day long. I was having a “rest” and sitting down on the seat, chillin out for a few ks and taking it easy, sitting on around 90kph and on one of the sand rises, it wasn’t even one of the dunes, just a bit of a rise with soft sand I lost it. I must have pulled out of a wheel rut and the bike didn’t like that one bit, steering dampener and all, I was lock to lock, I don’t know how many time, but a few of them I was thinking “I am going to make it!!!” then the bike had had enough of the shananagons and decided it didn’t like dancing with me and threw me off. I landed kinda face down, maybe on my hands and knees, all I remember initially was “I CANT BREATH!!!!!” I was badly winded and had sand EVERYWHERE so was very uncomfortable, I finally caught my breath after a few minutes and starting to walk it off, took a quick pic of the bike and lifted the big girl up…….not looking too nice. Broken front brake lever for one and numerous other bits of damage. But I HAD to make it to the Corner before 7:34pm. I repacked the bike, got as much sand off myself as I could and put away all the broken bits off the bike and my helmet, mounted up and started going again, bent handlebars and forks out of alignment….nice, just what I need.

I took it very easy for the rest of the way and calculated the speed I needed to do to make it on time whilst still taking it very easy. The road got SUPER rough from then on too and some very large dunes to traverse too. With around 20km to go, Ron leapfrogged me for the last time…..the bastard was going to beat me now!! The last 100km ended up taking me around 2 hours including the 30 odd minutes the stack took.

I had made it though and with time to spare, 7:08pm

Coast to Corner

Some stats for the days ride:

What a great welcoming party too! Other blokes from far and wide had come to see us in and it really made it feel worthwhile. They told us that the NSW contingents had been through about half an hour ago and were going to try to break last year’s record out into the Strezlecki. Upon their arrival back at the corner we found out that they didn’t make it as far.

A massive credit goes out to the NSW crew and their route though. They do something like 400km of bitumen and the rest dirt and the QLD crew is the opposite, so they deserve way more accolades for their accomplishments.

Fueled up the bike and prepared everything incase I wanted and early departure and sat down to a beautiful meal, some nice cold ones and awesome company. My ribs, knee and especially my shoulder were very very sore that night from the stack, no popped out section in the collarbone but it was very sore (later found out that I had bruised ribs and knee and had torn ligaments in my collar bone) and a great night was had by all.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:18 AM   #2
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Day 2 - The Ride Home


I woke up very stiff, very sore and very tired. I packed the bike up, took many pain killers and got myself ready to ride. Headed over for some pics of the Corner Post

I said hooray to everyone and I was off.

I wasn’t sure how far I was going to get or how far I wanted to ride, I just set the GPS to HOME and started.

It was hard going again with my soreness, no front brake etc….. awesome place to be though, I was loving it!

that is…..until the bloody police showed up!!!! Kilometers and kilometers from anywhere by desert and here they are……………nah, they were part of the welcoming party from the day before, top blokes too, I think they are bike riders too.

Didn’t see this sign on the way in to the corner yesterday, but boy did I know it after I had ridden the road!

I found the tracks where I had come off, not the best pic because it doesn’t show how far it goes, but you get the idea…..

Awesomely massive wedge tail eagle, my favorite bird

Whole lot of nothingness out this way!!!

What’s that sign say???

It’s not a mirage, it is my bore!! Free water for me then?

Another mirage? What is that off in the distance? Ularu?? I haven’t gone that far west have I????

Ahh no, just FOOLaru

Back on the bitumen now and a lot of long straight roads. One thing I was VERY VERY happy about was I was able to fix my helmet so I had a visor for the return trip, it would have sucked without one!!!


Riding along I notice up ahead it getting very red and dark, turnout out to me a massive dust storm

It was around Thargomindah that I realized I had a leaking radiator too from the stack which was very worrying, I kept a very close eye on it and thankfully never had to put any water in.

A little patch of rain here and there from a massive storm you could see off in the distance that had obviously whipped up the dust. St George had NO power so no fuel it was crazy wet around the place and trees down everywhere, found out a mini cyclone hit and wiped a lot of stuff out.

Some slight flooding around too

It is funny being out in the barren sandy desert in the morning and then in flood area in the middle of the day!

I kept heading towards a storm all afternoon but never hit it. I decided to hook it all the way home again, probably a silly thing to do, but I didn’t feel like staying anywhere tonight and didn’t want to set up camp either.

Some chrissy lights in Dalby

It was rather silly riding too. It was dark, hopping hour (thankfully not too many kangaroos) road was sometimes a little wet and I had no front brake………the recipe for disaster, thankfully it all ended well!

I made it all the way home by 11:30pm. I was wired too!!! I wanted to keep on riding, I had that much addrnaline mixed with redbull in my system I could have run a marathon!! It was very good going getting home at that time too considering I started at 7:00am. 1465km in 16.5hrs, I had a lot more breaks today due to being very sore and very tired.

Here are the GPS stats for most of the trip, it doesn’t include my ride from home to Bribie the morning before

Thus ending my Longest Day Ride of 2009. I had done it, I had met the challenged and achieved it, not only that, I rode home again too! Over 3000km in two days!

As stated earlier, I ended up with torn ligaments in my collar bone and also bruised ribs and a bruised knee. The bike also got written off! So no more V-Strom!

Here is a clip from Ron who I was leapfrogging throughout the day, it gives you a great moving perspective of what I did pretty much the same route. I feature in it at the end section in a bit of an interview and you can see a bit of the damage on the bike too.

Well, its been a long time coming, but I have done it. RR for LDR5 TICK!!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:36 AM   #3
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Love it
"Don't worry" they said "It could be worse"
So I didn't worry and it did get worse!

My biggest ride yet. Oz to UK. Read all about it here
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:43 AM   #4
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Looks like a very good ride even with the bike naps! Thanks for the report and pics
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:48 AM   #5
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great stuff joe
was looking at your spot tracker that day, great to see how it all went down.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:50 AM   #6
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great report mate. cant wait for more. sucks about the strom and your injuries though.

the tracks at peachester and beerwah are brilliant. love em.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:57 AM   #7
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Great RR>.........
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 01-08-2010, 05:30 AM   #8
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Love the report!

Gettin another Strom or something else?
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:51 AM   #9
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Are you disappointed about the Strom being written off? What was the main damage that contributed to it being a write off?

Time for a 640ADV eh?

Congrats on the ride, well done. Great report too!
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #10
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Did I read correctly that the wee was written off? If so sorry to hear the wee is no more. I'll have a beer for her Loved the RR, Quite a few pics considering the circumstances. You've got some guts getting up and heading straight back. I know how sore you would have been. How many conversations did you have with yourself in your helmet?

A lot of us were glued to the SPOT updates, had us worried when your meteoric progress stopped on the shortcut!

Hope to catch up soon, let us know when you're heading out in the hinterland some day.
"Anything different is good"

Adventure On!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:55 PM   #11
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onya joe!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #12
Joe Watson OP
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Thanks for all the positive comments guys.

markymark: yeah, the spot worked great, everyone seemed to love tracking it!

McFear: Yeah, healing up well though, didn't cause too many problems, still a little sore in the shoulder at times though.

Lkoncor: No more Strom for me, as much as I loved it, didn't perfectly suit what I do, but nothing ever does I guess.

Wilmo: No dissapointment at all mate, very happy about it, saves me selling it. Basically everything on the right hand side had some sort of damage really, fairing, tank, light, radiator, forks and scratches and were a bit out of alignment, so the bill added up very quickly!

tksmith: Yeah, written off mate, well, hasnt formally gone through yet, but the assessor has said so. SPOT was great, my mates and family loved it too. I was glad to see when I got home that everyone had been checking it!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:03 PM   #13
Joe Watson OP
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Originally Posted by philth
onya joe!
So Philth, are the rumours true? Do ya live on the knob.......
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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Hey Joe,
You are indeed a modest guy. Let's keep it a secret that I was almost fully pinned when you wallowed by me on the bitumen! And let's not tell anybody that you achieved all this on a Vee Strom with clapped out 100,000 km old stock as a rock suspension and with that you tackled the near 300 km dirt section which included heaps of wheel ruts, several washed out floodways, a few really boggy patches, rocks the size of footies, sand dunes with a lot of loose sand and a few cows and roos thrown in as a bonus. Any normal guy would have rightly blamed the suspension for your crash but I think in reality your riding style may have exceeded the VeeStrom's design parameters - by about 200 or 300%! And let's not tell anyone the next morning I had to physically lift you onto your bike due to your extensive bruising and help you get under way as you were too banged up to pull the clutch in! (OK, so I made the last sentence up but it wasn't far from the truth). And to ride home in one day through that huge storm - what! Don't know whether you were sporting a thermometer but it cracked 50.6c between Cunnamulla and Thargomindah on the way home before the storm hit. I was about an hour behind you and man it got ugly. I whimped out at Bollon arriving home Wed - 3 days for 3,030 km's.


Cheers - Ron (2010 Tenere).

PS - Honest, I didn't make that ridiculous intro to the video - @#&^$%!! marketing people did that! Grrrr.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #15
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no need for you to harden up !!! excellent !!!
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