|09-24-2008, 04:24 AM||#1|
Joined: Apr 2006
Charge Of The Midgets pt.2_Cape York on 110cc
we just couldn’t let sleeping dogs lay, aye??
Sooo…here’s part 2 of the yarns. :chug:
Much dreaded, much anticipated, some half-arsed planning…and a whoozy feeling in the gut.:eek::looney:
All of the previously enthusiastic bunch had pulled the pin for one reason or another.
After the Fraser Island stint of the previous ride (links above) and knowing what’s in store at the Cape, even “Ironbutt”-Goodie had quit “no way, it’s just too much…physically at least, it’s murder!”.
….and, as always, groaaan, she was right on the money!!
That just left yours-truly for the 2770km Cairns-Cape York- Cairns on the
110cc Postie-rocket… no escort, no backup, no help, no fallback but a $25 pre-paid mobile phone which wouldn’t work 95% of the time up there…
Humphhhh…bloody crazy, the whole thing.
I’m also getting too old for this shit…:(
Carry EVERYTHING!....food, tools, spares, camping-gear, pots/pans and God-knows-what…
Bugger it, it’s been whizzing around my head for years, and this thing is ON!!!!... even if I only make it 50k’s up the road before the little donk falls to pieces….
2 months before the date, some emails right out of the blue….and there are 2 other fruitloops who’ve heard of the “plans”:bs….Glen from Brisbane and Rohan from Hobart.
They both shoot off to the local auctions buying bikes and get knee-deep into the prepping… repair-manuals and pics fly back and forth via a storm of emails to help with the details.
The meet is set for Sat. 23 August in Cairns, I’m flying up a day earlier, getting one of our 2 posties out of storage to get the bike ready, replace the broken spoke from the last day of the previous trip 5 months earlier, stick new rubber on the back and if there’s enough time, cut the knobs of the front-hoop down with the Leatherman to stop the rubbing on the front mudguard-stays :eek::eek:
…Rohan comes in the afternoon, Glen the next day.
The last night at home…and Mum’s way of saying” Farewell”….
LOVE YA, mum!!:so
Enough time for Rohan and I to get the bikes out of the warehouse after their transport from respective home-bases.
The previously posted 17kg-box with spares, tools, tyres and other gear had arrived on time, many thanks go to the Coconut Holiday Village for storing it (also through the 3 weeks we spent at the Cape)s:s:
Servicing went smoothly, only the fresh rear Vee-Rubber hoop seemed to be the 16.5” racing version… the sucker just didn’t want to slip on despite lots of sweat and swearing and wet soap. :bs
It’ll be a bitch to get off/on having a flat “out there!!”
“G’day” then to Glen’s FNFAST
Rohan’s “Honda Factory Racing XR”
and my own “Plain Jane” with the whining gearbox after the emergency engine swap a few months ago…..and a bastard of a 16.5” rear tyre!:
NOW WE’RE COOKING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From a freezing cold 4.30am start in Melbourne and single digit temps to 33C around noon in Cairns….welcome to FNQ (Far North Queensland).
Day 1 closes with black fingernails after the servicing, the seafood-buffet at the Coconut Café and a sixpack of coldies :so:so
Why doing a Cape Run on Posties?
Cause anything else is for SOFTCOX yrs:
To be continued...
|09-24-2008, 04:28 AM||#2|
Joined: Apr 2006
Let's have a quick walk around the "contestants"....
The FNFAST was decked out with a hatchet, spare front sprocket and spare brake-lever cabletied to the crashbars...
Who the hell needs a spare brakelever on a Postie? :looney::looney:
The bloody thing HASN'T GOT ANY brakes, the only way to get to a stop decently quick is looking for some sandberm and getting off mid-flight before the front "bites-in"...one wants to prevent the family jewels dangling off the handlebars, eh? :eek:
Spare spokes taped to the rear bar of the rack...good, that's quick access.
The bags are copies of the original Aussie Post bags with some micro-rack underneath to stop them getting caught in the rear wheel...hey, that'd be ONE decent brake :bs
The folding chair sits underneath the elevated plywood platform, which will carry another bag....
Then there are 2 PVC-pipe "launcher-tubes" bolted to the crashbars, extra storage for food and other stuff...they make great pivot points for the whole bike when going DOWN as the bottoms hit before anything else does!! :so:so
The "Factory Racing" model then....
Way more elaborate than the FNFAST, this one flies in style !!!
A set of Honda (Hepco Becker Junior 40) panniers, bought for next-to-nix from some Tassie wreckers....with a couple of metal-hooks riveted to the inside, clipping onto the outer rails of the original rack....both panniers flapping about like a pelican-with-gastro at the sight of the first pothole.
Launcher tubes everywhere, across the back for the fishing rod, across the front for the “POWERWORX”, chargers for everything in a waterproof enclosure, powered by the double-D-cell sized battery of the bike…:
The rack on the back holds a 40l gearsack, with another bag strapped on top... tent and mattress.
No weight in the front here, which makes for truly adventures handling, as the 7.5hp donk below ain’t exactly “snappy”, ya know? :whistle:
Sure carves some beautiful, totally involuntary and random curves into ANY straight bit of road or track!!
Like on “Plain Jane”, the death-rattle of the front knobbie caressing the mudguard-stays looks after the audio-section of the whole affair.
“Plain Jane” then….you know the details from the previous trip, only a set of Glen’s crashbar-mounted launcher-tubes were added….as said, GREAT food-storage, especially with a pair of forgotten “last-weeks-socks, and shit, they were wet when I threw them in” in the bottom….and even the carrots come out peeled and ready to use after a days worth of bone-chrunching corrugation…
There ya go….no power, no brakes, no suspension….BUT CRIMINALLY OVERLOADED and
ONE HELL OF A LOT OF FUN!!!!! ::
|09-24-2008, 05:30 AM||#6|
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Sheboygan Falls, WI
sounds like a good time
If I return before I get back, tell me to wait I'll be right there.
There are three kinds of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
|09-24-2008, 05:40 AM||#7|
Joined: Apr 2006
|09-24-2008, 09:35 AM||#9|
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Playing Hooky
Makes me miss my pristine CT90 which was totaled by a hit and run driver.. while I was on it...
GO GO GO! It's the sort of thing I was dreaming of doing on mine!
|09-26-2008, 04:40 AM||#10|
Joined: Apr 2006
All pics from here are a group-effort and originate from 3 different cameras (one of them a 3mp Mobile Phone).
Glen rocks up this morning, proudly carrying the Fedex envelope he just got a day before from Canada. :so
One of those typical “Net”-things…a former teacher at the Bamaga School (right at the Tip of The Cape) had contacted him and asked, if he could take an original 1974 School Yearbook to pass on to the current principal…then promptly Fedexed the yearbook from his current home in Red Deer/ Canada to Brisbane.
NOW we’re on a REAL MISSION….the MAIL HAS TO GET THROUGH!!!
The afternoon is spent re-packing, sorting out ‘doubles”…and discovering what was left at home :whistle::
Glen didn’t have a sleeping bag: “I thought we’re travelling light??”:bs….I’d forgotten my coffee-mug, only Rohan seemed to have at least 1 of everything…and then some…cracker start, mate!!:eek:
Glen gets himself some frozen ghoulies picking up a slab of coldies “they’ll fit on the tank!! ”
Then some local friends show up, Michelle and Alex are great fun and also bring some replacements for our “missing items” along, a coffee-mug and a blanket for Glen.:whistle:
By the end of all the laughter there’s even a few cans left over for brecky….
All systems "GREEN" for tomorrow s::chug:
|09-26-2008, 04:41 AM||#11|
Joined: Apr 2006
A grey morning on Cairns’ city-“beaches”….arghhh. :eek::eek:
Presses home the point, that the whole town is built on tidal mud-flats…
Yuck, let’s get outta here…:mad::mad:
Next stop is Ellis Beach for a coffee and the bunch of owners of the parked Dukes, Hogs and assorted yoghurt-tubs stays well in the back of the café, there’s just NO competition against a bunch of Cape-ready Posties.:
Into Mossman Gorge, only a few k’s back from the coast
…and slowly, very slowly, the sun starts peeking through
Next stop is Port Douglas.
Byron Bay, Noosa, Port Douglas….swap the names around and nobody would notice.:
Nowadays it’s just yet another one of those generic plastic tourist-traps with Danish Ice cream-shop next to surfwear, Real Estate, Café, Theme-Pub, Subway blahblahblah…
Time for some relief and piss-farting around out the back of Mossman :
…and north again through the sugarcane-fields towards Daintree
At around the 80k peg, the whole thing comes to a stop….the FNFAST has just died!!
Cruising fine one second, dying in the arse the next!! :eek::(
We stand around, scratching whatever comes handy or feels good…FUGG!!:mad:
Check this, rattle there….and 5 mins later she’s purring again. What the hell was it? :wow:
No friggin clue…but let’s keep going, it’s not far to see Neville, another of Glen’s contacts, who’s the skipper of one of the Daintree River Tourist Cruise boats…and who’s offered to take us along for one of the cruises that afternoon. ::
|09-26-2008, 04:42 AM||#12|
Joined: Apr 2006
Some cute little critters around here…all 16ft of it
10 Mins later it’s a 10ft female snoozing in the mud…
…..and spotting them really takes some training, Nev’s a champ at that!:
But does he know what he’s in for when inviting the Postie Crew to stay the night at his place? :lollol:
Nev….every minute’s been a pleasure and there’s always a place for you in Melbourne….a HUUUGE THANKS for your hospitality (and lots of other things).
While Nev slaves away with the next lot of tourists, we try to talk that gorgeous looking lady behind the counter into marrying Nev, but: “I’ve told him we can talk about it, if he comes up with some decent necklace or something, the real thing, ya know…”:whistle:
Let’s mull that over...and get to Daintree-town first…and check on the CREB track, a possible option for the way down on the return from the Cape !
The old pub has turned into a Gallery and fastfood-joint…
GREAT, just what we’d hoped for!!:so
Glen’s excitement bubbles over and he has to find a quick-fix
Nev’d also given us some ferry tickets for the Daintree-Ferry, his place is just along the northern bank.
FNFAST decides to shit itself again as the ferry-queue starts to move….nothing but a good push with a stretched-out leg against the luggage rack to get the little shitter onto the ferry-deck then, aye?s:
10mins of rest, draining the carb bowl etc… and she’s a goer again. Nev’s place turns out to be a small oasis in dense rainforest… all 5 acres of it, small lake included. :glu:glu
The big, covered verandah is an open workshop, too…what a place to replace the first busted spoke on Plain Jane’s rear wheel (what else, why make it easy, heh?)
Nev lends a helping hand after coming home from work, but despite the applied magic
it’s a cock-up and I promptly pinch the tube trying to get that blasted 16.5” rear hoop on again…spoke’s fixed…now it’s a tube!! ::
Finding the leak….in the goldfish pond!
In the meantime, Rohan and Glen have decided to kick-start things between Nev and the “Office-Girl” …..and fabricated various versions of a “she’ll be BOWLED-OVER by THAT, you watch it, mate!!” necklace….made from some huge seeds found at the back of the veranda....and a set of ear rings while at it !!!
Jeez….not a bad day, that first one…only 130K’s or so, but who cares.
The light drizzle starts as the mozzies and midges become ferocious.
…just what the hell’s wrong with FNFAST??? :wow:
|09-27-2008, 01:35 AM||#13|
Joined: Apr 2006
Fat raindrops hammer the roof at sparrow’s fart…(
SHIT!!...:the fixed rear hoop has lost most pressure overnight…another play-session with the tyre-levers is on the cards…arghhh:
Nev has to leave for work and we’re moving out, too….the drops fall heavily out of the dark-green canopy. The first stretch of the Cape Tribulation Road is sealed and a perfect carvers stretch.s:
So perfect in fact, that I’m nearly barrelling into a deep culvert on the left while fiddling with some flapping strap under the tank :g:
skidmarks everywhere, road and daks.
Just like the Reefton Spur near Melbourne, it climbs and drops, things are tight, real tight… and lots of blind corners under the dense tropical roof.
8 km on the rain stops… the road runs past a small beach before climbing into thick jungle again.
The hardpack is just TOO tempting :glu:glu….sand-circles instead of crop-circles, just to stun the locals.
Who’ll be the tightest?? Amazing how low you can go for a beer….:poke:
That’s it..let’s go north…:chug:
Past PK’s Resort and finally the tar stops….:
At last…the first creek crossing on the way to Bloomfield… totally forgot the boots…:oops::
Someone else didn’t…
…and copped a wet crotch instead.
Then some steep bits…so steep, that they were concreted.
FNFAST up ahead zooms up the hill, losing speed fast, doesn’t even make it to the kink which only reveals the 2.half of the steep bit, yikes!!:eek::eek:
|09-27-2008, 01:36 AM||#14|
Joined: Apr 2006
CComing up behind, I hear Glen’s “FAARK, I can’t hold her!!!” paddling backwards at an increasing rate of knots… front wheel skidding, front brake lever pulled flush to the bars, white knuckles.
As I creep past, he shoots backwards across the track into the ditch: “ZIG ZAG, mate, ZIG ZAG!!!”
Now I’m wildly gyrating across the concrete, edge to edge, paddling wildly to keep the engine going and the auto-clutch biting at, what sounds and feels like 200rpm.:oops::oops:
Rivers of sweat…swearing and begging into the helmet at the same time… the water from the last river-crossing sloshing inside the boots….”Plain Jane” pops out the top huffing and puffing. ::
“Team Honda” copped most of the drama before the climb and kept the revs skyhigh going down the gears on the climb… and makes it with only a few wobbles.
30k’s on and just past Bloomfield…FNFAST conks out again.::
This time it’s a lengthy stop, the sun’s out and things get hot and humid in a flash…
...some more play with the carby…then we find that there’s no spark….new plug then…still no spark.:eek:
We swap the ECU and reg/rec with the same items from “Plain Jane”…and BOTH bikes fire up and run immediately…HUHHH??
Whatever….time for another try to make the Lions Den Hotel, 35k’s up the road.
With yet another 15min FNFAST-stop along the way, the first stubbie turns to steam as it sloshes down the gullet. There’s nothing like a late brecky on a hot day…:chug:
Another round?? Glen’s thinking about it real hard:lollol:…for a splitsecond!
Things aren’t looking too good; it’s only day2 on the road….
FNFAST is rapidly becoming a real problem and there are only 2 options: either it’s the coil, for which we haven’t got a spare, or it’s the stator, a fairly common problem with the CT’s…and we’ve got a spare one of those!! The whole thing, cover, new gasket and all….but it’s a bit of a job.
We decide to nurse the bike through the rest of the afternoon and into Cooktown.
Onto the main drag then for the 50k’s…and 2 more “rest-stops” along the way, one of them at Black Mountain, a small range of hills entirely made of big, black boulders... weird…and somewhat eerie.
Pitching Chateau-Canvas at the Cooktown Caravan Park, the local “Fisho” pulls in and we get 2kg of fresh prawns for dinner, the reception donates the bread.
(A Thanks here to the managers of the place for their generous help and hospitality)
Glen gets stuck into swapping stators; the worst part is cleaning the old gasket off the engine case to make the fresh one seal properly.
Just one kick and it’s a runner….BUT…. we’ve had that too many times before.
We’ll find out tomorrow if it’s a real fix or just another failed attempt.:whistle:
As we finally leave “civilization” behind and get into the bottom end of the Cape proper, it doesn’t make for good tidings….
The cam-chain tensioner didn't look to good, either...
glitch_oz screwed with this post 09-27-2008 at 03:24 AM
|09-27-2008, 03:24 AM||#15|
Joined: Apr 2006
Lube-ing the chain, a 2-man job. Jam the front down to free up the rear wheel, the other one sprays…
A quick run around Cooktown, up the top to the lighthouse and down the wharf, bacon ‘n-egg rolls at the bakery, then some “last-minute-noodle” shopping …
35k’s of asphalt and smooth dirt towards Hopevale, the Posties are humming between 55-60kmh and we’re at the start of the 80km tack-to-the-west, the infamous Battle Camp Road.
Within 5 kilometres, we know that THIS is where the cookie crumbles, this is IT…THE REAL THING!!...corrugations from edge to edge and so deep, that lower arms are cramped within minutes, hands turning numb.
Sweet Jeezaz….there’s over THOUSAND km of this AHEAD!!!!!:looney::looney:
If it’s not BADLY corrugated, it’s sandy…and then there are long stretches, where it’s BOTH !!!:eek::eek:
Then add some rocks sticking out here and there and the bulldust-holes.
With 30mm of sloppy suspension travel at both ends, it’s gonna be bad, REAL BAD…
Oncoming traffic makes the world go down…dust so thick, we just have to stop and let it roll over us.
Bikes are shooting off-track willy-nilly, suspension is hammering on the blocks constantly, at 30kmh the rider’s only a passenger…
Hang on and hope for the best…
...and the lightest impact when things go pearshape...
The crossing at Isabella Creek Falls is a welcome break…
Another 65k’s to go to Old Laura Homestead:
Not that it helps :…rear suspension adjustment-on-the-fly
Blending into the surroundings
Coming up a small climb, an R100 GS PD stands at the side of the road, nobody around, bike abandoned….until we come closer.
Oh man…this is looking NASTY !!
80% of the rear spokes are busted, the bike propped on the remaining few spokes, side stand and front wheel.
A couple of days later we hear that the poor bastard was flown out with multiple fractures.
This pretty much says it all then…
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