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Old 10-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #46
Mr. Cob OP
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Originally Posted by slowbike smallpenis View Post
G'day Dave - the 'critter' is a Shingleback Lizard - nice little things and mate for life ...

No worries regarding the flask - pm me your address if you can and I will have another one forwarded on to you - Cheers
Howdy Mark,

When I first saw the little lizard I was kinda worried about him, it looked like he had lost his tail in a fight or something, Jock later told me thats just the way they are built.

Not to worry mate, Jock gave me the one you gave him to replace the one I gave to the interpretor, so perhaps you could post one to him.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:06 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by dirty dennis View Post
Funny you should mention dodging 'roos. Got one with the GTR yesterday. I think the bike is a write off. I've got a bit of a sore leg& knee but otherwise ok. The little "critter" is a shingle back lizard. Found all over Aust. We had a couple living under the rocks near our front door. They are herbivoures & totally harmless (pretty unusual to have a harmless reptile over here! ) I've had them crawl along my shin to get dried fruit I placed on my knee! After a while when we came out the door & sat down if there were any around they would head for us to see if we had something for them to eat
Cheers DD
Howdy Dennis,

Glad you hear your OK, to bad about the bike. When I was there I did a really good job of dodging the roos but darn near got run over by the HUGE wild pigs, I swear it was shear luck or some sort of divine intervention that got me through that mess. I rode through a pack of those buggers, they all came out of the woods at the same time, pigs in front of me, pigs on either side and behind me, I love bacon but damn that was a bit much.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cob View Post
Howdy Dennis,

Glad you hear your OK, to bad about the bike. When I was there I did a really good job of dodging the roos but darn near got run over by the HUGE wild pigs, I swear it was shear luck or some sort of divine intervention that got me through that mess. I rode through a pack of those buggers, they all came out of the woods at the same time, pigs in front of me, pigs on either side and behind me, I love bacon but damn that was a bit much.
Now that would be some serious irony. "Cob gets taken out by bacon." By way of a heart attack we'd all understand. Those pics of piles of it almost everyday on your CC tour were something to behold.
Thanks for taking us along on yet another one of your adventures,
Tom
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:03 PM   #49
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Howdy All,

Day fourteen of the rideabout, would take us from Barcalidine to Blue Water Springs. We gas up and prepare to hit the road, the skies clear a bit on the chilly side but not cold.


Notice in this photo of the road how there is a ONE lane wide strip of pavement in the center with a dirt shoulder on either side, also note the road train is on the pavement. This type of road is typical when your not in a settled area frequented by large trucks, the trucks ALWAYS have the right of way, the trucks DO NOT pull off the pavement the drivers of smaller vehicles be they cars, trucks or motorcycles MUST pull off on the shoulder and allow the trucks to continue on their way. When meeting oncoming traffic of smaller trucks or cars most but not all will pull over and drive with their left side wheels on the dirt shoulder sharing half the paved surface with the oncoming traffic.


In most gas stations we fueled at there are posters hung on the wall showing the results of wreaks between cars or other vehicles that didn't pull over and were then struck by road trains, needless to say the smaller vehicle was often times smashed beyond recognition, these big trucks run 24-7, they stop for food-fuel and nothing else, they OWN the road when on the move and the law is on their side.

Its not long and we area again on dirt roads, this road looks smooth, it is NOT, there are many holes that are filled with dust, these holes can be a few inches deep or a foot deep, they can be a few inches long or wide or they can be large enough for the entire rig to drop into and then bounce or fly out of the other side. After a while you get pretty good at being able to read the road surface and spot the soft sand-dust that is filling the holes and be able to maintain speed by driving-riding around them, however this is difficult to do in the morning or evening when shadows cast by trees cover the road.


Look carefully at the grass, brush and trees along side of this road, notice how the red dust from the road has colored everything up to a height of about 10 feet with red dust from the road surface. As we rode north the dirt of the road would become more red in color and the dust would cover in an ever thicker blanket the vegetation on the sides of the road. Whilst covering some of the flat out back on this type of road you could see the road trains miles away from the dust cloud they threw up, to keep the air filter from clogging up in some places when the road train got within a half mile I would pull over to the side of the road, shut the engine off and turn my head away from the road until after the dust settled when the truck had passed.



I can't remember if I took a photo of one of the signs that are posted a couple of miles outside of the towns in the out back, the signs tell the road train drivers to SLOW DOWN to give the dust that is following and that is dropping off the truck a chance to settle on the ground before bringing it into town.

I wait for Jock and Zac to catch up before heading off in a new direction, when riding on the dirt-gravel roads we would sometimes have a mile or more between us so we could see and not be riding in-breathing in the dust.


We would always regroup before turning off from the road we were traveling, in this way no one got lost or separated and if one of us didn't show up with a few minutes we would know to back track to find them in case they had a problem. As I was leading most of the way I would stop every 20 miles or so if possible on a hill top where I could look back and see the dust trails of Jock and Zac, in this way I never got to far ahead in case of trouble, when I could see the dust trails of the other riders I would again take off so they wouldn't have to ride in my dust.


At this intersection we would take a right turn onto the one paved lane road with the dirt shoulders, here again you can see that the road train takes up the entire paved lane.


We fuel up and grab a bite to eat.


The menu.


The bar.


I really learned to love these meat pies, I wish we could get them here in the USA.


I add my signature to the thousands covering the walls.




Zac adds his signature.


Many miles later, we were traveling through country that just kinda hipmotized (sp) you, the road was straight, it went on and on seemly forever, it was quite warm and it was easy to get sleepy, I pulled over into this pub-gas station not because I needed fuel but because I desperately NEEDED some caffeine and sugar to keep me awake and moving. Seven dollars later, I had a Coca-Cola and a Mars bar in my system this would keep me going until our next required stop. Here we pose with a sculpture outside of the pub.


We stop in Charters Tower, at this bike shop to get a tire mounted on Jocks bike, while parking the KLR Zac had a tip over but as I don't have a photo of the bike on the ground it didn't officially happen.


As you can see from my shadow in the photo its getting late in the evening, I took these photos of a road train so you could see how big some of these trucks are.


Look close, the Ural is in this photo on the left side of the truck about half way down its side.


We camped that night at the Blue Water Springs Road House, had a great meal and more beer.




The toilet facility's and showers.


And so another great day in the out back came to a close, writing this ride report is bringing it all back, I miss Australia. Stay tuned.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:54 AM   #50
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Glad you enjoyed our land.
We do have bigger road trains in the west........

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:23 AM   #51
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That ^ is a very old photo.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:03 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by PBee View Post
Glad you enjoyed our land.
We do have bigger road trains in the west........

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSD4ME View Post
That ^ is a very old photo.
And still impressive! I thought pulling a 53 ft. trailer was something...ha!

And hooray for Mr. Cob! Loving your journey down under. Spent three days in Australia once, wish I could go back and see more. Wonderful place, wonderful people!
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:00 AM   #53
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Thanks for taking all the cool photos Dave. Some day I am going to join you on one of these cool rides.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #54
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Howdy All,

Day fifteen of the rideabout, would take us from Bluewater Springs to Mt Molloy, along the way we again fuel up and grab a snack.


A few klicks later we come into an area that is FILLED with these giant ant or maybe termite mounds, we had fun taking photos next to these huge critter houses.


Cob


Jock


Zac


We came across a gully that just needed to be photographed.


Around 10:AM we came to a little road that for me was to be one of the true highlights of the entire trip, it reminded so much of the logging roads found in the mountains of the Nor-Wet. The road was very narrow in places, was cut into the side of the hill or went through tall trees whilst crossing many small streams. I slowed down and just let the scenery fill my senses, so many great photos could have been taken but we had a long ways to go so I just kept moving. The photos coming up do not in any way do justice to the beauty of the stream we crossed, its the one place we did stop to take photos.






After crossing the stream the road opened up a bit.


We came upon an old burned out house.


Jock catches up, as I am taking photos from the hill side.




All to soon the little dirt road ends and we are again back on the narrow paved road. Here we gather at the junction before heading off in a different direction on a different road.


Its getting late, we are 38 klicks from our goal for the day, I think Jock must be getting a sore arse from the looks of things.


The sun is getting low, the shadows long, we stop to take in the view, Zac is sitting on the KLR.


We stop and get some information regarding a pub-hotel and meet some KTM riders, we will spend the night at the same pub these guys do and will continue to met them in different places as we ride north to the OCR ( Off Center Rally )


We get rooms and spend the night at this pub.


I needed to catch up on email and being the CHEAP bastard that I am didn't want to pay for wifi. I went across the street and found this little bakery that had just opened and was being run by a bunch of young folks, they allowed me to use their wifi as I eat a good meal and drank some beers.


That night at the pub, many beers and drinks were had, I had a great time swapping lies with the two KTM riders we had met earlier.

The next morning before we set off, day sixteen of the rideabout started with Zac cleaning the air filter on the KLR, Jock fixing a fuel leak on the Yamaha's carb and me replacing a bad tube in one of the Ural tires.




While Jock and Zac were working on their bikes, I went across the street to the bakery and had a GREAT brecky. This photo just reminded me, when I first got to Oz I thought it strange that when ever you were seated at a table to eat the only tools provided were a knife and fork. In the USA we are used to eating with a knife, fork and spoon. The other thing that at first struck me as odd was that in Oz the fork is held in the left hand to not only cut what is being eaten but also to eat the food that was cut; in the USA we hold the fork in the left hand whilst cutting the food but then put the knife down and using the right hand to hold the fork then eat the food. It wasn't long before I got pretty good at eating the Aussie way and have continued to do so now that I am back home. Its little things like this that make travel to different places so neat for me.


Todays ride would take us from Mt Molloy to Laura, along the way we would pass through some beautiful country, climb and cross over a small mountain range and share the narrow road with many large trucks.










From the looks of the guard rail along side of the road, it was a local custom to sign the rail, so I left our mark.


At the crest of the pass there was scenic pull off, we took advantage of the facilities and then took some photos of the surrounding area.






We stop for food and fuel and there is another huge road train parked in the lot.


Yes, there is a Ural in that photo.


A road detour takes us across the NOW dry river bed as they work on completing the bridge before the rainy season starts.


Its not long before we get to Laura and setup our camp in a caravan park. Today was a short day and we reached camp early. kinda nice to setup the tent in the daylight, take a shower and check out the rig whilst its still daylight.


As we were going north, the weather was better much warmer during the day and not so cold at night. The caravan park was quite full with travelers and more and more bikes were showing up on the roads and in the camp grounds as we got closer to the OCR site.


And so another day came to a close, we had a good meal, some beers and a good nights sleep. Tomorrow would be a long hard day that would take us to Bramwell Station the site of the OCR. Stay tuned.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #55
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Great report.

I saw you fellas at Noccundra, but i only had a chance to chat with Zac on the KLR.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #56
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Great report.

I saw you fellas at Noccundra, but i only had a chance to chat with Zac on the KLR.
Howdy Crofty,

Thanks for reading my drivel, Zac is quite the fellow and fun to ride with.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:42 PM   #57
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Great report Mr. Cob. I love the pictures, makes me feel like I was there.

You happen to know if the lights on that KLR were stock in Austrailia? They look quite a bit different over here. I got an 09' that looks just like Zac is riding, but my lights look different.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:58 PM   #58
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Great report Mr. Cob. I love the pictures, makes me feel like I was there.

You happen to know if the lights on that KLR were stock in Austrailia? They look quite a bit different over here. I got an 09' that looks just like Zac is riding, but my lights look different.
Howdy Scott_PDX,

Jock bought the KLR after it had been in a wreck, the lights are NOT stock, I think they are off of a Yamaha much like the one he is riding in this report.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #59
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Seeing the trucks reminds me of an Aussie movie I saw where a guy asks 'what's that' pointing to the huge pushbar on the front of he pickup (maybe it was a Ute). The other guy says "That's me roo bar!" I wish I could remember the movie because it was hilarious (Roo Bar guy was trying to find some giant Roo that was his nemesis). I love Aussie movies.

I read up on meat pies after first seeing this thread and they were imported for a short period. Looks delicious, as does that spoon-less meal!


Found the movie. "Welcome to Woop Woop" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120491/ Reminded me of the old school Aussie films..... which I think it is mocking.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #60
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Howdy All,

Sorry for the lapse in writing the outback saga but I have been busy trying so make some money for an upcoming trip this winter, yup winter is on its way in my part of the world.

Day seventeen of the rideabout began with breaking camp, grabbing a morning snack and gassing the bikes for the upcoming long and dusty ride from Laura to Bramwell the site of the OCR.


Along side of the gas station they had this neat old car, I have heard of compact cars but this is the smallest real car I have ever seen.


Just so you get an idea of how small this car really is, I am 6 feet tall, this car is tiny I would have really liked to sit in it just to see if a regular sized person could even drive it.


We take a break along side of the road, in the 31 days I was to spend with Jock, THIS is one of the few times I ever saw him take a drink of "water".


Just one of many road trains we were to come in contact with during this part of the ride.


This truck was going quite slowly, not to much dust.


We stop for food, fuel and refreshment, how the place got its name I don't know and I didn't ask.


A close up of the sign on the roof.


I took advantage of the fuel-lunch stop to swap in a clean air filter, the dust had pretty well clogged up the one in the air box. This LONG straight stretch of dirt road was kinda hard packed, not to dusty but rough with a lot of holes and ruts, still I held the Ural at 100kph and made good time.


Again I was in the lead, I rode past the big tire sign at the turn off to Bramwell Station where the OCR was being held as I "assumed" we would be filling our gas tanks before going to the rally site and setting up camp. So I rode on another 10 klicks or so until I reached the gas station at Bramwell Junction. I gassed up, filled the spare gas can, drank a clod Coca Cola and had a bit of ice cream, still Jock and Zac hadn't shown up. So I decided to ride back to the rally site to see if they had turned off there instead of fueling first.




I rode back to the big tires and turned into Bramwell Station the site of the OCR.


OK, I have been thinking about how to present this part of the ride report without sounding like a "Crabby old bastard" but there really isn't any way to do it and be honest so here goes. Upon reaching the ORC site I was again reunited with Jock and Zac who had arrived there whilst I was waiting for them at the gas station.

Sunset was fast approaching, Jock and Zac had already set their tents up. As I was setting my tent up, I had barely gotten it out of the bag, I was approached by an Aussie who explained to me that one of his friends had had a mishap on a dirt two rut road coming to the camp ground. He said that his friends bike was wreaked and couldn't be ridden he asked if I would use the Ural to go pick him up and bring him aback to camp.

This happens a lot, every dual sport rally I have ever attended the Ural's are way to often asked to perform rescue duty to retrieve broken riders and get them to aid. So I said sure I'll help, I'll follow you to where your friend is. The guy then looked at me and said something about he didn't want to ride that nasty stretch of road again and all I had to do was follow the two ruts that ran out of camp until I came across a wreaked bike and its rider.

This kinda took me aback, I said I don't have a problem helping your friend but I don't know where he is, I don't know what two rut road your talking about and I don't know how far away he is and its soon going to be getting dark. I explained the the Ural I was riding only had one wheel drive and that if the gravel was as deep as he said it was that I might have trouble and may need help myself if I got stuck. This seemed to fall on deaf ears as two of this broken down guys friends didn't want to accompany me on the rescue mission. At this point I was getting a bit pissed and put it to his friends that if at least one of them didn't go with me I wasn't going to be able to help.

One of the fellows finally agreed to go with me so we set off, once we started down the dirt road that in some places had new freshly laid gravel in places at least a foot deep, he took off and disappeared down the road. About a klick past where the other rider left me I got stuck in the deep gravel, with only one wheel drive I had a hell of a time getting moving again, if the Ural didn't have a reverse gear in it that would have been the end of my ride, I had to back up and then go forward until I dug myself out of the deep gravel. All was going fairly well until I came across some more deep gravel with an off camber side slope that put the sidecar up hill in a corner PHCUK, stuck again and damned near tipped over. I managed to get going again after a lot of work with NO ONE TO HELP.

OK by now the sun is low and I am not in a very good mood and I'll admit it. quite a few klicks later I come across the guy who was supposed to lead me and the guy who crashed, the crashed rider had hit a tree with his bike busting the timing chain case among other damage to the bike. The rider thankfully was not hurt bad and seemed to be in pretty good shape. Here's the front of the broken bike.


We push the broken bike out of the road and strip the gear off the bike and load it into the Ural. As luck would have it, right where this wreak happened the road was covered in fresh deep gravel, I had a hard time getting turned around and then getting going when headed back with the heavy load of the gear and the rider.






Out of the nasty stuff and back on the hard packed road.


All the while we were loading the guys gear into the rig he's telling me how thankful he is and how he'll buy me a beer when we get back to camp. Well he NEVER did buy me a beer and I had to set my tent up in the dark. Yeah I was a bit on the grumpy side that evening. OK, I have to get back out in the garage and continue building Ural skid plates, I have to have one ready for a guy who is coming over tomorrow to have it installed. Stay tuned, its gets better, this is the ONLY time during the trip when I was really up set and it does not set the tone for any of the rest of the trip or the ride report.
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