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Cobar Gathering 2008

Posted by TravellingStrom on June 10, 2008

Day 1, June 6th

So, after picking up the Polo shirts Thursday arvo and a bit of a sleep, I woke up at 3am Friday and could not go back to sleep. That was lucky as I needed to pack the bike and sort out which shirts to take to Cobar. This took a while, as people had paid for p&p but also said will pick up in the bar.

I finally got on the road at 6.30am, this is what it looks like in Rocky while grabbing cash from an ATM

As you can see quite foggy and a bit chilly. I had fuelled up yesterday, so it was just hit the road. I was concerned about my rear sprocket and chain, but I could not get one in Rocky. My plan was to wait till about 9am and call Roma Suzuki, see if I could be fitted in for a change over. Up through Mount Morgan, Theodore is where I stopped for fuel, met a bloke on a Harley who was heading to Cairns for work. Got chatting about all the Ulysseans still heading away from the AGM, there were heaps on the road, taking it slow. Lucky he was around as when I was leaving the servo I put my foot down on thin air as I was backing out of the car park and toppled over 😦 No damage except a bit of paint off the Happy Trails crash panniers, the Givis and handlebar got more scratches and the light bar copped a scratch, which means I have to mount the lights so they cannot get too much damage. A cheap way of finding that out πŸ™‚

I made the call to Roma, but they also could not supply a stock 47tooth rear sprocket. What is it with all these Suzuki stealers, they don’t even carry basic spare parts 😦 That meant I was going to have to look after what I had till I got home. No worries, kept on going down through Tarooom, Miles and Roma for lunch. My original days stopping point was St.George which I reached about 3pm, after skirting this horrible wet looking cloud

There was still a lot of time left before dark so I decided to continue west, making Cunamulla my overnight stay. This was not a good decision as it meant riding west into the setting sun, especially the dusk time, when the lights are not bright enough and your eyes are squinting with the available light. I was still 80km when I took this shot

I took the last part easy and got to a motel around 6.30pm. I managed to get the last room, then went to the local bar for a few beers and rum. I missed out on dinner while watching the Broncos going down, but lucky they had Nobbys nuts which I ate on the way back for a good nights rest as it was a long day.

Day 2, June 7th

I had made good time yesterday, over 1000km so today was going to be a short one. I spotted this next to my bike in the motel car park, I hope the kid was not badly hurt, I never saw the owner

Down the road a ways I found this excellent bit of road, in the middle of nowhere

After fuelling up in Bourke I found this sign, fancy naming your town after a brand of wine!

Finally at 12.30pm I arrived in Cobar

I found the pub easy enough but no Stroms there, was I the first arrival, surely not? The only bike around was this one, it turned out to be the WTF1000 as built by Glitch_Oz, not the one leaning up against the rubbish bin, the other one

After a great lunch at the bar I headed to the caravan park where I found heaps of Stroms, this group had settled in quite well, even had the local delivery guy bring beer and food πŸ™‚

After pitching my tent and chatting with a few chaps it was off to the pub for a beer or 3 and to meet some fellow arrivees. Interesting things happening here in Mr.Farkles room, he had made up some great stickers and was flogging them off, it looked like a dealers room πŸ™‚

Here are some images of the night, if you recognise yourself, give yourself a pat on the back for being there

This is K1W1 spruiking and thanking us all for being there and making it a great event

There were a few trophies given out, this one for the longest distance

People started stripping off in the bar to get into all the shirts on offer πŸ™‚

A stack more pictures of the evening, during this time while meals were being delivered by the hard working staff, one nice lady came out, plate held high and yelled out

I have a medium rare rump!!!!

This caused a massive uproar amongst the stomers at the time, but she braved it out and took it well. 81, number 81 ?? Remember that ad?

I even got myself involved, not my best angle

Mr.Farkles(not pictured) raffled off the original Tshirt that the printers had buggered the design of, the proceeds to the VSRI forum

And the lucky winner

Just a note here, do not leave your camera lying around or you get these things appearing, good onya Saab

One of the only sober people there, still looks like a stunned mullet though

After many rums, it was off back out into the cold and some well earned rest, there was to be a Farkle Off and photo opportunity outside the pub at 8am next morning.

Day 3, June 8th

I was not expecting to wake up as early as I did, but the old brain had me vertical at 7am, which gave me a chance for a shower before heading up to the pub for the 8am Farkle Off. Here are a few pix and you even get to see Donunder without his ATGATT πŸ™‚

Many photos were taken, here are some of the takers

This is the WTF1000

Donunder was given the onerous task of judging the Farkle Off while everyone gathered around

There was some great entries in this and I am proud to announce I was judged the winner πŸ™‚ I do not have a photo of the prizegiving so maybe someone else can post one. It was an honour, thank you πŸ™‚
This is the coveted (by some) prize

Then it was off to the sign at the Southern entrance to Cobar at the pithead and a few more photo opportunities, this is me hiding the fact I was chewing a sausage roll, and hiding the rest of it behind my back, recognise the Prostrate Salute

All in all there was 32 Stroms at the photo shoot, a number did not bother to get there from the camp sites etc so we had around the 40 mark, which is not a bad effort for an inaugural event.

After that it was say goodbyes, pack my gear, adjust my loose chain and head off home. It was 10am, so I had a fair amount of daylight. I headed east towards Nyngan to start with, just for a change of scenery. During the first stretch I saw a Strom heading west who then pulled into a small fuel stop at Hermidale, followed not long after by another Strom riding slowly, I pointed him back the way I came, then I saw another Strom stopped. It was Saab, it turns out that donunder had not bothered to fill up and was now running low with the headwind πŸ™‚ Goodonya m8, not as bad as Becsta apparently, cos she ran out on the way to Cobar. Kept on going east to a place called Nevertire, this must be where they make NoDoze

Headed north there, up through Coonamble, Lightning Ridge and just before Hebal met this great sign

Queensland at last, it was still a cold miserable day though and had been all day, I had all the gear on that I could fit πŸ™‚

I thought that St.George would be a good overnight spot, although it meant a bit more dark riding. I had had more trouble with bird strike than anything. There were these stupid birds that looked like pheasant but a 1/3 of the size that flew up in clouds from the grass, sometimes across the road were you have no choice but to create a feather storm, there is a bit of blood and carnage around my peg area and the side of the frame

I think I collected quite a few of these, one even knocked my right boot of the peg!

Anyway, I thought about stopping in Dirranbandi just on dusk, but there was nothing open that I could see, Sunday night on a long weekend! I kept on going, took it easy while the light was bad and eventually got to St.George. I spotted a motel/hotel with the aid of TomTom and managed to find a room. The bar was packed with a rugby union crowd letting their hair down, while the motel carpark was full of HOGS. It turns out they were the Brisbane HOG club, they had been up to Biloela the previous night and were just out for a ride. A cager took out one of their riders in the wet just after leaving, bike a right off, lady OK with broken arm 😦 TSV-Strom had called me and mentioned that 4 bike riders had been killed in 12 hours, so it might be wise to keep the speed down in case of targeting by cops, I passed this onto the HOGS, maybe should have paid more attention to it myself though.
After a bit of dinner, a few rums I was ready for bed.

Day 3, June 8th

The last day, first thing I did was tighten the chain again, as long as I am at constant speed no worries, once I back off, it gets a bit chunky, lucky I had ear plugs and music πŸ™‚ Here is the Hogs and my bike all by its lonesome Excuse the slight blurriness, it was early and I forgot to put on the shakey hand feature on my camera

It was another cold day, so all the gear is on again and off West to Moonie. That was when it happened, two roos going at pace came out of the trees on the right hand side of the road. This was at 10am, so I was not really expecting it, serves me right! Anyway, the good old subconscious brain kicked in and took over, there was no time to do anything, no chance of using brakes, gears, acceleration etc. So while I yelled out OH FARK!! or words to that effect, at the same time I had steered in between them and [behind] the lead big mutha but collected the slightly smaller one. It hit me in the right leg and pannier area! After coming out of the resulting 110kmh tank slapper I could see in my rear view mirror the poor beasti still tumbling down the road, before I entered a sweeping bend. Once back on a straight I got off and took stock of myself and the bike

The rear passenger foot peg was down before it got knocked back up by the roo. You can see the fur on the end of the passenger foot peg, and markings on the leading face of the pannier, in this next shot from above you can sort of see the dent it created at the bottom and the whole front face bent in

I survived, the roo didn’t! So I continued on while being a bit more aware of the surrounds. Not long after this another minor milestone for the bike, it reached the half a hundred club

I fuelled up at Condomine, as the head winds had stuffed my economy and I did not feel like taking the chance trying to go the extra 40km to Miles. Then in Miles I stopped at a Driver Reviver for a hot coffee and tightened the chain once again, after that I had no more adjustment left, hopefully it would last. My reasoning of what was happening was not that the chain was stretching so much, as the teeth and valleys of the sprocket were wearing so much that there was less actual diameter of the sprocket for the chain to go around. I will only know the answer to that when I get it off and compare it to a new one, assuming I get the chance! Well, as I am writing this you know I will πŸ™‚

So, I was cruising along, listening to tunes about 50km from Taroom when I got flashed by the cops, I pulled over of course and I was asked if there was any reason I was doing 118kmh in a 100 zone, I said it was 110kmh all the way from Cobar and I had just stuffed up, sorry and all that, I did not realise the speed limit had dropped. In the end he gave my licence back and a stern ticking off and told me speed limit is 100kmh, don’t go over it again. Here is a lucky part of the country, saved at least 150 bucks πŸ™‚

I thanked him and was on my way again, lesson learnt, should have taken my own advice I gave to the Hog riders. Not to worry, but by this stage the old chain was giving out some crunching noises every so often, mainly when climbing hills or under power. It was OK at constant speed, so that is what I did for the next few hundred km until I saw the welcome sign of a cows arse when entering Rocky, I had made it

I still had to negotiate all the lights and stop starts etc, that was more nerve racking than all the highway riding, I think I lost quite a few teeth just in the last 10km through the city, it sounded like a tank!

Anyway, after 3070km I was home. I took a few shots of the noisy bits for you

I will get better ones when the new stuff arrives (I ordered 2 rear sprockets this time) and show a comparison.**** And here there are****

All in all a great weekend and I am glad I made the effort because I will be out of the country for the next one.

Thanks to K1W1 and Mr.Farkles and anyone else involved with the organising, a great job chaps( and chappettes)

TravellingStrom 8)
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