It was a glorious sunny winter day in Rocky and the local Capricorn branch of the Ulysses had a day ride to the pub at Many Peaks for lunch and return. It was a 9am meet, but I had been up late working on my blog, so I slept in. I managed to get there just on 9am, but in the process left my Airhawk behind. Within ½ hour I was twitching around on the seat trying to get comfortable. I need to get it fitted properly, next week I think, that way I won’t forget it again.
So, first port of call <g> is the Marina in Gladstone, a lazy 100km down the road and we were to stop for smoko, that is ‘tea and bikkies’ for you overseas types. We had about 25 riders turned out and we were to meet many more later. This is a SPOT track map shot of the route taken, #1 is the start
And here are some photos of us at the Marina; in the harbour shots you can see in the background the coal loading terminals. This is a major port for quite a number of exports, including coal and wood chip.
After smoko, the plan was to fill up at the Caliope crossroads servo(20 bikes and two pumps, hmmm) and head to Many Peaks. I had been chatting to Mark and Peter and we decided that riding that road at 80-90kmh was a waste(that was the speed the main group was riding at) and so we decided to fill up at BP Airport so there was less of a wait and go it alone. And so we did, I was ahead for a while and decided to get this photo of oncoming bikes. You overseas chappies can see the cheese cutter barriers we have to contend with, very biker unfriendly.
I am a bit miffed in the missing tracks today, seems to be a few gaps, don”t know why though.
It was a pretty good road out that way, you just have to remember the blind corner with the stop sign at the railway line and then a bit further on, the very sharp left hander with a decreasing radius, that has surprised a few people in its time
Eventually arrived at the pub just after midday, there was a contingent of Bundaberg branch riders there already, which made it very busy and a bit of a wait for the tucker.
The carpark was chockas!
Here is my bike, hiding over here by itself, being a short arse, I need to find firmer ground with my modified side stand, it leans over too far
Guess who was at the pub already? Bart, the R1150GS rider. Chatted with him during lunch about the last time we were there and he asked did I want to do the full dirt track home via Kroombit Tops. I agreed of course, it could be my last opportunity, so we nicked off around 1.30pm. He advised we would be getting home on dark, no worries to me. I took a composite map/satellite image for these tracks, they show the ‘no roads’ we followed
Only a short ways down the corrugation and we stopped for a leak and adjust tyres and suspension
Lots of these around and heaps of fertiliser as well
A bit of this
And a bit of that
And lots of this
This looked exciting
And lots of these, quite often around blind corners uphill with corrugation and loose stuff around
That was where we were headed
The background will give you an idea of why the area is called Many Peaks
Bart had camped up here a few weeks back and lost a special torq bit driver, so he decided to look for it, no go, it has been lost.
We did not find the tool, but we did find this!!!!!!! Terminal!!!!
Another GS with terminal rear seal damage, oil leaking from the diff onto the tyre. We were about 10km from the lookout, but although I offered for us to head back, Bart would not hear of it, so we kept on going until we got up there, lots of steep hairpin turns, loose ground and ruts etc. I took photos on the way back, not on the way up, I was concentrating. We eventually got to the lookout and the views were spectacular as you would expect.
Bart phoned his missus and explained the problem and mentioned he would try to get to Calliope, but she may have to come down with a trailer and pick him up. It was gone 4pm and getting late, so off we went, here are some photos of the road up and down
That is where we just were
When it rains it gets very slippery and the 4WDs chew up the road something fierce
The sun heading down quite fast now
Near a homestead
Bart had gone on ahead, cos I wanted to take some photos, the light was getting bad and after a bit more of this type of road
I caught up and we stopped for a chat. His bike was starting to make grumbling noises, so I went on ahead to find some signal and call his missus to bring the trailer down. Smile Bart, another Beamer Bites The Dust😦 Vstrom-3, BMW-0 Check out all the crap on his back wheel!
The next 40kms were an experience, I need them lights renojohn Cows, horses and skippies, in the dusk on loose gravel with corrugations, not my idea of fun. Just took it very easy until I got to the Caliope turnoff, phoned his missus and she would head on down. Bart caught me up again and reckoned he could get to Calliope and told me he was OK and for me to head home, so I did.
I made good time heading North, it was full dark at this stage and had been for a while. I was making good time and getting close to Mt Larcom when I was flashed by an oncoming car, I thought my lights were a bit high and gave it no more thought, until the next straight when I got flashed again, this time from the side of the road speed camera, I hope he got a good photo of the front of my bike cos he was on the wrong side of the road to get me, well I hope so anyway. I was not speeding too much anyway I put a few bucks of juice in at Marmor as I was below the last flashing bar on the fuel guage stage, put my warm jacket liner in as it was getting quite chilly(it is winter you know) and arrived home at 7.30pm. Just over 400km for the day, over 130km in the dirt but a long day and I was quite tired from all the standing I did.
Still, a great day, despite the breakdown, but hopefully it is only the seal and bearing and not the diff like Al did last year. His bike had done 91,000km so it looks like the usual problem that occurs with these bikes at that milestone. If I owned one of these I would have the rear seals done at about 85k, just to prevent these problems occuring on the road. I will find out the final outcome later and do an update. Or maybe Bart can make a comment below.
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