Posts Tagged With: Motorcycling

Birdman of the Coorong. One Bizarre Tale.

South Australia only had the one Bushranger, but he was perhaps the most unusual. I have taken a bit of a ride to the town in the area that he run amuck. While he was a bit strange at the end of the day he was an outlaw who killed and robbed people. Please have a look at the Video and see for yourself. I hope you enjoy it.

I do have a facts sheet that I am happy to send people that discusses the story in more detail. Just send me a request.

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The 2 best hobbies in the world (for me)

I had a go at putting together a short Video of various rides I have done and a bit on Metal Detecting.

Please take a look and comment.

I will try putting one together each month if time permits.

Hope you enjoy.

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Survived the trip home

Oct 17th

Well it has been a few days since I arrived back, but I should do a round up of the trip home after the breakdown at St Marys.

After a good nights sleep at the hotel I had breakfast and wandered down the street to the garage to pick up my bike and hopefully make it back to Ulverstone where I was staying while in Tassie.

I arrived just as the owner was opening up for the morning. He served a customer while I took the battery off charge. Once the battery was re-installed I push my bike to the fuel pump to fill the tank. Wanting to conserve all the battery power I could. I had also disconnected all auxiliary power and the headlights.

I walked in to pay and asked how much for the fuel and his efforts to get me back on the road. He would only accept payment for the fuel saying that he was happy to help and would do the same for anyone. Its a rare thing to find friendly service like that anywhere.

I left St Marys with the thought that I will definitely return to the town some time.

The ride home was very uneventful and arrived at Ulverstone within about 2.5 hours. I stopped in at a motorcycle shop that is now owned by an old school mate and purchased a new battery. Once I arrived back at the inlaws I put the battery on to charge. I had sadly missed out on the promise of curried Scallops the night before. My wife then informed me that they hadn’t forgotten me.

Scallops and Bacon

Scallops and Bacon

Tasmanian Scallops are the best. this was so Yum.

I spent a couple of days in Tassie visiting both my wife’s parents and mine. Also my sister and brother in-law. Always good to catch up with family. 🙂

Oct 20

It was time to leave my home state. This was only a short visit and now it was time to see if my bike would make it back to South Australia. I had a fully charged battery in the bike and a spare in the pannier. earlier in the day I decided that I would book a cabin to ensure a good nights sleep as it was a 730km ride back home the following morning.

I arrived at the pier and was asked to fall in behind the other motorcycles. After turning the bend I filled in behind about 100 Outlaw Motorcyclist again. Boy I was glad to have upgraded to a cabin.

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Not quite so many on the trip back and they were well behaved on the boat.

Leaving the Mersey River in Devonport

Leaving the Mersey River in Devonport

Oct 21

I awoke well rested the next morning and soon found my way to the Western Highway towards Ballarat. I had no issues with the bike and arrived home by about 3pm. However I am now left wondering what was wrong with my bike. if it was the alternator the battery should have been flat but was showing no signs of it.

I guess I have that mystery to follow up on.

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Riding to Tasmania for FarRide #17

Having just flown in the previous evening I was fair tired and so stayed in bed a little longer then I normally would and did not get away until 09:40. I was heading for Port Melbourne to catch the ferry to Tasmania for the Tas FarRide #17. The ferry didn’t leave until 19:30 but all vehicles needed to be there by 18:30 to get on board. 730 km in 8hrs 50mins. Should be easily doable if no hold ups along the way.

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Smooth getaway with my first fuel stop at Tailem Bend. The GPS said I had 4 minutes stationary. No bad.  The weather looked progressively worse as I got closer to the South Australia, Victoria boarder. It was getting on for lunch time so I thought that I would wait to put on my wet weather gear till then or at least until it rained heavy enough that it need to be put on. Well I actually managed to dodge the down pours fairly well and just caught the skirt of one shower which resulted in just my knees getting slightly wet.

I didn’t need to stop until I reached Nhill. I fueled up again and went inside the roadhouse restaurant to see what food they had to offer. As I just wanted to have a quick feed and a coffee I went for the ever chancy bain-marie food. I just hoped it was okay as I was get on the ferry and didn’t want food poisoning while walking on a floor that would be moving underneath me. 2 dim sums, 2 potato cakes and a chicko served to fill the spot left vacant since dinner last night. As it turned out it was fine.

I checked the GPS and it had taken just 15 minutes to refuel and have a feed. Happy with that. I was on my way again and it was smooth sailing again and making good time. Then about 10 km short of Horsham I was following a large 4 WD about 300 metres ahead of me. At the same moment I noticed a vehicle, a black Mercedes pulling to a stop from a road to the left. The 4WD indicated to turn left. By this time I had closed the gap to about 100 metres. Have you ever had one of those “Heart in your mouth moments”. The Black Mercedes started to accelerate out onto the road in front of me to turn onto the highway and come in my direction. I had a fist full of break and I remember knowing the I was on a collision course a I WAS going to ram into the side of the vehicle. It is amazing what goes through your mind in a short few seconds. I was history and I knew it. Then I saw the Mercedes slam its breaks on. I managed to slip past the front of the car. My heart began to beat again. As it happened I had managed to slow a considerable amount but I would not have been able to stop totally and it would have hurt. I was doing 100km/h at that moment when I seen the car start to pull out but it seemed like 200. I glanced at the drivers face as I went past and I could see her face in her hands and her eyes obviously knowing just how close it was and it would have been her fault. I rode on for a few kilometres and then pulled up for a rest and check my bike. During the heavy breaking I had felt the rear tire rise. I think I just needed to gather my thoughts a bit as well. The Bike was fine as has the front tire. Well it’s not the first time I (or many other bikers) have had this happen to them, but I hope it’s the last.

Not a good day for photo's so I didn't take to many.

Not a good day for photo’s so I didn’t take to many.

I mounted up again and continued on. I refueled again about 100 km short of Melbourne and the rest of the ride was uneventful. After I refueled I had receive a text message from the Spirit of Tasmania request that bike riders be there by 18:00 due to the number of motorcycles traveling on board.

I arrived at the pier to find about 250 “Outlaw motorcycle club” members with their Harley’s. What a lot of machines. All the chrome and duco shining. It was a WOW moment. There must have half a million dollars’ worth of bikes in front of me. I also thought it could be an interesting overnight crossing. As it turned out they were all very well behaved and intended having a good ride around Tassie.

Not sure if I have ever seen so much expensive machinery in one place before.

Not sure if I have ever seen so much expensive machinery in one place before.

The end of day 1.

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A Ride to the Mt Crawford Fossicking area.

Late last year I bought a permit from the Forestry department that allows me to prospect on their land. I have been there a few time but thought that I had better make the effort to go again as the permit expires early November. It would be my last chance as I have other things planned for my days off up till the end of November.

I had a few chores to get done before I left so it was around 11am before I had the bike on the road and headed for Mt Crawford.

Mt Crawford seen a bit of a Gold rush about 130 years ago after a chap by the name of John Watts discovered gold there in 1884. Watts managed to keep the discovery quiet until the following year when the secret was out. once the news got out there was a bit of a major gold rush on. It wasn’t long before other discoveries near by were found. A second Gold rush occurred in 1930 when a 20oz nugget was found during planting of pine trees.

It would be difficult to gauge just how much gold has come from this area but it is certainly in the 1000’s of ounces.

The ride up there was nothing spectacular as I rode on the main access route to get there. Once there I decided to ride up into the pine plantation area. After finding what looked like a suitable area I parked the bike up.

Not really a sealed road.

Not really a sealed road.

Unpacked the gear ready to detect.

Unpacked the gear ready to detect.

I spent about 2 hours metal detecting and found the usual items. Bits of wire, pieces of metal and tin cans and even a beer can in the middle of nowhere. It worries me that some people think it is okay to throw their garbage out where ever they like.

I found the usual amount of gold and decided that there may be some water in a nearby creek. I had my sieves and gold pan with me and thought I would give that a go.

After packing all the gear back in the bike and readied to go I had a look about and realised I had not left myself with a lot of room to turn the bike around and I couldn’t keep going along the track as it went down into a bog hole.

No problems I will just do a 3 point turn. so I got the bike around as far as I could get it and I push it back so I could turn the remaining section. Problem was I could not get it back very far. Thought I would give it a try anyway. The center section of the track had become depressed and the front wheel rode up the side of the track about 8 inches high. Vstroms are quite high bikes and with the added height of the front wheel and (my biggest mistake) lack of forward movement meant my feet were dangling in air. Opp’s over I go. Bugger. Didn’t hurt myself apart from a small bruise on my left ankle but the impact snapped the end off my brake lever.

Never mind. Most of the damage was to my pride. At least it was away from the crowds. 🙂 . Okay off to the creek.

You can see the break lever broken. The end sitting on the handle.

You can see the break lever broken. The end sitting on the handle.

Unfilled hole.

Unfilled hole.

After arriving at the creek the first thing I see is a huge hole left by someone. Being on my bike, I didn’t have a shovel, just my $4.99 Big W lolly scoop that I use to fill my sieve. I would have filled it in but I would have taken me a hour or more. Anyway people should learn to fill there own holes in. I ended up just putting a branch in the hole so any small animals that may fall in have a chance to crawl out.

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My attempt at panning was fruitless and I decided to leave it for another day.

I enjoyed the ride home although the last 1/2 hour was starting to cool off quite a bit. It was a great day out even though my bike got tired and laid down for a a rest. Oh and still no Gold.

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