Saturday, 25 April 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... The ride home......

The ride home from Mitta Mitta. I have not really wanted the post this up. It means the report is over. The ride has ended. One of the best rides I have ever done is finished. Lilly and i will never forget this ride. My Tar Brother Helge and I will never forget this ride. So lets finish it here.

We arose to a sunny day. Stark contrast to the night before. Did we bring the rain or what?! Mitta Mitta was wet. The river had come up too.

A quick breakfast was had. We did not want to take any food home with us. So we ate well.

Goodbyes to our fellow campers/travelers and off we set for home. What a great weekend. Fantastic and inspirational people we will never forget. I have been greatly inspired to take my bike overseas. I knew this would happen even before we set off for this meeting. Now the desire is so deeply planted. I hope one day I can make it real as those we met have.

Again we motored over beautiful roads as we headed north. The rising sun warming our faces. A stray sheep and a wallaby both at the roadside watched as we boomed past. Soon we are back in Bethanga. Helge had left his phone at Charlie's place. I glad he did. It was good to see Charlie again. Before arrived there we had a brilliant run around the Hume Dam. One left hand sweeper just had me cracking the throttle open to catch Helge up. The BM hunkered down on its suspension and tore through the corner. Wow what a sweeper. The BM was not fazed at all by being two up and fully loaded. I needed these corners as soon we would be hitting the Ho Hum boring Hume Hwy.

Phone collected and goodbyes again to Charlie and we hit the Hume. We have hours of dual carriage boredom ahead of us. We need to be in Sydney ASAP ad this is the quickest way to do it.

Holbrook, one of the few towns that the Hume Wwy still goes through looms into site. So to the towering, 90metre long, HMAS Otway submarine in a park on the side of the road. It is a most unusual sight to see as you are driving along the highway between Sydney and Melbourne, at least 400km from the nearest seaport. The story behind the submarine is linked to the change in name of the town. During WW1, the town name of Germanton was considered inappropriate, so was changed to Holbrook, after Lt. Norman Holbrook. Holbrook was the first naval Victoria Cross winner of WW1 as well as the first submariner to get the medal. He received the medal for his daring underwater raid through the Dardanells, Turkey. Sinking a Turkish battleship with a torpedo from the submarine he commanded.

What a great way to get people to stop in the town.

Road works along the Hume slow us down. Lunch time is drawing close so too is Gundagai. Dog on the Tucker Box fame town. We have lunch at a cafe in town. Good fish and chips too.

We didn't bother to pull in and have a look at the Dog on the Tucker box. A huge and I mean huge service station over shadows the statue of the dog. Shame really as it used to be a great spot to stop.

We are humming along and i glance down at my left boot. Of great! It is getting covered in oil. The patch job I did on sealing the 1000 barrels to the 800 engine is no longer holding. It is not a lot of oil and would help waterproof my boot so we push on. Sydney is only about 2 hours away

The closer to Sydney we traveled the more the air started to smell of pollution. Big dark rain laden clouds hovered over Sydney too. They just wanted to dump on us so bad. But we beat them. Not long after arriving at Lilly's place the heavens opened up and down it came. We had made good time today.

Next morning it is time to say goodbye to Helge. First though he must take my bike for a spin. I want his option on my gearbox. Plus I love to hear my own pipes as it disappears into the distance. I can hear him booming around Epping. Music for the soul.

Back and Helge says my gearbox is better than his rebuilt one. Phew what a great relief.

Helge is all packed up. He is heading off to the Ulysses AGM at Penrith then off to the outback. Big bear hugs goodbye and a teary eye and my Norwegian Tar Brother is off. Thank you brother for the ride. Amazing trip. I would ride with you anywhere in this world brother.

There, it is over. The report and the ride. There is not a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of some part of this whole trip.

From my records the trip cost Lilly and I around $500. Thats for petrol, food and other things. Not bad for 5 days away.

Photo credits. Lilly, Helge and me.

Monday, 13 April 2009

1950s, Mt Druitt race track. My Dad was there......

In the 1950s my Dad attended the bike races at the old Mt Druitt circuit. The circuit was used from 1948 to 1958. Spectator attendance often exceeding 15,000 and was believed to be one of the best motor racing circuits in the country. The course was 3.6 kms long and situated on what is now Whalan Reserve, the Mt Druitt Industrial Area and Madang Avenue Primary School. NSW. Australia.

My Dad took these photos.

If you know who the riders are please let me know.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Events of the meeting......

Mitta Mitta had not seen good rain for sometime. The HU Meeting brought it for them. Saturday dawned clear. But we knew by the clouds in the distance that this would not last all day. Tent city out the back of the pub has started to grow.

A group ride had been arranged for Saturday morning up to Dartmouth Dam. The road was narrow and twisty. We had been warned about the gravel on the road. Did some of us remember? No. Helge was in front of me. I see him sliding. Then both of my wheels let go. The BM handles it well. Sideways and forwards and soon have grip again. Helge is now looking down at his back wheel for oil. It was not that. It was the gravel we forgot about. Fine ball bearing gravel. A few others got caught out on this corner too. No one came down. Shows how experienced the riders at this meet are.

Thanks to Daniel for the below photos. You can see the rest at Daniel's site.

You can tell how bad the drought is here in Australia when you see the dam levels. They are shockingly low.

Lilly and me made our way back down to Mitta Mitta from the dam. Off in a park was some of the earth equipment that was used to construct the dam. Huge bits of now rusting metal. The BM Tractor doing what it does best. Hauling large objects. ;-)

Some more to the bikes at the meet. These 3 are all from Europe.

Robin Box from Touratech/Safari Tanks.

A few hours after everyone was back from the ride the rain came. Heavy rain. Rain that could have an Ark built for it. This did not stop us all going up to the Community Hall for the presentations of Saturday night. Well it was only a few 100 meters up the road.

Margaret Peart gave a power point presentation on her Iron Butt rides in the USA. Wonderful phottos. How she finds time to take photos when she has to do 1000 miles in 24 hours I don't know. But she does. She used an F650 BM and R1200GS BM in the USA. Now she is off around the world on a V-Strom. Go girl.

Over the course of the weekend many presentation where held. Lilly and I did not attend them all.

* RTW on an Iron Butt
o Margaret Peart
...or how to combine RTW-ing with Iron Butt endurance riding - and still manage to see things.
* South and Central America, alone or two bikes?
o Roly Gough-Allen
Buenos Aries to San Diego in 4 months 11 weeks with a mate, and 7 weeks alone, pro's and con's of each!
* Getting ready to go - where do you start?
o John & Alanna Skillington
Some practical planning tips for organising the big trip.
* Planning Europe & Russia
o Michael & Colleen Tharme
How we planned our 2008 trip to Moscow from London on 1200GS two up.
* Equipment - the good the bad and the ugly
o Chris Cowper
Some of the gear I used, and should not have used.
* China and Russia 2008
o Garry Chadwick
Vietnam to Italy on a maxi-scooter and a local Chinese 125
* Riding Mongolia
o Scott Weinhold
Advice and inspiration for riding across Mongolia, the best country in the world for offroad travel.
* London to Vladivostok for charity
o Mick McDonald
The pros and cons of riding for charity
* Central America
o Ben Holland
Solo in Central America
* For Women Only
o Panel discussion.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Some of the bikes seen at the HU Meeting...

Sorry for the delay in updating. Today thought I would show a small selection of the bikes that attended the HU meeting. Some have come all the way from overseas. Others have left here done a big overland trip and then come back home. Some like me dream of doing this. Next update will have more bikes and a ride up to Dartmouth Dam.

Yes there is a Postie bike under there.

Daniel from Switzerland on his Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Ténéré. He rode overland through Iran to India on this bike.

Michael & Colleen Tharme on their 1200GS. They traveled in 2008, Moscow from London.

All the way from the UK. 2 up. Lady pillion is blind.

China and Russia 2008. Garry Chadwick
Vietnam to Italy on a maxi-scooter. He also rode a 125 in China.

Bruce C. Filling up the ER.

Photo credits: Just me this time.

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