Up at 3am at Port Augusta after nearly 2000ks ridden yesterday and a few good hours sleep. I grabbed a docket back at the Shell next door to the Highway 1 Motel where I syaed the night at 3.36am (Eastern Australian Daylight Savings Time) for the start of the return trip, an hour earlier than I originally planned. This made the 3220k’s plus ride in 36 hours look possible if I could stay focussed.
Back up Horrocks Pass was more exciting than usual. Once again on this ride I noted my Super Tenere seemed very responsive but the reason escaped me. The wildlife had come out over the last few hours, more bunnies asking for a popping than anything but there were a couple of RooABS moments. Well rested I had the game head on today with 13 hrs riding max to do to finish the IBA ride. Hydration mattered, nutrition didn’t. Today was to be warmer than yesterday, into the mid to high 30's in Western NSW.
After Yunta, South Australia, I rode into a spectacular sunrise across the plain.
Of course riding into Broken Hill the Red Light was waiting for me at the roadworks!
At Broken Hill I filled both 10 litre jerrys and took some personal care time ready again for the long haul to Cobar. I avoid getting fuel at Wilcannia, the BP can be very slow. There’s no 98 Octane at Emmdale so lugging it is my preferred option.. The goats at Macullochs Rest Area are always chatty when I stop there to refuel.
There were lots of lizards on the road here and it struck me that I don’t think twice about popping a bunny but I will always try to save a lizard, particularly those slow moving ones that look like they have a head on each end. They are cool!
Cobar main tank only, a quick stop then straight through Nyngan. My initial plan was to get a docket at Warren (3060kms) with a splash of fuel but I had enough in the tank to get to Gilgandra and time to spare so I rode through and filled the main tank there.
My 3220k+ option was Dunedoo, I pulled into the Kakadoo Café for a coffee, pie and docket.
Only a transport leg home now…hang on…. As I ate the pie I realised I could still make Merriwa on the clock, might as well squeeze it in and shorten the transport leg..
Of course roadworks got in the way again. This guy thought I was quite odd taking a pic of him.
He said something but I couldn’t hear him. I was learning Japanese from my iPod. "Konnichiwa. Atasiwa FarRiderGin desu. Kyou, tenki ga ii deska". (learning to speak it not write it!) Of course thought the lolly pop man, a Japanese idiot with a camera. He gave me a grandiose wave through as he turned the sign.
Now throughout the ride I’d noted how well the Super Tenere was going and also that more fuel was being used than I was used to. While waiting at these roadworks I also took a moment to stretch. Looking at part of the instrumentation that’s hidden by my SPOT Tracker I saw an “S” in the mode display. Never seen it before, never used it before, don’t even know how to change the bike to Sports mode. But now the differences were explained. Clearly the mechanic made the switch during the service the day before I left and I hadn't noticed. I might just leave it there now though :-).
Anyhow I made it to Merriwa and put a splash in the tank to get home and checked the docket. All good and 3342kms (Google Maps) covered in less than 36 hours from Greta. But wait, there’s more. I was half a chance to get to Denman. Off I went but this time I was finally thwarted with roadworks resealing the 60kph straight leading into town and less than 500m from a docket the clock ticked over. Bugger!
I gave a giggle and rode home arriving in time for my 7pm meeting. 3575ks or so for the whole trip (Newy to Lambton) in 39hours and plenty more in the tank but my wife had organised a nice Thai Green Curry and I had a meeting.
I can’t really describe how much I enjoyed this ride. It was one of those times that everything went perfectly. The decisions were good and a seemingly daunting ride turned out to be way easier than it should have been. The Super Tenere as usual didn't let me down and just ate the up the miles with it's usual ease, just a little more keenly than usual. GOLD.