Isle of Man TT Promo

It’s that time of year again. Yay.
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Over the Top

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1st collector for Over the Top
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Autumn 2011 Day 5

Airlie to Charters Towers
Up the road and we soon hit Blowen Bowen. It wasn’t that gusty stuff either. Honestly I was leaning toward the coast in order to ride straight for quite a while.

Easter Egg or Mango?

The rest of the ride reminded me that we were back in the tropics. Hot and muggy. Needles to say the leathers are damn stinky after 5 days and we can’t wait to get home.
Tropical Touring

But I’ve made some interesting discoveries:
1. With the tank bag on, full left lock sets off the horn and full right lock engages the starter,
2. The wife must have nuts in her head to sit behind me for 5 days straight,
3. After day 3 my back and neck muscles stopped aching, (but not my ass unfortunately)
4. The ST1300 is quite an accomplished bike for its size and is very comfortable even after 2985km in 5 days.
5. No matter where it is, there’s no place like home.
Home at last

OK so the cousins are clean and reunited, till the next road trip. Live the Dream

Until then – Live the Dream.

Posted in Roads, Tour Itinerary | 1 Comment

Autumn 2011 Day 4

The Caves to Airlie Beach
Get thee away from Rockhampton and quick smart. Even the trucks were swerving around the craters in the A1. The repairs really were substandard, the rocks were way too big, weren’t rolled down into the base, hence the bike was slipping around even at 80km/h and the trucks were flicking the road rubble up at us. Arrggghhhhh! Luckily the further north we went the quicker the roads improved and so did the speed limit. Yay, back up to 110km/h This part of the journey was pretty boring really. There are some highlights, like the little town of Clearview. The A1 and the ocean are about 10m apart around this section of the Queensland coast. Stopped at Flaggy Rock Exotic Fruit Garden for a home cooked sausage roll and coffee, thumbs up.

Flaggy Rock

Mackay, wow: and I thought there was some money in Emerald. Uh ah. More motorcycles than I could poke a stick at and shiny new ones too. New housing estates and not your run of the mill HSV’s. Oh no, Corvettes, Audis, BMW’s, Nippon turbo-magics everywhere.

Airlie Beach is a huge backpackers mecca and really not the best place to stay. The local shop keepers looked jaded and served up fairly ordinary food, at exorbitant prices of course.

Airlie Beach main strip

The Airlie Cove Van Park has a no refund policy, empty your own trash policy, do your own dishes policy, fun stops at 10pm policy, etc etc etc. And the parking is very motorcycle unfriendly.
Don't park here

Posted in Roads, Tour Itinerary

Autumn 2011 Day 3

Gayndah to The Caves
Waking in the morning fog abounded. Off to the giant citrus fruit for the obligatory photo shoot.
Giant Orange

Well the roads are improving slowly. There are still potholes everywhere, just less of them and there are road signs warning of rough surface ahead. But corners, yay, corners. Shifting back to third and even second gear for some. The section from Gayndah across to Childers brought the smile back to my dial. Childers, what a pleasant little town. Clean, green, friendly and those views over to the coast. Now who could be in this part of Queensland and not go to the Bundy distillery. Well not me, even if it did add another 100km’s to the day.
Bundaberg Rum's Flood Relief

OK, so I’ve been whinging about the road conditions, but nothing prepared me for Highway A1. What a bloody disgrace. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the concrete canyon style and 5 being the Strzelecki Track; the Bruce Highway around Rockhampton is a 4. And just in case any one was beginning to think about the merest possibility of entertaining the thought prior to having any ideas about trying to overtake; there were cops everywhere. Marked Highway Patrol cars – should be more of them, unmarked radar cars and speed cameras hidden in grass taller than me.

The Capricorn Caves, what a beaut little camping spot, super expensive though. No phone reception and nature at its wildest.
An Australian nature experience

What’s that Skip, it’s time for a beer? Too right. The Country Pub down the road with its home cooked style meals was just the ticket after a long days ride.

Posted in Roads, Tour Itinerary

Autumn 2011 Day 2

Emerald to Gayndah
Wow what a big day, well for us it was. After leaving Springsure, which is such a pretty little town, the roads were so shocking; we were constantly slowing to 80-85km/h. But bizarrely there was a half hour section that the Blackbird would have eaten up at double. Once again the views coming off the edge of the tablelands were spectacular.
Coming to the edge of the Qld Tablelands

The plateaus gave way to extensive broad acre farming. Cattle trucks and more cattle trucks rumbled on relentlessly, as did their pungent aroma. No bull.
Ahh the aroma

Of all the small towns spread throughout the Shire of Banana that we stopped at, Moura was the pick for us; expensive, but clean with friendly service. Feel like reminiscing over the good ol’ days? I don’t. One horsepower, I’m so glad we’ve got one hundred of ‘em.
One Horsepower

And as we approached the western side of the Great Divide, trees and corners appeared.
Approaching the Great Divide

Ahh, the temperate forests of Australia, there is nothing like them.
Trees and corners

Reaching Gayndah we slept the night at the Colonial Motor Inn. Highly recommended.

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