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 Reaching Out to West Islanders

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kiwi dave
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kiwi dave

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Join date : 2014-04-24
Age : 72

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PostSubject: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:44 pm

Hi Guys

I'm flying in to Melbourne on the 9th of January, and have been offered the use of a Triumph Bonneville 1200 for a couple of weeks. The plan is to ride around the coast to Adelaide with the Bonnie's owner (on another bike), exploring all the watering holes on the way. I have almost zilch experience of driving or riding in Victoria, and absolutely none in South Australia. My friend will know the area backwards, but I believe he is going to abandon me at some point due to prior commitments.

Now I could just stick to the coast, but I have no intention of crossing into West Australia, nor will I try to make it to Sydney in the time frame allowed. The current fires will keep me away from a lot of areas, but at some point I would be keen to see a bit of inland Oz. I do have experience riding in extra hot conditions in California, Arizona and Death Valley, but I don't want to silly about it either. I do have a mapping app on my phone with can talk to my helmet; I don't intend to mount the phone on the handlebars.

Any advice or wit will be gratefully received. No sheep jokes please!
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Pete Roper
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Pete Roper

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Join date : 2013-05-30
Age : 63

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:04 pm

Dave, if you head north from Adelaide in January you'll be riding into a furnace. Believe me it will be worse than anything the California deserts can throw at you but with fewer places to seek comfort and relief.

If you do head north Peterborough has a small motorcycle museum and you could then ride on to Orroroo which is above the Goider Line and is at the beginning of the really inhospitable country that was decreed as 'Suitable' for soldier settlements for returned servicemen after WWI. Needless to say the pitiless nature of the country meant it was unfarmable eight years out of ten and the project failed. Jude used to have to go to Orroroo with her work with Animal Health Australia and I accompanied her a couple of times. It has two pubs and a library. That's about it. Most of the streets are dirt and it will be hotter than Hades. I just checked the weather App and it's going to be in the high thirties all this week, in January I'd be surprised if it isn't in the forties most of the time!

From there you could head west to the Spencer Gulf and ride down the coast to Port Victoria. Back in the day between the first and second world wars Port Vic was one of the loading ports for grain for the last of the great commercial sailing ships. Long after sail had become uneconomic for other cargos the last of the great fleets owned by a Dane by the name of Erikson used to sail out from Europe in ballast before loading grain by lighter as there were no dock facilities capable of handling the ships and then they'd return to Europe via Cape Horn. By running skeleton crews of young men the company was still able to turn a meagre profit. There is a small museum dedicated to this fascinating period of maritime history at Port Vic.

After that you could meander back to Adelaide over the top of Gulf St. Vincent. That'd probably be a good three, maybe four, days.

Take water. Lots of water. And electrolyte replacement sachets or pills, whatever. You'll sweat like a pig and dehydrate really quickly but having ridden the California deserts you'll know the drill. Fill up the bike whenever you can, ask the locals about road conditions, keep an eye on the weather and download the state Bushfire Alert App. Nowhere in the areas mentioned is truly 'Remote' in Australian terms but compared to NZ communities and services will be far apart. Don't push yourself too hard and above all HAVE FUN!!!

Pete
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Sema4
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:04 pm

Dave, the Flinders Ranges has plenty of sealed roads suitable for the Bonnie. Don’t ride at dawn or dusk, far too many wallabies and emus around. Even at other times of day stay as near the centre of the road as you can. Emus can appear from nowhere and have a tendency to zig-zag more than roos. I just missed one by inches up there last year - keep your eyes peeled!
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Sema4
Don Abbondio
Don Abbondio
Sema4

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:05 pm

Dave, the Flinders Ranges has plenty of sealed roads suitable for the Bonnie. Don’t ride at dawn or dusk, far too many wallabies and emus around. Even at other times of day stay as near the centre of the road as you can. Emus can appear from nowhere and have a tendency to zig-zag more than roos. I just missed one by inches up there last year - keep your eyes peeled!
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kiwi dave
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kiwi dave

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:13 am

Thanks for the replies. I knew about the roos and wallabies at dusk & dawn, but didn't know Emus could be such a threat. I'll be keeping my eyes wide open.

I'll also try to check out the destinations recommended. Hopefully, the fires will have subsided by then. I saw a fire map on Australian TV this morning; it looked like the whole country is on fire. My heart goes out to those who have suffered losses and lives.
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MalG
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MalG

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching Out to West Islanders   Reaching Out to West Islanders Icon_minitime1Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:51 am

The Flinders may be a tad warm, check with the Frats in the Adelaide Hills while you're there -(the Moto Guzzi Appreciation Fraternity of South Australia) - they'll have the good oil. It should be warm and dry on the Mallee (that flat stretch in Western Vic & Eastern SA, but it's likely to be cooler in the Grampians, and if not burnt out, forested too. There's a lot of classic racing in Mt Gambier & then there's the new racetrack at Tailem Bend. Pack a cossie, & while on the coast, at least, there will be plenty of opportunities for dips in the briny. The T120 makes a decent tourer - a mate's got one set up for it, says the motor reminds him of his Guzzis. You'll have a ball & certainly something to talk about later.
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