Day 1: SS2000K Newcastle – Wagga – Port Augusta SA – Broken Hill
I had organised a couple of rides today, but as things go plans change and the one I was to go on was with a fellow long distance rider, IT, who was keen to have a crack at his first IBA SS2000K. Essentially this means he wanted to ride 2000km in 24 hours and I was going along to keep him company and keep an eye on things having done this distance and more a number of times.
We met at the local servo shortly before 3am and with the much appreciated assistance of two other long distance riders OX-34 and 93TigerBill we did the paperwork and got ready to leave. Iron Butt riders seem to spend a lot of time at service stations in the wee hours.
We left Newcastle at 03:00 (AEST) and rode wouth on the the M1 (F3), M2, M7 and onto the Hume Highway/Freeway, our first stop was the Shell near the big Merino in Goulburn 344kms away. This is the first time I’ve taken the Super Tenere past Marulan for fuel. I was pretty happy I made that distance. The next stop was past Wagga Wagga at Gillenbah arriving on fumes again. It’s always nice when you can squeeze an extra 90k’s out of two fills, over a long ride there’s plenty of time to save if you can “not stop” as often (obviously).
From Gillenbah we rode through Hay South getting fuel at Balranald. Then we dipped into Victoria for a while through Mildura and then into South Australia to the next fuel stop at Renmark. Until that point we were right on schedule with an overall average speed of just over 96kph.
We left Renmark and I got a touch lost for about 10k’s which required a U-Turn but soon enough we were winding our way north westish towards Burra. A few k’s before Burra we stopped for a drink and to gear up for the dark while we watched the sunset for a while. I took the time to fill up from the jerry can so we wouldn’t need to stop again before Port Augusta.
After Burra, in the dark we rode through the lovely green hills I know were beyond the headlights onto the highway that heads though Port Pirie and arrived in Port Augusta at 8.50pm only 16 minutes behind schedule with 1697kms done and dusted.
A quick turn around there and up the way too much fun Horrocks Pass to Wilmington where we stopped for a quick chat with some LD Riders we recognised as we rode past the pub. The all business to Yunta for the first meal of the day, a dry pie for me and a chicken sanga for IT, a coffee a short break to get ready for the last leg of today’s ride. We were behind schedule but not pressed for time.
The landscape between Yunta and Broken Hill is pretty desolate but beautiful in it’s own way. Once again on this trip though we didn’t see much past the side of the bitumen except the odd tree and kangaroo.
We arrived at Broken Hill at about 1.50am AEST with a full 2110kms done for the day and feeling pretty pleased. I had booked some accommodation nearby so we headed over for a well earned rest and found ourselves amidst the Rebels migration west for their annual get together. Our key wasn’t left out so we waited politely for the reception staff to come back to the hotel and check us in. Soon enough I hit the ZZZ’s. Tomorrow depending on how things go we might convert this ride into a BB2500K/36 or n SS2000M (3220kms in 48 hrs).
Here is the plan for the BB2500K a long rest available if we need it.
Day 2: Finish SS2000M: Broken Hill – Newcastle
After riding 2110k’s yesterday I slept really well waking later than usual about 6am. My ride partner, IT, was still asleep so I read the paper on my phone, checked emails etc and eventually got up. I ate my usual in ride breakfast of instant oats, sultanas, dry pineapple and a soy protein drink and we packed the bikes, good to go. here they are outside the hotel room.
Today’s plan was to get to Cobar, ony 450k’s or so away by 3pm to finish off an IBA Bun Burner 2500K (2500ks’ in less than 36 hours) and depending on how were feeling possibly extending it to ride home by 3am tommorrow morning for a SaddleSore 2000M (2000 miles / 3220kms in less than 48 hours. Because we knocked over a great chunk of that yesterday were weren’t under any time pressure for either, it just depended on fatigue if it raised it’s head.
So we went to the nearby Shell for morning fuel and re-start docket, the forecourt and adjacent road were adorned with H-D’s, black leather and club colours. thankfully all heading the other way, but a sign there would be enforcement about today. No problem though, speed isn’t what these rides are about.
Brilliant morning for the ride across the plains. A few scattered goats, plenty of road trains and grey nomads but great vision and opportunity to overtake. Thru’ Wilcannia and a road side stop just before Emmdale road house. Didn’t want to sit down and we doubt if the goats would have allowed us to do so. They were calm to our presence.
We emptied out and filled the bikes from the jerry cans here so we didn’t need to stop again until Cobar. We took our time, admired the wild goats roaming around, ate, had a drink, no hurr today.
There were less goats and emus along here today, but it wsn’t devoid of them. One emu moment kept us both busy, the rest were well behaved.
We arrived in Cobar about 1.45pm with plenty of time to spare for the 36 hour time limit for the 2564k’s done. It was warm, 32.5c but we were both feeling good so some refreshments were taken and the decision to push on was also taken. The ride had now turned into a two day trip to Port Augusta and back, I was happy with that decision.
Here we are at Cobar.
We stopped food stop at Nygen! Not really planned but I sensed that IT needed something other than fruit and nuts, I was good for another day or so. The manager at the BP told us about the swarms of Rebels heading west. He was a very nice young guy who chatted happily to us while we ate.
Gilgandra for fuel and set-up for night riding as darkness descended. Again, a few roos en-route back to Newcastle but no real dramas. Lots and lots of bugs though either side of Mendooran. We were on a good steady pace, little traffic and only one “wee” stop at Merriwa. The Golden Highway past the back of the Singleton army base is normally a killing field for roos but tonight we were blessed with smooth passage. We both had sufficient fuel range for the haul back to Newcastle.
Back into the traffic from Greta into Newcastle. Well ahead on the schedule for the SS2000M and both feeling great.
We arrived at the Lambton servo with plenty of time to spare and were met by one of the Long Distance riders who had seen us off the previous morning. He’d been watching our spot trackers and decided to drop over to welcome us back. This is one of the great things about the LD riding community. By Google Maps we’d done enough k’s, by my odo we’d done enough but the odo on the K1600GT was a few k’s short.
So we fuelled up and rode south to McDonalds at Swansea to push IT’s odo over the requirement (despite not having to to qualify for the ride) and also had a late night crack at a couple of McChickens. The security guard at McDonalds proudly showed us his Yamaha XVS1100 in the carpark and was more than willing to sign our witness forms at 11.30pm, 3.5 hours to spare.
We had done it, with some bug carnage on the way.