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April 2012 Club News

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The Big Ride

With Bob Jackson

Bob on his
          K100LT BMW.
I love K series BMW’s. I have had 5 now, all brought into Albany; 4 of them still in town and 1 in Denmark, as far as I’m aware all still running strong. It is the latest one that this story is about.

A few weeks ago I was browsing the internet bike sales, which is a habit of mine, when I found an ad for a 1987 K100LT with only 35,500km on the clock, ABS brakes and looked good in photos. Decided to have a look; where? A place called Nerang on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

Monday Feb 28th: Bus to Perth, midnight plane to Coolangatta, taxi up to Nerang and it is 8.15am Tues. Have never seen so many bikes in one place, about 15-16 dealers and about 1000 bikes all in one street.

Found my man Tony, at Bikesales Queensland and eventually went for long ride, on the Beema; loved it.
We did a deal and I loaded all my gear and took off for WA. By now it was nearing midday and starting to warm up. Rode to Beaudesert without incident and then up through the mountains, lots of stops because of road repairs from recent rains.

By now very hot, onto Warwick and Goondiwindi. Had only done 460kms and wondering why feeling tired. 36hrs out of bed! So booked into Queensland Hotel. Very happy with the Beema, couple of beers and a feed and slept like a log.

Wed. 6.30am: Took off from Goondwindi to Moree then onto Walget. Uh Oh! Burke Road washed out in 2 places and closed. So diverted S.E. to Coonamble - Warren, back on main road at Nygan, looked like rain coming up at Cobar (and it did) so booked in to a motel. Managed to get bike under cover. 856km for the day.

Thurs. 7am: Departed Cobar in drizzle but fine by Emmdale Roadhouse, people running Emmdale were in Albany for the Ulysses AGM, so had a great chat over coffee.

Rode out of Emmdale in fine but ominous looking weather out west, sure enough 20km up the road and down she came. Quick stop for wet weather gear and off again, no point stopping because nowhere to hide.

Topped up with fuel at Wilcania and headed for Broken Hill. The rain was relentless with very heavy showers now and then. The country through here is very flat and I was soon riding in 2-3 inches of water with occasional deeper depressions I had to slow down for.

Was happy when Broken Hill loomed into view. Went to see the RTA but the news was all bad; bridge out 40km west and had to go south a long way to go around. Still raining, so fuelled up and took off for Wentworth, 265kms, but at least the rain had stopped by then.

Had to go further south over the “Murray” and into Victoria 10km from Mildura before I found a road across to the Sturt Hwy and could finally head to Renmark and the right direction again. Through Renmark to Morgan with headlights showing the way and booked into pub for the night. 1026kms, big day!

Fri: Had fish and chips for tea at Morgan, seemed OK but 3am Oh Boy! it got me bigtime. Hurled the heart out as they say. Couldn’t go back to sleep properly so got up and had a shower, cup of coffee, packed the gear on the bike in drizzly rain and left. By then it was 6.30 but with daylight saving it is not quite daylight so riding with lights again.

Up to Burra, Spaulding (rain cleared) out onto the hwy and up to Port Augusta, fuel, coffee and a sanga and headed off west again. Great day now for riding, sunny but cool and had a good run through to Ceduna.

Starting to see a number of bikes going both ways, some coming home from Phillip Island and some coming over from WA to Ulysses AGM. Rode into Ceduna about 3.30pm in time to pick up throttle stop that Jim Sharpe had sent over to post office for me. What a blessing, up till then I had been wringing its neck all day every day, you don’t realise how good throttle stops are until you have to go without, “Thanks Jim”.

Still a bit early to pull the pin, so rang Nullabor Roadhouse to make sure of a bed and took off, arriving about 6pm, but still plenty of daylight. Another big day 1056kms. Had a couple of beers with 3 chaps from Roleystone on their way home from Phillip Island.

Sat: Woke up early, had a coffee and took off about 6.30, just daylight but plenty of trucks so hoped the roo’s would behave themselves, (they did). Straight through to Mundrabilla and bacon and eggs, that feels better! Fuel up and off again, straight past Madura, nearly into Cocklebiddy, rain imminent, pulled into a truckbay to don wetgear!

Righthand pannier gone - slight panic now because in that pannier is a big camera case and in it a camera,(new), GPS, toilet bag, (with my medication) a pair of leather shoes and get this - $1000 in $100 notes.

I was still in a state of shock, stopped and waiting to get out on the road to go back on the off chance I might find something and no idea how far, when the wagon I was waiting on, to go through, waved madly and pulled up. I rode alongside hoping they could tell me something and would you believe the passenger held up the bag saying “I don’t suppose you are looking for this are you?” Well I could not believe this, someone was sure looking after me.

They were 2 uni students on their way to Perth for the Aussie Championship rowing regatta and King’s Cup, they were towing a big trailer with 4 long rowing boats on board and told me they found the bag 200kms back and were pleased to find an owner - they were pleased?

The pannier didn’t have the same luck, it had come open and although the bag came out, was still in one piece, they were walking back to get it when a truck ran right over it and it was shredded! I tried to give these two young heroes a reward but argue as I might, they would not take a cent, saying they were happy to get it back to the owner. Talk about luck . . . and honest people, particularly when you see some of the types on that road.

Carried on to Norseman and as it was only 4pm went on to Salmon Gums and stayed the night at the hotel motel. 1078kms today . . . Just got settled in and the three chaps from Roleystone arrived, taking the long way home, it was pizza night at the pub so we got together and a good time was had by all. Jim and Colin had been ringing every day to see how I was progressing and Jim decided to ride out and meet me at Jerramungup. Sounded good to me.

Sun: Left Salmon Gums 6.45 for the last and should be easy day (and it was) very hot by the time I got to Ravensthorpe, quick stop for fuel and a coke then off to Jerry to meet up with Jim. We had a sanga and a drink and a good chat then set off for home. Ran into a lot of locusts on the way, Jim claimed I was stirring them up and he was copping the lot (it’s a dirty lie) so arrived home with very grubby bikes at 1.30pm 535kms.

In all I covered some 5000km in six days. Would I do it again? You bet. I enjoyed every minute of the trip ( except the pannier incident) and the bike is a beauty...

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