I don't ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.

I don't ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.

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Regrets… Well, Maybe One.

G’day

I don’t know too many riders from last century that didn’t own a CB (insert number here) Four at some stage of their riding career.

I wasn’t any different.

I owned an old Hoon*-da CB750 Four (K2) for a couple of years. I bought it as a basket case, and rebuilt it over twelve months.

You can read about it here.

The bike had its quirks; like those stupid little rubber grommet seal things that sat under the cam cradles.

The things would move under load and there would be a trail of oil coming out from under the head soon after.

It turned out that this was a common problem, and the fix was to replace the grommet thingies with press fit aluminium plugs.

The other problem I had, which was more due to metal fatigue than anything else. Was that one of the cam cradles had lifted on a ride over Mt. Glorious.

The top end was destroyed as a result. The cradles disintegrated, the cam had some good-sized gouges in it, and looked a bit like a boomerang as well.

Despite all that, I still managed to put 35,000 km (22,000 miles) on it in the twelve months I rode it.

My Honda CB750/4 started out as a $200 basket case

My Honda K2 CB750/4 started out as a $200 basket case

The bike was due for a service and valve clearance check since having the top end rebuilt by Phil at ProFlow. So I dropped round there one Saturday morning to get the job done.

When I arrived, Phil started telling me about a new project he had going. A coffin tank Z1R MKII Kawasaki. He was going to build it as an advert for his shop.

The frame had already been checked and braced and was away at the powder-coaters. The rest of the bike was strewn all over the workshop; wheels were over in a corner, the wiring harness was hanging on a hook on a pin-board, the engine was being rebuilt on the bench and the panel work was in a box ready to go to the painters.

Phil was a one time mechanic for a Kawasaki race team, so it was no surprise that he was excited about his new project.

KS15

Pleading ignorance, I asked “Whats a Z1R?”

I was after all a newish rider.

Phil patiently explained the bikes history to me, and what he was planning. When he finished, I asked him how much he wanted for it when it was finished.

Phil thought for a minute, then came back with “$4000.”

He continued. “We’d better get started on the Honda, eh?”

On a spur of the moment decision, I handed him the cash I was going to give him for the service, and said “Consider the Z1R sold.”

What? You want to buy the Z1R, what about the Honda? he asked.

“Yep, I’m going to buy the Z1R. Unless someone else has dibs* on it?” I said.

Adding “I’ll consign the Honda and have the rest of the money ready for you when the Z1R is finished.

Within a month I had the Z1R in my garage. It had a braced frame with all the bearings and bushes replaced. Progressives springs on the front with Koni adjustables on the rear. The engine had a mild cam with a Wiseco 1080 kit. New chain and sprockets, new tyres — the bike was like brand new.

I wasn’t allowed to run the bike to anything more than 4000 rpm for the first 1500 km (1000 miles). It needed to be run in.

Once the run in period had passed, the carburetors were kitted and adjusted to allow the bike to breath. The only thing that let the bike down visually was the grungy old Tranzac exhaust that was hanging off it.

1979 Kawasaki Z1R MKII

1979 Kawasaki Z1R MKII

Over the next 12 months Phil taught me how to look after, and service the bike. I’d buy what was needed for the job; oil, filters, that sort of thing, and Phil would explain what needed to be done.

There’s not too many mechanics around that will do that these days.

Despite its wooden front brake and an exhaust collector that would bottom out on left handers, the bike always left me grinning.

On one occassion I clocked 220km/h (135 mp/h) on that thing. Yeah, Yeah I know, young and dumb

I rode the bike for 3 years before I sold it to a bloke in Burpengary, north of Brisbane.

I remember putting some new hoops on it not long before it went up for sale. The tyre guy asked why I was getting rid of it.

“Young Family”. I said.

He looked at me with that been there look and said “You’ll regret it”

He was right.

I saw the Z1R a few years later at a track day out at Lakeside. I can only guess that the new owner was having as much fun on it as I’d had a few years earlier.

About 18 months after Phil finished the bike he moved to Sydney. I caught up with him a few times after that, once in Brisbane when he was visiting family, and once when I was in Sydney.

I lost track of Phil after that. Pity, he was a gun spanner man and a nice bloke too.

I know that technology has moved on, and there have been huge advances in engine management and frame design. Hell the brakes on my Bandit are light years ahead of that old Z1R.

I still can’t forget that bike and those days though.

Regrets? Well, maybe one.

Cheers.

  • Hoon: Australian/ New Zealand term for a lout or hooligan, especially a young man who drives recklessly.
  • Dibs: The right to something, an option to buy.

2014 Laverda Concours

G’day

The annual Laverda Concours has come and gone for another year.

Who would have thought that from the first concours held at Captain Burke Park, Kangaroo Point (under The Story Bridge), the Laverda Concours would become so popular that it would have to move to a bigger venue at the Cleveland Showgrounds.

Small-Concours-2014_033- - Copy

This year there were 60 trophies, and over $4000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. Everything was covered; Continental, British, American, Japanese, Classic, Street Special, Outfits, Cafe Racer… this list goes on.

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There were even trophies for most powerful bike in the car… err… bike park. Mick the proprietor of Mick’s Bike & Car Tyres provided his dyno for this popular event

small-Concours-2014_030-

Over the past 10 years Club Laverda has raised over $55,000 for Make-A-Wish.

What is Make-A Wish?

Make-A Wish grants wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions. The wishes can be as simple as kicking a ball around with their favorite footy team to becoming a diamond miner.

Since 1985 there have been over 8,000 wishes granted to children in Australia.

Concours-2014_141-MOD

A big thumbs up to Club Laverda for putting on a great show and for raising money for some very deserving kids

Check out over 80 more photos from the day at my Flickr page.

Cheers

Mt. Panorama.

G’day

Mt. Panorama and Bathurst* are sinonym… synonym… have a rich history of motor racing in Australia, with the first motorcycle race being held way back in 1911 at a place called Kelso a few clicks outside of Bathurst.

After a falling out with the local constabulary, motorcycle racing was moved to the Vale Circuit, and stayed there from the first meeting on Easter Saturday April 4, 1931 until 1937. In 1938 it was relocated again, this time to Mt Panorama.

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The interesting thing about Mt Panorama is that it is a rural public road with 2-way traffic and a 60km/h (37mp/h) speed limit most of the year. The circuit is 6.172 km (3.835 mi) in length and climbs 174m (570 feet) from the bottom of the circuit (Pit Straight) to the top of the circuit (Skyline).

The Mt Panorama Circuit

The Mt Panorama Circuit

Mt Panorama and the Easter Bike Races became part of Australian biker folklore, running continuously for 50 years until they were axed in 1985.

Why were they axed?

No, not because of noise complaints, but because of rioting.

Bikers would head to the mountain each Easter for the races, and even as far back as the early ’60’s newspaper reports labeled the spectators as a deviant element because of their wild behavior.

During the early 80’s the festivities attracted the attention of the local police, who thought it a good idea to bring in the Tactical Response Group (TRG) to control the throng.

As a result of the confrontation between the bikers and the TRG at the last Easter meeting in 1985, the races were cancelled.

Debate rages to this day about who was worse; The bikers or the TRG.

The Remnants Of The Channel 7 News Car After One Of The Riots

The Remnants Of The Channel 7 News Car After One Of The Riots (Photo Courtesy davamb Access Norton Forum)

Bikes returned to the mountain in 1993.

In 1994 there was an accident at the top of the mountain at Macphillamy Park, and 3 side car riders were killed. Racing continued at Mt. Panorama until 2000.

Soon after the 2000 race finished, the concrete lined track was deemed unsafe for motorcycles, and the Bathurst bike races faded into history.

Fast forward to 2014 and rumors have been raging for years of a second circuit being built at Mt. Panorama.

The topic came up again a few weeks ago while I was listening to Greg Hirst on Ride.

Greg was interviewing the member for parliament for Bathurst, Paul Toole, about rumors of motorcycles returning to Mt Panorama.

 (Photo Courtesy davamb Access Norton Forum)

(Photo Courtesy davamb Access Norton Forum)

As it turns out, Bathurst City Council has been considering a second more permanent circuit for some time, and the New South Wales (N.S.W.) State Government in it’s last budget allocated $5 million towards a new racing circuit at Mt Panorama. Not only for motorcycles but also for other motor sports.

To Quote Mr Toole:

“As the local member, I want it put on the record that I intend to drive this project to ensure it does not falter,” Mr Toole said, speaking withFairfax.

“The $5 million in the budget is a great way to get the ball rolling. This means the second track is no longer a pipe dream; it’s going to happen. I look forward to working with council to do the planning and get started on the construction of this initiative.”

It is hoped that the Feral Guv’mint will chip in as well, and there is a strong belief that they may have already given some consideration to the project, but as yet, nothing has been announced.

This along with the recent push for a TT style race on The Lions Road that runs through The Border Ranges National Park means that the future looks bright for Motorcycle racing in Australia.

Cheers

  • Bathurst: Pronounced like this… Bathhurst… short ‘A’
  • Lions TT: The Lions TT Motorcycle Festival, will be a three-day and night motorcycle festival that is open to all motorcycle brands. Think Sturgis meets the Isle of Man TT

Tick Tock.

Tenacious
Not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.

Fearless
Showing a lack of fear.

Philosophical
Having a calm attitude towards disappointments or difficulties.

Caring
Displaying kindness and concern for others.

Giving
Cause or allow someone to have or experience something.

Loving
Showing love or great care.

Loss
A person who is badly missed when lost.

Missed
Notice the absence of.

Dad
One’s father.

One Year Has Passed. Lost. Never Forgotten

Lost. Never Forgotten

Lost. Never Forgotten.

 

What’s That? Speak Up?

G’day

I listened to a lot of music growing up; AC-DC, The Angels, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Rose Tattoo, Zeppelin, Purple, the list goes on.

I went to see a lot of pub bands and concerts too. Where standing as close to the stage as possible was expected, lest you be called a woose*.

I mean, the louder the better right?

I also worked in the mental… err… metal fabrication industry. It wasn’t unusual to have a sheet of 10mm (3/8″) plate crash to the ground just behind me, or to be using air tools, steam hammers or plasma cutters without hearing protection.

Ear muffs?

Pfft. My ears weren’t cold, what’s the point.

Besides it wasn’t “cool”

I Used This 1500 Ton Davy Press As An Apprentice (Photo: Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops, Sydney - Teaching and Educational Standards NSW)

I Worked At This 1500 Ton Davy Press As An Apprentice (Photo: Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops, Sydney – Courtesy Teaching and Educational Standards NSW)

Well… when you think about it, there was a point.

An 80 – 125dB(A)* noise level for most of the working day wasn’t unusual, and I can’t remember how many times I’d come home from work, or a night out, and my ears were ringing or felt furry inside.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but my ears were telling me they had had enough, and were getting permanently damaged in the process.

Where am I going with this?

OK, so you work in a library, orifice or some other non-industrial environment. Have you thought about the noise in your lid at 100 km/h (60 mp/h)?

In an article published by The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health on Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Occupational Motorcyclists; Jordan, Hetherington, Woodside and Harvey state that:

Full face helmets provided average noise levels of 88.3 dB(A) at 50 km/h (31 mp/h) up to 103.6 dB(A) at 120 km/h (75 mp/h). While the open face helmets provided average noise levels of 87.2 dB(A) at 50 km/h up to 98.5 dB(A) at 120 km/h.

The average noise level increased by approximately 2.1 dB(A) per 10 km/h increase in speed.

Did you notice open face lids are quieter than a full face?

Jordan, Hetherington, Woodside and Harvey also found that:

The dominant noise source was the base of helmet between the chin bar and the neck of the rider.

Also.

The addition of a fairing actually increased the noise levels of the helmets.

The last two points took me by surprise, because I always thought that a full faced lid and a faired bike would reduce wind noise. Obviously I was wrong, although thinking back to late last year when I wore an open face lid… it was quieter.

Sounds like a great argument for cruisers and open face helmets doesn’t it?

To put all these numbers into perspective, the Noise Equivalent Table below (contained in this document on the Safe Work Australia) website states that you shouldn’t be exposed to noise levels of 85dB(A) or more, for more than 8 hours.

So if  we were to extap… extrapel… e-x-t-r-a-p-l… (damn it).

If we were to project this for 100 km/h using the average 2.1 dB(A) per 10 km/h stated above, a full face helmet would be 98.8dB(A) and an open face would be 97.7dB(A).

So according to the table below you can only ride for between 15 and 30 minutes before suffering some hearing damage.

Table Courtesy Safe Work Australia

Table Courtesy Safe Work Australia

15 to 30 minutes… Not going to happen, right?

So what do you do?

Stick your fingers in your ears!

No wait… that won’t work.

OK seriously, any hearing protection is better than nothing, and each product should have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) listed somewhere on the packet or flier that comes with it.

NRR, or Noise Reduction Rating, is a guideline that indicates the amount of potential protection a hearing protection device will give in a noisy environment. NRR is the decibel (dB) reduction provided by hearing protection based on laboratory test data.

In a nutshell, if you are in a 95dB(A) environment and you have hearing protection with an NRR of 25, the noise level reaching your ear is 70dB(A).

I.E. 95 – 25 = 70. Simple eh?

Acceptable Methods To Reduce Noise… Some Are better Than Others

Acceptable Methods To Reduce Noise… Some Are better Than Others

The NRR attenuation rating will vary depending on what you use . Different products work differently for different frequencies as well, so you need to check the specs and be sure it will work for you.

A rough guide might look something like this:

  • Cotton Wool: Up to NRR 7 – Cheap, at less than a cent each – disposable.
  • Putty type ear plugs: Up to NRR 22 – $4 Pair – Re-usable, waterproof, swimmers use them.
  • Fingers: Up to NRR 25 – Free – Forget it, you’ll never be able to counter steer.
  • Ear Muffs: Up to NRR 26 – $25 to over $250 – reusable, can’t workout how to get these under the lid though.
  • Flanged Ear Plugs: Up tp NRR 27 – $30 pair – washable, re-usable.
  • Custom Molded Ear Plugs: Up to NRR 30 – $70 pair – washable, re-usable available in various colours.
  • Foam Ear Plugs: Up to NRR 33 – $1 pair – single use.

I’ve used foam ear plugs like the yellow ones in the picture above in the past. I could get them for free thanks to one of my past employers. They are for single use only and can’t be cleaned, so can become expensive if you need them every day.

Yep I Know They Need  Clean :-/

Yep I Know They Need Clean :-/

Personally, I use custom molded ear plugs, they’re not cheap at $70 a pair but they work really well, are washable and are tax-deductible as a work related expense… assuming you can substantiate the claim.

I like ‘em cause mine are green :-D

So take it from someone who tried to act all “cool”.

Use hearing protection while you’re riding,  your ears will love you for it.

I’m off to find those damn cicadas.

Cheers

  • Woose: A lightweight, a coward.
  • Decibel (dB): A measurement of sound pressure. Each 3db increase in sound pressure equals a doubling of intensity or volume.

Old Dog, New Tricks.

G’day

How many times have you heard this statement?

I’ve been riding for 25 years, I don’t need no stinkin’ riders course.

I have, heaps of times, and I can’t help thinking that one day it will catch up with them… It caught up with me back in 2000, and I’d done a post licence road craft course.

So no one is immune to it.

Like the saying goes; There are two types of riders. Those that have been down, and those that will go down.”

The Course Flier

The Course Flier

Anyway…

About a month ago I got wind of a free Skills & Safety Course to be put on by, Shark Motorcycle Leathers & Accessories and Australian Motorcycle Academy (AMA). There were 80 spots available, and the course was to be held at Carrara on the Gold Coast.

When I heard about the course, I thought a couple of new-ish riders I knew might be interested. To my knowledge they had not done any post licence road-craft courses, so I flicked the flier on to them hoping to spark some interest.

Within about 15 minutes four of us were singed up. Moscato Girl, The Melting Man, CBR Dude and moi.

Yep, I signed up too.

Why?

Because I can’t ride. There, I’ve said it.

Yep, even though I have my licence and I’ve done an advanced road craft course… I can’t ride.

Both CBR Dude and I were in the same boat, both of us had been riding since the dawn of time, we could always learn more though. So we tagged along.

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

The 80 riders were broken up into 4 groups of 20 in no particular order, although it looked like the cruisers were kept together. Starting at 8:00am the groups were staggered 1 hour apart.

The course started with one hour of theory in a classroom. Rob (our instructor) discussed slow speed control, lane positioning (for both single / multi-lane roads) , cornering, counter steering and other road-craft skills.

It was an informal session and Rob asked us questions to try to gauge our level of  skill, while encouraging us to ask questions as we went along.

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

This was followed by one hour of practice in a controlled environment. The first thing we did was slow speed control.

Cones were set up in series of sharp bends like you would find when negotiating a car park.  

One of the instructors demonstrated what we needed to do, while Rob went throught the finer points of clutch and throttle control, trail braking and counter steering.

These were all fairly easy for most of us, but there was one or two of us that struggled with the slow speed change of directions.

Rob called these riders out and gave them a bit of one to one. It looked to me like the “looking through the corner” part was the problem.

When they rejoined the group they started leading with their chins (so to speak), you could see a big improvement by the end of the session.

Photo Courtesy if

Photo Courtesy Susan C

The next step was to put us through our paces with some higher speed counter steering.

The track was straightened out and the challenge was to accelerate hard, short shifting a few gears and then changing down while on the brakes and set up for the corner at the end of the straight.

The emphasis was on selecting the right gear, counter steering and looking through the corner. It was interesting to watch some of the riders, because a few just followed the cones around the corner instead if setting up wide.

Rob called us all in, and went over the “start wide, finish tight” theory portion he had covered in the classroom again.

When we got back on the course, Rob deliberately stood at the entrance to the corner and pushed every rider wide. This quickly showed everyone the benefits of “start wide, finish tight”, and again there were big improvements by the end of the session.

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

The final part of the course was a 2 hour road ride up and over Mt. Tamborine. This was to allow us to practice what we had been taught back at the training area.

We went out through some quiet suburbs; Nerang, Gaven, Pacific Pines and the Maudsland road. This was to practice throttle control and counter steering we’d been taught earlier.

Everyone was having fun with the round-a-bouts. You could see people pushing on the bars to bring on the counter steering effect.

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Once we cleared the ‘burbs we headed out on the Nerang-Beaudesert Road and turned right on Heri-Roberts Drive and followed that up to Mt. Tamborine. The corners along Heri Roberts drive allowed us to practice more cornering and counter steering but at higher speeds.

We stopped at a sporting ground at the top of Mt. Tamborine to regroup, and discuss a few things.

During the break Rob and I chatted about the course and he offered me a few pointers on my riding. Which I practiced on the second leg of our ride.

We moved off again for the second leg and headed down the Tamborine-Oxenford Road and on to Shark Leathers at  Helensvale for a sausage sizzle.

The pointers Rob offered worked, and I now find my riding a little smoother. So you can teach on old dog new tricks :-)

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

If I had to rate the course, I’d say it was a about half way between a Q-Ride licence course and intermediate level course. That’s not to say it was a waste of time.

On the contrary it was well worth it, and I know that Moscato Girl and Then Melting Man went home with more confidence and knowledge about counter steering, cornering and braking than they had at the start of the day.

Even CBR Dude and I went home with some pointers that we hadn’t considered before.

I know that putting on a course like this can be expensive, especially when you consider facility hire, refreshments, instructors wages etc…

For Shark Leathers and AMA to put on a course like this was a bold move, if anything, it has created a lot of good will within the motorcycling community and has given 80 participants a little more knowledge and the tools to stay alive on the road.

Personally, I plan on doing a few more advanced courses… After all. I can’t ride.

Cheers

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Photo Courtesy Susan C

Better On The Track Than On The Street Eh?

G’day

Many of the places I enjoyed going to last century have been devoured by urban sprawl, and what was once considered “fun” is now banned or illegal.

As a result the things I took for granted as a young bloke are now lost to the new generation. Restrictive and prescriptive laws (we must protect ourselves from ourselves), progress, political correctness and the need to be seen to be doing the right thing, have made it harder for young people to experience life to its fullest.

Things like jumping off the railway bridge between Penrith and Emu Plains into the Nepean River or messing around in the mud lakes near the Penrith Weir were normal… and fun. In my late teens and early 20’s I enjoyed heading out to the local drag strip or motor-racing circuit for the weekend, either as spectator or to take part. Places like:

  • Castlereagh International Dragway – 70km (44mi) west of Sydney : Closed 1984.
  • Amaroo Park Raceway (Annangrove) – 40km (25mi) North West of Sydney: Closed 1998
  • Oran Park Raceway (Narellan) – 65km (40mi) South West of Sydney; Closed 2010

These three venues were all replaced with what is now called the Sydney Motorsport Park (Eastern Creek) – 40km (25mi) West of Sydney.

It’s true all three venues had passed their use by date, and it would have cost a fortune to bring them back up to an international standard. It’s also true that the land they occupied was more valuable as housing developments, than as race tracks.

Castlereagh International Dragway - The Last race 1984

Castlereagh International Dragway – After The Last Race Spectators Tore Up The Track With Picks and Mattocks (1984)

When I moved to Brisbane, Surfers Paradise International Raceway at Cararra 80km (50mi) South of Brisbane had already closed 2 years earlier (1987). This left only Lakeside International Raceway at Lake Kurwongbah, 35km (22mi) North of Brisbane. Alas it too was closed in 2001.

Queensland Raceway - Willowbank

Queensland Raceway (The Paperclip) – Willowbank

Both of these venues were replaced by the Queensland Raceway (affectionately know as the paperclip) at Willowbank, 50km (31mi) West of Brisbane in the late ’90’s.

Lakeside International Raceway (The Karasel Is At The Top Of This Photo - Eastern Loop Is At The Bottom Right - Photos Below Run Clockwise)

Lakeside International Raceway (The Karasel Is At The Top Of This Photo – Eastern Loop Is At The Bottom Right – Photos Below Run Clockwise)

The reason Surfers and Lakeside were closed was because residents in new housing estates were complaining about the noise…

Err… hel-lo… Surfers was established in 1965, and Lakeside has been there since 1961, it’s not like the new residents weren’t aware of their existence before moving in.

DSCN2283

Lakeside – The Karasel. A Tricky Uphill Double Right Hander

Be that as it may, after much lobbying and legal too-ing and fro-ing Lakeside was re-opened in 2008. Now known as Lakeside Park, the track is limited to track days, driver/rider training and local meetings, all of which have noise restrictions of 95db or less.

Lakeside - Out Of The Karasel And Into The Bus-Stop

Lakeside – Out Of The Karasel And Into The Bus Stop

Up-hIll Right Hander At The Start Of The Eastern Loop

Lakeside – Exiting The Bus Stop Heading Towards Dunlop Bridge 

The 95db noise restriction means that there will never be National or International events held there again, which is a pity because it’s a great track. Even Mick Doohan 5 time 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion once said “If you can learn to race a motorbike at Lakeside, you can compete at any race track in the world”

Lakeside - Under Dunlop Bridge And Into The Left Hander That Is Hungry Corner

Lakeside – Under Dunlop Bridge And Into The Left Hander That Is Hungry Corner

Even with the restrictions in place , Lakeside is a great place to go and hone your skills. All you need is a roadworthy bike which meets the noise restrictions, a legal lid and a set of leathers. Oh… and the readies to pay for your entry.

Lakeside - Exiting Eastern Loop Heading Down To Shell Corner

Lakeside – Exiting Eastern Loop Heading Down To Shell Corner

Track marshals and an emergency management response team are on hand in the event that something goes pear-shaped. Riders are split into groups based on experience and or capacity, and groups are big enough to provide that race feel yet small enough to have some degree of safety.

DSCN2992

Lakeside – Exiting Shell Corner And Onto The Main Straight

Lakeside - The Main Straight And Into The Kink Before Heading Back To The Karasel

Lakeside – The Main Straight And Into The Kink Before Heading Back To The Karasel

Better on the track than on the street eh?

You’d think so, but Lakeside is again under threat of closure even though there is a 30 year lease arrangement (there is a 10 year get out clause). Several other venues around South East Queensland are also under threat.

It’s hoped that this petition can prevent the loss of these venues. If you’re local to South East Queensland, I urge you to spread the word and show your support by signing the

PETITION

(Opens: May 20, 2014 – Closes: August 25, 2014)

Cheers

 Footnote: I apologise for the quality of some of the Lakeside photos, I think I messed up the shutter speed or something.

Queensland’s Smallest of the Biggest Burgers!

Experimental Ghost:

Now I’m a big bloke, with decent appetite, but I haven’t a hope of eating one of these monsters.

Originally posted on Ambitious Aimee:

A few months back my friend and I traveled 584km which would bring us to Nindigully Pub in Thallon, South-West Queensland (on the edge of the outback) to order and [attempt] to eat a 7kg burger. Now, this was smallest burger on the “big burger” menu.

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Going halves – preparing for the challenge of who can eat the most the fastest.

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Preparing for the challenge.

This may come as a shock, but Nindigully pub serve BIGGER burgers than this with their biggest weighing in at 24kg! After digging into the burger and sitting there for about an hour trying to finish it, I asked the owner “has anyone actually finished one of these buggers?” to which he replied “Yes!” According to him, one man has successfully won the supersize challenge.

IMG_0212

Challenge begins!

IMG_0216

Challenge ends :-(

Check out the below photos from the road-trip to our destination:

IMG_0151 The outbacks version of the “Eiffel…

View original 65 more words

That Stretch Of Road.

G’day

It’s been a long while since I’ve ridden the full 60km (37mi) stretch of winding black top between The Gap and “The T” at Splityard Dam.

As much as I love The Mt Nebo Road and the Northbrook Parkway, and even though I live not far from the mid-point, I tend to avoid it like the plague. I guess it’s because I can’t get out for a decent ride on a weekday when its quiet, and am restricted to weekends when tourists, boy racers and popo abound.

Instead I get my jollies dodging traffic, and trying my damnedest not to become a hood ornament for some pre-occupied cager on my way to and from work each day.

As luck would have it, I was rewarded with some mid-week R&R* last week, and took the opportunity to revisit That Stretch Of Road.

The G, Nebo, The Hill. Mention any of those names to a local biker and they will know exactly what you are talking about; Mt. Nebo, Mt. Glorious and the Brisbane Forest Park just west of Brisbane.

Local Area Map

Local Area Map

How do you get to this magnificent piece of road?

I’m glad you asked:

  1. From the city, you can head west along Waterworks Road to The Gap, it’s about a 10km (6mi) ride. When you get to The Gap, I recommend you fill up at the 7-11 on the corner of Waterworks and Settlement Road.Its the last servo* you’ll see for a while
  2. Alternatively, you can make your way out to Samford. Samford is at about the mid-point of the ride, from there you can continue to The Mt. Nebo Road and turn north to Splityard Dam then double back south through Mt nebo and on to The Gap. Again I recommend you fill up at the Caltex on the corner of Mt. Glorious and Mt Sampson roads before you head out.
  3. Or, you can come in from the north from Kilcoy/ Esk or Fernvale
The Map - Thank you Google

The Map – Thank you Google

I chose to head north from Dayboro out to Mt Mee and Kilcoy; from there its a nice ride south via Lake Somerset to Splityard Dam, through to The Gap and then back to Dayboro. I’ve posted snippets of some of the roads from Dayboro through to Kilcoy previously here and here, so I won’t go over them again.

Warning To All Riders

Warning To All Riders

The road from Splityard Dam south deserves some comment though.

Although speed limits along this road are posted at 50,  60 and 80km/h, (30, 37 and 50 mp/h) corners should be treated with respect, particularly when travelling through the rain-forest areas, as they are often covered in debris in your cornering line.

Other things to watch out for include wayward wild life and corners that split. That is, corners will have a high side and a low side with up to 1 metre (3 feet) between the two directions.

Sunset Over The Wivenhoe Dam

Sunset Over The Wivenhoe Dam

Scenic lookouts that have spectacular views over Brisbane city, the coastline, Samford Valley and out to the west are dotted along the route, with many having picnic & BBQ’s areas where you can laze away an hour or so with a picnic lunch.

Muster At The Maiala Rainforest Teahouse

Muster At The Maiala Rainforest Teahouse

The Maiala Rain-forest Tea-house is a popular meeting place for bikers and tourists, and is about halfway along the 60 km stretch. Be aware though that the area is heavily policed, so watch your speed. There are other restaurants, coffee shops, art and craft galleries along the route as well if that’s what floats your boat.

I can’t take credit for all of the photos, mine is the sunset over Wivenhoe Dam (above), the rest are used with permission. All hail Susan C (the most relaxed pillion I have ever met) for allowing me to use her happy snaps in this post.

Cheers

  • R&R: Rest and relaxation (believe it or not, no-one in my family know what R&R was… go figure.)
  • Servo: Service/ Petrol /Gas Station

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z

Hell On Wheelz

G’day

When the pillion and I were on our little junket in The Northern Rivers of NSW* a few weeks ago, we stumbled across what can only be described as some of the best road racing we’ve seen in a long time.

Some Discarded Relics

Some Discarded Relics

The population of Bangalow had swollen from a mere 2,000 to over 10,000 to watch 250 competitors take part in this 20th anniversary event. Even the main street was closed off to through traffic.

Everyone; race fans, onlookers, TV news, newspaper reporters and photographers, all of them had come from all over The Northern Rivers District to watch these racers strap themselves into what can only be described as engineering marvels.

Machines from the sleek and slipstream, to the down right dangerous, this was a day we won’t forget in a very long while.

What a sight!

Yep, we had stumbled across The Bangalow Billycart Derby. I’ll let the pictures tell the story from here.

More photos here

Cheers

  • NSW: New South Wales 
Staging

Staging

It's On!

It’s On!

Close Racing At It's Best

Close Racing At It’s Best

Love The Lid

Love The Lid

Such Aerodynamics...

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A-Ha! The Red Barron Flies Again.

A-Ha! The Red Barron Flies Again.

Um... O... K...

Um… O… K…

Don't cha Reckon There's An Air Of Confidence In This Chap?

Don’t cha Reckon There’s An Air Of Confidence In This Chap?

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