Well, The Pillion and I returned home to Brisbane from our little junket to the Western Suburbs of Sydney (Penrith) at 16:30 on Sunday. In all, we covered 2259km (1403 mi), much of it was done on the weekend of the 8th & 9th then the 15th & 16th for the return trip.
This trip was a dry run for a future trip we have planned for the early part of 2016, we learned a lot about our limits, packing, and travelling by bike in general.
Even though I have done some big day rides before, I’ve never started with a full tank and usually filled up somewhere along the way. This trip gave me the opportunity to find out how far I can get on a single 19 lt (5 gal) tank of gas.
Around town I get 240 km (150 mi) before the 6 lts (1.5 gal) remaining light starts flashing, and I usually top out at around 330 km (205 mi) for a 18 lts (4.7 gal).
On a trip like the one we just did, the light started flashing at 300 km (186 mi) and we got to around 390 km (242 mi) before the 1 lt (1/4 gal) light starts urging me to fill up. We only did this twice to try to get an average, the rest of the time We filled up soon after the 6 lt light started getting anxious.
On the Friday before we left I bought a Throttle Rocker, this turned out to be a brilliant investment. I don’t have cruise control and there is no way I could have ridden that far and held a steady speed for so long without it.
Yes, there are throttle locks available, but these don’t allow the throttle to return to the closed position in the event of an emergency, instead you have to push the throttle back to close it. The Throttle Rocker does not lock but rather relies on the position of your palm/ hand to hold a steady speed. This in turn allows you to wiggle you fingers and thumb to get any pain or numbness out, all the while maintaining a steady speed.
We found that we each can easily travel indefinitely with:-
- 3 shirts.
- 3 pairs of socks.
- 3 pairs of jocks (no not Scotsmen).
- 1 spare pair of jeans.
- 1 pair of shorts.
- 1 pair of runners.
- 1 pair of thongs (get your mind out of the gutter, I mean the things in the pic below! 😉 )
- Plus the clothes we were wearing.
- Plus all the stuff I listed in this post.
I used a set of soft panniers (or throw over saddle bags if you like) for the trip, and remain roundly unimpressed with their quality, I’ll write about this some other time. Suffice to say I’m now in the market for a set of hard case panniers.
Even though I wasn’t stopped for a chat with the local constabulary, I did discover that the NSW Blue Gang are sly when employing covert tactics to catch people doing the wrong thing.
Like the Holden Commodore driving erratically that was displaying a red “P” plate (usually displayed by first year drivers). It had red and blue angry lights up high in the back window, you’d be hard pressed to spot them at a casual glance.
We made a point of pulling up every 1-1/2 to 2 hours for a stretch and a drink. I had only a sheepskin between me and the bike and could have gone longer. Likewise, The Pillion was comfortable enough to go for a little longer sitting on her Air Hawke.
Alas when we hit a bumpy stretch of road it aggravated a tail bone injury The Pillion has, which transferred to her lower back and caused quite a bit of discomfort. In hind-sight we should have invested in some form of tail bone protection (shorts?) and kidney support belt for her.
On this note I’d be appreciative of some guidance from you if you know of a product or products that may help.
We have discovered that our bucket list is grossly inadequate and we’re working on rectifying this situation. I might even start a bucket list page.
Sadly there was one casualty on our trip.
We lost our Ipod Touch somewhere between Gloucester and Walcha on the way back. It didn’t bounce as well as advertised, and ended up in the scrub somewhere never to be seen again. Happily I took an Ipod Shuffle along as well, so there was only a short intermission with the tunes.
There’s so much more I’d like to tell you about our trip, but it’ll have to wait until next time.