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View Full Version : 329km around Townsville...


Leon
18-06-2006, 02:08 PM
Woke up this morning, the weather was good, decided it was time to go for a bit of a Sunday morning dual-sport mission. Melissa wanted to sleep in, so off I went by myself.

First up I headed west to Herveys Range, to climb up onto the high country, where there are very few people and even less cars, and a lot of dirt.

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I chatted to a couple of guys on road bikes who were riding up and down the range. They seemed a bit intrigued that I could continue on and do a big loop, whereas they had no option but to go back over the bitumen back to town. On top of the range itself it was very cold, and very windy. The road was a reasonably pleasant straightish country road.

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Wasn't too long before I got onto the dirt. It was cool, clear and green up there. The road was pretty reasonable, and I did not see another human being for 70 glorious kilometres!

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On the way down this road I was getting a little bit concerned about the Fanning River crossing. Last time I came through in the late 90's I got a 4WD spectacularly bogged in the sand, rocks and deep fast water. No such worries today though, some considerate soul had installed a concrete causeway and grid bridge!

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After the river, the road surface turned to that polished hard mud that allows you to go Mach 3 with your hair on fire across the bush, stopping every now and again for a happy snap.

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I stopped briefly at Mingela, an old town that consists of an abandoned general store, an abaondoned service station and a pub. This photo shows the town in it's entirety. Unsurprisingly there was not much happening there on a Sunday morning so I pressed on down about 40km of undulating curving bitumen to Ravenswood.

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Ravenswood is a bizarre place. It was an 1800's gold rush town, that was huge then the population shrank. Today there is still a mine there, and heaps of heritage buildings, that people still use. The pubs are spectacular as well - great sandwiches there.

Here's a photo of a miners cottage that was supposedly built in 1868.

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And the church on the hill.

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Straight out of Ravenswood I was back on the dirt heading down back down the escarpment to the coastal area south of Townsville. On the way I stopped at White Blow, which is a big quartz outcrop in the middle of nowhere. I took an arty photo, ate a sandwich, then climbed to the top, then contunied on my way.

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Arriving at the steepest part of the escarpment, I found the trickiest bit had been tarred. So there is an insanely twisty sports bike road in the middle of nowhere! I shot down there, then followed the powerlines across the flat back down the the Burdekin River.

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Once back on the bitumen it was just a matter of cruising through the very straight roads of the cane country back into Townsville. It was a great way to spend the morning, and I arrived back in time to spend the afternoon drinking wine on the verandah. Life ain't too bad here!!

For you Google Earth / Mapsource enthusiasts, a .gpx track log of this trip can be downloaded from http://www.savefile.com/files/4063261

Leon

glitch
18-06-2006, 04:50 PM
Woke up this morning, the weather was good, decided it was time to go for a bit of a Sunday morning dual-sport mission.

And what a choice THAT turned out to be :D
Phew...you keep churning them out :D , and superb pics once again.
Thanks for another good read....and stuff filed away for later "use".

art_tas
24-06-2006, 08:09 AM
shame that you got it all to yourself - selfish!! I will send you a note about the route - it sounds really good - love those fast dirt strips that just suck you in like a gravel pipeline - that bike is looking way to clean you need to rough it up abit ;))

Dugite
25-06-2006, 10:53 AM
Hi Leon
Looks like a good ride. I was wondering what brand of panniers those are that you have on your bike & if there available locally, i'm just north of Bundy.

Dave

Dugite
25-06-2006, 10:53 AM
Hi Leon
Looks like a good ride. I was wondering what brand of panniers those are that you have on your bike & if there available locally, i'm just north of Bundy.

Dave

Leon
28-06-2006, 08:29 AM
Hi Leon
Looks like a good ride. I was wondering what brand of panniers those are that you have on your bike & if there available locally, i'm just north of Bundy.

Dave

Hi mate,

The boxes and mounting racks are made by Hepco & Becker. They are tough boxes that have been through a lot with me, and carry a lot f gear. I am a perticular fan of the top opening, so you can jam them chock full of stuff and they still close easily. And I just need to buy new racks for my next bike, as the boxes can be used on any bike.

I bought those boxes over the internet from a guy called Rick Trenemann who owns a company called Motorcycle Adventure Products in Brisbane. The price was good and they were in stock so they arrivd quickly.

Another option for Hepco & Becker, and a range of other high quality German motorcycle touring and performance products is a company called www.noRRus.net This business is run a by a friend of mine who is currently based in germany, and has excellent factory support and a quick turn around time. Check out his site he has some great stuff, especially the SW Motech and Bags Connection luggage range. I have an SW Motech Enduro tank bag for smaller trips and it is a fantastic little thing. From all the feedback I have been recieving (I do some distribution for his company), his service is excellent, and the quality and innovation of the products is fantatstic as well (my bike and another GS in town is kitted out with all his stuff as kind of a demo / test bike).

On another topic, some great DS roads down around where you are, and nice weather all year round - i'm envious :D

glitch
28-06-2006, 08:59 PM
Hi Leon
Looks like a good ride. I was wondering what brand of panniers those are that you have on your bike & if there available locally, i'm just north of Bundy.

Dave

Hi
can only support Leon's Hepco/ Becker recommendations.
Good stuff, been around for a long time, often as re-badged Guzzi/ Triumph etc OEM luggage. Hepco also owns Krauser, another well-known German brand and the key OEM supplier to BMW and others in the past.

Recently got onto a set of Hepco Gobi panniers. Look like aluminium, but are a double-skinned plastic with a 3.5 liter water-reservoir between the skins, accessible via a small tap. They're heavier than the alu-boxes, make great camping seats/ step-ladders etc. and are also top-loaders with a lever to keep the lid open when needed.
Generally, plastic is less prone to dents and survive smaller mishaps in better condition than alu... the alu can bent/crush and then leak.
Alu also means oxidiziation, staining clothes/ sleeping bags etc., plastic doesn't.
But again, they weight more.

Goodie lost (not properly clipped-on) a Hepco Junior 40 liter pannier while in NZ at close enough to 100kmh, it bounced on the tar a few times, then the dirt before disappearing down an embankment to be finally caught by a barbed wire fence.
Retrieval was a job in itself....apart from some scratches the thing is still fully intact now, didn't bust open during the mis-treatment, everything's still square and plumb.... and it's seen plenty more action since then.

As Leon said...a decent pannier is something that goes from bike to bike and Hepco is one of the very few manufacturers that is always quick with having the hardware ready for new-model bikes.....so we can all keep using the same panniers for a long time.
Here's their website
http://www.hepco-becker.de/_eng/frameset.php

Most of the SW-Motech stuff seems to have the same reputation, but apart from the new-to-me Cliplock rack-system we just bought for the project-Strom I haven't seen much of their stuff "in-the-flesh".

glitch
28-06-2006, 09:11 PM
I bought those boxes over the internet from a guy called Rick Trenemann who owns a company called Motorcycle Adventure Products in Brisbane. The price was good and they were in stock so they arrivd quickly.


You were lucky then....I gave up after various emails without replies.
Jo (on the road with Nev at the moment) had very similar experiences :(

Dugite
29-06-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks guys put those couple of sites in my favorites for further inspection. Iv'e got plenty of time for browsing over the next few weeks as iv'e just had surgery on my right wrist (no i didn't fall of the bike) :) so no riding for a little while.

Cheers Dave

Leon
29-06-2006, 09:03 PM
Most of the SW-Motech stuff seems to have the same reputation, but apart from the new-to-me Cliplock rack-system we just bought for the project-Strom I haven't seen much of their stuff "in-the-flesh".

I have seen a fair bit of the SW Motech stuff through my mate who owns noRRus, I have a fair bit of it on the bikes, and a fair few of the products sitting in my back room, and I have to say it is fantastic. Very innovative products especially for touring motorcycles. Their quick release tank bag system I reckon is one of the best ideas I have seen for a very long time. For sure check them out, they are worth the money, and as they are still a pretty new brand in Australia, the price is very reasonable.