I just read through all 4 pages of this epic first ride journal, wow, what an adventure! I cringed when I read about the two "get off's", and other than the electrical gremlins, this seems as if it has been a fantastic journey. Plus, my daughter is in Australia right now working with Youth With A Mission, so I get to read and see pics from her's and yours, 2 completely different adventures! Cheers
Because the bike is playing up I word my sister up that I am coming and will let her know when I pass trough Ravensthorpe. I get mobile at around 08:00 a record for me on this trip. It is already 26C. I head off to Ravensthorpe and the plan is to then head up to Hyden where my sister owns the bakery. Bastard wind is back again. The bike is running perfect again. As I leave Esperance I spy some of the islands in the bay and it's a bit of a wtf? I did not know there were islands here. Will have to go back and check the place out properly one day.
I head out the highway
As I travel the earlier part of this leg to Ravensthorpe, I feel the reason I am out here weigh heavily on me. I don't know if it is the fact that I will be home tonight and the trip is almost over or being close to home and relaxing a little about the bike playing up but I suspect it is because when I get home my wife will still be absent and I must go back to going on without her. I had to rush the trip as there was a posthumous birthday for her on the weekend, the first without her. Suffice to say, the road got a little blurry for a while on this leg of the trip but there was little traffic and I pushed on through the rough spot.
192k's later I arrive at Ravensthorpe, a reasonably sized little town and fuel up here.
Temp is 32C as I go in to pay for the petrol and get some breakfast ( a particularly greasy unappertising chiko roll ). There is no Optus coverage here dammit, guess I can't tell my sister I am leaving Ravensthorpe. I am inside only 5 mins and the temp is now 33C. I am expecting trouble when the temp gets up to 37C so I launch and head out of town.
I turn right about 10 k's out of town and head for the place where the forecast is for 42C but that is where my sister is. The wind is blustery but not as bad as crossing the Nullarbor and there a a few of these grain road trains to pass, which the Capo does with eminently satisfactory power and grace.
As I travel through lake king and further on the temp slowly rises until the magic number 37 appears on the temp readout and I am waiting for the trouble to begin. About 15 mins later the bike starts to miss and I still have about 60k's to go to Hyden. The problem worsens until it cuts out but instead of grabbing the clutch like yesterday I let it run down and it fires up again and keeps on spluttering every few seconds.
I am passing through here as the bike is farting and carrying on and I'm thinking don't you die on me here, it's 38C and no shade.
I struggle on and eventually Hyden appears down the road.
I cruise into town and begin looking for the Bakery that my sister owns. After cruising past I eventually find it and go inside for some eats and drinks. ( and my first soy flat white since Whyalla )
After raiding the bakery for sustenance I retire to her house to have a kip through the heat of the day.
I wake up about 14:00 and talk to the brother in law Phil who drives a truck running freight between Hyden and Perth. He is about to start his run so my sister comes home, kits him out with vittles for the night and he departs as we do for the bakery. It is still reading 40C on the bike's temp readout, so I stooge around in the Bakery for a while until around 16:30. I figure as the reatrds that run our state required me to get a 48hr permit to ride the bike on WA roads I need to be back in Perth tonight. I need to leave and it is still 39C so I resolve to go and take the stops that may be enforced on me by the bike's issues as I do not want to ride too long in the dark due to wild life.
I fuel up at this unattended station with an eftpos style machine to debit your card the correct amount.
I head out and 10 mins later the temp readout is saying 40C. I continue on waiting for the roblems to reoccur but the bike does not faulter. Now I am a little confused, but not looking gift horses in the mouth so I plow on. The temp should drop as I approach perth as the next major town , Corrigin, had a forecast max 3C lower than Hyden.
I pass through kondinin and the temp is down to 39C, still no trouble, go figure?
I head on to Corrigin and the temp drops to 38C, still no trouble and I fuel up so that now I can reach home from here with the one tank.
I launch out of Corrigin and take the RH turn to Quairading as suggested Phil as there may be less roos this way.
more wheat belt country
somehwere along here the temp dropeed to 37C and the bike started to give a hesitation or 2 for a couple of minutes and I'm thining, "here we go" but 5 mins later the temp hits 36 and no more issues then a short time later (10 to 15 mins) 35C and tfrom here the temp drops down to around 30 by the time I reach York. It is also now dusk as I enter York. I miss another turn and go a couple of K's out of my way then back track and head for Perth 96k's away.
The worry now is roos, but the headlights on the Capo are as good as any car I have driven and better than a most cars I have owned. Lot's of sweepers on the way to the great eastern highway and eventually Perth comes into view.
You have to imagine it's dark.
I cruise down through midland and on home and the trip is done.
Did I achieve anything from this sojourn?
I saw a lot of Australia although at speed, met some good people, did something that was quite daunting for me but the fact that it scared me a little was one of the reasons I did it. Maybe it was a little of me telling the universe to go screw itself for what it had done and I will not go on as though nothing has changed, work - home -- work etc. Dunno, it did not lessen my anger at how my wife was tortured to death but it gave me something to do each day without having to think much about anything but heading down the highway, for 2 weeks at least. I decided to do this on a Wednesday and left the next evening, my job did not matter as my life had become aimless and getting out of bed seemed pointless and harder each day. The trip seemed to take some of the pressure off, no deadlines or must do's, wherever I was when the days travel ended was where I would be for the night even if I had to sleep under a tree. I wish I had longer but to honour what our friends were doing in memory of their lost friend and my lost love, I had to miss a lot of what I would like to have seen but there is always next time. There will be a next time, this trip has awoken the desire to do it again but better next time as by then I should be able to better appreciate the scenery and experience.
I know my wife would have approved my doing this as she knew I always intended to get back into bikes and so told me to buy the Falco as a 50th present from her. We both knew that it was part farewell gift as well so the Capo will always play second fiddle but will be the one I do the long trips on.
I memmory of Andrea Kneebone (nee Herrmann) 27/02/1961 - 29/03/2011 RIP my love, this planet sucks without you but when I ride it sucks a little less.
I enjoyed reading about the whole trip but am very moved by your last entry. I feel very sorry for the loss of your wife. Losing a loved one will throw a stone on your back for the rest of your earthly existence. One day it will bring you to your knees, the other day you'll have the strenght to stand up straight and feel the sun on your face.
I wish you many days of sunshine.
Preparing for hibernation, yes I know.....
Tomkn, your last post breaks my heart. I too really enjoyed reading about this epic journey, you obviously had a very different reason for doing it than most of us will ever understand. I want to raise my glass to you and say "good on ya, cheers". So here is to you, your trip, and your lovely brides memory, I wish you many blessings and many future incredible adventures on your mighty Capo!
Tom - well done on an epic ride & great report: none of us knew the story behind it, but I'm sure you've had people around the world reading your every word. You have many new friends now - they're just strangers you haven't met yet. Next job is to find out why the darn thing cuts out when it's hot - mine doesn't do that!
Be well - when in Melbourne, mi casa, su casa.
I'd like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.
The appropriate number of cylinders for any motorcycle is two.
Only one word for it AWESOME.
My heart felt thanks to you gentlemen for your kind words and wishes. Caporoberto I can only echo Steve's sentiments on your words, beautifully expressed and poignantly true.
Steve, thanks for the offer, I may get there yet as the Great Ocean Road was on my todo list and still is.
I will raise another thread to get ideas on the cutting out issue.
Just to tell you how much I enjoyed your trip.
Was shocked when I realized the motivation for it!
So, so sorry.
My name is Dave,
bike's name is Black Betty.
When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then.
Caponord - Douglas Dragonfly - 1942 Harley back again
Pegaso - Matchless G3LS - BSA A7SS - 1942 Harley - Matchless G80/600cc - Matchless G3LS - BSA C15 - Velocette