I may have mentioned in passing that Western Australia is very big.
The longest ride in a day I have done here is the trip from Dongara to Katanning, about 700km in a long days ride of nine and three quarter hours. That took a half longer than the longest ride in a single day that I have ever done, which was in New Zealand, from my parents’ house in Whangarei, to my flat in Karori, Wellington, in 1977.
I was riding a 380 Suzuki GTS. A three cylinder, 6 gear 2 stroke with a lot of torque and a top speed around 160kph. The speed limit on the open road is 100kph. Almost a third of the distance covered was not open road and would have been 50, 70 or 80. Nonetheless I did the 820Km , supposedly 11 hour trip in nine hours fifteen minutes. It was winter, and the desert road was snow and ice. I rode it slowly with my feet down until I was clear. That was at least 40 km or more. It is this that makes the overall time taken on the trip so remarkable, and I admit, proves how very foolhardy I was. I made every possible mistake on that ride, except actually crashing.
I was underdressed and therefore cold. I was actually suffering hypothermia when I arrived home. I did not wear protective clothing except a helmet. I rode too fast. I did not take breaks, except at Waiouru after the icy stretch, where I stopped for coffee and to thaw my hands. The gloves I wore were ordinary leather driving gloves. I broke a finger near Matamata when a truck threw up a stone which struck my middle finger on my right hand. The accelerator hand. Bruised and swollen, I was in agony for a while, until I reached the desert road in fact, but numb thereafter. It was a week later that I actually learned I had broken the finger.
Why do I mention this? because I am planning a long ride to rival the one we completed earlier this year, and I am trying to bear in mind the wisdom contained in the aphorisms posted by my fellow rider and blogger that I reposted. I shall never ride that way again.
This ride is not going to be a hurried race around a circuit and home again, but an enjoyable and leisurely look at the country on and from a motorcycle. To that end it may pay to be just a tad less ambitious in the overall scope of the trip, given the time frame that is open to us.
Can anyone tell me why I definitely SHOULD include Port Hedland as a destination?
Take two? :