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Sitdownman

2020 Tenere Tragics Gold Rush Run

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Sitdownman

Link to photo Album https://sitdownman.smugmug.com/Tenere-Tragics-2020-Gold-Rush-Run

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This would be the 10th anniversary of the Tenere Tragics and I was looking forward to it having pre-ordered my new Tenere 700 after the 2019 High Plains Run and receiving it just before Christmas so this would be its first true test.

Prior to having picked up the bike I has a number of accessories already on hand or on order and in the last week leading up to the ride I finally finished setting it up.

I had ordered the new Tenere 700 in Power Black and optioned it with the following genuine Yamaha parts from our local Yamaha dealer Centretune Motorcycles - the dealer principal Rod Faggotter, who as well as being a friend, is an Australian Safari and Dakar Rally legend and truly Tragic supporter as well as special guest.

·        Akropovic Exhaust

·        Centre Stand

·        Crash Bars

·        Upper spot/fog light brackets

·        Radiator Guard

In addition to this I added the following aftermarkets parts:

GB Racing

·        Clutch and engine case protection

Resin 4 bikes

·        Fairing sticker

Alltrex

·        Skinz Invisible Glass Headlight Protection Film

T7 Rally

·        Screen protector

·        tail tidy

·        side stand delete switch

·        Fork protector stickers

Off The Road

·        Billet adjustable clutch and brake lever

·        LED rear blinker/taillight/brake light combo

·        frame caps

·        LED front blinkers and adapter plates

·        LED flasher relay

·        Ermax tall screen

·        OTR rear rack

Longreach Auto Electrics

·        11” Slim line LED light bar

·        Anderson plug

·        All electrical work and fitting of the tail tidy

Centretune Motorcycles

·        Barkbuster hand guards together with DRL and LED Blinkers

·        Racetech .65kg front springs

·        Racetech 8.6kg Rear Spring

·        Anakee Wild rear tyre

·        Mitas MC 23 front tyre

·        First service + grease suspension linkages and head bearings, fit and balance tyres

For my luggage options I went with a Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag and an RJays Rear Rack Bag which was mounted on the OTR Rack by the addition of a bolt on “Hoop”

Joining me on the ride to the event would be a fellow tragic Francis from Burketown aboard his fully decked out 2009 model XT660Z.

Francis arrived Thursday the 20/2/20 and we spent the night catching up and finalising our route as there had been rain along the way. Friday while I was at work Francis busied himself in my shed fitting a new rear tyre to his bike as had had got the most out of his existing rear on the 900kms from his home.

That night we made the final preparations to our bikes and headed to bed early to get a good nights sleep.

 

Day 1 Saturday 22/2/20 Longreach Qld - Innaminka SA           

Total Distance traveled 866kms (Francis did an extra 180) 

Opening Odometer 962

 

At 7.00am we departed Longreach on our first leg of the journey taking the Longreach - Tocal dirt road through to Stonhenge where we encountered a couple of water crossings the last showing .4M on the indicator post. We both made it through OK but our boots where then wet for the rest of the day.

On the road out of Stonehenge we stopped to take a photo with the minions that stand at the entrance to the Champion Contracting gravel crushing site.

Refueling at Jundah we crossed the flowing waters of the mighty Barcoo River and followed the road to Windorah via retreat as it was a more enjoyable ride on the dirt and we got to cross the Cooper Creek.

The Cooper Creek (formerly Cooper's Creek) is one of the most famous rivers in Australia because it was the site of the death of the explorers Burke and Wills in 1861.

The creek starts west of the Great Dividing Range as two rivers, the Thomson from near Longreach and Charters Towers, and the Barcoo in the area around Barcaldine.

Cooper Creek spreads out into a vast area of channels, making its way south into the far south-west corner of Queensland before turning west into South Australia towards Lake Eyre. In most years, the water soaks into the earth, fills channels and waterholes, or simply evaporates without reaching Lake Eyre. In very wet years, however, it can flood the entire Channel Country and reach Lake Eyre after flowing through the Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert and the Tirari Desert. Although the Cooper carries much more water than the Diamantina and the Georgina, it does not flow into Lake Eyre as often as those rivers. One reason is that much more water is lost than with the Diamantina or Georgina. During a flood Cooper Creek may be as wide as 40 kilometres.

At Windorah we topped up the tanks and filled the 12 litre bladder that I was carrying in preparation for the next leg which I had calculated would be 453 kms between fuel stops.

Stopping only briefly at the “Hole in the Hill” we continued on to the turn off at around 115kms that would guide us towards Cameron Corner where we had planned to camp for the night. It was here that I made a mistake with the fuel and decided that to lighten the load I would top up mine and Francis tanks from the bladder. This was to prove my undoing later…

Getting into Haddon Corner was not as easy as I had thought and the two dunes leading up to it tested my sand riding to the limit and had me paddling like a duck a number of times. The second dune caught Francis out and just over the crest he dropped his bike as it the front end tucked in. Leaving my bike (and camera unfortunately/fortunately for Francis) at the bottom I walked up to give Francis a hand to lift his bike.

When we got to the corner we took the obligatory photos and signed in the visitors book – we were the first to visit in 2020 and I could lay claim to being the First Tenere 700!

 

Haddon Corner, marked in 1880 during the official survey of the western section of the border between Queensland and South Australia undertaken in 1879-1880, defines the north-eastern corner between Queensland and South Australia. Its marking was a surveying feat of its time.

We soon realised that camping was NOT a palatable option as it there was no shade anywhere in sight as we were standing in the desert where it was HOT to say the least. As it had only just gone 2.30pm we decided we would push on to Innaminka instead.

The roads we were travelling were a mixture of hard packed sand and bull dust interspersed with stretches of mud rock but for the most part the terrain was barren desert with a hot wind fairly blowing us around on the bikes and creating huge dust clouds that stayed in the air as far as you could see.

 

These conditions as well as our good average speed contributed to us using more fuel than we had planned but it a major miscalculation on my part that saw my bike splutter to a stop at approximately 5.00pm - still 90 kms short of Innaminka.

Leaving me on the side of the road but taking my bladder with him Francis continued on to Innaminka. *As luck would have it the Innaminka Trading Post and only fuel outlet had closed for the night but fortunately the owner was sitting at the bar of the Innaminka Hotel next door and kindly reopened allowing Francis to fill up his bike and the bladder.

In the meantime I had little to do but chase the flies away and contemplate life tossing up as it got darker whether I should set up camp for the night in case Francis couldn’t get back until morning. I was just dozing off when I hear the sound of a bike and saw a light coming along the road through the darkness.

I quickly got up and switched on the bike so Francis could see the running lights.

We refueled my bike and shared a garlic bread that one of the locals at the Hotel had given Francis. We then started the journey back to the Innamnka Hotel riding side by side on the road so we could maximize the light output from the bikes. I had fortunately fitted an LED Light Bar and this proved to be a god send matched with the LED lights of the Tenere as we made our way through the darkness.

*Reaching the Innaminka Hotel at 9.15pm 99.45pm South Australian time) the publicans were still up and although they had closed kindly reopened and cooked us a some toasted sandwiches which we washed down with a couple of beers. We also took advantage of the rooms that they had available and booked a twin room for the night. Apparently there were some funny looks when I mistakenly asked for a “double” room however the publican obviously understood me as we were escorted to a twin room in their motel style accommodation out the back.

*The owners /managers at the Innaminka Trading Post and Innaminka Hotel showed what true county hospitality is all about and I made sure to mention this when I reviewed their businesses on Facebook later in the week.

 

Day 2 Sunday 23/2/20 Innaminka SA – Tibooburra NSW       

Total Distance traveled 431 kms

Before leaving we took the opportunity to explore the area - viewing some of the history of the former Innaminka township and the engine of a crashed Beafighter.

Refuelling at the Trading post we headed off along the old Strzeleki Track which would take us through the Moomba gas and oil fields to Cameron Corner. We stopped along the way at the site of a Blue Tree and the Warumpi Oil Well. Perhaps the tree had been painted blue as part of a “Blue Hope” charity event that had passed through??

It was along this stretch that I hit a grid that had a proud lip and managed to flat spot the front rim on both sides. I was sure that when I hit I would have copped a pinch flat but the tyre remained up so the 26 PSI in the tube must have helped.

 

At the Cameron Corner store we ate lunch and refuelled before taking photos of the actual surveyors post that indicates the point in the outback of eastern Australia where the boundary lines of the states of Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales meet.

 

Heeding the advice from the manager at the Cameron Corner Store we didn’t take the road beside the fence but took a slightly different route which still took us through the Sturt National Park and on to Tibooburra where we pulled up for the night getting a room in the motel where we were the only occupants. We walked to the Tibooburra Hotel for tea and shared a pizza and had a couple of beers. From when we arrived to when we left we only saw one car actually drive past. In fact apart from the mining vehicles we saw as we passed through the oil and gas fields we had only seen 3 cars this whole trip. The outback at this time of year can be a lonely place!!

 

Day 3 Monday 24/2/20 Tibooburra NSW – Menindee NSW    

Total Distance traveled 565 kms

This morning we headed east towards Wanaaring before turning south and making our way to White Cliffs. It was along this stretch that I decided I would test out the fuel range of the new bike and was surprised when the fuel warning light started to flash at 211kms and at 283kms the bike came to a stop. Admittedly we were loaded up had been maintaining a good average speed of 100 even on the dirt so the average fuel consumption of 5.7L/100km should not have been a shock but it highlights the need to factor this in when planning any trips. This time there had been no miscalculation on my part and I simply refulled from my bladder before continuing on to White Cliffs.

 

From White Cliffs we followed the Opal Miners way into Wilcannia and then the southern road to Menindee.

At Menindee Francis, who had been concerned at a rattle that had developed in his motor from idle to about 2500 rpm, believed it had got worse. His thoughts were that it could be a main bearing or the counter balance shaft nut – in either case there was no easy fix out here in the middle of no where and he was reluctant to go on and perhaps do further damage and/or break down between towns. It was time for RACQ to be tasked with the rescue and arrangements were made for a tow truck to be dispatched form Broken Hill to pick Francis and his bike up and take them back to Broken Hill where an RACQ mechanic would make a decision on the extent of the breakdown.

In the meantime I had booked a room for the night at the Maidens Hotel and was in conversation with our mate Andy who was leaving Longreach also on his way to the 2020 Gold Rush Run.

When I explained what had happened to Francis’s bike Andy immediately offered Francis his 1200 Super Tenere to ride for the week. With only a few seconds to make up his mind Francis agreed so Andy loaded the Super Ten on his bike trailer and together with his own (XT660Z) and Richards (Tenere 700) on the back of his dual cab cruiser headed off towards Lorne in Victoria where we would meet for the start of the ride.

Whilst having tea the tow truck arrived so Francis and his bike departed for Broken Hill and I called it a night.

Day 4 Tuesday 25/2/20 Menindee NSW – Mildura NSW         

Total Distance traveled 429 kms

Leaving Menindee I decided I would ride through the Kinchega National Park where I rode the River Drive which runs beside the famous Darling River and visited the site of the old Kinchega Homestead and the historic 62 stand Kinchega Woolshed originally built in the 1870s.

From there it was onto Pooncarrie then the High Darling Road through Wentworth and on to Mildura where I booked into a cabin at the Buronga Riverside Park for just $50 for the night.

Somewhere along this section I managed to hit a rock which provided another flat spot in the front rim.

I cleaned up and after putting on the washing went for a ride in Mildura looking for attractions which I might visit tomorrow. Top of the list would be the Holden Museum and perhaps a cruise on one of the many paddle steamers that were operating.

After tea at the Mildura RSL I caught up with Francis via phone and found out that RACQ had confirmed that his bike could not be repaired within their time frames so they would be transporting it to Brisbane (at Francis request). RACQ would also cover a portion of his costs to return home following the ride so he had arranged to bus it from Broken Hill to Ballarat and from there make his way to Lorne for the start. As there was no direct bus service to Ballarat from Broken Hill he would have to stop over in Mildura for 11 hrs so I offered for him to bring his gear to the cabin and we would spend that day in Mildura doing the tourist thing as I had already decided to stay on another night anyway.

Day 5 Wednesday 26/2/20 Mildura NSW

Local travel as we did the “tourist thing”      

Once Francis arrived via taxi from the bus stop we packed away his gear and then he jumped on the back and we made our way to the Holden Museum.

“Closed for quarterly stock rotation” – how unlucky could we get – the Holden Museum was closed from 25/2/20 until 27/2/20.

Despite this set back we rode around to a spot I had seen last night and visited the Mildura Station Homestead.

The Old Mildura Station Homestead is a reconstruction of Mildura Station, which was established here by the Jamieson brothers in 1847 as pastoral lease. The homestead tells the story of the Chaffey family's early domestic and business life in Mildura. It was used not only as their first family home in the area, but also by George Chaffey as the headquarters of Chaffey Brothers Ltd.

The site of the original homestead is 100 metres upstream. It was demolished in 1923 after falling into disrepair, but the homestead's significance to Mildura's history and community prompted RR Etherington and AR Mansell of the Mildura & District Historical Society to begin advocating for its reconstruction during the mid-1970s. With support from the Mildura City Council, a specially-formed Building Committee built the cottage, woolshed and grounds to match the original homestead and its location as closely as possible. The Old Mildura Station Homestead officially re-opened on 21 November 1984. One of the original building's red gum slabs was salvaged and is now kept at Rio Vista House.

The homestead is a time capsule of the past, with a riverboat display, rose garden, woolshed, cottage and implements and machinery. The building that houses the riverboat display was originally the Merbein Girl Guide and Brownie Hut.

After viewing the history of the homestead we decided we would book a river cruise on none other than the famous Rothbury which we had just read about.

The Paddle Steamer Rothbury was built in 1881 at Gunbower, Victoria on the Murray River. Built as a large and powerful tow boat, employed in towing barges for the wool and logging trade. She was well known even then, to be one of the fastest tow boats on the Murray-Darling River System.

While we waited for the cruise we took the opportunity to grab a drink and something to eat at a nearby mobile food business which overlooked the river and park area.

The 2 hour cruise took provided an informative and comprehensive live commentary of the river and its history, fauna and flora. A unique feature of the cruise was travelling downstream through Lock 11, which was built to bypass the weir across the river. We got to experience the workings of a lock as the Rothbury was lowered to the downstream level and raised again on the return journey.

We had tea at the nearby Tavern then it was time for Francis to go. I would catch up with him the following day in Ballarat where we would be staying with his sister in law Leanne and husband Ian.

Day 6 Thursday 27/2/20 Mildura NSW – Ballarat Vic

Total Distance traveled 429 kms

Leaving Mildura I checked the temperature and it was a brisk 11 degrees and I regretted not donning my thermal top as I made my way towards Ballarat via the Sunraysia Highway to Ouyen then on to Birchip, and St Arnaud. For the rest of the trip until I was back in the warmer Qld weather I made sure that I was prepared and donned my thermals or at least the top most days.

Finding my way to Leanne and Ians was relatively easy as I had punched in the address into google maps and was simply following the directions displayed on my Samsung Tab Active which I have ram mounted on the left handlebar. Its 8” screen is large enough that I don’t have to squint to see it.

That night we had tea at the local golf club after which we looked at options for Francis to get to Lorne. Whilst there was public transport available it would be a 4.5 – 5 hr journey so instead we decided I would double him there which by bike would only be a couple of hrs. This meant leaving his gear and my camping gear behind but we could come back and pick it up tomorrow.

Day 7 Friday 28/2/20 Ballarat Vic – Lorne Vic

Total Distance traveled 255 kms

First order of business for today was to clean my bike in preparation for my visit to B & B engineering where I would be getting my new bash plate fitted. This had been arranged in the lead up to the ride as they had been frantically developing the design once the new bikes had become available.

It was drizzling rain when I rode off but the car wash was not that far away so I was soon back and it had cleared slightly when it was time to go to B & B. Ian knew where B & B was so I followed him and was soon at B & B talking with Gareth who was going to fit the bash plate. Arrangement were made to leave it with him for an hour or so, so Francis and I enjoyed a guided tour of the local area by Ian.

Once we were back at B & B we paused to get some photos of the new black bash plate so that they could use for promotion as this was the first to be fitted to a Tenere 700. Another first for my bike!

After a bite to eat for lunch Francis and I rode two up taking the back roads into Lorne which provided some great views and riding and avoided most of the traffic.

After checking in at the Mantra Lorne we caught up with Andy who had already arrived and helped unload the bikes. Richard arrived not long after and was soon on his way back to Geelong where he was staying with friends and where we would meet him tomorrow.

Day 8 Saturday 29/2/20 Lorne Vic – Ballarat – Geelong - Lorne

Total Distance traveled 383 kms

Today Francis and I headed back to Ballarat so we could pick up our gear that we had left behind. After collecting our gear we then travelled to Geelong where we met up with Richard at his mates place. The three of us then headed to fellow tragic Beaks place to check out his man cave.

When we arrived there was a number of tragics already there and I had no sooner stepped off the bike and shaking hands with one of them when I turned around to see my bike toppling off the side stand. What an entrance!!! The bike was quickly righted and there was no damage aside from a scratch on the Yamaha crash guards – so they had done their job. After securing the bike properly we looked around Beaks and marveled at his collection of memorabilia and bikes some of which was from his racing days including the original Wynns Australia Safari back in the 80s.

After leaving Beaks it was a straight forward run back to Lorne for Francis and I whilst Richard returned to Geelong.

 

Day 9 Sunday 1/3/20 Lorne Vic

Local travel as we did the “tourist thing”      

Neither Any, Francis or myself had registered for Stephen Galls Skills session so whilst other tragics attended that we washed our bikes and then took in the sights around Lorne including the Split Point Light House and lookout at Aireys Inlet.

Originally called Eagles Nest Point, the lighthouse was constructed in 1891. For 27 years, three lighthouse keepers worked at this remote location, ensuring the light was operating well and communicating with ships via a number of code systems. The lighthouse still has its original construction with a wonderful staircase and timber fittings. The lantern still operates having had more than three different light sources over its history. The tower was converted to automatic operation in 1919. The keepers' cottages and stables form an intrinsic part of the lighthouse precinct.

We also stopped briefly at the Great Ocean Road sign to take some photographs of the bikes. The last time I was here on a bike I was aboard my old 99 Tenere after the 2016 Tenere Tragics.

Back at the Mantra we checked in with Cubby and Tania and received our welcome pack, lanyard, shirts etc as well as our route sheets for tomorrow.

We were also on hand when the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy race team transporter unloaded some of its cargo including some classic Dakar race replica Teneres and CDR race bikes as well as my old bike. It was great meet the new owner Grant who had purchased this from me back in May 2019 and was looking forward to his first Tragics ride.

That night after the traditional photo shoot we had the welcome dinner where we met a couple of our celebrity guests including TV Host and Gold Logie winner - Grant Denyer and four-time Mr. Motocross champion now Manager of CDR Racing - Craig Dack.

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Day 10 Monday 2/3/20 Lorne Vic – Portland via Port Campbell, Nullawarre and Port Fairy

Total Distance traveled 393 kms

Todays route took us through the Otway forests then along the Great Ocean Road which must be seen to be believed. I have visited here twice before by bike and by car and am still in awe of its natural beauty.

The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world's largest war memorial

The road is considered a tourist attraction in the area, in which much of the road hugs coastline affectionately known as the Surf Coast, between Torquay and Cape Otway, and the Shipwreck Coast further west of Cape Otway, providing visibility of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. The road traverses rainforests, as well as beaches and cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone, which is susceptible to erosion.The road travels via Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell, the latter being notable for its natural limestone and sandstone rock formations including Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Arch (formerly London Bridge) and The Twelve Apostles.

During the ride I managed to twice come across Henry roads so could not resist taking a photo each time.

A somber reminder to the dangers we face as riders was the news that one of our own was in Hospital in Melbourne with a fractured femur following an altercation with a car.

At the Tragics Q & A session we got to learn a little more about the life of Grant Denyer who as well as being a Gold Logie winner has 5 World records and has made a name for himself in motorsport in fact turning down an opportunity to become a professional race driver to pursue his TV career.

 


Grant Denyer has been around for a number of years, well known for his popular roles as a weather man, TV presenter, Dare Devil and Racing Car Driver

Day 11 Tuesday 3/3/20 Portland Viv – Robe SA via Nelson, Millicent and Beachport

Total Distance traveled 429 kms

Day 2 of the event saw a mixture of forestry roads through the pine plantations, back roads which were mostly gravel and took in the scenic road into Beachport. It was on one of the first sections for the morning Andy and Francis stopped to help a fellow rider with a flat rear tyre which took up bit of time. We re-joined as a group at the next Zero point where Richard and I were waiting and continued on.

During the ride we managed to find a few lookouts, another light house and probably one of the most impressive feats in engineering history - Woakwine Cutting.

Its name is derived from an Aboriginal word that means bent arm or elbow; referring to the shape of the large watercourse located near the Woakwine homestead.

The project, which started in May 1957 and took three years to complete, was done singlehandedly by two men named Murray McCourt and Dick MacIntyre. They used a D7 tractor for cutting through the range with the intention of draining swampland and turning it into a fertile horticultural and farming land.

The cutting is 1-kilometre long and reaches up to 28.34 metres deep. Its width at the bottom is just 3 meters, while it’s 36.57 meters wide on top. It’s estimated that 276,000 cubic metres of material was successfully removed with the tractor in 5,000 hours.

After checking in Richard and I rode around Robe looking at its sights including the Marina where I was fortunate to film a playful seal performing tricks etc for a couple of fishermen and their children who had been feeding the seal their bait.   

That nights Q & A we took a glimpse into the lives of four time Mr. Motocross champion Craig Dack now manager of one of the most successful MX Race Teams CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team and Gary Benn the CDR Technical Manager.

 

CDR-Yamaha-Monster-Energy-Team-Logos.jpg

OUR HISTORYCDR YAMAHA MONSTER ENERGY TEAMStarting in 1992, CDR Yamaha have set the benchmark for professional motocross teams in Australia and will continue to elevate the standard in 2018 as they embark on another busy racing season.The...

Day 12 Wednesday 4/3/20 Robe SA – Hamilton Vic via Bordertown and Casterton

Total Distance traveled 437 kms

After breakfast at the Robe bakery we set off on some extremely fast sections of white gravel roads that took us through farmland between the towns of Bordertown and Casterton until we reached our final destination for Day 3 – Hamilton. The distance between bakery stops today was covered very quickly indeed as some riders stretched the legs of their Teneres.

 

Day 13 Thursday 5/3/20 Hamilton Vic – Shepparton via Halls Gap, St Arnuad and Elmore

Total Distance traveled 485 kms

The penultimate day of the ride started out with bleak dismal conditions and rain overnight meant that the dirt section through the top of the Grampions had to be cancelled. Some highlights for today was Silverband Falls and Lake Bellfield.

Rocket Rod Faggotter who is an Australian Safari and Dakar Rally legend and home town boy was in tonights Q & A Hot Seat at the Shepparton RSL. He provided Tragics an insight into his Dakar performance this year as a privateer where he finished top 20’s most stages with a career best of 6th in stage 10 for a career best of 13th overall.

https://www.facebook.com/RodsDakarRally/

Day 14 Friday 6/3/20 Shepparton Vic – Ballarat Vic via Alexandra, Wandong and Gisborne

Total Distance traveled 443 kms

The final day ride through Lake Eildon National Park provided Tragics with some great adventure riding roads as well as some great views as we wound our way to Ballarat where our ride would finish at Sovereign Hill.

Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum in Golden Point, a suburb of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Sovereign Hill depicts Ballarat's first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851. It was officially opened on 29 November 1970 and has become a nationally acclaimed tourist attraction. It is one of Victoria's most popular attractions and Ballarat's most famous.

Set in the Australian 1850s, the complex is located on a 25-hectare site that is linked to the richest alluvial gold rush in the world. The site comprises over 60 historically recreated buildings, with costumed staff and volunteers, who are able to answer questions and will pose for photos. The recreation is completed with antiques, artwork, books and papers, machinery, livestock and animals, carriages, and devices all appropriate to the era.

Dinner that night would be in one of these historic buildings with the farewell photo taken in front of the Charlie Napier Hotel.

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Special guest for the final dinner and awards ceremony was Global Yamaha Tenere 700 ambassador Nick Sanders who is in Australia as part of his journey to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle  for his 8th time– this time on a Tenere 700.

Nicholas Mark Sanders MBE (born 1958) is a British bicyclist, motorcyclist and author noted for his long-distance riding and has ridden around the world seven times.

In 1992 he rode around the world on a Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle.[1]

On 9 June 1997, Sanders completed a world record 19,930-mile (32,070 km) motorbike circumnavigation of the world in a record riding time of 31 days 20 hours on a Triumph Daytona.

In 2005 Sanders completed a 2nd circumnavigation by motorbike taking 19 days 4 hours on a Yamaha R1.

In the summer of 2011, Sanders became the first person to ride from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and back in under 49 days, 17 hours, a ride he completed on a Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré. The first leg of the trip was completed in 21 days, just a few hours short of Dick Fisher's record ride and easily outpacing the Guinness World Record of 35 days, currently held by Globebusters' Kevin and Julia Sanders.

Sanders normally eschews the dual-sport motorcycles traditionally employed for these type of journeys in favour of Yamaha Motor Company's flagship sport bike, the R1.

Sanders has taken groups of riders around the world, as well as Europe and the USA. He has also organised semi competitive road events in the UK. He has made films and written books about his journeys.

In 1981 Sanders set the original record for World record for cycling around the World, riding 13,609 miles (21,900 km) around the Northern Hemisphere in 138 days.

In 1984 he repeated the world cycling circumnavigation riding about 22,000 km in a time of 79 days. Guinness World Records set the rules in 2003 and did not record Sanders' time as he did not cross antipodal points on the globe.

Sanders still holds the Guinness World Record for fastest ride around the coast of Great Britain, riding a verified 4,800 miles (7,720 km) in 22 days.

Sanders has also cycled to the source of the White Nile, across the Sahara to Timbuktu and the length of South America.

He has also taken two narrowboats across the English Channel and along the entire length of the Danube to the Black Sea. Sanders holds a private pilot licence for a hot air balloon and flies microlights.

Born in 1958 in Manchester he now lives in Wales and has three children.

Sanders was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to endurance cycling and motorcycling.

 

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It will be the eighth time he has circumnavigated the globe on a motorcycle and this latest incredible ride will raise money to support our work.

There were numerous awards presented on the night and Andy and I were pleased to receive the Tenere Spirit Award and Captains Choice Tenere 700 respectively.

 

Day 15 Saturday 7/3/20 Ballarat Vic – Benalla

Total Distance traveled 311 kms

Today we would split up with Andy, Francis and Richard heading back to Lorne where Andy had left his vehicle and trailer whilst I would start my journey home. My journey would be a little convoluted as I had arranged to go to Bolton Motorcycles in Kyneton for new tyres and was then travelling to Wallacia near Sydney where my suspension was to revalved by Shock Treatment.

After saying good-byes to all of the organisers and fellow Tragics I headed off early as I was to be at Kyneton just after 9.00 to allow them to fit my new tyres.

At Boltons Motorcycles they fitted my new tyres (Ankee Wild rear and Motoz Tractionator front) and balanced the rims while I waited in the lounge. The existing tyres had travelled 5768kms and would no doubt have got me at least to Sydney 1000 kms away but I would have arrived on a Sunday and the bike was booked in at Shock Treatment Monday morning which is why I chose to replace them now.

With the new rubber fitted I rode on to Bendigo hoping to catch Andy on his way home however he had only just got back to Ballarat around 2ish and still had another bike to load so would be staying in Ballarat. This proved to be a good decision as I was unable to find accommodation either in Bendigo or Echuca as it was a long weekend and there was some field days on and everything was booked out.

In view of this I continued on and made my way to Benalla where I got a motel room for the night and viewed some of the sights of Benalla including the Benalla Ceramic Mural.

Day 16 Sunday 8/3/20 Benalla Vic – Wallacia NSW

Total Distance traveled 664 kms

It would be a day for bitumen burning as I hopped onto the Hume Highway and made my way towards Sydney.

I decided I would again test out the fuel economy of the new bike as I was comfortably sitting on the freeway at a little better than 110 kms/hr matching some of the faster traffic.

The fuel light came on at 220 km so I decided to play it safe and pull into Tarcutta to refuel.

You wouldn’t believe it – the only fuel station (Caltex) in the town was shut as power had been turned off for maintenance work by the state electricity company.

With nothing for it I continued on to Gundagai where, with 298.1 km indicated on the odo, I refueled taking 15.18 litres so less than a litre to spare.

Whilst at Gundagai I visited a lookout, the historic Prince Alfred Bridge Viaduct and the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox pioneer monument.

The landscape at Gundagai is dominated by four bridges spanning the Murrumbidgee flats: the historic Prince Alfred Bridge, the timber Railway Bridge, and now the dual Sheahan bridges of the Hume Highway.

he timber viaducts are wonderful examples of early engineering solutions to crossing a major flood plain. Their national significance is recognised with listing by the National Trust. They are a spectacular latticework of wooden trusses, spanning the flood plains and River.

The Prince Alfred Bridge was built in 1866, the first major crossing spanning the Murumbidgee River. It formed part of the Hume Highway until it was replaced by the first Sheahan Bridge built in 1976. The Prince Alfred Bridge is the longest timber viaduct in Australia and has been classified by the National Trust as a structure whose preservation is essential to Australia’s heritage.

The other famous bridge is the Railway Bridge which was completed in 1902. The viaduct is 819.4m long.

At Goulburn I couldn’t resist taking a photo in front of the “Big Ram”

When I booked on line for a room at the Wallacia Hotel I was not thinking of anything glamorous for just $77 for the night which included a breakfast pack (cereal, plastic bowl, long life milk, mini muesli bar and a spoon). I was pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find the hotel was as described - “Wallacia Hotel was established in the early 1930s and after recently undergoing some major renovations to maintain the heritage of the original building, the hotel itself has a newly refurbished atmosphere and appearance”

The room itself was nice and included tea and coffee making facilities, mini fridge and ensuite with a share laundry on the same level. The interior whilst renovated had retained its historic features including high ceilings and beautiful wooden staircase.

Day 17 Monday 9/3/20 Wallacia NSW - Singleton NSW

Total Distance traveled 213 kms

I had chosen the Wallacia Hotel for its proximity to Shock Treatment so it was not long after their scheduled opening hours of 7.30 that I was on their doorstep having to travel just 5 mins ride from the Hotel.

Terry and Grant greeted me and after discussing my thoughts on the suspension and letting me know how long it would take, arranged for one of the boys to give me a lift back to get my gear from the Hotel as they expected I would be able to ride away around 1.00pm.

True to their word I was away from there not long after 1.00 first having taken some photos as mine was the first Tenere 700 they had in to actually test ride both before and after their work.

I travelled the Putty Road and saw first hand some of the effects of the recent bush fires as well as stopped at the Wo-Man statue (man on one side woman on the other) and the Putty Road Truck Drivers Memorial before making it to Singleton just before 5.00pm (Qld Time).

The motel I had chosen was just beside KFC so it was the Colonels best for tea that night.

Day 18 Tuesday 10/3/20 Singleton NSW – St George Qld

Total Distance traveled 907 kms

Whilst on the 2020 Gold Rush Run I had discussed my trip home with the Halpin family from St George so had planned to drop in and visit them on my way home which coincidently was the shortest way to Longreach from Sydney anyway.

With St George as the destination for the day I thought I would travel through Gunnedah, Narrabri, then Collarenebri on to Mungindi via the dirt then to St George on the Carnarvon Highway thus avoiding some of the more boring bitumen stretches and taking in some different parts of the country.

It was not to be however as my misgivings about the amount of water on the edges of the roads were confirmed at Collarenebri when I was advised that the road to Mungindi was closed and I would have to detour around the bitumen via Moree a distance of 256kms.

At Moree I rang Phil at Halpin Motors and advised him that I was still coming and despite my protestations of not wanting to put them out invited me to stay with them for the night as the boys would be there working on their new project – a Side by Side Buggy which they will compete in the Australian Off Road Championships.

On the way through Thallon I stopped for a photo of the “Watering Hole” mural which is part of the Australian Silo Art Trail

https://www.australiansiloarttrail.com/siloart

Titled ‘The Watering Hole’ the mural portrays the Thallon district and its surrounding area to perfection. It features the Moonie River, an amazing Thallon sunset and the area’s agricultural base. It also recognises members of Thallon’s indigenous community by the inclusion of a scarred tree. 

As I was leaving Thallon I felt something bump my leg and looked down at my tank bag to realise my mobile phone had slipped out of the map pocket. Turing around I went back to see my phone, case and credit card lying on the road. Surprisingly the phone although now sporting a new spider web series of cracks in the screen still worked – bonus!!

Following Phils directions as I entered St George I arrived at the Halpin Family home on dark around 6.45pm and had no sooner stepped off the bike when I was offered a beer – a “Young Henrys” no less.

That night I enjoyed the Halpin hospitality and viewed the man cave as well as the latest racing Buggy project.

Day 19 Wednesday 11/3/20 St George Qld – Longreach Qld

Total Distance traveled 834 kms

After viewing some of the bikes in the showroom at Halpin Motors and filling up I started the last leg of my journey home to Longreach. It would be a straight bitumen day and it was obvious on the way that there had been some good rain while I was away as it was green all the way from St George right through to Barcaldine. The same couldn’t be said as I travelled west from Barcaldine to Longreach with the ground still bare although there were some tinges of green on the northern side of the road in some of the places.

Just before 4.00pm I pulled up at home having completed 834 kms for the day and 8638 kms for the total trip.

Closing Odometer 9600

Spot%20Route-M.png

Tenere 700 ride impressions

The good

·        The motor – smooth linear power

·        Handling – particularly in the dirt - very confidence inspiring and if you choose to stand and be more aggressive it responds in kind

·        LED Headlight – the best standard light I have had on any bike I have owned

·        Did I mention the motor

Could be improved

·        Fuel capacity – when pushed/loaded and on dirt I achieved only 283kms which is not really sufficient in an adventure bike

·        Seat – could be more comfortable for those longer days

·        Wind protection – the short screen directed wind directly to my face - the tall screen cured this

·        Speedo – the speedo overreads by at least 10% ie at 100 (GPS) the speedo reads 112

 

I deliberately left out suspension as it is an individual thing and most people regardless of their bike will set the suspension to suit their own weight, weight of any accessories and riding style.

Tyres are also an individual preference.

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Just another Tenere Tragic

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