Trip Odometer: 10258km
Daily total: 93km

Well it got cold overnight, real cold. Ice had formed on the swag before I went to bed, and the temp dropped to -2.5degC overnight. I left some water in the pan I made dinner in last night, and it went solid.

The plan for today was basic, pick up a few bits and pieces to replace failed or non existent camping gear. I departed for Tentworld around 9.30am, and the air temp was still sitting at 2.5degC. The bike even showed its ‘ice’ warning symbol it was that cold.

I dropped into Tentworld yesterday as they were near the Triumph dealer (who looked at the coolant overflow issue). I picked up the bungee cord I needed to replace the broken cord in the swag poles but forgot everything else I needed. The most important thing was a new inflatable pillow. The old one sprung a leak at Ballarat. The pillow, along with a good mattress and sleeping bag is the key to making a shit camping experience comfortable. I lashed out and spent $50 on a decent pillow that will hopefully last.

I also wanted some small tent poles so I could use the flysheet without having to find perfectly spaces trees. There was not really anything close to what I wanted, but I picked up some cheap 3 piece poles and pulled them apart and discarded the middle section. Not ideal, but they will do. Also cheap at $14.

We had one engagement today, and that was with one of our sponsors, Indian motorcycles. Turns out the dealer here (Canberra Motorcycle Centre, aka CMC) also has heaps of accessories, and is madly repairing and servicing a heap of the Black Dog Rider’s bikes. Bonus is they had Merino inner gloves, so I lashed out and bought a pair in attempt to prevent frostbite to my fingers in my pathetic Queensland winter gloves. CMC also has an awesome cafe, so a coffee and a bacon and egg roll was purchased for lunch.

I was a little concerned when I arrived at CMC, as I had coolant leaking out again. A closer look and it was obvious that I had overfilled the tank last night, but I will still keep an eye on it.

The afternoon I decided to go see one of the other Riders who is having a bit of a tough time the last few days. I thought he might toss it in, but to his credit he is going to continue. I was actually pretty chuffed when he sent me a text and said he was back!

After a cup of Tea with John, I was desperate to get back to camp before the sun went down so I could erect the fly sheet over the swag in attempt to reduce the amount of dew/ice in the morning. Its much easier to dry the fly sheet than it is to dry a canvas swag.

Tomorrow we are off to Bathurst, then Tamworth. I have made the long hard decision the last few days that my helmet need to be replaced. I was going to attempt to repair it by replacing all the pads inside but I have also discovered in the rain that the seal around the visor is damaged, and its leaking not only turbulent air (that is noisy and makes it hard to concentrate even with ear plugs) but also water that makes it hard to see when its raining. Given I also spent some money on a new visor and pinlock insert (anti fogging device) I was really trying to avoid replacement. I have also discovered some damage to the crash foam as well. At the end of the day, its just not worth skimping here. I have managed to extract 7 years out of that helmet, so I am happy with that. I rang AMX in Brisbane (Virgina) today and they actually had stock of the helmet I wanted and the size I needed and they have put it aside for me. This means a slight detour and night in my own bed at home! It will also give me a chance to offload some stuff I bought along with me that I don’t really need.

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