Daily Total: 872km
Trip Total: 1365km
Distance to go: 3003km

Today, whilst not the toughest ride I have ever done, was still not easy. Awake at 5am , I found out that the caretakers lock the camp kitchen at the Moree Showgrounds. Having forgotten to pack my camping cup, I had to get creative with a way to make coffee. It was to early to depart, because they also lock you in the grounds and dont open the gate until 7am. After a small tin of baked beans, I realised that I could use the empty tin as a tiny cup, and make my coffee in the kettle like you would make a pot of tea.

At 7am I was out the gate and on the road. A quick refuel and back onto the highway. I did not last long given it was only 7 degrees. At the first rest stop I pulled over to fit the thermal liner to my jacket, plus I switched into winter gloves. I was a lot warmer but still bitterly cold. The next town was Narrabri, so I decided to stop there for a coffee from the local bakery. I needed to wash down that coffee with a pie. I also took the opportunity to refuel.

Once back on the highway, it started to warm up. That brought the wind, which was a good 15-20knots through out the day, blowing from the left hand side. I pushed on to Cobar, where I got great pleasure from seeing all the Bogan (shire) signs everywhere! Another quick fuel stop, and a bite to eat then back on the road. Its starting to look obvious to me that Broken Hill is (and was never going to) happen today. It never once got about 18degC, and I never got to remove the winter gear.

There is the moment sometime, especially when in areas that are not well serviced by traffic, where you begin to question you fuel planning choices. You have done the math, calculated the distances, added some reserve for error, know your fuel light will be on when you reach the servo. Then the fuel light comes on, and there is some puckering happening. All of a sudden the petrol station appears, and your trip computer says you have 40kms left in the tank. I know the trip computer lies too, because it gives up at a certain point and shows dashes instead to km to run. Ask me how I know!

After refueling at Emmaville, I pushed onto Wilcannia. I was warned multiple times not to stay there as its a bit rough. But I was also told by the lady at Emmaville that there is several safe places to camp along the way, including the caravan park 5km east of Wilcannia, so I decided to try make it there. Failing that, there was several places to stop along the way. At the last camp option I decided to push on. It put me into the camp just outside of Wilcannia about 15 mintues before sunset, but about 45 minutes before my preferred time to be off the road. However, its means a pretty easy day tomorrow and 100km less than today.

Tomorrows planned destination: Kimba. The halfway point. This should be no issue.

Daily Total: 493km
Trip Total: 493km
Distance to go: 3872km

Good to see the feature image in the post has chopped of my mug! Was going to edit in photoshop, then decided that wordpress’ unintended image censoring is probably a good thing!

Pretty short day on the road today. My plan was to leave a bit later, giving me some time to pack the last of the gear needed for about 2 months on the road. Departure time was about 10am, and after a quick fuel stop at Deagon it was time to put some kilometers on the new tyres.

I had brief stop at Aratula to pick up my PLB (personal locating beacon) that managed to somehow escape the pocket on my jacket. Some how it landed in the middle of the lane, and none of the traffic behind me ran over it. I have since tested it and the self test works fine.

The stretch from Brisbane to Moree is so familiar to me, I didn’t really stop to take any photo’s. After a quick break at the Cunningham rest area between Warwick and Inglewood, I pressed on. Another quick stop for fuel at Inglewood and a look the map I figured I could get to Moree as planned well before my self imposed quit time of 4.30 (skippy time). The Garmin Inreach shows me arriving at exactly 4.30pm!

I was hoping to spend the night at Rocky Creek Camp area just to the north of Moree, but a quick survey of the road in and I noped out. To rough and sandy looking, and it looked as if the camp side dropped into the creek bed. So off to the showground in Moree to hang with the grey nomads. Bonus is its next to the Services Club, so no baked beans for dinner!

Tomorrow is probably going to be the biggest day on the road. I would like to make it to Broken Hill. Given I am chasing the sun east to west, I will pick up a few more hours. Its only half an hour on the clock, but its a lot more in daylight hours. I am very skeptical that I will make it. My rule is 4pm look for somewhere to stop. 4.30pm aim to be off the highway. 5pm, camping on the side of the road!

Black Dog Ride is a national charity which raises awareness of depression and suicide prevention.  Since 2009, Black Dog Riders have raised over $2,500,000 for mental health services across the nation, and thousands of Australians participate in our local community projects every year which support our efforts to raise awareness of this silent killer, suicide.

The awareness and the funds raised by Black Dog Riders are vital in building and maintaining mental health projects throughout Australia in order to reduce the 8 tragic deaths per day to suicide in this country, and to support the estimated 180 Australians who attempt to take their life every day.  Fostering awareness of suicide prevention and acceptance of mental illness is the catalyst for promoting help seeking behaviour which will prevent this loss of life to suicide.

Black Dog Ride’s community and fundraising initiatives have enabled Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support Chat Service to double it’s operating hours, funded the training of hundreds of crisis counsellors within the Australian Lifeline network, funded the training of over 1,000 youth in teen Mental Health First Aid, funded the training of over 65 volunteer first responders in Mental Health First Aid, ensured a Youth Outreach bus in regional WA continued to operate, funded the development of a youth mental health training program in QLD high schools, enabled two Men’s Sheds to purchases tools and equipment to encourage social inclusion activities for men isolated by mental illness and funded technology to enable a regional Headspace Centre to operate online counselling for youth, to name but a few projects Black Dog Ride’s activities have supported.

Its been a mad rush the last week. I have been chasing up potential sponsors and chasing up local media for coverage. I also decided to create this website.

A blogger I am not, but this website has come about for a few reasons. The main 2 reasons are to document my journey, and the second is to provide some advertising to my sponsors. The people that are donating to the cause are doing it for the cause, not for the coverage. But I feel that I should support them as much as I can in return for what they are giving.

Besides the formal stuff, I have to get the bike and my riding gear ready for the 25000km’s I am about to travel.

The bike needs to have the knobby tyres removed that are meant for more offroad type riding, and it needs a service before I head off to Perth. I also need to replace my old scratched helmet visor and the pinlock insert that stops my breath from fogging up what I see. Last but not least, I need some winter gloves because its going to be cold riding the southern states at this time of year!

First job of the list was tyres. The bike decided it did not want road tyres and would not start.  Turns out the Tiger Explorer does not like bad batteries, and throws up the ‘check engine’ light rather than telling me the battery is bad. A call to the local Triumph dealer suggested that the battery may be the problem. So a little time on the charger and a trip to Battery World for a new battery and everything is back on track.

Next stop is Dave Oliver’s Motorcycle Tyres. Old knobbies off, new road tyres on. What a difference. I still need to get used to looking at the Tiger with smooth feet. Its been a while since I have seen road only tyres on her.

I also dropped the bike off for a minor service today. Its not due, but I would rather get new oil and a check over before I head to Perth.