Blog: August 31. Didn’t go to Inverell.

BMW_GS_Safari_Enduro257It’s Sunday arvo and I didn’t make it to Inverell for the Scrapheap fund raiser. I hope Chris Laan had a few starters and they had a good time. It looks like the weather was good, so I hope so.

It was disappointing I didn’t go, but I didn’t have too bad a day on Saturday, even though it was work.

Scott Britnell, a bloke I’d never heard of until very recently, decided to have a crack at setting the Cape Byron to Steep Point record. He contacted work, and I had a look at his bike. The bike looked the goods, and I had a sneaking suspicion he was the sort of bloke who just might do the bizzo. I especially liked the way he didn’t try and talk it up with a charity or claim he was going to shake the world, and he didn’t ask for anything free. He must’ve spent a considerable amount on his attempt, and it was a very well planned and executed run. He made it clean across Australia in 72 hours and 22 minutes (within a minute or two). Then he turned around and rode back to set a double-crossing record. It was an unsupported ride, and although he had some friends who did their best to help, he did it on his own.

Anyhoo, Scott was due back into Cape Byron on Saturday around noon, so I went up there to meet him when he arrived and say, “Good onya, Bloke!”

Seeing as other people don’t mind stealing my pics and copy and posting it on other websites I may as well post a pic or two of Scott’s arrival here (even though I’ve posted them elsewhere).

Scott Britnell. Cape Byron to Steep Point unsupported in around 72 hours and 22 minutes. Then back again.

Scott Britnell. Cape Byron to Steep Point unsupported in around 72 hours and 22 minutes. Then back again.

In a kind of nice moment, a lady who was also waiting asked if I’d read the story in ‘the adventure magazine’. I said I’d written it. She let out a shriek and gave me a big hug while she called her husband over to shake my hand. It was Scott’s mum and dad. It was a nice group of people all round.

IMG_1812 Scott rolled in looking noticeably less tired and scruffy than me – and I’d only ridden up from Coffs – had a smile for everyone and popped the bottle of champagne he was handed.

IMG_1815You can see he’s not a very excitable sort of bloke.

Then there was so much going on, and so many people trying to get his attention, I said my congratulations and headed for home.

I said I rode up, and so I did. I was on work’s KLR650, and it was my first real ride on the new Teknik suspension. I’ve known Nick (Dole, owner of Teknik) a long time, so I expected the suspension to be an improvement, but holy suffering cats! I didn’t expect it to be this good.

FitTekniKSuspension05 FitTekniKSuspension04When Nick was doing the job we even discussed installing his V4S valves and decided against it. We thought it’d be more interesting as a ‘phase two’ upgrade.

So the package can get even better, apparently.


It’s not that the KLR is now like a good KTM, but it’s just so far in front of the standard set-up. And that includes the New Edition model.

Marty H caught me giving it a little run on the way through Piney on Saturday morning heading to Byron. He was out walking his dogs, and it made a big change to have his dogs chasing me instead of my dog chasing him. That’s a turnaround.

Marty had his new camera, but I don’t know if he got any pics of me wobbling along there. He was trying to hang on to the two dogs and wrestle his camera into service, and it may well have been a bit much all at once. I think I saw him adjust the aperture on his poodle while he tied his Sony to a tree.

This week is another one of those where I’ll have to head down to Sydney for work at some stage, so I don’t expect I’ll be doing any riding, but you never know. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I’m not sure which days or for how long I’ll have to go, so I guess there’s still a chance.

Okay, let’s start looking at what’s coming up.

The next ride I’m hoping a few of us can get to is the Scrapheap Challenge on September 20 and 21 at Nymboida. The Scrappers are a great bunch or people, and while I’m a little cynical about some charity fund-raisers, I’ve known organiser Perry Gilsenan since the first Scrapheap, and there’s no more genuine bloke in the world. He and this ride are both genuine fun, and serious fund raisers for a very genuine outfit.

Last I spoke to Perry he was hoping Karen and Dave Ramsay might lead a ride on one of the days. I haven’t had a chance to find out if that’s what happening, but maybe Dave or Karen can jump in and let us know. Either way, I’m going to run up there Saturday morning and spend a very pleasant day looking at some of the crazy machinery and chatting to the even crazier riders, then head back Saturday arvo. If anyone wants to make a day of it, let me know and we’ll organise a meeting place and charge up Black Mountain Road.

After the Scrapheap Challenge, the next one I have my eye on is The Snowy Ride on November 1.

This is another charity ride, but it’s so frigging big these days it’s not easy to remember that.

It’s pretty much a free-for-all. Riders are given maps and told to go riding. They wander aimlessly around the Snowy Mountains region – Jindabyne, Perisher, Cooma, Kosciuscko and so forth – drinking coffee whenever they feel like it and doing whatever they want until a big get-together that night, usually at Thredbo, from memory.

I’ve done the Snowy Ride a couple of times on my cruiser, but since then some adventure loops have been added, so I thought it would be nice to run the Dominator down there and indulge in a few memories. The Snowy Ride raises money for the Steve Walter Foundation. I knew Steve quite well, and still count it a good day if I ever bump into his parents Sue and Phil, and their close friend Alan McGuirk. As it turns out, I’ll have to take the work KLR and camp out, and I’ll expect I’ll ride from home. It’ll be a fairly boring bitumen run to get there, but if anyone feels like going to check out the Snowy in summer, give me a shout. The company will be welcome.

Finally for 2014, there’s a run to Cameron Corner on December 20 and 21.

Of course it’s Longest Day, but I’m not up for the charge this year. It’s the tenth year of Longest Day, and Craig Murcott is keen for a camping run out to Cameron Corner, so we’re going to tie the two things together. We’ve planned an easy run out on the Saturday, probably as far as Bourke, on the Longest Day route, then to The Corner on Sunday and watch as the fast guys go bolting past. We’ll probably try and get from Cameron Corner back to Tibooburra on Sunday arvo, then head for home on Monday morning.

There’s a lot of distance there, and even though I’ve said we’ll be taking it easy, it’ll still be a serious run. Anyone who genuinely wants to be home on Monday night will need large male genitals, and that includes the girls. Those with time and some common sense would do best to plan to be back on the coast Tuesday night, and that will still take some committed riding. It will mean the ride can be done at a sensible and low-stress pace, but it will still take some long hours on the bike.

For anyone who’s never been out there, the desert sunsets alone make it worthwhile, and there’s a really good feeling when you cross Cameron Corner off the list.

After all that, I know Pottsy is busting to run another event. He loved the Poker Run, and he has all kinds of ideas bubbling around. I think his rides rool, so I’m keen too. All I’m saying there is that maybe an unexpected one will spring up.

I hope so!




  1. I’ll be leading the Saturday Loop ride for the Scrappers, It will be a steady poke along up through Ramornie to Copmanhurst for lunch then back to camp via Kangaroo ck & Laytons rds. Hope to get away by 10am. If you want to come & spend some quality time with some awesome people on equally incredible Bike builds then jump on the Scrapheap Adv ride site, register & come for the weekend. Unfortunately Karen can’t go, Family do on.

    We had an absolute ripper of a ride at Inverell on the weekend. Will do a ride report soon.

  2. Respectfully, does having fuel and water dumps in remote locations make this attempt unsupported? Im certainly not saying it isn’t a brilliant ride but by any international standard not unsupported.

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