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Old 16 Mar 2009
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Thumbs up {Australia} Off to Mitta Mitta....

The day before....

Packed ready to go..... Roll on the next morning.... Rain, hail or shine...

Late Tuesday afternoon Helge arrives. His BMW is a now running really well after nearly a full engine, gearbox and final drive rebuild.

Wednesday morning. No rain as forecast. We are aiming to spend the first night on the road at Geehi Hut in the Snowy Mountains. Lilly and me on the LT and Helge on his R80 G/S battle the Sydney morning traffic to the Royal National Park and arrive at Bald Hill.

Then on down to Macquarie Pass. We are the last lot of vehicles to be allowed up the pass as they are about to close it for road works. A great fang is had by both of us as we boom up the pass. Then onto Moss Vale and then 44 boring kilometers to Goulburn. We take a small detour to look at the War Memorial there. This over looks the city.

Leaving Goulburn we travel down via Lake Bathurst and the east side of Lake George. Lunch stop at Queanbeyan, which is in NSW and I see a statue of the founder of Canberra in the ACT. John Gale. Strange that he would be on display in NSW.

The terrain heading towards the Snowy Mountains is very barren and wind swept in places. Almost Alien like.

There are not enough words in the motorcyclists thesaurus to describe the Alpine Way in the Snowy Mountains. It is beyond belief how good this road is. When you see a sign that tells you that there are 66kms of twisty road ahead you know that this is going to be the best. It was hot in Jindabyne when we refueled. As we started to climb up the mountains we came closer and closer to the dark clouds over Thredbo. It was freezing. We didn't care. We owned this road. No one in front of us to spoil the corners.

Once over the top and down the other side heading to Geehi Hut we left the clouds behind. Soon we arrived at the Geehi Plain. Brilliant sunshine lit the camp grounds as we arrived. The locals had gathered to welcome us to their home. The hut was built in 1952 and is right next to the Swampy Plains River. It is watched over by the majestic Kosciuszko Range.

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Old 17 Mar 2009
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Off to Mitta Mitta... Day two....

Yesterday was a long day for us all. We were on the road at 5:45am. No wonder we all hit the sack by 8:30pm. Dumb bums was the order for the day. We did not sleep in the Geehi Hut as there are signs up saying that camping is not allowed. The building is heritage listed now. Last thing we wanted to a Ranger throwing us out of the hut at 10pm and we would then have to pitch our tents in the dark.

Day two dawned with the warm rays of the sun reaching down to us. We knew it was going to be another superb day for a ride.

As the morning warmed mist started to rise from the Swampy Plains River.

Breakfast is prepared and our camp site packed up. Bring on the twisties.

As we left Geehi Hut the locals came out to see us off. Roos stood erect and stared at us as we crawled up the dirt road. They do not understand the thrill that was just about to start again. The Alpine Way.

We stuck to the speed limits right through out this trip. Yet we still were making great time. So stop offs to take photos in no way slowed us down. This lookout over looks where we had come from.

As we stood talking to other travelers at the lookout we heard this almighty cracking sound. It was a tree coming down. Where we did not know. We mounted up and headed back onto the Alpine Way. Thats when we found where the tree had come down. Not 100 meters from the turn off to the lookout here is the tree across the road. It was blocking the way we had come from. Had we have been 15 minutes later leaving Geehi Hut the road would have been blocked for us. As we headed down to Khancoban Snowies Worker's 4x4 headed up to the blocked road.

Victoria was beckoning us. Lilly was excited about crossing a state line. She had never done this before.

We crossed into Victoria. The weather started to change.

The sun was slowly drifting away behind us. It was getting colder. Rain splattered my screen. They need rain so much down there after the worst bush fires in recorded Australian history took so many lives a few weeks back. We were not unhappy to see the rain.

By no means did the rain stop us enjoying the hills and dales. We still punted along through the corners like this was the last one.

Our destination for the nights stop over was at Bethanga. We had floor space, a great home cooked meal and great new bike mates to meet at Charlie's place.

Dinner at Charlie's place will be posted next. Stay tuned.

Photo credits. Lilly and myself.
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Old 18 Mar 2009
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Off to Mitta Mitta... Stay at Charlie's...

Charlie (AirBear) from the Boxerworks forums B O X E R W O R K S . C O M | Dedicated to 50's through 80's BMW Motorcycles opened his house to us knowing we were coming down his way. I have wanted to meet the Aussie Bozerworks guys and now was the perfect chance. Charlie arranged for George and Jeff to have dinner with us too.

Charlie owns a well ridden 1974 R90/6 "Brunhilde".

George arrived first on his Outfit, "Siegfried". Of course I asked for a ride. Not having had the joy of the 3rd wheel for about 3 years I could not help myself.

A quick spin and it all came flooding back to me. "Helge come for a ride in the chair and video us riding....." Helge jumped at the chance. Video is uplaoding as I type. I will post it later.

Helge and me about to burn up the tar. Photo by George Stahl.

Off we tore through Bethanga..... Photo by George Stahl.

This was the icing on the cake for me. The ride so far had been unbelievably good. To ride the outfit was amazing. Thank you so much George for letting me do this.

What a great night it was too. Superb food cooked by Charlie.

Charles, Helge, Jeff, Ross, Lilly. Photo by George.

Great discussions about airhead BMWs were had. All things sidecars was thrown better George and I. Both Jeff and Helge shared their troubles they have had with their bikes. Helge explaining as they started to fix small things on the bike they found even bigger problems like camshafts that look like the engine had been filled with grinding paste. The cams had worn that much. Jeff about how one small spring broke in his engine and caused a major rebuild. New old crankshaft and heads rebuilt.

Me, Charlie, Jeff and George.

Jeff's R100RS. He has owned it for 18 years. He calls it his Messerschmitt ME109.

Was a great night. Lilly sat patently as we old BM farts rattled on.

Tar Brothers.

Sunset as seen from Charlie's house.

Charlie thank you so much for opening your home to us and feeding us a wonderful dinner.

Charlie, Jeff and George it was great to meet you all. Can't wait to see you again guys.

Next installment.... South to Mitta Mitta.

Photo credits: Myself, Helge and George Stahl
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Old 22 Mar 2009
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Day Three

Day Three...

Overnight it had rained while we are at Charlie's. What would the weather greet us with today? Sunshine. Lots of it too. We pack and thank Charlie for his generosity. We must be off.

The view from the lookout above Bethanga.

Lake Hume . The Bridge at Bell Bridge.

We had to make a quick detour up to Albury so Helge could get a new tail light globe. It was starting to get hot. The type of heat that brings thunderstorms. They would come. Just not yet.

With Helge's GPS leading us off we went for the last leg to Mitta Mitta. Amazing roads passed beneath our wheels. Smooth, fast flowing corners that followed the the contours of the terrain as we road past the Lake Hume.

Ghost like trees stand as silent giants in parts of Lake Hume.

On the Locharts Gap Road.

Locharts Gap.

We turn onto the Omeo Hwy. My excitement levels are rising. We are getting closer to Mitta Mitta and the meetings. I am looking out for the mileage markers on the side of the road as they count down how far we have left.

The Omeo Hwy follows the Mitta Mitta river. The road snakes and weavers its way up and down the hills. The surface is so smooth and free flowing. We are making great time and loving every corner. This will soon stop. We have arrived.

After checking in with Dave from Horizons Unlimited we set up camp. We pitched our tents out the back of the pub. Up above us we had the pub. Down below we had the burbling waters of the river. The following day this river would be roaring.

Tent city would grow through out the afternoon and the next day. There was also the option of staying up the road at the caravan park. Behind the pub was great for us.

Dinner was your typical good country pub fare. I went real cheap this trip. So much so that I was ordering the kids meals for myself and Lilly. Why pay $19 for a meal when you can pay $6.50. The salad bar was free. So I heaped up the greens too. I lost weight while on this trip. An even better bonus.

Dinner the first night. New friends and old.

Next update. The bikes that were at the meet. The meet ride.

Photo credits: Myself, Helge and Lilly.
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Old 1 Apr 2009
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Some of the bikes seen at the HU Meeting...

Sorry for the delay in updating. Today thought I would show a small selection of the bikes that attended the HU meeting. Some have come all the way from overseas. Others have left here done a big overland trip and then come back home. Some like me dream of doing this. Next update will have more bikes and a ride up to Dartmouth Dam.

Yes there is a postie bike under there.

Daniel from Switzerland on his Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Ténéré. He rode overland through Iran to India on this bike.

Michael & Colleen Tharme on their 1200GS. They traveled in 2008, Moscow from London.

All the way from the UK. 2 up. Lady pillion is blind. Sorry i never got your names.

China and Russia 2008. Garry Chadwick
Vietnam to Italy on a maxi-scooter. He also rode a 125 in China.

Bruce C. Filling up the ER.

Photo credits: Just me this time.
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Old 12 Apr 2009
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Mitta Mitta had not seen good rain for sometime. The HU Meeting brought it for them. Saturday dawned clear. But we knew by the clouds in the distance that this would not last all day. Tent city out the back of the pub has started to grow.

A group ride had been arranged for Saturday morning up to Dartmouth Dam. The road was narrow and twisty. We had been warned about the gravel on the road. Did some of us remember? No. Helge was in front of me. I see him sliding. Then both of my wheels let go. The BM handles it well. Sideways and forwards and soon have grip again. Helge is now looking down at his back wheel for oil. It was not that. It was the gravel we forgot about. Fine ball bearing gravel. A few others got caught out on this corner too. No one came down. Shows how experienced the riders at this meet are.

Thanks to Daniel for the below photos. You can see the rest at Daniel's site. RTW2007-2008 | HUBB09

You can tell how bad the drought is here in Australia when you see the dam levels. They are shockingly low.

Lilly and me made our way back down to Mitta Mitta from the dam. Off in a park was some of the earth equipment that was used to construct the dam. Huge bits of now rusting metal. The BM Tractor doing what it does best. Hauling large objects. ;-)

Some more to the bikes at the meet. These 3 are all from Europe.

Robin Box from Touratech/Safari Tanks.

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Old 12 Apr 2009
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A few hours after everyone was back from the ride the rain came. Heavy rain. Rain that could have an Ark built for it. This did not stop us all going up to the Community Hall for the presentations of Saturday night. Well it was only a few 100 meters up the road.

Margaret Peart gave a power point presentation on her Iron Butt rides in the USA. Wonderful phottos. How she finds time to take photos when she has to do 1000 miles in 24 hours I don't know. But she does. She used an F650 BM and R1200GS BM in the USA. Now she is off around the world on a V-Strom. Go girl.

Over the course of the weekend many presentation where held. Lilly and I did not attend them all.

* RTW on an Iron Butt
o Margaret Peart
...or how to combine RTW-ing with Iron Butt endurance riding - and still manage to see things.
* South and Central America, alone or two bikes?
o Roly Gough-Allen
Buenos Aries to San Diego in 4 months 11 weeks with a mate, and 7 weeks alone, pro's and con's of each!
* Getting ready to go - where do you start?
o John & Alanna Skillington
Some practical planning tips for organising the big trip.
* Planning Europe & Russia
o Michael & Colleen Tharme
How we planned our 2008 trip to Moscow from London on 1200GS two up.
* Equipment - the good the bad and the ugly
o Chris Cowper
Some of the gear I used, and should not have used.
* China and Russia 2008
o Garry Chadwick
Vietnam to Italy on a maxi-scooter and a local Chinese 125
* Riding Mongolia
o Scott Weinhold
Advice and inspiration for riding across Mongolia, the best country in the world for offroad travel.
* London to Vladivostok for charity
o Mick McDonald
The pros and cons of riding for charity
* Central America
o Ben Holland
Solo in Central America
* For Women Only
o Panel discussion.
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Old 25 Apr 2009
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The ride home from Mitta Mitta. I have not really wanted the post this up. It means the report is over. The ride has ended. One of the best rides I have ever done is finished. Lilly and i will never forget this ride. My Tar Brother Helge and I will never forget this ride. So lets finish it here.

We arose to a sunny day. Stark contrast to the night before. Did we bring the rain or what?! Mitta Mitta was wet. The river had come up too.

A quick breakfast was had. We did not want to take any food home with us. So we ate well.

Goodbyes to our fellow campers/travelers and off we set for home. What a great weekend. Fantastic and inspirational people we will never forget. I have been greatly inspired to take my bike overseas. I knew this would happen even before we set off for this meeting. Now the desire is so deeply planted. I hope one day I can make it real as those we met have.

Again we motored over beautiful roads as we headed north. The rising sun warming our faces. A stray sheep and a wallaby both at the roadside watched as we boomed past. Soon we are back in Bethanga. Helge had left his phone at Charlie's place. I glad he did. It was good to see Charlie again. Before arrived there we had a brilliant run around the Hume Dam. One left hand sweeper just had me cracking the throttle open to catch Helge up. The BM hunkered down on its suspension and tore through the corner. Wow what a sweeper. The BM was not fazed at all by being two up and fully loaded. I needed these corners as soon we would be hitting the Ho Hum boring Hume Hwy.

Phone collected and goodbyes again to Charlie and we hit the Hume. We have hours of dual carriage boredom ahead of us. We need to be in Sydney ASAP ad this is the quickest way to do it.

Holbrook, one of the few towns that the Hume Wwy still goes through looms into site. So to the towering, 90metre long, HMAS Otway submarine in a park on the side of the road. It is a most unusual sight to see as you are driving along the highway between Sydney and Melbourne, at least 400km from the nearest seaport. The story behind the submarine is linked to the change in name of the town. During WW1, the town name of Germanton was considered inappropriate, so was changed to Holbrook, after Lt. Norman Holbrook. Holbrook was the first naval Victoria Cross winner of WW1 as well as the first submariner to get the medal. He received the medal for his daring underwater raid through the Dardanells, Turkey. Sinking a Turkish battleship with a torpedo from the submarine he commanded.

What a great way to get people to stop in the town.

Road works along the Hume slow us down. Lunch time is drawing close so too is Gundagai. Dog on the Tucker Box fame town. We have lunch at a cafe in town. Good fish and chips too.

We didn't bother to pull in and have a look at the Dog on the Tucker box. A huge and I mean huge service station over shadows the statue of the dog. Shame really as it used to be a great spot to stop.

We are humming along and i glance down at my left boot. Of great! It is getting covered in oil. The patch job I did on sealing the 1000 barrels to the 800 engine is no longer holding. It is not a lot of oil and would help waterproof my boot so we push on. Sydney is only about 2 hours away

The closer to Sydney we traveled the more the air started to smell of pollution. Big dark rain laden clouds hovered over Sydney too. They just wanted to dump on us so bad. But we beat them. Not long after arriving at Lilly's place the heavens opened up and down it came. We had made good time today.

Next morning it is time to say goodbye to Helge. First though he must take my bike for a spin. I want his option on my gearbox. Plus I love to hear my own pipes as it disappears into the distance. I can hear him booming around Epping. Music for the soul.

Back and Helge says my gearbox is better than his rebuilt one. Phew what a great relief.

Helge is all packed up. He is heading off to the Ulysses AGM at Penrith then off to the outback. Big bear hugs goodbye and a teary eye and my Norwegian Tar Brother is off. Thank you brother for the ride. Amazing trip. I would ride with you anywhere in this world brother.

There, it is over. The report and the ride. There is not a day that doesn't go by that I don't think of some part of this whole trip.

From my records the trip cost Lilly and I around $500. Thats for petrol, food and other things. Not bad for 5 days away.

Photo credits. Lilly, Helge and me.
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Old 9 May 2009
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Hi there from the two UK people!


H there from Peru! The names are Cathy and Bernard (the Red RT from the UK) "A blind woman, two wheels and 25,000 miles"

We are currently broken down and waiting for a starter motor from the UK.

Ahhhhh well such is life:

Malaysia - new alternator
Australia - blown gasket on the Nullabor
Australia - blown exhausts and knackered crankcase stud.
Australia - knackered diode board
Peru - buggered starter motor.

Then again - next time - we get a new bike instead of a 20 year old one - damn the expense of the carnet!

Best wishes from Catherine Birchall Homepage

Cathy and Bernard
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Old 10 May 2009
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Hi Cathy and Bernard. I so wanted to chat to you guys in Mitta Mitta. Next time hey.

Hope you get the RT sorted soon. I would stick with it. Great bike and so easy to work on. I too have pulled a cylinder stud. Ross' Motorcycling Blog.: BMW Stripped cylinder stud

I am going to add your website to my blog. Have a safe trip.
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Old 10 May 2009
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all things bavarian

Thanks for the link Ross.

Really enjoyed the meeting as I have always wanted to attend one while on the road - now I can tick that one off. I agree the bike is so easy to work on but, at the moment, I wish I didn't have to work on it so much!

Catch you around.


PS - it's 3.40am here in Peru (Tumbes) and cannot sleep!

Cathy in Peru.
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