This morning I started the final preparations for the trip. When I got to the office (at about 6:30am) I was just sitting down for a coffee when the power failed. The failure was the result of some huge winds tht suddenly arrived.
Now, I can (and have) ridden through extreme cold (well, 4 degrees seems extreme to me), rain, lightening and hail and its not that bad. Wind on the other hand makes riding very difficult as a big gust could cause you to end up in front of another vehicle.
Anyway, its thursday night now, the wind has died down lots and I’m ready to go at sunrise tomorrow. I don’t know where I will end up tomorrow night yet so we will just have to see how it goes.
The bike has both panniers full, top box full and the tank bag full. I don’t have a backpack strapped across the seat at the moment (its gone with the inlaws to meet me in a few days time) so it should be a nice comfortable start.
Just for anyones info (if anyone cares) the bike has a Zumo 550 GPS linked via bluetooth to my phone and an autocom bike comms system. The helmet plugs in to the autocom and this all allows me to use the phone, get sat nav prompts (great for school zones, speed cameras etc) and listen to music from the zumo (with an 8GB card) that has about 800 songs I will probably be sick of by the time I get back. The phone has its own weather proof box that has a charging cable.
In the top box, I have the laptop, 150W inverter (the top box has a 12v cable from under the seat), satellite phone, epirb, archos 605 (160GB media player) and misc cables, chargers etc.
I Have a Nikon D300 camera with an 18-200 lens for the ‘planned’ shots, and a little snappy IXY1000 (canon) for the simple stuff. It should stay in my pocket I think.
I have (in no particular order) Crocs, alking boots and bike boots, 3 tee shirts, 3 pairs undies, 3 pairs socks, riding jeans (draggin), thermal underwear, misc drugs and first aid stuff, emergency flashing light, head lamp, cable ties, electrical tape 4 pairs sun glasses, 2 pairs clear safety glasses and lots of other stuff I can’t remember at the moment.
The GPS only talks to the autocom with bluetooth for phone calls, the music/nav prompts are sent through a 3.5mm stereo cable (so i get stereo).
I have a telstra internet connection (next G) and an optus 3G connection so I should have both major carriers covered. Libby has a different optus system and the inlaws have a Next-G to ethernet box with a high gain antennae.
The BMW dealer has failed to get my spare key in time so I only have one (plus the silly emergency ‘wallet’ key they give you that would snap if you actually put it in a wallet)
I will need to change tyres probably in Alice, Darwin or Mt Isa depending on how they go. If Jason ends up coming along for the last week and a half, I will miss darwin. I have wired his mike (and mine) so we both have similar comms and have added UHF radios to the mix.
Thats all the ‘facts’ I think are things I may want to read about later (basically this is my diary so if its booring, please ignore me )
The longest day I’ve done so far is 550km and the longest ride was 1200km over 3 days. Tomorrow I think will be about 650k with about 500k on day 2 (if i plan to get to Ballarat for the second night to save some money)
I’ll try to blog daily. I don’t know if I will be able to include photos in the posts (depends on internet access etc). As I’m with Libby for most of the first 3 weeks, check out her blog at http://libby.withnall.com for her take on whats going on.
Hopefully I’ll post more tomorrow night.