Please help me raise vital funds for Médecins Sans Frontières and...if your day is really slow, read my posts below.Follow my preparations and journey around Australia riding a 110cc Postie Bike.
Event InformationMonday 25th April 06:30
Half Way To Target
The final countdown & thank you allSaturday 16th Apr
I am blown away by the show of support and generous donations generated by my upcoming ride. When I embarked on this endeavour, I really didn't have any expectation of reaching the very modest $5,000 target I’d set for myself. Well, before I have even departed, we've managed to raise over $4,000. Thank you to you all.
Now, without wanting to come across as greedy, I honestly believe that I can do even better for MSF. Therefore, I have increased my target to see if $10,000 is achievable. I think it is.
Just 9 days to go for me now and I'm getting really excited. The 1st leg of my journey is a relatively benign ride from Sydney to Maroochydore (Qld). I will be taking an inland route for most of this leg to avoid areas that have been damaged and affected by recent flood events. Along the way, I intend to take a few detours to see places of interest or visit family and friends.
The bike’s ready to go. A new rear tyre along with a new chain and sprocket set were the final touches to a long but thoroughly enjoyable process of getting the Red Peril setup for the big job ahead. With way too much time on my hands, I have calculated that the 15,500km round trip will translate into 8.1 million rotations of its skinny wheels and the lone spark plug generating its impressive 7hp (at full bore) will fire around 85 million times as it burns around 530 litres of fuel. That’s an awful lot that has to go right to get me all the way around! We’ll see……..
Follow me from 25 April (in near real-time) on my Garmin MapShare page share.garmin.com/postiegeezer
Catch up with you again when I’m on the road.
Final CountdownMonday 28th Mar
Count down = 56 daysTuesday 1st Mar
Another Test Run - Some different Kit - Different issues.Tuesday 8th Feb
Thursday, 3 February 2022 saw me undertaking yet another shortish (560km) test ride……Just as well!
Aside from testing out, under load, the new VOPO adjustable rear shocks I had fitted and the adjustments to the front forks, I also wanted to test a much lighter tent and camping kit arrangement. I have swapped from the voluminous (and heavy) motorcycle camping tent of my previous video to a 3 person Naturehike Cloudup 3 tent plus offloaded my Helinox camp bed altogether in favour just using the inflatable sleeping mat. All of these adjustments worked perfectly.
The suspension delivered a much more comfortable and safer ride. Probably 100km+ of the trip was riding on gravel surfaces with some really loose gibble and a couple of kms of rough rutted track leading to our campsite. Very few tweaks needed there, if any.
The tent is fantastic! Super lightweight, compact and spacious. Setup time was literally 6 minutes (1st time around)!
That doesn’t mean that the trip (undertaken with Keith, a long-time adventure riding mate.) was uneventful. About 80 or 90km out from our campsite, I noticed the bike squirming each time I changed up or down (which you do frequently on a Postie). This also happened under braking….almost like a tyre had lost pressure or was flat. I stopped and checked but everything looked good. After riding a bit further with the issue still evident, I thought that perhaps one of my newly fitted rear shocks had somehow parted company with a stud/mounting point. Nope. A much closer inspection revealed that the left-hand chain tensioner had broken which caused the rear axle to move under torque. Not good for the chain, sprockets, bearings or rideability. Of course, this is a part you never think will fail, so I had no spare. After much thinking and discussion, Keith proposed the trusty cable-tie be called upon. (Well, gaffer-tape wasn’t an option here!) The idea was to jamb the end ‘block’ of the tie into the space between the axle and frame on the forward side and cut the otherwise ‘useful’ ratchet strip off. We did that, and then tightened the axle bolt as tight as 60+ year-old arthritic hands could manage. It worked for the time being, but was it going to last? It did! I rode out the rest of the trip (probably 400km) with the cable-tie-end doing its job of keeping some reasonably good tension on the chain and the rear wheel tracking straight…enough.
The second issue to befall me was with the left-hand kickstand. I don’t believe that the stock kickstand is designed to hold the kind of weight the bike now carries when fully loaded. Also, they are quite short which means the bike leans over to the left a fair bit, placing even more load on the stand. The net effect of this was the base/foot plate bent under the weight resulting in a tip-over of my bike at one point. Fortunately, the bike has a centre stand and, yes, a right-side kick stand as well. You're a bit spoilt for choice as far as stands go on a Postie! Still, I will fix this issue. Motorcyclists are left-side kick stand users by habit. A repair job also gives me an opportunity to haul out the MIG welder.
The final equipment failure I experienced was with my new wireless microphone setup. In order to give me the ability to provide commentary while on the move, I invested $280 in a Saramonic Blink500 Pro wireless mic kit. It worked great on a couple of test videos I shot in my workshop, however after returning from this ride, I was surprised to discover zero sound/commentary on any of the GoPro footage I took . Nada, nothing, zilch! So, I am now in the process of returning this dud to Amazon for a refund and have already purchased a replacement RØDE Wireless Go II set up. Seems to be much better kit and offers more functionality such as, keeping a rolling backup recording on the transmitter unit itself….useful for when things go wrong. Obviously, the upshot of this is that the video I took will need to be edited with voice-overs and music to replace any commentary I provided along the way. However, that means losing the spontaneity of live commentary….so I won’t. Fortunately, Keith runs his own YouTube channel (Creaky Rider https://www.youtube.com/c/CreakyRider) and has kindly permitted me to link his video of this ride to my MSF page. Please enjoy. Thanks again, Keith. The Amateurish drone footage in Keith’s video was shot from my new DJI AIR2 S. Yet another learning curve for me.
Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll be undertaking the repairs to the Red Peril over the coming days. If anything of interest arises, I’ll be sure to post another update.
Take care and stay healthy.Share
A Rookie MistakeSaturday 27th Nov
My boots filled up with water! This happens when your rain pants pull up over the top of your boots in the bucketing rain. I thought I’d get away with wearing a light pair of high-ankle hiking boots as I rode off this morning for a planned 3-day test run with all my gear aboard. A real rookie mistake for an old geezer. Less than 30kms into the ride, my left boot was all but overflowing. I found out that Gortex is just as effective at keeping water in a boot as it is at keeping it out.
I certainly wasn’t about to spend 3 days camping and riding in cool hinterland weather wearing soggy boots. Trip abandoned….and I hadn’t even left greater Sydney! I headed home for a wardrobe change and to wait out the snotty weather system impacting New South Wales. This ride will have to wait for a few days.
With space, weight and horsepower at a premium on a postie bike, you really want to travel light. I don’t want to be carrying more pairs of shoes than I absolutely need to, so I thought I’d take a dual-purpose footwear strategy. Use hiking boots to ride and walk about in and then I only need a pair of thongs as my alternates. Wrong! That’s why they make motorcycle boots the way they do I suppose. You really want them to be well up under your rain pants when you’re getting washed out in pouring rain and car spray. Lesson learned. I’ll need to factor in additional pair of footwear.Share
The LaunchWednesday 24th Nov
I don’t bend easily anymore and ‘I ache in places where I used to play’ (to quote Leonard Cohen) At 65, I sometimes question whether you get smarter or dumber with age. Well, in truth, I know the answer to that.....Heck, I'm going to ride a Postie bike around the Great Dry Continent!
I once responded to a neurologist who treated me 15 years ago for nerve damage I suffered after yet another motorcycle "off"; "You can fix my injuries, but there's no cure for stupid." This was in response to his question as to whether I had decided to get rid of my motorcycles following that specific accident. Of course, I wasn't. So, in the spirit of that very stupidity and with the support of my wonderful partner, I will be putting myself and a 2012 Honda CT110 Postie Bike to the test by undertaking a circumnavigation of Australia in April 2022.
To make the whole ordeal a worthwhile enterprise, I will be using the ride to draw attention to and raise funds in support of the wonderful and selfless work done around the globe by Medecins Sans Frontieres. Please be sure to follow my journey next year and, if you are able, donate generously to this fantastic organization. Thank you.
The Current State of Play
A series of COVID-19 lockdowns during 2021 have put me well ahead in my preparations and the “Red Peril” is eagerly awaiting the challenge of hauling all my gear plus my fat arse for an estimated 15,000kms around this incredible land. My planned departure date is 25 April 2022 when I intend to head north from Sydney following an anti-clockwise route that will hopefully see me traverse the severe northern regions during the cooler months.
At this stage I’m not certain how long my journey will take. To help me gauge this, I will be doing a test run of 1000kms during the latter part of November 2021 to test things like fuel range, average speeds and my ability to sit on this tiny machine for hours on end as the scenery slowly slides by. I will post an update upon my return.Share
Thank you to my Sponsors
Barbie E Maurizio
Gerald De Haan
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Farrel & Karen
Niki & Jase Pereira
Pam & Michael
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