no rules...no politics...just ridin'

Australia Day Short Long Weekend

With Friday being Australia Day and also a public holiday, we had planned to ride down the Oxley Hwy for the long weekend, staying at Uralla on Friday night and Bowraville on Saturday night before returning to Brisbane on the Sunday. We didn't even make it to Uralla.

To cut a long story short, both Kat and I came off the bike on the road to Armidale. It was a hot, steamy afternoon and had just started to rain quite heavy - we were navigating a fairly twistie section and on a down hill right hander my front tyre managed to find a bit of diesel on the road. Did a bit of a front wheel fishtail and down she went.

On coming off we slid along the wet and greasy road for a short distance before hitting some really soft leaf litter on the side of the road - this saved any serious injury. Luckily we stopped before hitting the power pole that was fast approaching. Steve and Denita were riding behind us and saw it all happen while Grizz and his son were a little further back. They pulled up and made sure we were ok and then picked the bike up. We got up and brushed ourselves off - Kat complained of a sore leg - the only other injuries were just some really bad bruises on her legs and gravel in her hand. Think the bruising was from where I landed on her (poor girl!). I ended up with a bruise on my hip - nothing more. Luckily we had just previously stopped to put on jackets and I put my fingerless gloves on. This move saved a lot of skin.

The bike however didn't fare quite as well. On hitting the road it appears that the bike slid for a distance loosing one of the bags and then the front wheel hit a culvert on the side of the road. The impact twisted and bent the front forks, cracked the front fender, dented the tank and bent/scratched numerous other items. After making sure we were ok, I jumped back on the bike and tried to start it - it fired but would not kick over.

Whilst on the corner we watched a number of vehicles slip and slide as they negotiated the bend. A sports bike managed to slide on the approach to the corner as well, but he was able to control the slide. He pulled up to catch his breath and see if we were ok and then took off again. Grizz suggested we move away from the corner and find somewhere a more suitable to check the bike so he took his son down to a grassed area and came back to get Kat - I rolled down the hill but had a hell of a time trying to steer. We mucked around for a while trying to start the bike but it appeared hopeless. Steve needed to get air into his slowly leaking tyre so he and Denita took off for air, to try and find Dodge and someone to tow my bike.

Dodge returned about 20 minutes later with a couple of local guys in utes. We were able to use the side of the tray on one of them as a ramp and got my bike up and secured. The guy driving the ute was Jim, a very casual sort of bloke, and he worked at the Dorrigo school as a groundsman. He suggested we go to Dorrigo for the night, which was about 20 minutes away, and then try to arrange transport from there. We agreed and took off, driving for about 5 minutes to an old fuel stop on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and stopped for a drink. We let the others know and they decided to come with us.

Jim drove Kat, Denita (Steve's tyre was still a bit dodgy) and I to Dorrigo while the others followed on their bikes. We pulled into the Dorrigo Hotel and pulled the bike from the ute. I made sure I got Jim a carton of stubbies to thank him for his help. He really went out of his way for us and we really needed and appreciated it. We checked in, getting hold of the last room - a 10 bed dorm room, the last one they had, and then headed down to the dining room for some food. After eating we had a few "quiet" drinks in the front bar and then out on the balcony upstairs!! It was decided that the best plan of action was to drive down the range to Coffs Harbour in the morning and hire a ute for the bike.

The next morning I got a lift down to Coffs from an older couple who had also stayed at the Hotel. The road down was slow and twisty but was truely spectacular - views out to the coast with a couple of waterfalls along side the well maintained and appropriately named Waterfall Way. The road was also fringed by rainforest which made it even more spectacular. As you can tell, I had never been out this way before, but can say I will definitely be coming back. Anyway, I was dropped off and picked up the ute.

I followed the same road back up the range to Dorrigo reaching the Hotel about an hour and a half after leaving. The others had already headed off back to Brisbane so there was just Kat waiting. We now had to load the bike onto the back of the hire ute. I managed to get hold of a ramp and we got some help from another group of bikers that had pulled up for a drink at the pub. They helped push it up and then secured it - another group of really decent guys. I offered them a drink but they refused saying that is what riding is all about. Top blokes.

We left Dorrigo about midday and headed back down the range and onto the Pacific Hwy heading home. We got back to Kat's place in Kingscliff at about 6pm to pick her car up and then headed up to my place.

I will now be without a bike, or any form of transport for a number of weeks - at least we walked away from it relatively injury free.





Friday morning - Australia Day - and ready to go..



With the crew at the Kyogle Pub on the way



Roadside stop



It was hot - finding some shade was hard!



On the Armidale Rd where we put on our jackets shortly before our accident



On the back of the ute bound for home



Dented tank



Cracked fender



Plenty of paint off

Pipes


Scratching on left side crankcase cover



A not so happy Kat at the doctors getting her hand cleaned



Doesn't look that bad but she was in a fair bit of pain - WEAR YA BLOODY GLOVES

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3 Comments:

Blogger Giest said...

oh no! glad to hear you guys made it out okay. i'm sure that could have been a hell of a lot worse.

here's to you and kat. hope the wounds heal quick and the repairs are cheap.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous The Snark said...

Glad that you and Kat are ok mate.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Biker Betty said...

Gosh, really sorry to hear about the spill and so glad you're both okay. Take Care, Betty

2:31 PM  

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