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

Helmetcam

Well I finally received my helmet camera yesterday. I decided to go for the Oregon Scientific ATC2K due to the fact that it is self contained (no wires or additional recording device required), water resistant and relitively cheap. I did do quite a bit of research on each of them but in the end decided to sacrifice some picture quality for convenience. For those interested, check this site out for people's reviews (both positive and negative) of this camera.

The major reason I purchased it now was to familiarise myself with it in time for our Tasmania trip in February of 2008. In the meantime I am planning to wear it on my daily commute into and out of the city, and will no doubt have lots of snippets to share, but hopefully nothing too major!

I would like to send a big, big thankyou to KTDid for arranging the purchase of it in the US and then sending it out to me.

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A Ride South With Some GSX1400's

Well, Sunday wasn't looking too good - cloudy and a little cooler almost like it was gonna rain. I was hoping for sunshine as this was the first organised run Kat and I had done for a few weeks. We set off from my place at about 7:30am heading for the BP at exit 38 on the M1. It was here that we planned to meet three of the six GSX's for our south ride.

The ride down the motorway was non-eventful, although we did pass through a radar at well over the speed limit - just lucky that we don't have plates on the front! Saw a few more cops than usual on the way to our destination, but we always knew this would be the case due to the start of school holidays.

We pulled into the BP just before 8, grabbed ourselves a couple of coffees and spent a bit of time watching another group of about 30 bikes (and a scooter) gather and then take off. After a while the other three GSX's showed up - Tyruss, grungenut and cruzzo. We said our g'days and then headed off, following the Beaudesert-Beenleigh Rd and then turning onto the Mundoolin Link Rd, arriving in Canungra just as the sun decided to break through, about 9:30. A great little squirt. We spent a short while waiting, catching up with ODF and then Michael. Our original plan was to ride over the border via Numinbah, but once we were all there, we decided to alter that and take the road to Rathdowney then over the border via Lions Rd.

The ride from Canungra to Rathdowney was nothing too special - a lot of flat straight roads with not too much traffic. Once we rode into Rathdowney we regrouped and took a left hand turn at the servo, opposite the pub, and proceeded onto Lions Rd. Not far up, we passed a cop car sitting on the side of the road with occupants sitting on the bonnet and observing the traffic pass. We made our way up the track and pulled over at the lookout for a few pics. This road is fantastic to ride with lots of tight and undulating sections, but I had Kat on the back so was forced to take it a little easier than usual and we became the tail enders. The only thing I don't like are the numerous cattle grids, which become very slippery when wet.

We pulled into the lookout just over the border for a couple of pics and then preceeded on towards Kyogle - the road decends then flattens out a little and becomes a a lot easier to ride with a pillion, but you still need to be on the ball coz it's not that wide. We rolled into Kyogle at about midday and headed straight to the Commercial Hotel for lunch. I caqn highly recommend this place for lunch - a burger that would usually feed two, and it was spot on!!

After finishing lunch, most of the guys wanted to get home in a hurry to see the Moto GP and Stoner ride, so they took the road to Mt Lindsay. Michael and us two took the road back to Murwillumbah, and ya know what? I reckon they missed the best part of the ride. We had a great time on the climb, decent and then lengthy run to Uki. It's just such a pity that the good bit of the road is a little chewed up from the trucks that use it. Anyway, we enjoyed it.

We got to Murwillumbah and then joined the M1 heading north with the rest of the weekend traffic. Michael peeled of at Mudgeereeba where he lives and we continued the 70kms back to my place. We were exhausted at the end of it, but happy as!

Canungra on a busy Sunday morning

Nice asses!!

Three blue & whites and three blacks

Us fellas and our bikes at the Lions Rd lookout

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SMART Training

Finally got around to completing the SMART full day rider training on Saturday. Kat & I did previously attend but were not allowed to participate due to the condition of my tyres.

We arrived, registered and then gathered in a conference room at the Gold Coast City Council chambers at Bundall, where we were welcomed by the five HART trainers and then provided with some basics on positioning, cornering, risk management and maintenance. They then went through the agenda for the day - we would be covering some of the best and most popular roads in the hinterland on a fantastic day for riding, and would be split into groups of four or five so that we could be observed. All up there were 24 bikes including cruisers, tourers and sporties but only two of us were riding with pillions.

We headed out to our bikes in the car park for the first of a number of demos on braking - one of the guys went through the advantages of front versus rear brakes and covering your brakes in readiness. He then started showing off with some front wheel stoppies in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the front brakes - I gotta say they weren't too bad either!! We then split into groups with our designated trainers and set off.

We were able to use these great roads to practice what had been discussed - positioning, braking, cornering - I personally found it to be very well run and done as an open forum - no 'do as I say' but rather very positive and encouraging feedback. I did pick up that my approach to corners was too tight, and so limited my vision - by going in wide and exiting tight I am able to get a better view of the road further around the corner. It did take a little getting used to changing it, but by the end of the day, it was coming naturally. It was a real benefit for my riding. Well done guys, and a very, very big hats off to the Gold Coast City Council for making an effort to try and head off the sometimes reckless riding that takes place in the hinterland.

Unfortunately this was the last weekend it will be run until March of next year. I recommend that everyone try and do it - for $45 you get a shirt, cap, lunch as well as improving your riding skills - a bargain in anyones language!!

The route we followed

Stop 2 up near Springbrook

Stop 3 at Hinze Dam

Stop 6 at Upper Coomera

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Agro Drivers

What is it with Brisbane drivers - why are a lot of them so bloody agro? I was happily making my way into work this morning, a bit later than usual, so the traffic was heavier than what I normally ride in. I made my way to the Wynnum & Manly Rd intersection and filtered through the traffic almost to the front, sitting behind a guy at the front in a blue Falcon. The lights turn green and we roll off - just as the Falcon enters the intersection a 4WD turns into our lane from Belmont Rd. This is when it got interesting.

The guy driving the Falcon sped up and sat right behind the 4WD sitting on his horn and flashing his hazard lights, as if he had been cut off. In my opinion, the 4WD had enough room and time to slot into the traffic without causing any issue, but Mr Agro in the Falcon thought otherwise! He continued to sit right behind him, and may have even nudged him, he was that close. I watched this from about 20 metres behind the Falcon, dropping back to avoid anything that may have happened. As we rounded the slight bend I could see a fully laden truck that was parked out the front of the Tingalpa Hotel delivering steel, so I moved into the middle lane. You could just see that something was going to happen - the 4WD was able to move out of the blocked lane and in front of another vehicle just before the parked truck. But Mr Agro wasn't so lucky. He slammed into the back of the truck doing about 70kmh.

As he hit the truck the back of his car became airborne and swung around, partly blocking my lane. Glass and plastic were spat into my path and for a second I thought I was heading straight into his rear passenger side door. I immediately hit the picks, but in doing so locked it up on a piece of the Falcons plastic. I released my brakes and safely made it around, pulling over in front of the truck. I quickly got off the GSX and ran back to see if he was ok, cause it was an almighty hit. He seemed fine, although very lucky that he wasn't injured. I only stayed on the scene long enough to make sure he was alright, and once I spoke with him I left. I didn't want to hang around because the whole thing was his own fault. Had he just let the 4WD go and stayed calm, it probably wouldn't have happened.

I got to work and am still a little shaken up as I type - another near miss, phew! I could have really made use of a helmetcam this morning.

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Lucky Dodge

I got a call on Saturday night from Grizz informing me that Dodge had come off his bike and was being airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital. Apparently Steve, Denitta and Dodge were planning to head out towards Kingaroy for a bit of a look but instead decided to pay Koff and Trish visit up in Biloela. Not far from Monto, Dodge took off from Steve and Denitta and they lost sight of him - they rounded a curve onto a straight section of road and could see something smoking off in the distance. As they closed in on it they realised it was Dodge's Speedmaster and he was off to the right laying on the edge of the road.

They told me that they when the got to him and that he had lost consciousness, but still had his eyes open - thankfully, he was breathing (won't go into the gory detail). They called an ambulance and waited for it to arrive. In the meantime, Koff had decided to ride out from Biloela to meet them, not knowing what had happened. He told me that he came across them on the side of the road with a couple of other people who had stopped to help and that Dodges bike was really burning up, so hot that parts of it had begun melting.

Anyway, Dodge was taken to Monto Hospital and they then decided to fly him to Bundaberg. Turns out that he has a broken arm, dislocated wrist, missing front tooth and some pretty bad road rash - he may well have more that that, I am still not sure. Luckily, he was moved down to Brisbane late last night and is now in the RBH. I will be dropping in to see him this arvo. He has only just got over his last incident - from the sounds of it he is a very, very lucky lad.

The one thing that has really stuck with me about this is that while we, the people I regularly ride with, may not talk every week, we have all since spoken and Dodge now has our support - everyone has a part to play, even if it is only going to see him in hospital. I will post updates of his progress.

It seems to have been a really bad weekend on the roads in SE Queensland, not only for Dodge but others as well - in the forums that I regularly visit I have read posts about three other bikers going down in the Gold Coast hinterland and on Mt Mee - no fatalities as far as I know, but a rider down is always one too many! Please stay alert and ride safe.

Update....
Went and saw Dodge last night (Monday) at the Royal Brisbane Hospital - I could not believe how good he looked for someone who came off a bike at well over 100kmh with an open face helmet and no gloves or leather jacket!! He was walking around no problem and besides having both arms in plaster, a missing tooth and a few scratches, he is in good spirits. I spoke at length with him about riding and whether he was going to continue - initially he felt that his luck was up and that he would give it away, but after thinking about it he said he will continue, although at a slower pace. I took a few pics of him that I will post when I can.


In good spirits...as usual

Oh yeah....what a picture!!

Another Update....
Went and saw Dodge again last night (Thursday) - the road rash on his face is healing real quick and he seems to be doing fine. Saw a scan of his left wrist - gees, it looks real messy! You get some idea of what it's like by checking it out in the first pic below - ouch! Anyway, hopefully he will have plates inserted in it today and be out for the weekend. Dodge did say to thank everyone for their well wishes and a special thanks to Steve & Denitta as well as Koff for their assistance on site. Well done guys!

Stevo & Koff comfort him on the scene


Not too much left of the Speedmaster....

.....this is what it used to look like.

In the Bundy Hospital with Stevo and Koff

36 staples later......

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A Weekend Missed In Motorcycle Paradise

I was unable to get out on the better roads over the weekend, besides the ride down and back along the M1 to Kat's place at Kingscliff. Was Fathers Day yesterday so was able to spend a bit of time with my girls and Kat's daughter, which was good.

I did manage to take one of the girls boyfriends out for a quick 10km squirt along the motorway, taking the Murwillumbah turnoff and then heading back to Kingscliff through Cudgen. He is considering a bike and was really taken by the GSX, especially after the ride. I reckon that it is a little too powerful for an inexperienced rider, so gave him an idea of what he should be looking for to start with.

The weekend weather was absolutely perfect for riding and I was quietly kicking myself for not being able to get out. After reading the latest post by Chef on Motorcycle Paradise, I was even more annoyed!! He covers a lot of the roads I also ride and the pictures he takes really capture the essence of what the area is like. Have a read of some of his posts and you will understand how the name for his blog came about.

Oh well, there will be plenty more great weekends to come now the weather is starting to warm up and I am really looking forward to them.

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