Thursday 30 June 2011

Bike servicing photos!

New fork preload, made from pvc, against the old spacers

Metal fragments captured on the magnetic sump plug

Carb disassembly and cleaning. Was mostly clean anyway, should idle better now though

Naked bike. It looked like this for a long time while the top suspension bolt was assulted

So it has been a while...

Been here at my brothers place for 12 days now. Going to make it 13, then I have to leave to stick to my schedule. Just as it starts raining a bit.

I have done a lot with the bike though. It takes a long time to do anything however because it's 30 minutes away from Coffs Harbour (larger hardware/electrical shops). So if you find you're missing one part, that's an hour round trip at least, and there is usually several reasons to go so it takes half a day out. And my bike will be out of action so someone else has to take me.

What's been accomplished:

  • Installed battery charging indicator led
  • Wired in a switch on the headlight to comply with Cambodian laws
  • Changed running lights to LEDs to save a few watts (and then rewired some lights as the polarity is backwards)
  • Correctly torqued all bolts
  • Removed rounded upper suspension bolt (3 day task...)
  • Repacked spares/tools
  • Full service of bike
So... somewhat better. There's a couple of things left to do tomorrow before setting off on Saturday (suspension preload, wire power into pelican cases).

On the admin side I've set up a computer to remotely back up to while I'm away. I've booked several campsites up the Queensland coast, and planned some extra time in Darwin to look at Kakadu. And then I've repacked my luggage to gain some extra space.

I've also finally applied for and paid for travel insurance. I've gone the super gold mega cover from ihi bupa. I couldn't find any one else who would cover me for travel in areas where smart traveller says do not travel (that's the Thai/Malay boarder and several other places I'm going through). As a bonus if I want to take up heli skiing (where I do not exit the helicopter while it is hovering) then I'm covered!

I've also finally forgotten what work was like. Thanks Rum!

Sunday 19 June 2011

First stop!

After 1583km, $112 on fuel, $182 on accommodation and a $4 meat pie (not very good) I've made it to my brothers place north of Coffs Harbour. The night before I met up with my parents in Uralla and now everyone is here! So I'll just camp out here, work on the bike and do nothing until he kicks me out!

On the way from Uralla to Corindi we stopped at the Dorrigo Rainforest Skywalk to have a look around. They have a walkway out over the tops of the trees where you can see right out to the coast, and it's free:
(You can go look at the view yourself...)

 Then I sped off down the mountian via the Waterfall Way. Here's the most interesting bit of that (it's still very boring though):

And then finally I had to get the touristy shot while I was going past with the bike:

For the next week it will be bike servicing, rethinking my packing (I need a lot more space...), visiting the beach and not doing much!

Friday 17 June 2011

I've departed! (finally)

I left Melbourne yesterday morning after delaying my departure by a day to rethink my packing. I'm now at the end of day two and 858km into the trip. This means I am well ahead of schedule, and also quite far over the  budget. In the end it will average out, it's just an expensive and tiring way to start.

Here's proof the bike went to the dish:

I haven't been camping with my new gear yet as sunset just creeps up too quickly in Winter. Once I slow my pace down and get to a place where sunsets are at a 'normal' time I'll be camping a lot more. And of course once I get to those normal sunset places it will be much warmer.

The Corbin Sargent seat I put on my bike after my last trip is far better than the stock DR seat. I can sit on the bike for much longer now without needing a break, which is good because there hasn't been much of anything for a hundred kilometers at a time:

Friday 3 June 2011

Some of the things I'm taking with me

One point five weeks out I've gone through all my gear to make sure I have everything. I'm sure I'll do this twice more before I go. If I am missing stuff it's not hard to get it on the way, I know I have a few things I need to pick up. Here's a photo of it all spread out in the lounge:
I have (from mostly left to right, top to bottom):

  • All year round clothes
  • Wool layers for Winter
  • Microfiber towel
  • Ultralight tent and tent foot print (Nemo Espri 2P)
  • Wool sleeping bag liner & Sleeping bag
  • Airbed with built in pump (Exped Synmat 7 Pump)
  • Memory foam pillow (Big Agnes Sleeping Giant) and inflatable pillow
  • Ceramic water filter (Katadyn Pocket)
  • Camp Chair (Alite Monarch)
  • Toiletries + Contact lenses
  • Collapsible bucket
  • Gas burner
  • Gas bottle
  • Hand warmer (there should be two... where did the other one go?)
  • Saucepan and lid
  • Plate and cutlery
  • Malaria meds, Squirts meds.
  • iPood (now named the pocket trowel thanks to lawsuit happy Apple)
  • iPod
  • GoPro camera
  • Mini playing cards for when the batteries die in everything else
  • Camera battery charger
  • AA battery charger
  • GPS (Garmin 76CSx)
  • Prescription sunglasses
  • Power adapter
  • Carbon filter bottle + spare filter for bad tasting water. Aluminium bottle for clean water
  • First aid kit
  • Books (Lonely planet Thailand, Lonely planet south east asia, a book on how to read Thai, SAS survival guide, mini atlas)
  • Spot 2 Messenger to let people know I'm OK
  • Canon 350D, 17-70mm lens, 50mm lens, CPL filter and IR filter (for experimentation!)
  • Timer/Auto shutter release
  • USB cables, Charger cables
  • Phone
  • Gorillapod
  • Swissgold coffee filter
  • Laptop and power supply (Asus U31A - 10 hour battery life!)
  • 1TB External drive + Card reader + spare 16GB SD and spare 8GB CF card
  • Passports + Vaccination details
  • Copy of bike rego
  • Pocketknife

There are a couple of items that will be swapped in and out via post along the way depending on where I'm heading. Things like warm clothes, Lonely Planet guides etc. Some of it might be cheaper locally than postage though.

And for bike parts:
A lot of things are missing from here and I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I need to take. I have enough there to service the bike, replace/repair tyre tubes, and make carby adjustments for altitude. I don't know where to keep spare oil or spark plugs yet, or the toolkit itself.

So somehow I have to fit all of that, plus food and water on the bike. And make it secure enough that people don't steal it.