Days 28 & 29 – Arriving in Adelaide

Unfortunately Day 28 dawned wet and cold, much like number 27 ended. It wasn’t long though before the dry weather reappeared and the riders, pillions and support crew could enjoy some scenery again at they passed through beautiful country side with vineyards dotted throughout.

The crew eventually arrived in Lindoch Hill where we will stay for a rest day on Monday. Plenty are planning to explore the Barossa…and most likely sample a few local drops.

Day 26 & 27 – Heading East

Day 26 meant the start of the last week of the ride, and a new state for the group – South Australia.

It was a day of sightseeing and another day of extreme winds. The Great Australian Bite provided some fantastic scenery to view from the back of the bikes, but the winds made more than a few riders a little wary.

The local Bowling Club put on a great meal and some raffles so there were a few happy campers who got to sample some fresh, local oysters.

The rain began in the early hours and pretty much didn’t let up for the whole of the 27th day of the tour. Riding conditions were horrendous and no one on the back of a bike remained dry.

Eventually everyone made it to Port Augusta without any incidents. Not a good day for sightseeing, so a lot chose the quick router which bypassed Streaky Bay. I think everyone went to bed praying, wishing and hoping for a dry day to follow where the group heads to Adelaide for a final rest day before the end of the tour.

Days 24 & 25 – Esperance, Balladonia and the longest straight stretch of road in the country

One of the great things about this trip is that many of the smaller groups within the group are also taking the opportunity on this journey around the country to see more of each town we visit. Some great photos and stories are developing and it is wonderful to see so many people enjoying exploring Oz.

There was some beautiful scenery of Mallee scrub and timber and salt lakes through the undulating hills.

The day brought different conditions from one minute to the next, so after passing through some questionable weather on leaving Esperance, with rain one minute, hot, dry winds the next, topped off with lightning – riders were glad to get to Balladonia.

And there wasn’t a lot to be found there apart from a petrol station, the accommodation and a bar – so of course many of the crew sampled a few ales and made acquaintances with the locals as only they know how.

There were probably a few late starters after the night at the bar, but then the riders faced a fair challenge just after leaving Balladonia at the longest straight stretch of road in Australia – nearly 147 kms. Combined with strong winds which kept the riders on their toes, the bikes were literally being blown across the lanes.

Again the weather came to into play with a huge storm catching some of the riders on the way into Border Village, which is on the border of South Australia. Then it was a group photo to capture the moment.

Days 22 to 23 – Margaret River to Albany

Lower kms to ride each day means more time for sightseeing. On the trip from Margaret River to Albany everyone enjoyed a mix of good roads, good riding and good scenery. Many stopped to see the Gloucester Tree which is 61 metres high and some even chanced the climb.

Days 19, 20 & 21 – Geraldton, Scarborough and Margaret River

From Geraldton, the crew got back on the road for a 429km day. Passing through Dongarra, Eneabba, Badgingarra and Fremantle, the sights were again fantastic with the Pinnacles a highlight – even if the temperature was down quite a few notches from the 40+ days recently.

Scarborough provided another rest day on Friday, with many bikes heading receiving some TLC with new tyres and servicing the order of the day. Mechanics in Scarborough must be thanking their lucky stars that the AAR crew chose their town for the rest stop!

The short trip of 290kms to Margaret River from Scarborough meant a sleep in for many of the riders.

There have been plenty of encounters with generous people who on hearing the Steven Walter Foundation story, hand over some cash to donate to the cause. So thanks to everyone who has put their hand in their pockets so far.

Another rest day in Margaret River on Sunday meant a range of different activities. Some enjoyed some time to catch up on domestic duties, some sampled the local wines on a tour and some headed out of town to see the sights of Cape Leeuwin and the lighthouse and where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Some were even lucky enough to see whales at play whilst they were there.

Days 15 to 18 – Broome to Geraldton

Broome was a rest stop for the entire crew and many chose different ways to enjoy their two days off. With a few long days ahead of 600+ and 800+ kms, a lot avoided sitting on the backs of their bikes and headed out to see what the town had to offer.

Cable Beach was a beautiful highlight, particularly watching the sunset with the other 4WD tourists and camel back riders. Some of the group also took up the chance to ride camel-back – quite a change to go from horse power to the gentle rolling motion, but a great way to relax and see the sights.

Cable Beach sunset

Cable Beach sunset

Bikes on Cable Beach Broome

Bikes on Cable Beach in Broome

Support van joining the bikes on the beach

Support van joining the bikes on the beach

After some much needed time to recharge, the crew headed out on Monday 18 October to Port Hedland. Not a lot to say about the roads except that there were many road trains to cope with, but many were pleased to find the food in Port Hedland a welcome change. Staying in a motel built to house the many mining workers, it appeared basic, but was one of the best so far. With a big 800+ km day to Carnarvon tomorrow, most headed to bed early to beat the last support vehicle which was leaving at 6am.

The longest trip of the whole tour got underway early for everyone. And while in the early pre dawn hours the temperature was cool, it would soon rise to more than 40 and stay there for much of the day. It was a long, hot, hard, red slog for the riders. The main concern was ensuring that everyone reached Carnarvon in one piece – which happily they did. Dehydration and fatigue were the real enemies but most coped well by stopping regularly, rehydrating and riding within their means and were all ready for an early night after an epic day of riding.

The next day saw the crew leave Carnarvon and head to Geraldton. Just a short day of 477km, almost half of what was ridden the day before. Leaving he banana plantations at Carnarvon, the landscape quickly returned to red scrubby bush.

Once in Geraldton the crew gathered at the local Police Station after they offered to host a BBQ in support of the ride. While we were there they presented a cheque to add to the fundraising efforts. They also helped in getting the local media along with WIN and GWN television covering the ride, so we are very appreciative for all of their efforts in supporting us.

Geraldton Police Station

Geraldton Police Station

Cooking Cops

Cooking Cops

Days 11 to 14 – Kununurra to Broome

It’s been a while between posts, but with these next few hopefully we will catch you up with some of what’s been happening on the ride.

With plenty of hills and winding roads, leaving Kununurra and heading to Fitzroy Crossing was a scenic ride. The days have been hot, hot, hot – up to 39 degrees on some. There was also a roadside stop between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing as it was a 290kms run without any fuel service.

There has been some rain which prevented some of the crew from checking out Geikie Gorge. The water was flowing too fast across the road to risk taking bikes across. The scenery has changed yet again, from the mountainous, colourful and changing landscapes with something inspiring around every corner to flat, long roads that don’t offer much.

One of the most talked about features though has been the boab trees. Plenty of riders seem taken with them and have taken some amazing photos of the hundreds of different shapes and sizes.

The sight of the Indian Ocean was a welcome one for many riders. It was a hot day as the crew made their way into Broome, even if it was only a short day of just 400kms.

A muster was held for a mass ride for the film crew who will be leaving us in Broome & rejoining in Lyndoch Hill, SA or thereabouts.

Broome promises a few welcome days off – for both bikes and riders – after more than 5,000kms since Tenterfield.

It’s not too late to enter the Snowy Ride

It’s not too late to enter the Snowy Ride, however ‘start packs’ for any entries received at the Steven Walter Foundation office after Thursday 28 October 2010 will not be posted out to you as the snail mail may not reach you before the Snowy Ride.

If you enter after 28 October, please contact the SWF office either via email admin@stevenwalterfoundation.org.au or by phone on 02 9542 5885 to advise which checkpoint you would like to collect your start pack from:

Friday 5 November

  • Thredbo at the Snowy Ride Merchandise Shop
  • Cooma in Centennial Park, Sharp Street, Cooma

Saturday 6 November

  • Thredbo at the Snowy Ride Merchandise Shop
  • Cooma in Centennial Park, Sharp Street, Cooma
  • Jindabyne at the NPWS Visitors Centre, Kosciusko Road, Jindabyne

Updated Snowy Ride Entertainment – Brewster Brothers concert in the Village Square

We can now confirm that the Brewster Brothers, John and Rick Brewster, will be performing on Saturday 6 November at the Snowy Ride.

Make your way to the Village Square at 9pm to join in the fantastic atmosphere of the open air concert following what will be a great day’s riding for the tenth anniversary Honda Snowy Ride.

John and Rick Brewster are the foremost songwriters and guitarists of the legendary group The Angels, one of Australia’s most loved and respected bands, and favourites at the Snowy Ride having performed there a number of times over the past ten years. It’s great to have them back to help celebrate our tenth anniversary milestone.

Other Entertainment in Thredbo over the weekend includes:

Friday 5 November

  • The Schuss Bar – RELOAD (Clarkey’s Band)

Saturday 6 November

  • The Schuss Bar – RELOAD (Clarkey’s Band)
  • Live music at The House of Ullr, The Denman Inn and Knickerbocker Restaurant

Snowy Ride: The Knickerbocker for drinks, food and fun

While you’re in Thredbo, come and join The Knickerbocker crew at the Snowy Ride Beer Hall. There’ll be German sausages, beer and wildbrumby schnapps specials as well as pretzels, cakes and Toby’s Estate coffee to enjoy. The beer hall extends from the bar inside, through the restaurant and out onto the deck overlooking the Thredbo river.

Snowy Ride Open Hours at The Knickerbocker
Friday 5th November from 4pm for drinks and dinner
Saturday 6th November from 11am for lunch, drinks and dinner
Sunday 7th November for lunch
Bookings welcome.

Ride stop! wildbrumby Distillery
As you wind your way up the Alpine Way towards Thredbo, why not stop at the wildbrumby Distillery. There’s free tastings of wildbrumby schnapps, beer on tap and great meals, coffee and cakes at the 2010/2011 Good Food Guide listed Distillery Door Cafe. The Distillery is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

visit http://www.theknickerbocker.com.au/content/snowy-ride-weekend for more information

The Knickerbocker
Bar and Restaurant
Riverside Cabins, Diggings Terrace, Thredbo 2625
Phone: 02 6457 6844
Email: contact@theknickerbocker.com.au