• SANDSTONE TO WILUNA P1010475
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
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    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
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  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA REV 1 P1010768
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
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  • SANDSTONE TO WILUNA P1010475
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
    ...
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA P1010524
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA REV 1 P1010768
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
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I start walking soon

I start walking soon

I begin my journey in the first week of May 2017....hopefully..... - Posted on 27 April 2017.

Hi, Alan Melville here and I'd like to welcome you to my blog dedicated to my journey along the Bicentennial National Trail.

So a bit about the site. If you pop your Email in the field to the left and hit subscribe, you'll not have to come back and check to see if I've made any updates as you'll automatically receive a notification. Later on we'll add comments and to stop the spam, we'll put in a "Capchta" so we know your human.

The idea is too keep the site simple and therefore easy to navigate.

Don't pay too much attention to the cycling pics that are visible at the moment. They are just to add a bit of colour and are from a ride I did back in 2015, which incidentally, I purchased an old 1800 buck ute to finish the ride with....... another story, another day.......

This walk is not connected to any sponsorship or charity, it's just amongst the many different 'crazy' [I've been informed!] things I do.

Please don't expect continual updates, there will be some sections where I'll be out of contact for perhaps weeks at a time. Let's say all updates will flow with a regular irregularity. :) However, there is a Twitter tab, and once I get a handle on how all that high tech shit works, I'll use it for posting meaningless pictures of food like other people do.....can you even do that on Twitter or is that Instagram?????

So, the plan.....

I hope to fly into Cairns on Friday the 5/5/2017. I need to pick up a battery from Jaycar for running my electronics, and I'll then jump on a bus Saturday morning and head to Cooktown, where, no doubt, I'll need to visit the local Supermarket to pick up 'high tech specialized' trail food, [baked beans, salami, you know, that sort of shit] I'll hunt down the trail head and maybe start walking Saturday arvo if I feel up to it, otherwise I'll leave Sunday morning.

In order to carry all the shite that we deem necessary in this modern age, I'm going to use a 'Monowalker' which is a 1 wheeled hiking trailer. I'm told by its inventor, Kai, that it will halve the weight on my shoulders due to the harness system it utilises. Trust me, I shall be keeping this under close surveillance and will report all findings here. I'll be assembling the Monowalker [hereafter known as the MW] tomorrow. My first impression is one of very high quality, attention to detail and it's blatantly obvious that it's designed by a German and NOT made in China!!! Mind you, it cost me a few bucks to land it here in OZ.

The MW and obtaining the required permissions / guide books from the BNT committee are the extent of my 'Training and preparation' that have taken place for this trip. However, those that know me well will understand that I don't require any further prep than that. The preceding comes with one caveat; I have eaten like a horse this year and put on 17 Kg's for the walk. I suspect I'll lose about 20 Kg's if I complete the walk. I've already lost 3 Kg on a motorbike ride I've just completed from the Gold Coast back home to Muka........bring on the Mars Bars I say.......  :)

So, here's a few silly little stats for you, I have an sad history for working out these silly little things......                                                      

I'll very likely end up walking 5500 K's, if I finish, for me this equates to approximately 7,857,142 steps. My boots weigh approx: 650 Grams per boot, so I'll therefore lift 2,553 Kg [not taking into account mud 'n' crud en-route] with each foot. I'm already thinking of staying at home or going for a motorbike ride....... I'm not even going to go into the stats that involve altitude gain / loss...... 

OK, it's way past my bed time. Here's hoping I can keep you entertained with 'stories from the trail' and also post a few nice pics of the country I pass through. 

Here's an article about the BNT from Wikipedia;

History

The trail was initiated and planned by the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association. The association spent many years planning and negotiating a route that linked up the musteringbrumby tracks, pack horse trails, historic coach roads and stock routes, thus providing an opportunity to legally ride the routes of stockmen and drovers who once travelled these areas.[3]

 
Trail Marker

The development of this image was left to a committee led by R. M. Williams. Dan Seymour was sponsored by R.M. Williams to find a route along the Great Dividing Range, and to promote enthusiasm for the proposal. Dan volunteered to ride the Trail and set off from Ferntree Gully, Victoria in February 1972 with two saddle horses, a packhorse and ‘Bluey’ his blue heeler cattle dog. The Australian Trail Horse Riders Association provided Dan with encouragement during this lengthy journey. His amazing twenty-one month ride finished in Cooktown, Queensland in September 1973. Dan’s journey, which was regularly reported, created increased interest in the formation of the Trail.

The development of this image was left to a committee led by R. M. Williams and coordinated and planned by Brian Taylor [4] in cooperation with the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association affiliated clubs, farmers, landowners and government agencies.

 
Medallion presented to those who carried the first mail on the BNT

In 1978 the first mail was carried along the route, initially known as the National Horse Trail, from Cooktown by a group of registered riders. These riders were acknowledged with a commemorative medallion.

The Trail committee proposed that the concept be made a project to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary in 1988. The suggestion was accepted, and funding of $300,000 was available to research, mark a route and print guidebooks. In November 1988, this had been accomplished and the Bicentennial National Trail was opened. Since the opening of the trail people have travelled all or a part of the trail with camels and donkeys as well as with horses and mountain bikes.

Bicentennial National Trail Riders From Cooktown to Healesville 5330 km & From Healesville to Cooktown 5330 km[5]

1989

  • Ken Roberts and Sharon Muir Watson (south with Horses Cooktown to Healesville)The first horse riders North to South.

1991

  • Arlene Christopherson, (north with horses Healesville to Cooktown) The first horse rider South to North.
  • Anthony Mair and Melissa Weeks, (heading north with horses from Healsville to Cooktowwn)

1994

  • Gabrielle Schenk (south with horses Cooktown to Healesville)

1995

  • Darryl(Doc) Eckley and Robyn Surry Healesville to Cooktown

1997

  • Peter Spotswood (Cooktown To Healesville with horses)

1999

  • Geoff Daniel (Healesville to Cooktown with horses)
  • Ed and Maria Van Zelderen. ( Cooktown to Healsevllle to Cooktown with horses 10000 km) The first Riders both directions.

2000

  • Urs Marquardt and Karin Heitzmann, (Cooktown to Healesville on Horses)
  • Dyane Sabourin and Geoff Grundy with daughters Angela and Serena Cooktown to Healesville with 12 horses)

2003

  • Therese Hanna ( Healesville To Cooktown with horses)

The Trail[edit]

 
In the rainforest with packhorses The Creb track

This Trail links eighteen of Australia's national parks and more than 50 state forest providing access to some of the wildest, most remote country in the world.[6] The Bicentennial National Trail is suitable for self-reliant horse riders, walkers and mountain bike riders. Parts of the Trail, such as some of the Jenolan Caves to Kosciuszko section, are suitable for horse-drawn vehicles.[6] The BNT trail route is not open to motorised vehicles or trail bikes, and pets or dogs are not permitted. The trail is divided into 12 sections, of 400 to 500 kilometres, each with a corresponding guide book.

1. Cooktown to Gunnawarra; the trail passes through rain forest, gold fields and historical tin mining towns.

2. Gunnawarra to Collinsville, through the grazing country of far north Queensland.

3. Collinsville to Kabra

4. Kabra to Biggenden

5. Biggenden to Blackbutt

6. Blackbutt, Queensland to the New South Wales border at Cullendore; this start of this section of the trail follows the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.[7]

7. Killarney to Ebor; this is a rugged remote section that follows the Guy Fawkes River through Guy Fawkes River National Park[8] and across Waterfall Way.

8. Ebor to Barrington Tops, is another rugged remote section that passes through Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. After passing Ebor the trail crosses the Point Lookout Road before it passes briefly through Cunnawarra National Park. It then runs on the east of Georges River until it crosses the Armidale to Kempsey road. The track is mostly unmarked as it follows the Macleay River past the historic East Kunderang homestead in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Following Kunderang Brook it winds its way to mustering huts at Left Hand Hut, the remote Middle Yards Hut, Youdale’s Hut and to Cedar Creek on the edge of Werrikimbe National Park. After crossing the Oxley Highway the trail passes through the Mummel Gulf National Park. This section takes at least five days to travel and all food and equipment has to be carried. There are numerous creek and river crossings, with some steep ascents and descents.

9. Barrington Tops to Jenolan Caves

10. Jenolan Caves to Kosciuszko

 
The start in Cooktown

11. Mt Kosciuszko to Omeo, including the Tom Groggin Track

12. Omeo to Healesville, near Melbourne

 

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Big day

Big day

Here is some of my equipment. - Posted on 29 April 2017.

Been a busy day getting things together. Got the MW assembled. It's built very nicely, there were only 2 holes that didn't align 100%, they were out by about a quarter of a mm.

Made up a cover for the mattress.

Mmm... I'll have to work on how to get more than 1 pic up....

Tommorrow....

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Pics of all and sundry

Pics of all and sundry

Been a busy bee today, with success. - Posted on 30 April 2017.

Well today I changed to boxes as opposed to the bag. The boxes suit my packing techniques better. I'm trying to take a rather special camera with me but it and it's associated gear weigh in at a total of 15 Kg. Still, I got it to fit on board and will see how I go in the first month. I've packed, discarded, repacked several times to minimise my base weight. This is the weight prior to adding food and water. I've got it down to a point I'm satisfied with and will totalise it tomorrow. I'm going to make a bit of a tail carrier up for the tent as it weighs 3 Kg, dry, and will always be the first off and last on. It will also shift some weight to the rear side of the axle and therefore [maybe!] act as a counterbalance. [Yeah, right. We'll see about THAT!!]

I've discovered that it only takes 3 Kg of imbalance to one side to make a major difference to the ease of handling. I'll therefore take my small digital luggage scales with me. I use them to pick up each of the handlebars and compare the weight required to lift them. A favourite way of to achieve balance is simply kick the lower box in the direction required to balance the weight, works a charm and I do it with flair......  :) It gives one a primal satisfaction of being the Alpha male in this circus.......

OK, let's see how I do with the pics tonight!!!!!

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False Start.

Off to a bad start - Posted on 12 May 2017.

I left the hostel around 8ish and headed down to the trailhead. I towed the trailer but en-route I made the decision to have a shot at pushing it as I was really struggling with the weight / balance. After the obligatory pics I went to have a big breaky at a Café recommend by a friend of mine…… Yeah, good recommendation, it was shut and would open tomorrow morning!!! Thanks mate……
I stopped at the trailhead on the way back and fired up the mapping program, OziExplorer, none of my maps loaded…. None….holyshit I thought, don’t panic, they were there yesterday. Power down , power up, nope, power down, remove SD card, power up, insert card, TANAH, all good! Much relief in the Melville camp!!
I headed off and had breaky at a little Café en-route. From there I headed to the hardware store to pick up a couple of bolts for the solar panel. Upon arrival I pulled the release on the MW, I wasn’t quiet ready for the release and the whole bloody thing hit the ground uncontrolled. This resulted in the LHS handle tearing the aluminium and completely stuffing it. BUGGA, I thought……….. It was pretty catastrophic to say the least and I’m thinking “Well fu”K me, this looks like a carry on from that bloody motor bike! “
I was bloody determined that I would at least get out of town so sat down and thought about it. The solution turned out to be dead simple so I set about fixing it, I mean, let’s face it, I was out the front of a hardware store!! 3 hours later and it was as good as gold! Pics will follow.
So, all fixed, however it was now 4 pm ish and I had decided the load was too heavy. I tried to get a room in the hostel but no luck so I camped at a caravan park next to the PO as I’ll send Anthony my cold weather gear tomorrow.
Whole day was a bit of a non-event as far as the big start off really.
Daily distance ; 1.3 Km’s

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Day 1

Day 1

I'm away! - Posted on 12 May 2017.

For the first 4 days I was so knackered at the end of the day I could only jot down dot points. I had intended to expand on these as I recovered but have decided to just put them in anyway.

Day 1.
Left at 11 am.
Posted 4.8kg to Anthony.
Sweating like a dog and drenched after 500 M.
First Hill killed me, massive altitude gain of 57 M !
Humidity around 75 %, Temp around 34 degrees and the rain has completely pissed off. The humidity is absolutely killing me.
Did a bit of dirt, you can stick that where the sun don’t shine, nearly killed me. Sticking to the tar until I’m fitter.
Camped at Chook’s gravel pit, absolutely shagged.
Daily distance. 9.57 k’s.
Total distance. 11.6 k’s

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Day 2

Knackered - Posted on 12 May 2017.

Day 2.
Had an absolutely lousy nights sleep.
Left at 8 am.
Drenched in sweat by 8.10 am!
Knocked over 3.84 k’s without too much trouble. Pulled over for a rest, couldn’t get going, just lost all my energy. Had to unpack my little day tent and have a sleep. Had 2 hours, moved tent back into shade, had something to eat, went back to sleep.
Packed up and moved on about 3 pm.
Stopped at Archer’s road intersection in shade, had been very little shade up to then.
Had covered 6.15 k’s up to then and absolutely shattered.
Waiting for the sun to go down so I could camp. Couple pulls up, yak, yak, yak, why don’t you stay at our place? Sure thing, throw the shit on the ute and off we go. Great couple, great dinner of spag bol, great conversation, great laughs, great view, great night!
Daily distance. 6.15 k’s.
Total distance. 17.8 k’s.

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Day 3

Short day - Posted on 12 May 2017.

Day 3.
Got dropped off at the intersection.
Walked to Trevethan River, very nice. Camped.
Rest day.
Daily distance. 4.35 k’s.
Total distance. 22.2 k’s.

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Day 4

Lions Den Hotel - Posted on 12 May 2017.

Day 4. Thursday 11/5/17.
Had planned to leave very early but having got woken up by a vehicle travelling at really high speed, followed by 2 others about 20 minutes apart, I gave up that notion.
I ended up on the road at 8 am.
Weather was overcast, made a huge difference. Humidity unchanged.
Crossed Black Mountain, was tough but not as tough as the hill in Cooktown, despite being higher.
Whilst stopped for a feed at 10, a very nice couple stopped and gave me a couple of oranges and some grapes. Much appreciated!
From the turn off to the Lions Den Hotel was a good run. 2 minor uphills otherwise downhill or flat.
Arrived at the Lions Den Hotel at 1 ish. Will stay tonight and tomorrow night.
Tomorrow will hitch into Cooktown, post off another batch of junk and restock with more protein based food, as opposed to carbohydrates. Will get a bit of fruit as well.
It may be that I’ve picked up Gauidia (sp?) I may have got it on the motorbike trip. Will visit hospital.
Am going to research electric hub options for the wheel. At present I’m not 100 % sold on MW for this application. To try and follow the BNT on some of the single horse track up the hills is near impossible. Thinking maybe my backpack is the go. Hard call.
The guy who was in front of me with two horses is in Cairns Hospital with an undiagnosed illness evidently. If it’s true, I feel for him as he put a big effort into getting here. Word on the street is one of his horses got crook as well. Poor bastard.
Daily distance. 11.4.
Total distance. 33.6

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DAY 5

- Posted on 30 May 2017.

Day 5.

Had a rest from the trail today.

Hitched into Cooktown,  got a lift very easily.

Updated the blog, only just got it done due to phone battery going flat. Once away from my solar panel, keeping my phone charged is a real hassle.

Found a freebie power source to get enough charge to do some research into electrifying the wheel. May have a solution in a unit called the Add E. It’s 24 Volts which means charging with a solar panel is possible.

Off loaded 6 Kg at the post office. sO, Including the food I offloaded yesterday,  that’s a total of 17 Kg so far this week. I could get my panna camera sent over,  but I’m sure as shit not going to yet!

Bought a you beaut straw hat, nice and light, will find out if it’s nice and cool tomorrow! Bit of a pity I cut vent holes in the Akubra, still,  that’s life.

Didn’t bother with the hospital, woke up feeling pretty good, still do. Maybe I just had a tummy bug.

Bought Salami and fruit.

Walked to the outskirts of town and got a lift with the same guy that I got a lift in with! Life is easy! Took about 20 minutes to get into town........ That’s two zero minutes,  not four days........  

Had a pub dinner of Chicken Kiev, forgot to take a pic for Instagram, Soorrryy!  ;) but hey, it was yummy !!

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DAY 6

- Posted on 30 May 2017.

Day 6.

Whilst I was in town yesterday,  something,  I suspect it was a tree monitor lizard as they were around,  tore a hole in the fly mesh of the tent. Bugga!

Left at 8.10.

Temperature was very pleasant. Overcast until about 12, even had a bit of drizzle. Humidity still high.

Some big Hills to climb.

Had a break around 10:30 am.

Compared to the section above Black Mountain, this area has very few birds which makes it very quiet whilst walking.

Plenty of butterflies here, but then, there were up there as well, although down here they seemed more relaxed, may be something to do with a lesser fear of being eaten on the wing......

Made it to Whitehead Creek,  which made for a 15 Km day. 

Towed, as opposed to pushed, the MW today.  I still struggle with balance but it seemed better today.

Thank God for the drag brake on the downhills! Its very frustrating, I labour up the hills at about 3 KPH and then have to use the drag brake on the downhills  and so only descend at 3 KPH as well, it drives me nuts!!!!

I’m in a very small clearing for the camp but the creek is delightful.

Will try for Ayton tomorrow.

Daily distance.  15.1

Total distance. 48.8

Daily altitude gain. Shitloads! 

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DAY 7

- Posted on 30 May 2017.

Day 7.

Got off to an early start. 7:40 am.

Had a hill immediately upon leaving camp. Crested after 2.5 k’s and 1 hour, hard yakka.

Downhill was 5 k’s long and very steep. Also hard yakka and took 2 hours to get to the bottom.

Hardly any shade today. Hardly any bird life either, the rainforest is a very quiet place, it can be quite errie and I can understand how some people find it claustraphobic.

Did see what I think was a wombat, just caught sight of it scurrying off into the bush.

Stopped for a 20 minute nap at 12:20 ish.

Struggled with the MW and balance today.

Made it to Ayton about 3 pm.

Confirmed by chatting to a local that I’d have to walk up a hill similar to the one I’d come down in order to get out of town.  I don’t think so!

Staying at the Bloomfield Beach Caravan park for 12:50 per night. Booked 2 nights.

Daily distance.  20.4 k’s.

Total distance.  70.5 K’s. 

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DAY 8

- Posted on 30 May 2017.

Day 8.

I wandered down to the wharf as I was told there is mobile reception there, which there is.

I rang Qantas to see if they have bike boxes at Cairns airport.  I wanted to confirm prior to booking a ticket out. After waiting 1 Hr:40 I gave up and booked a ticket to Sydney for tomorrow at 5pm. I booked the bus out to Cairns for an 0810 pick-up at the front of the caravan park. If all goes well, I’ll be in Cairns by lunchtime.

I’m pulling the pin on the walk. It’s just too slow and I have to work too hard with the MW. Not only do I struggle my arse off going up the hills,  but I have to run the drag brake going down the hills as well. It makes for very slow going. I also seem to struggle with balance on it and can never settle into a rhythmic gait, it doesn’t seem to make any difference how I pack it either. For me in particular,  I feel it’s more of a burden pulling it up hills than carrying my pack would be. It’s hard enough on the tar and nearly impossible on the single track the horses use. When I get into the country where that is all there is, I don’t feel I’ll be able to do it. I was already going to skip the CREB track because of this issue.

EDIT. I had an email from Kai, the inventer of the MW, poor bloke was gutted to hear I'm dropping the MW in favor of the bike. I just want to make it clear its nothing to do with the quality or function of the MW. Its simply a personal thing, as I said, I really struggle when towing it, when I push it, like a wheel barrow, I find it very easy to control, it's very obvious to me that it's a hand / eye co-ordination thing. The way I have it all set up, when pushing, the solar panel is always in the shade and this simply wouldn't work. The other issue, as I said, is the roughness / steepness of the trail. On these sections the rocks present a huge challange as they simply stop the MW in its tracks and pulling a dead weight of 50 KG up and over them on a narrow steep trail takes a massive effort. For your info, one of my criteria for the bike was a top notch 'Push Assist' because I would encounter exactly the same issue when pushing a normal bike up these sections, in actual fact, it would be harder as one has to be beside the bike whilst pushing and on a narrow steep trail having the peddles hitting one's legs become a real issue.

So, what am I going to do? Well, in the first instance, one of my daughters is putting a show on board a Maxi Yacht as part of Sydney Fashion Week, hence high tailing it to Sydney. That gig is happening on Thursday, and I secured my seat this morning! After that,  I’m not sure. I’m thinking of leaving my gear in Sydney and heading home to get my bicycle to finish the BNT on it, but I’ll see,  I’m enjoying myself on the track, but as I said, I don’t feel the MW is the way for me to complete it.

One thing that has amazed me is the lack of knowledge amongst the locals, all the way from Cooktown down, about the existence of the track. The bloody thing has been here 30 odd years and even I learnt about it well over 10 years ago!

So there it is, over after only 1 week and 70 k’s! Ah well,  shit happens, and I might be back! Then again, I may just just head to the USA or Germany, there’s a nice bicycle that Tout Terrain make called the Panamericana Xplore that I’ve had my eye on for a while, and I could save shitloads on air tickets if I rode it home...... Now there’s a thought!

Don’t give up on this site just yet,  I’ll put an update about future happenings...... some time in the future......   J

Bye bye for the mo' and thanks for following.

Al.

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DAY 9 THROUGH TO SATURDAY THE 27/5th

DAY 9 THROUGH TO SATURDAY THE 27/5th

- Posted on 30 May 2017.

So, I made it to Cairns and scrounged a bike box from one of the local bike shops [Trinity Cycle Works] to pack the MW into. I then crammed everything into an Uber and off to the airport I went!

Got everything on board and the flight was uneventful and smooth all the way to Sydney. I Uber’d it out to my daughters and arrived by 9 PM.

The next day I was seconded by the Fashionista i.e. the designer of haute couture, otherwise known by Al as 'shit you can't wear'  to do menial tasks around town in readiness for the big event, thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the young crew and had a ball, there is always so much energy in Jameen's events!

Booked in to the YHA at Sydney Central and ended up using it as a base for 6 days.

Thursday's gig on the boat went extremely well, apart from Al taking a wrong turn whilst returning with the young crew's lunch and therefore getting an unscheduled view of the Opera House whilst crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge....... :)  The girls had to upsize the boat as the RSVP's flooded in and it was standing room only on a 400 PAS vessel!!!  Big turnout, great time had by all, although most of the press were a bunch of wackers with very little respect and very little brains!!! You should have seen them, they were like cockroaches scurrying around, eating anything they could, one was walking around eating a whole loaf of bread he'd taken off the table!

After the gig was over I went off to do research on pedal assist bikes, I had developed the idea of riding the BNT with one. I figured it could mean I could tackle even the roughest sections if they were up to scratch. I did a ride on one a couple of years ago and the technology left a little to be desired. Well the tech has well and truly evolved so I seriously started looking at top end model, full suspension mountain bikes with plus sized tyres. I rode several and developed a criteria list. Ironically, the bike that ticked all the boxes, [theoretically] was in Perth. I purchased it sight unseen and unridden, as I had not been able to find one in Sydney. 

I flew into Perth early Monday AM on the 22/5th, dropped my crud at my Nephews and Uber'd off to the bike shop in Osbourne Park. I was sort of hoping this purchase would be OK as I've not had a real good run on blind purchases lately, read Motorbike and MW. I paid the balance after a quick spin and off to my Nephews I went. Empty, on the tar, it performed really well. One has to pedal it as per a normal bicycle but under 25 KPH, the electric motor kicks in and offers powered assistance to the level the rider has selected. There are 4 levels of assist, Eco, Tour, Sport and Boost.

Whilst in Sydney I had tracked down and purchased a Tout Terrain 'Mule' Trailer, this unit works particularly well with full sus bikes. I assembled it at Luke's place, loaded one of my tubs onto it and packed it with what I'd need for the ride back to Muka, as that's what I intended doing.

I left Luke's at lunch time on the Tuesday and did a couple of things en-route to Midland, arriving there at 3 PM. After giving it some thought I decided to ride back to Northbridge to the hostel I stay at, recharge the battery and then train it back to Midland early next day, all of which I did. This gave me the advantage of having a fresh battery pack and plenty of time to test it out on the fire trails that run up the Darling Scarp beside the Toodyay Rd, my route home. This I did and I have to say I'm exceptionally happy with the results. It pulled a 164 KG load up some really gnarly washed out fire trail. Breakdown of the 164 KG, Trailer 40 KG. Bike 28 KG. Me 96 KG. I'm certain this bike will enable me to ride the whole of the BNT, the only issue is charging, but in my usual fashion, I have some ideas!!!

I completed the ride to Muka in a 3.5 days and other than the saddle, which is a horrendous piece of equipment designed by a team of Sadists hell bent, and succeeding I might add, in causing as much pain as possible to one's rear end. It was pure hell after 50  K's on it. I averaged about 70 K's per day which I was happy with, having not been in the saddle for over 18 months. I had to ride very aware in order to enable the battery to last for the day. I did one full day of gravel road and found the assist to be a real boon. All in all, I'm very pleased, however, I changed the saddle to one of my favorited Brooks Saddles immediately upon arrival at home, and I mean IMMEDIATLY, like within half an hour..... man, what a 'superior posterior supporter' it is........  comfort plus, I gotta tell ya........:) 

Now, one would think I'd be on the plane and back off to the BNT, and I'd love to be, BUT, on Monday lunch time after just shelling out for the bike, I received an e-mail which has thrown a serious spanner in the works. To be honest, it's to the tune of tens and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of spanners and I have to wait and find a work around, I have to say I was pretty gutted!!!! It may mean I'm not going anywhere, apart from work, for the rest of the year.

Stay subscribed if you're interested to know if I'll return to the track, in a few weeks I'll post what will be happening.

I'll post some pics to the relevent pages over the weekend as I have to go to Perth between now and then.

 

Cheers, and thanks for following along.

 

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Photo's are up.

Photo's are up.

- Posted on 02 August 2017.

OK folks, I've just posted a whole heap of BNT pics and BNT prep pics up.

Here's the link;     Right click on it and hit "Open link in new tab"

https://photos.google.com/u/0/album/AF1QipMITUKR2qKYo9esb-zrEhd2aiUjFn6EUR4TL2NR

I've not put captions on any of the shots. However, the first two pics were taken on the last day. I literally took my gloves off and dropped them. That was how they landed....it was the only sign I required to get the hell out of the joint!!!!!!  I had a bit of a techo glich and wound up with 4 copies of each pic ranging in size from 59 Kb up to 1.2 [ish] Mb. PITA sorting them all out, let me tell you. Still, all done.

Now, if all goes well, I'll be back on the road by the end of next week, Fri 11/08/2017. Luke, my trusty IT expert will be painstakingly hand drawing another page for me and when done, I will post up the link here.

I've decided I've missed the prime time to start the BNT from Cooktown, or Healesville, for that matter, so I'm going to ride my bicycle out the front gate here at Muka, and head to Healesville [Southern Teminus of the BNT] via Alice Springs and Adelaide, as one does when one's REETIRRED....  yeeha.....  :)  hopefuly arriving there in Feb / Mar 2018.

So hang around and read about "what not to do on a bicycle........  in the bush......" I've put up a pic of the bike and trailer I'm taking, although, a few mods have been carried out on both....hey, isn't that why one spends big bucks on new toys, to modify them????

 

Al.

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New web page is up and running.

- Posted on 17 August 2017.

Two quick points; 1. If you’re visiting from a web search, click on the title of the page and that will open that page and its corresponding gallery. If you’re here from a subscribed email link, the gallery will show at the bottom of the page automatically. 2. If you're viewing on a tablet or iPad, when the page opens all you will see is the top pictures and the heading. Simply scroll down and the text for that entry will appear. It can be a bit confusing initially but once you're used to it, it seems obvious.

Hi everyone,

New adventure is here;

https://alsadventures.techcloudent.com.au/

However, not sure if the new subscribe page points to the above. 

Pics are now located at Flickr, I've confirmed an account isn't required. Simply right click on the link and open in a new page.

Hope to here from you in the comments.

 

Cheers.

Al.

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