The Inaugural Ride 2012
The group of 44 riders and supporters arrived at Curtin RAAF Base after flying from Perth early in the morning on Monday 18th June and were met by the Logistics Group and helped unload their motorcycles, (which had been trucked from Perth the week before), and spent the afternoon familiarising themselves with their bike which they would spend the rest of the week riding and then got an early night.
TUESDAY 19th JUNE
After an early breakfast, the group set off and rode into Derby for the start of the trip. The rider group rode via the Derby Jetty through town before starting onto the Gibb River Road. The road condition which is unsealed for the vast majority of the trip, was pretty good until the Windjana Gorge turn off where the corrugations were larger than the Grand Canyon. The group arrived at Windjana Gorge late afternoon and spent the rest of the day exploring the area including a walk through Tunnel Creek. It was a fairly cool night with everyone sleeping in swags with some riders banished to a loud snorers area.
WEDNESDAY 20th JUNE
This was the first day that we started crossing creeks, with a great deal of excitement as to who might fall off and get wet and who might get stuck half way across. Some took excitement to a whole new level with the youngest rider in the group, (a teenager), who insisted in riding across each crossing at least 3 times… The ride was 270km and we arrived late in the evening at Mt Elizabeth Station. We had a cooked meal in the homestead and spent a chilly evening where the temperature dropped to below freezing.
THURSDAY 21st JUNE
We set off to the homestead early in the morning to collect our pre-dropped fuel and load this onto our support vehicles. We were shown the technique to pick up a 200 litre drum of fuel with two persons by an old cockie, and moved the 800 litres with ease and no injuries. The rider group set off early on another 270km ride heading for Home Valley Station. This section had the most and deepest creek crossings for the little bikes with the engines totally submerged in many cases and a couple of short stops when water entered the air intake. Everyone became a mechanic on the trip and was able to keep their bikes going in most cases. The deepest crossing was the Durack River which caused a few people to fall off mid way across, but everyone was able to get going after a short stop for an incredible ride into Home Valley with the sun setting. This ride was probably the most spectacular of the whole trip. We spent the evening at Home Valley Station and spent the evening trying to scare people with stories about saltwater crocodiles in the Pentecost River the following morning.
FRIDAY 22nd JUNE
This was the day which we had been talking about the whole trip, the day we crossed the Pentecost River. Renowned as the widest crossing, with the added challenge of the possibility of saltwater crocodiles lurking in the area. When we arrived at the crossing there were a number of tourist buses and the sudden arrival of 35 Postie Bikes caused a bit of a stir. We strategically posted some people as spotters and rescuers in case of hazards or crashes and sent the first rider on his way. There was much debate on how much the video footage would be worth if a croc ate them whilst riding across the river. The water level was fairly low, but flowing which made it difficult to see submerged rocks, which were similar in size to Ayers Rock when compared to the narrow Postie Bike Tyres. A few riders came off and displayed some alternative riding techniques, which amused everyone including the 3 bus loads of tourists. The river crossings each day were a welcome break from the constant dust which everyone was covered in from head to toe and as most men will admit, we still enjoy playing in water. We arrived in Kununurra mid afternoon after covering 740km. The bikes were completely standard ex Australia Post bikes. We suffered 3 punctures for the 35 bikes for the whole trip and only a couple of spills by riders. The ride was a great experience which many said they immensely enjoyed.