Boydie

Canning Stock Route Bicycle Ride

20 posts in this topic

I'm getting ready for what will probably be my Discos swansong, an all expenses trip down the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia.  

The reason for this is that a mate wishes to establish a new motorized assisted bicycle ride time from Halls Creek to Wiluna.  Currently someone has done this 1380 cross desert trip in 14 days, Peter (old mate) thinks he can do it in 9.

His machine has 4" wide bicycle tyres, it has attached a single wheel trailer that will carry his gear, food etc and two solar panels. These panels feed/supply a pair of Ni-Cad batteries that in turn power two electric motors, on the trailer, one in the geared rear hub of the bike, a sensor on the front wheel synchronizes both motors so that they are running at the same final speed. I might add Peters is a renowned electronics engineer who was responsible among other things for the FOMOCO plug-in diagnostic units.

Where I, and my trusty Disco come in is in transporting him, his bike and his "trailer" the 9000 k's from here to Halls Creek, then shadowing him down to Wiluna without assisting him in any way - other than sharing a camp fire in the evenings, if something breaks, a weld for example I'm allowed to carry the welding unit but he has to carry out the repair. Should he have broken the record then I'll be transporting him home the 8000 k's from Wiluna via Docker Ricer and Uluru to Coober Pedy and home.

By then the "Old Girl" will have clocked up well over 500,000 k's of severe off road Australian desert and bush driving and it will be retired and restored.The reason for taking the Disco is the size of the roof rack 2150 x 1500 - impossible on the other 4WD with its fitted roof top tent.    On our return I'm expecting that Peter will receive all due accolades and be fitted out for a new jacket with nice sleeves that tie up at the back and he can have a long rest in a nice room with quilted walls. Currently hes cycling a 1000 k's a week most of it cross country to get himself into shape, not bad or a 62 year old. As I said, for me its an all expenses paid trip, well, apart from the 5 bottles of single malt, Peters covering all the diesel and other supplied I'll need to do the trip. It should be fun, for me anyway, hes anticipating cycling 130-140 k's a day cycling for 10 hours a day so you can see I wont exactly be busting and land speed records. Remember though this is a desert track and the sand will be soft and anything up to 8" deep over the sand dunes so it will be bloody hard going --- for him !

I'll be taking lots of photos and GoPro videos so I'll post them on my return - if Peter's assembly is ready we head off the last week in June. The program is the trip to Halls Creek, allow 5 days, the Canning Stock Route allow 9-10 days, Wiluna to home allow 5 days, total around 20+ days. Departure 30th June return around the 23rd July 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I've heard of that road, it's the best I believe. What a great challenge for you both. Hope all the prep goes well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not even slightly jealous!

 

:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool trip Boydie, it'll be fun.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To "compound" matters Peter fell off his mountain bike while competing in a bicycle tour/race last weekend (three day event over Easter) breaking his right clavicle (shoulder bone) so hes going to be in a sling / restraint for the next six weeks until the bone knits, then he will need to undergo some weight work to rebuild his right arm muscles -  cycling however isn't a problem, many find this hard to believe but in his Canberra office he has a cycling machine, its hooked up to a small generator so he can cycle away in front of his computer / drawing board and power up the office lights, computers and 3D printers - when he gets tired he just switches back to mains power, as I intimated, hes a nut !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, that special time of year up here when all the crazy people arrive. I mean the tourists, of course. Just you watch: what your mate is planning is quite sensible compared to what too many of these people get up to! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be wrong, but from the satellite shots right now I do believe it's raining out there at the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nutter! But good opportunity for a trip Iain :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Davo said:

I might be wrong, but from the satellite shots right now I do believe it's raining out there at the moment. 

Davo,  Its proverbially pissing down and there are reports of quite a few hardy (read stupid) tourists who ignored advice from the traditional land owners (indigenous Aboriginal Australians) and tried to drive through rather than turning back. Some of them are now faced with a few days/weeks wait while bogged down to their axles in sticky mud until a 4WD tractor can get to them to pull them out, ---  at around $4000 per vehicle, - cash only or selected debit cards only are accepted. The extraordinary high cost pays for a grader to repair the damage they caused to the track, credit cards are generally declined as some unhappy tourists have been known to cancel or dispute the transaction as soon as they reach a telephone.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha, yup, it's the same every year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just finished installing a secondary 35 litre fuel tank under the drivers side rear wheel arch to add to the existing "Longranger" tank so ill be now loading up with 135 + 35 = 170 litres of diesel, more than enough to do the CSR without need to carry Jerry cans on the roof rack.  I'll only have to refuel at Kunawaritji - almost the half way point in the 1380 kilometre trip.  My past experiences are, economy wise, that I get 10l/100k on bitumen and 15l/100k on soft sand and 12l/100k on hardish packed outback tracks so I recon I'll average around 13l/100k or 1300 kilometres to a 170 litre tank load. 

On the other front Peter had aa operation in Canberra to fit a titanium plate screwed into his broken/shattered collar-bone last Friday and was released from hospital this morning (Sunday 30/4/17) and is expected to begin physiotherapy next Wednesday. We're still looking good for a July departure. 

I've still got a few things to do the the Disco, the CB doesn't seem to be working, the ariel is suspect and I'll have that checked out next week along with replacing a dud deep cell battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Boydie said:

I've just finished installing a secondary 35 litre fuel tank under the drivers side rear wheel arch to add to the existing "Longranger" tank so ill be now loading up with 135 + 35 = 170 litres of diesel, more than enough to do the CSR without need to carry Jerry cans on the roof rack.  I'll only have to refuel at Kunawaritji - almost the half way point in the 1380 kilometre trip.  My past experiences are, economy wise, that I get 10l/100k on bitumen and 15l/100k on soft sand and 12l/100k on hardish packed outback tracks so I recon I'll average around 13l/100k or 1300 kilometres to a 170 litre tank load.

I've still got a few things to do the the Disco, the CB doesn't seem to be working, the ariel is suspect and I'll have that checked out next week along with replacing a dud deep cell battery.

i would be reconsidering that fuel - you will not get a second chance - on the figures you listed above I agree that you will probably average around 13l/100km but to be safe I would be working on your worst figure of 15 and adding an extra reserve - for emergencies/contingency etc.  Have you also considered some sill tanks - they come up from time to time on ebay.  Remembering in an ideal situation you should not have to touch your reserve.

Yes I agree you will definitely need to get the UHF sorted - also I hope that your group is carrying at least one Satphone and at least one Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).

 

Good luck with it - will be a great trip.

 

garry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boydie your mate is legendary.... a thousand ks a week that is insane, for reference when I was the chairman of the local MTBike club I was ridding near on everywhere so commuting and playing as well as training with a guy who was trying out for a place at the commonwealth games and I only rode 400k's a week and he is twice the age I was when I was doing this

Does he have a facebook page or something I'd be keen on following his progress  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend a VKS-737 membership, too, as there will be a few members out that way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fuel side is okay, the overland distance from Halls Creek to Kunawaritji (the only fuel stop on the CSR) is around 660 kilometres and from there to Wiluna around 1000 kilometers, so even at over 15 litres per 100 kilometers I'm easily covered.  The last time I did the trip up the CSR it was south (Wiluna) to North (Halls Creek) and we did it comfortably with the 135 litre tank and two 20 litre Jerry cans. When we refueled at Kunawaritji I had only used an estimated 132 litres - on the journey I had emptied the two Jerry cans into the main fuel tank to reduce the roof rack load and the main tank only took 92 litres to refill it, meaning it still had 43 litres remaining. 

I carry a satellite telephone, I've never bothered with an emergency location beacon, I've only once used the sat phone to call up spares and my Inmarsat phone is set to automatically send my GPS location at the start of any phone call, email or text message. I wouldn't want the cavalry coming over the hill for no good reason. My reservations about emergency beacons as against a satellite phone is you never know when the signal has been  received while with a satellite phone you can, if needed,  call up the required emergency services, give then your exact location and explain your problem and receive advice and the time of arrival of aid if its needed. 

De Ranged, yes he has, I'll ask him if I can make it "public" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should rethink the PLB - it is not an alternative to other communications devices it is supplementary - it is the final failsafe if all else fails - in the hundreds and thousands of activations there has never been a non receipt by AMSA.  For $250 it is you ultimate protection when all else has failed.  For sure if you can ring on the satphone but if it fails or you cannot use it - the PLB on your belt may save your life - as it did with a couple out near where you are going last week.

As I said - it is not an alternative to other communications methods - it is the failsafe when all else has failed.  I carry mine in my car all the time and when heading to remote areas it is on my belt.

Garry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garry we did consider a PLB but while the CSR is a hard trip, its not exactly deserted and my CB radio has a 80 kilometer range with the high mounted ariel. I'll stick with the satellite phone, I've nothing against a PLB apart from the fact you set it off and there isn't any communication until the cavalry come charging over the hill .

The couple you mentioned got seriously bogged well of the normal track in a SUV, not even a "proper"  4WD - and she was pregnant and they only had a hand held 5 watt CB radio which was what they used to advise others on the CSR of their plight. Their journey preparation was abysmal !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All AWD vehicles are SUVs doesn't matter what their capability is - they were in a Landcruiser or a Prado so they were in a proper 4wd. They were on a proper track - albiet one that is not used much.  With no repeaters and UHF line of sight in sand dune country I somehow doubt you will be getting anywhere near 80km range - anyway

As I said a PLB is not an alternative to a satphone it is complementary - it is not a decision as to either or - they are complimentary with the PLB being the final failsafe.

Anyway I don't agree with your decision as I consider it displays a lack of judgment and you would be slammed for that decision by most rescue authorities. 

Have a good trip and I hope nothing happens.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garry, your concerns have been noted but after serious consideration we will stick with the two satellite phones and the two 5 watt CB radios.   Both Peter and I will have one of each.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now