Duk-tales: Iron Horse Ride – Day 1 – February 21, 2015
At Dawn – We Ride!
The launch of the new HD Street 500 at Desert Edge Motorcycles the night before was now a memory as the morning found me wide eyed and raring to ride. Mark (Sparks) Clark was the only Chapter Member brave enough to join me for the 50ºC bitumen bake-out to Tamworth. Sparks warned me that our 2 travelling companions from Darwin could not ride out til late morning as they both needed a rear tyre each. The question was “Do you wanna wait for em?” to which I could only answer one way, “Hell No! I’ve been waitin’ over 12 months to do a long distance run and I ain’t waitin’ for no man”. He agreed and we set to meet at 7am Saturday morning. So I got there, fuelled up on liquid mobility and waited. And waited. John “Mouthguard” Dawkins turned up so as not to miss a ride to Stuarts Well for a brekkie followed by Marty “Neveready” Derksen and we contemplated a heavy night of beer and talkfest between Sparks, Bill William and Barry “Bazza” O’Shea may have caused a booze coma and Sparks may well not make the start as planned. Then right on call “5 minutes” he turns up. We managed a 7:30 departure from BP City. Breakfast at Stuarts Well Roadhouse was just 90k away and it would give the lads time to catch up. Always a full feed cooked up by Spud.
Baz & Bill would get tyres fitted at Desert Edge Motorcycles (the local Alice HD Dealership) & catch up further down the road. We on the other hand watched Marty & Mouthguard head home an hour later and ran the next 110 at 130kph. Just have to throw in for foreign readers that the Northern Territory of Australia is the only place where the Stuart Highway from Darwin to the South Australian Border is 130kph with a section of some 300 kilometres of unlimited speed to the north from Alice Springs. We waited at Erldunda for the Darwin contingent and 11:30 saw them turn in for some fuel and a meat pie then off to Kulgera the last roadhouse before South Aus.
A coldie (XXXX Gold) & water then crossed into South Australia at 1:25pm. Marla (a coldie (XXXX Gold) & water), Cadney Park (a coldie & water) and finally Coober Pedy requiring a round of XXXX Gold upon landing. Hmmm a pattern is forming. The stop at Coober Pedy was for overnight and to sample the Pizza at Uncle Johns (Johns Pizza Bar and Restaurant) which is renowned by travellers far & wide as the best spot for good tucker after a day on the road. This troupe of “Die Hards” agrees.