Desert Raid 2017

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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Kots » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:03 am

Good to see everyone is home safely.

To everyone involved in the spontaneous gathering known as Desert Raid 2017, thank you.

It tested existing skills and developed new ones for me.

To the fellas who were clearly very skilled and generous with their advice and support, thanks.

I enjoyed virtually every minute of it - except the face plants whilst they were happening, and the skimming across the deep sand and bull dust patches (not those round the camp fires). Since my returning I am now enjoying the memories of even those near death experiences too!

It was awesome! Thanks.

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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby _Wilks » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:54 pm

Agreed Kots.

That was a pretty good bunch of blokes in our group too... except for that pinhead on the HP2. Everyone seemed to get on well. Good supply of laughs & quality time round the fire.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:00 pm

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Seven Riders took up the offer to leave Gidgegannup but we decided to keep to the black top to Paynes Find.

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Ol' mate Perentie was sunning himself on the road and took offence to having to move...still a bit groggy from hibernating.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:07 pm

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Called into London Bridge near Sandstone. Some Riders had seen it before and waited at Sandstone.

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I crashed on a sandy section between Sandstone and Wiluna (along with some other Riders) and got to practice my windscreen repairing skills (again).
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:12 pm

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The Gunbarrel Highway east of Wiluna. It was in great shape (generally) to Carnegie Station.


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Refuelling at Carnegie Station...$2.50 per litre. I'm happy to pay the price when the only other option is to carry packaged fuel.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:16 pm

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This way...

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Destination. Mulgilli Claypan in the background and some Campers in the foreground. 29 Riders attended from WA and Interstate. There has been a lot of positive feedback about the venue on AdvRiders. Congrats to the organisers (whoever you are).
Last edited by Digger on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:24 pm

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I had this brilliant idea to go home via David Carnegie Road. I knew it was snotty twin track but thought it was generally 'doable' albeit some sandy sections and slappy sticks. Some Riders had done it on their forward journey and reports varied between "OK, bit sandy" to "bloody horrible". I thought it would be somewhere in the middle.


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We discovered quickly that the track was leaning more to the "bloody horrible" assessment. Tough going...deep sandy sections and lot of them. Many offs.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:35 pm

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I expected to be able to reach Great Central Road within a day (235km). It was clear we were not going to make it. Having to stand bikes up often and high temperatures meant high water consumption and dehydration was taking a toll. We rested during the heat of the day and made camp in the small clump of trees in centre of frame. We then started to look at our options. There weren't too many of them.



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We decided the only sensible thing to do was contact Emergency Services and request a water resupply. To continue without the resupply would have been foolhardy. Better to make the call early while the situation was 'dire' rather than wait till the situation became 'critical'. Here Robbo is checking for a signal on the Sat phone while looking fashionable with a pillow case on his head to shield from the sun.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:51 pm

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The water resupply was coordinated by Warburton Police and was delivered by Carnegie Station. The water arrived 24 hours after the call for assistance. We were down to our last cup of water each. The trip was 500 km round trip and 15 hour turnaround. I gave the bloke what cash I had on hand to try and cover some of the fuel costs.

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The track conditions improved marginally from that point on and there was less sand and less 'offs'...in fact no 'offs' for the rest of the trip. Robbo had enough energy to check out Empress Springs 60km north of Tjukarilya Roadhouse.

Once on Great Central Road morale improved greatly and we camped at Laverton that night (surprisingly good caravan park at Laverton). Returned to Perth a couple of days later.

I have added David Carnigie Road to my list of 'roads never to do again'.

:P
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Reduke » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:28 pm

Well 2 of us made it up the Connie Sue to Warburton ok and then up the Heather Hwy and onto the Gunbarrel west to Mungilli. Someone here said if you get up the Connie Sue alright, the Gunbarrel will be a walk in the park. It was quite the opposite.
The Connie Sue to Neal Junction was a piece of cake, then north to Warburton was relatively easy with the sand being firm.
Headed up Heather Hwy Friday and it was easy going till we turned onto the Gunbarrel.
Heaps of 4wd traffic had cut the sand up into 6 - 8 inch ruts and corrugated it so it was hard to get any speed up. The track had obviously had a lot of water down it recently and where it wasn't sandy, had huge washouts you had to go around and heaps exposed rock waiting to bite your tubes. The temperature hovering around 35 degrees didn't help either.
We managed Mt Beadell by 5pm and we were stuffed. Slept up on the hill with absolutely no wind at all all night. Was a great camp and watched the sun come up from our sleeping bags.
Next morning we set off with a relatively easy 150kms to do, or so we thought.
Within 7kms we had 2 flat tyres and then never ending washed sand and ruts. At 1 stage whilst sitting under a tree and we couldn't see where the sand ended so we made the decision to head into the spinifex and ride through that instead of fighting the sand.
Proved to be a good decision with it being a lot firmer and we cruised like this for probably 5 - 6km in first gear.
Then by 1 'o'clock I was getting worried as I tipped my last 2 litres water in my camelback.GPS said it was 40km to Geraldton bore and I remember Digger saying it had good water in it. I hope so. Got to Everard Junction and pushed through to Geraldton bore. Great water with a pump on it and we cooled ourselves down and filled everything up again. After a bite to eat and a break, we headed off refreshed. The rest to Mungilli was pretty easy but relieved to get there all the same.
Had a great night there and the location was a great choice.
Headed off next morning with it all easy going through to Wiluna. Stayed at Gunbarrel Laager after chewing up a bit of time towing a bike to Wongawol station when he did a head gasket. Great spot to camp if you are ever out there.
Headed to Sandstone and pulled up for the day in the pub after it started raining with 8 from Desert Raid ending up there for the night.
It cleared up during the night so we ducked down to Paynes Find to help a bloke out that had done a rear tube the day before but he had it sorted by the time we got there.
We then went through the back way to Koorda before zig zagging across to Baladjie rock to camp for the night.
Headed for home on the Wednesday fighting massive westerly winds all the way .
The Africa Twin was showing 12 litres/hundred km punching into the head wind at times.
Had a great time and met some great people.
I know no one had anything to do with organising this, but thanks anyway and we are looking forward to the next one already.
Cheers Darren
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:12 pm

Reduke wrote:. Someone here said if you get up the Connie Sue alright, the Gunbarrel will be a walk in the park. It was quite the opposite.
Cheers Darren

That was me that gave you the bum drum...my apologies if I gave you a false sense of security. It's a bit like the same advice I received about the David Carnegie Road...."bit o' sand but OK.
Pffft. Bit of f***** sand. Lol.
Video to be released soon.
Watch this space.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Robbo » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:46 pm

Great ride report Steve, looking forward to the video.
Thanks for a great trip.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby _Wilks » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:17 am

What I learnt... don't overestimate the extent of weather systems even though satellite images appeared to show a very large rain band sweeping the state.

The horizon to horizon (in every direction) heavy rain system myself & others were experiencing near Sandstone on the Monday, did not get close to reaching Diggers crew who were (only?) ~500kms ENE of us on the same day. Diggers video doesn't even have a cloud in the sky.
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:37 am

_Wilks wrote:What I learnt... don't overestimate the extent of weather systems even though satellite images appeared to show a very large rain band sweeping the state.

The horizon to horizon (in every direction) heavy rain system myself & others were experiencing near Sandstone on the Monday, did not get close to reaching Diggers crew who were (only?) ~500kms ENE of us on the same day. Diggers video doesn't even have a cloud in the sky.

We prayed for rain...
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Re: Desert Raid 2017

Postby Digger » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:40 am

My YouTube video of the event...also posted on 'General'.

https://youtu.be/uL44EAyz8Qc

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