Russells Ride 2010, Australia

Hello, my name is Russell Nurse.

This year's ride is a follow up of my first long distance dirt and tar ride last year.

We (my son Karl and I) traveled 8300km in 16 days on a pair of DR 650s and afterward I found I really had the bug.

The Donahue and Plenty Highways, the Tanami Desert, Wolf Creek Crater , the Kimberleys, Birdsville & Innamincka were no longer just places on a map and I'm itching to get going again.

Last year was about learning (lessons like running out of fuel on the Tanami or getting water in our fuel) fortunately we had vehicular support.

This year I've got a new side kick (my eldest son Luke) and we're doing it without support. On the agenda is Menindee, Tibooburra, Camerons Corner, Lyndhurst, Oodnadatta, Mt Dare, Dalhousie, Purni Bore, Finke, The Olgas and The Rock, Jervois, Boulia, Bedourie, Cordillo Downs and more.

I'll be blogging my way, as internet access permits so subscribe to the Two Wheel Touring Newsletter (see side bar) to follow my progress.

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20 June, 2010
Gem Tree to Boulia.
The original paln was to stay at Tobermoy which is on the Plenty Highway just near the NT/QLD border but after a late start and a reasonable run we were told at Jervois that Tobermoy was closed. This meant a 496km run on top of what we had already done to get to Boulia and it was already 12.30 pm so there was some prospect of riding in the dark which after last years wildlife experience I had decided I would not do again. Word from the locals was that the road was in good condition (better than  last year).
We decided to make a run for it as staying at Jervois would put us back a day.
This decision was probably not a wise one because as we were soon to find out the road may have looked good but it's underlying condition was not.
The problem was much of the road had been graded and rolled. This was push the bulldust from the gutters and roll it into the exiting surface.
The surface looks hard but a skinny bike tyre goes straight through it down to the underlying ruts and holes which of course also means you now cant see them to dodge them.
Other spots were rough and over the border is narrow and rough for a few kilometres (as if to dicourage its use to leave QLD!!!).
Several stops to check equipment and refuel from our spare tanks and we were behind time and looking at arriving after dusk.
About 75km from Boulia the road started improving but the last of the sun and arrival roadside of the kangaroos meant we could not pick up the pace.
I had a close encounter with a roo which required maximum braking which thankfully was on a short section of tar.
Not so lucky the second time while on dirt. Luke reckons the entire side of the bike was lit up by his headlight as executed a huge brakeslide to miss a fairly big roo by centimetres. Off the back brake and the bike snapped straight. I swore at myself - why did I get into this situation.
Eventually made Boulia. No rooms or cabins available (big golf weekend in town) so we had to pitch the tent in the dark and cook in the dark. Fell into bed exhausted.