Well, 2012 is now underway and Lynne & I are returning to Brisbane for our final leg of our Australian stay before I head off to Nepal in early February. We’ve got one last house sitting stay arranged which is well located near the airport and city, for organising all the necessary paperwork and exiting the country.
The bike is running well though performance does change a little from day to day, (bit like me!). I’ve been playing with the jets to get the maximum power range and I’ve had the magneto rewound after heavy rain flooded it. Now it’s tightly sealed I shouldn’t have any more problems in that area. I’m looking at carrying 50 spare inlet springs as these don’t last overly long and seem to lose tension pretty quickly. Fortunately these are very small and don’t take up much room, but of course every little thing does add up. Today I put on new rear tyre after around getting 2500kms from the old one. The two tyres on the bike and three spares tyres & one spare tube should see me through to Europe hopefully. If anyone has access to 26 x 2.5 beaded edge cheaper brand tyres (eg Ensign) do let me know as it will be handy if I could buy them along the way if needed. I’ve done a test run with soft panniers, kit & spare tyres all strapped on and bike is not overloaded with gear. The heaviest part will be the extra 10 litres of fuel I need to carry as the bike only does 19 kms to the litre! I’m looking into getting a bike cover – one that’s not too heavy but keep the bike away from prying eyes.
One of the recent highlights (and it doesn’t take much to make me happy), is that I can now push start the FN and it runs within one metre range which means no more pedalling to start or spin the back wheel which was a pain, especially with the pannier loaded & nowhere for the stand to go. There’s been some amazing technological advances since Lynne & I did our world trip on the GoldWing all those years ago. Now my i-phone carries maps, photos, emails, music, notes, camera, etc. It’s taken me a while to get the hang of it but even for an old bloke, I’m doing okay. I’ve been using Lynne’s Kindle and toyed with the idea of taking one along but figure I don’t need to carry anything else – besides I reckon I’ll be too buggered at the end of the day to read a book. No-one along this time round to wash my socks, check I’ve packed everything back on the bike or help deal with those pesky border officials, hawkers & paperwork…I’m all on my Todd! Having music though should help me unwind after a hard day on the road.
The next few weeks no doubt will fly by, but I’m hopeful there won’t be any hitches. I have the crate for the bike all ready in Brisbane so that’s one job sorted. As long as Australia doesn’t get on the wrong side of Iran I shouldn’t have any problems procuring a visa for that leg of the journey. And for a little light humour… here’s hoping my FN doesn’t end up like the one in this picture!