Sunday, November 1, 2009

We made it

18,000km in 10 weeks.

4 States/Territories visited

1 Puncture (fixed 3 times!!!)

1 warped brake disk

A few days of electrical problems.

2 sets of tyres, chains, sprockets.

1 sand storm in the desert (interesting visibility!)

1 day of rain.

2 sore rear ends.

Many amazing sights.

1 Uluru climbed

Wonderful insight into the people and culture of Australia.

1700 photos

Hit the link to see the video we made in the desert and at Longreach Qantas Hall of Fame

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fergus Bell - BMW Techincal Support

Thank you so much for your time today Fergus. Your sensible and pragmatic help came at a very important time for us and I hope that you have helped us save our ongoing trip.

Ayers Rock

Franco and I made it to Ayers Rock yesterday. Ongoing problems with Francos bike meant I had to tow him 100km accross the Victoria Desert - not something I would like to repeat!!!

We spend today taking his bike to pieces and think we found a problem with the electrics so fingers crossed the problems are in the past.

Our families arrive tomorrow - I have not seen mine for 8 weeks so I am so excited. The kids still dont know what is going on!!!

We will be tourists for a few days then we carry on back to Qld via Coober Pedy and Birdsville across the Bordsville track.

The ride has been superb and we have learnt so much about this country, its people and ourselves. It is amazing how it all fits together when you get a chance to see so much in a little time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hey guys, hope you both not so sore and sorry after hitting the sand.......(makes ego stronger)The kids (sckoping) all want to know if you're OK and who has the biggest bruises(their words).
Update on us since you have left we have run 3 more groups (30 kids) and another starting next week. This week had program with surf lifesavers Mooloolaba, up to 22 kids per day for the 5 sessions. Got some budding first time surfers and nippers (though most said never been in water before). Also 3 have signed up to complete first aid qualifications and we have 8 coming on our young leaders camp.

Thanks again, the change I have seen in these kids .......amazing thanx stay safe xo

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We have nearly completed the Broome to Perth leg, and whilst we are enjoying the beautiful Coastline we do not think too much of the relentless and barren roads thay need to be travelled to get down the coast. We enjoyed 3 nights at Exmouth after a 2 day mad dash from Broome (700km one day, 800 the next!) and have just left Monkey Mia after a great stay for 2 days. Seeing the dolphins is clearly the highlight.

Whilst at Monkey Mia we attempted a trip to the tip of Cape Peron National Park but got beaten by the soft sand and the high tides, meaning we made it to within 10km of the tuip but had to turn back. Both Franco and I went belly-up on the way back trying to dodge the oncoming traffic that was unable to get out of the way. My camera has been smashed in the process, but only our egos otherwise were damaged. I will get a new camera in Perth to keep doocumenting the trip.

Mitas Tyres - Probably the best Tyre in the World

These have got to be the best Adventure Bike tyres available. Made in Czech Republic but perfect for Australia. Our sets have now lasted 10,000+ Km and whilst Franco's rear is on its last legs mime will roll into Perth.

Because of a mess up with the dealership charged with servicing our bikes in Perth, the replacement Tyres are not in stock....however a call to the importers this morning (Mityre) has solved the problem - they have generously donated new sets and they are shipping them out to Perth today. Thank goodness there are good people left in this world!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Davo Jones - Farrider

Received the sad news about Davo's accident in America leading to his passing. Davo had contacted us just before we left for our trip and was looking forward to his upcoming challenge but was gracious enough to encourage us. A stark reminder about motorcycles and safety.

How fragile we are.

Our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.

Kimberly Extreme

Thank you to Kimberly Extreme for a great day flying out to the Horizontal Waterfalls. Your professional staff made the day incredibly enjoyable.

More specifically thank you for the generous donation towards SCKoping.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Broome Broome!

Completed our loop up to Cape Leveque and got very good at riding in sand as we had to cover about 300km in all! THe Cape is beautiful and we camped at the Kooljaman resort. Fantastic to finally get a chance to swim in the sea again.

We are now recovering in Broome for a few days. I will get some photos up whilst we are here.

Don't forget to keep a look out on my Facebook or Twitter for more frequent updates.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Derby WA

We made it over the Gibb River Road and enjoyed the beauty of the Kimberly. Arrived in Derby today and had to repair both bikes shaken to pieces by the corrogations. This has delayed our progress to the Cape until tomorrow. Watch out for an update this weekend when we arrive at Broome.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Comfortable night?

By the morning Franco had found that his self-inflating mattress could be better described as "self-deflating".

A check for punctures in Darwin lead to the discovery that a sieve has fewer holes. I suspect Franco needs to find a better way of packing his gear to avoid the in-pannier destruction.

Ahhhhh Karumba!

One of the few places you can see the sun set over the water in Queensland. Surprisingly access to the Gulf is very limited, and the Savanna Way rarely gives way to views of the ocean.

Franco Hard at Work

The beautiful sunsets at Karumba Point, Queensland.

Chris was probably fixing his punctures at this point. So far Franco has collected 3!


Chris making friends with the locals: Davo from Cloncurry had wagged work and spent the day in the pub. He was well lubricated but very friendly. Cloncurry had recorded the hottest temperature ever in Australia, so the 35 degrees today he described as "good working weather".


Day 3 of rest in Darwin. Bikes cleaned, boys cleaned, broken bits mended!

Went to the Parap Markets yesterday then to the Deckchair cinema to see Stone Brothers, an Aboriginal comedy. It was very funny and they were also on a road trip so much of the content was very relevant.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey guys Great write up in the Sunshine Coast Daily today 3 pages in the weekend section. Michelle's story really highlights why these programs are so important and what you two are doing. Am attempting to post it (may have to scan it)monday at the latest loving the photos, having people ask me everyday where you are at. You seem to be covering distance fast, enjoy your break in Darwin and family reunion Franco.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gagudju Lodge, Cooinda

Thanks guys for the superb trip in Yellow Water's, Kakadu NP. This truely is a heavenly place.

Update 2: Darwin

We made it to Darwin!

Have spent this morning sorting out a few bike problems (warped front brake disc and shattered headlight mounts), washed off some of the red dirt, and am now looking forward to a few free days in the city.

We spend the last few days in Kakadu National Park and stayed with Franco's school friend Sean and his wife Rachel. They run tours through the park and organised for us to take a trip through Yellow Waters. We greatfully thank the management at Gagudju Lodge, Cooinda, for the tickets. The wildlife on the tour was amazing (especially for a Pom) as we same Jabiru, Brolga, Crocs, Kingfishers, Brumbies etc.

We have now got used to the bikes and are confident riding them loaded with all our luggage. Despite our trim packing I still think we could lose another third of what we packed!
Our next step is to travel to Katherine Gorge and then on to Western Australia via the Gibb River Road. We will be in Broome in about 2 weeks.

We have been given lots of both good and bad advice from fellow travellers. It is clear that fellow bikers are the most acurate and the grey nomads are more likely to offer a bum-steer. We met Peter from Sydney on his 800GS BMW at Hellsgate roadhouse and he gave us many great tips about adventure riding in general, and about the road to NT in particular. (Peter, we got through with few problems, and think our many trips to Fraser Island had prepared us well for the loose sand.)

Franco's family have joined us in Darwin for their annual reunion. It is great to meet Lisa (sister)and Angela (Mum) for the first time, and I am sure we will have a good few days together.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mrs T

Thank you Mrs T (Leichhardt Hotel, Cloncurry) for your generous donation. As we discussed you know it is going to a good cause. Best wishes to you and you family.

Dont forget to stop at the Hotel as you pass through Cloncurry - excellent accommodation and superb Lobster!!!

Update 1

Well we are well on our way, having arrived in Cloncurry last night (1875km so far).

We have had good and safe riding with much of the dirt now sealed - This is progress!!

The only dirt section we have been on so far was Springsure to Tambo - 200km.

Local information has been useful but not always correct. We got information last night that the Hellsgate Roadhouse on the Savanna Way had closed. As this was a vital accommodation and fuel stop for us this was looking like it would drastically change the route across the top end. Today we have got the good information from the local police that this is not the case as the roadhouse reopened 2 months ago so we will be able to stay on track.

We spent a great day at Longreach, looking around the Qantas Founders Museum then the Stockman's Hall of Fame. It was good to get an idea how things have changed over the years. A highlight was the 747 tour that took in many of the behind scenes part of the aircraft. We went out on the wing, into the cargo hold and into the computer station under the floor in business class!
Time to head to the Gulf!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunshine Coast Supa Oldies Football

Thank you so much for your donation to SCKoping.

Nearly feels as good as winning the premiership this year! Congratulations Buderim!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunshine Coast Futsal Generosity

Monday night I was presented with a large cheque from SC Futsal. Thank you to the Futsal Commitee for your kind gesture. You can be assured it is going to a good cause.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


So much to do and so little time!

Service at Coastline BMW Monday
Suspension tweeking at MPE Tuesday
New Tyres Wednesday


Anyone know how to clone me?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

doing us proud

The boys are away currently keeping up their best efforts to rep. Australia in doctor soccer (my name) they are both famed national and internationally. I will up date you so far: 4:1 against germany, 1:1 against brazil, we are waiting on scores against Austria. These guys are back for two weeks and then head off. Soooo close, to the trip of more excitment than they expect. Will post the send off date, lets give them a good one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photo Shoot Today

We are off to get the 'polaroids' for the Weekender this afternoon - hope they turn out well!

Weekender Article

Check out this link over the next few weeks. The Weekender has given over its cover article to the boys!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thanks Guys

Well if you have not check out the guys latest news reel you should. Chris , Franco great day on the beach with Mooloolaba Surf Life Saving Club out of all those kids 3/4 never been on a board before. They so enjoyed the day there feedback is great, all want to come back for more some want to earn their first aid and surf certificates (their enthusiasm ..oh love it...they are so excited to be able to do more)

Mind you the word on the street is those BMW bikes you are riding ............pretty sic. Feedback I got from the boys was, 'ohh yeh I want one' 'oh they love this'(interpretation ...girls will love this'). So hope you have some photo op's before you guys leave.

Bye the way THANKS

Thursday, July 2, 2009

7 News Again...

Another opportunity to sell the message....get behind SCKOPING because it does a lot of good! The 7 crew again provided great coverage of the Mooloolaba Surf Club Event and the link to the TV report can be found to the right.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Follow the action on Twitter

Food Glorious Food

Franco constantly reminds me how important lots of food will be on this trip, and with space and weight a major consideration, we are please to have the exertise of Sally-Anne Livock in helping us prepare for the trip. It looks like pub meals are the go where possible but otherwise we will be carrying dried meals which will be rehydrated with the hot water available form the Jet-Boil stoves kindly donated by Anaconda.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Channel 7 News

Channel 7 are looking for new angles...any suggestions...


Franco's planning has been converted into GPS waypoints for half the trip....still a way to go....

Neck Braces

Neck braces do not work with BMW Rallye Pro coats....unless I am very much mistaken.

Kenilworth Training Ride

Another great weekend ride, this time thanks to the local knowledge of John and Mick. On the previous day they had both succumbed to a disasterous slide into a gully and spend hours dragging their bikes out inch by inch. Despite this they were the perfect guides and we had a great opportunity to experience some single track for the first time. Again the BMWs were faultless.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Sponsor

Looks like we could be onto a new "safety" sponsor. Details in the near future.

In the meantime Bec Hughes is working hard on the logo - T-Shirts available soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Have spent the weekend striping the bike down to run some repairs and modifications. I have discovered some broken Touratech parts so they will have to go back for replacement. Hope they stay together for 20,000km!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fraser Island

We made it back in one piece and had a great time getting used to the bigger bikes in the sand. They appear top and front heavy so any front braking tucks the front wheel and you are off. By the end of the weekend, with the bikes unlaiden we are satisfied that we are ready to take it to the next level....lets fill those panniers!!!!!

Watch the video to see Franco and Chris both having some close moments!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Training Ride with Fastracks

Sunday morning was our first opportunity to use the bikes in anger. Neil had invited us to join him and 2 other rides, Wayne and Josh, to take the 250km trip from the Sunshine Coast to Rainbow Beach via the Cooloola Way. It was a great chance to get used to the bikes on gravel roads, and, with a detour alone the Freshwater Track, Franco and I were to get our first taste of the bikes in sand. Needless to say they are more of a handful than our KTM EXC's but nowhere near as difficult to ride than we had expected. We are now so happy with the bike choice as they clearly fulfill all our needs.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Short Word From Our Sponsors....

This one is for Krystal and Angelo from Anaconda!

Friday, February 6, 2009

What a Night!

The guys at Anaconda sure delivered! Krystal and Angelo at Anaconda, Kawana Waters, were ready for our arrival, had a superb dispay, and a cache of goodies that will enable us to take on the Outback camping. Again Channel 7 were on hand to record the events. It has been so encouraging to have big organisations backing us and the SCKOPING Network.

We start our first weekend of rider training this weekend with Neil Schaefer from Fastracks/ Coastline BMW. He is nursing a shoulder injury at the moment so he promised he would not be hard on us until this war-wound settles!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Anaconda Thursday Night 5.30pm

Why not come and join in on the action tomorrow night. The bikes will roll into the Kawana Waters store and the packing of equipment will begin! Channel 7 are coming to follow the events, and representatives from Anaconda, SCKOPING and the Sunshine Coast Health Foundation, as well as the boys, will be there to answer your questions!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Anaconda Generosity

Following the News item, the team were becoming local celebrities, and they had taken the opportunity to seek an all important sponsor for the equipment they would be needing for the trip. The camping store 'Anaconda', who had just arrived on the Sunshine Coast were happy to oblige and an offer was forthcoming. Later this week the bikes will be in the store being loaded up with the all important equipment. Again Channel 7 will be there to follow the action.

Channel 7 News

Well the story seemed to soon take off, and Tanya Weingarth from Channel 7 News wanted to start an ongoing story about the challenge. In December 2008 a news item was aired. They had filmed the annual SCKOPING camp in Mapleton, Queensland, where 60 kids were celebrating their successes of the year, and learning new tricks for next. The news item was the longest one broadcast that night, and Chris had to use all his public speaking and PR skills to full effect! It was a good opportunity to give the bikes a run up the range, and Neil Schaefer from Coastline BMW, was first to announce his wish to help with rider training for both the the boys!

Bike Purchase

In late November the bike decision was made. We had always wanted identical bikes as this would reduce the spares needed to be carried. By some twist of fate BMW drastically reduced the cost of the G650X Challenge. A trip to Coastline BMW was made and with the help of Neil Schaefer, sales manager, the contracts were signed. Both bikes had undergone significant Touratech modification.