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Alice to Broken Hill - Day 2

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

I woke up at 5.18am with a start.  I had forgotten to change the day on my iPhone's alarm with the obvious result. I realised that any hope for a Centreline 36 was now gone, (insert minor profanity here).  With the standard breakfast taken, the Harley-Davidson packed I returned to the BP Alice City and got a docket stamped at 6.30am, at least and hour and a half behind schedule.

The first fuel stop was Kulgera 287ks down the road, still in Northern Territory.  I had enough range in the tank to get there at the speed limit and hoped that I could make up some time.  At Kulgera, it turned sour. To get fuel you had to go inside and hand over your card before they'd turn the pump on.  Any time I'd made up was lost. I should have stuck with the jerry. 2nd mistake for the day.

My concerns about time were for later in the day, I didn't really want to ride the Pimba - Port Augusta portion in the dark again. I was alraeady resigned to the fact that the 400k's between Port Augusta and Broken Hill were going to be in the dark.

The next leg was Coober Pedy, a touch over 400k's away where I planned to eat.  I put as much into the tank at Kulgera a I could and crossed my fingers that I could make it to Coober on one tank.  Crossing into South Australia the speed limit droped back to 110, a very fuel efficient speed for the Road King.  Unfortunately I ran out about 10k's short, had to top up out of the jerry and still had to stop at Coober Pedy. Another mistake.

I refilled the tank, topped up the jerry and walked into the roadhouse restaurant.  It was packed.  After wasting more time there standing behind indecisive grey nomads I left, gulped down some sultanas and nuts from the panniers, drank some water and rode off.  It hadn't been a good start to the day and not surprisingly was starting to cool down.

The next stop was Pimba 366k's away, calculating as I went I was a chance to at least complete a BunBurner 2500K/36 if I could arrive there before 5pm and I managed that with about an hour to spare.  Bitter sweet, because that confirmed that had I managed to get away as planned this morning the Centreline 36 would have been mine. I was happy about the BB at least, not my best time but a reasonable effort at any time.

I had a coffee and a brief chat with the locals at Pimba, again heard the warnings about cattle on the road and suggestions that I get off the Stuart Hwy before dark.

On the way to Darwin I had ridden this section in the dark and hadn't seen a cow. In the light I saw plenty, all dead by the side of the road.  Now I properly understood the advice I'd been given. I also got to see some beautiful scenery here. Hart Lake, other dry lake beds, it was really pretty.

The sun set as I rode into Port Augusta and fuelled up with a docket at 5.58pm.  Oh well. Then off to the east in the night turning left towards Wilmington and again got to ride Horrocks Pass, uphill this time, and leave some Road King behind. Traffic was very sparse between Wilmington and Peterborough and the road seemed to go uphill forever.  As I rode that section and beyond I noticed the breeze increasing and by the time I arrived in Yunta it was gusty and blowing hard. There are two service stations in Yunta with gravel leading to each driveway.  Fast moving dust and dirt filled the street and the BP I stopped to refuel in and it was also quite cold. 

I stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat and left for the last leg of the day to Broken Hill.  Not too far out of Yunta a car caught me and I moved over to let it past.  It was a young couple with a dog I'd seen at the servo and they seemed keen to get wherever they were going.  I was glad of the opportunity to follow them at a decent clip as far as the NSW Border where they pulled into the Cockburn Pub.

The last part of the ride into Broken Hill was still cool but manageable and I arrived at the Shell Service Station at 10.55pm, a touch over 1600k's ridden on the day.  After filling and getting a docket I rode the short distance to the Comfort Inn Hilltop, retrieved the key from the breakfast order box as arranged, set the alarm and hit the sack.

Spotwalla Map of whole ride
Day 1: Darwin to Alice Springs
Day 3: Broken Hill - Home



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February 2023