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2210 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Gene McCall
Many on this board know Don Seedsman, who was my co-pilot on the 08 Alaska-Canada trip. Recently I learned Don had some problems on a motorcycle he took in Oz. With his permission I have brought over his posts on the Oz board. If you have not guessed already an "Off" is Oz speak for a motorcycle mishap. The rest you can figure out for yourselves!


Donating Member



Age: 72

Location: Melbourne

Joined: 26.07.07

Posts: 1063

Re: Don's Offs

« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 05:53:45 PM »

Joe did the trip the recommended way.

I started from the Bonang end of the McKillop's Bridge road.

There's NO petrol at Bonang, by the way.

There is not much sealed road all the way from Bonang to the Barry Way.

I got all my good pictures along the road to McKillop's Bridge, but at the bridge there is a notice saying the road ahead is not suitable for caravans or trailers from the bridge to the Barry Way.

The climb is fairly steep from about 5km from the bridge to about 15 km from the bridge, and it's basically a SINGLE LANE road, around the side of a cliff for all that 10km.

Imagine my surprise when I encountered a "Road Plant Ahead" sign at about the 6 km point into the steepish climb on this one lane road.

Well, the grader had been very busy moving the dusty dry road-top to make it flat, and in doing so, had piled the dry dust about 6" deep at the road's edge.

Luckily for me the LH side of the road was the drain, with the vertical cliff going up on my side.

I rode around a LH corner, and came within about 12" of the road edge where it dropped into the drain.

The road edge just collapsed under the front wheel, and down I went into the drain, as it was just thick dust piled high. I don't think any tyre would have got through all the dust to grip what was left of the roadbed underneath.

Anyhow, the bike just dropped into the drain, and fell back onto the road onto my right leg, because the pannier on the LH side of the bike just pushed against the cliff and shoved me over.

Result - torn jeans, grazed knee, and trouble extricating my boot from between the bike and the road.

I couldn't stand the bike up again because of the LH pannier, but one of the road plant trucks was coming down the road, and its passenger got out and helped me push the bike out of the ditch to where I could get it on the side stand. He also put a big rock behind the back wheel so I could kick the bike back into life. A DR250 floods a bit when it lies down, so it took a long time to get going again.

Part 2 next

That was Don's first post. There are 2 more, I will put them up and them the pictures he took on the trip.


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Here is Don's second post.

Dr Don

Re: Don's Offs

« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 06:19:42 PM »

Finally got it fired up and by then the grader driver had walked off up the road to his machine.

I had no sooner started off again when this BRITZ van appears coming down the hill. This old guy just keeps coming, expecting me to somehow just vanish off the road. he stops about 5 metres in front of me with his LH wheel about 1 metre from the BIG-drop edge of the road, and won't go any further towards the edge (really, he appeared to have NO idea how wide his van WASN'T).

So I moved as close as I dared to the inner edge again, and he thought he could get past. As soon as his front wheels were past me, he pulled the front of the van to my side, and his rear end just trailed across and pushed me into the ditch AGAIN. He stopped and helped push me out, put a rock behind my rear wheel, and then left.

Result, left leg of jeans shredded, and grazed left knee.

With great difficulty, I once again un-flooded the motor, and rode on to tell the grader driver about the latest happening.

I then started out to go further up the hill, and rounded the bend to go just out of sight of the grader drive, and the bike just would not stop going around the bend, and I crashed in the middle of the road in another big pile of dust.

What I had not understood was when the guy pushed me off the road, it had set the handlebars about 20 degrees off, and my mind just would not steer the bike where it needed to go.

I walked back around the bend, and the driver once again assisted me to get the bike upright, and put another rock behind the wheel.

I eventually started the motor AGAIN, and very quickly learned to put 20 degrees of LH steering onto the bars to go straight ahead.

After about 1 km slow riding there was a passing bay, and I pulled in to find a tree to do some quick re-alignment of the front end.

I forgot to mention there was about ONE passing bay per kilometre of this road.

The rest of the trip to Bill's place was without incident - about 150km.

For anyone going on the Barry Way there IS petrol at the Seldom Seen Roadhouse, but it's about $1-40/litre. Still, if you do need it, what's the price you won't buy at?

Roadwork on a single lane road is not without its dangers and not to be taken lightly.

After Bill patched me up I rode the 280km to home the next day, and now I don't do any kneeling for about a week - Charlie, I KNOW how you felt after your get-off. Skin off a shin and off my left elbow, too.

I put the kick-start bike away, and the electric-leg of my Kwaka is GREAT. (the right knee suffered most so kick start is not very pleasant).

I will put up Don's 3rd post next.

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OK, now for Don's 3rd and final post on his "Offs" and then his pictures.


Donating Member

Age: 72

Location: Melbourne

Joined: 26.07.07

Posts: 1063

Re: Don's Offs

« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 03:37:30 AM »

Thanks again, Bill. It's not everyone who has a relatively close "fall-back" option when things go wrong.

The knees still have those patches on them. The bike only suffered what you saw - bent LH mirror stem, and the scuffed LH hand-guard. Neither Gearsack pannier shows any sign of its road-buffer treatment other than needing a good hose-off to get rid of the pink dust - they are SO GREAT for minimizing damage to a bike in a lie-down on any road. In this situation, they are better than any Oggy knobs. I suppose the small engine protection bars on this bike also have some value, but they didn't even show any sign of having hit the road this time.

Thanks to you all for your good wishes and comments. There will be very little to show for this mishap - I hope.

Next up, Don's pictures on the trip.
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Here are a few pictures Don sent me of the trip.

This is the bike Don was riding, one of many in his stable!

Don's comment on this picture was"2.Lovely little suspension bridge at Ambyne Crossing."

Don's comment "3.McKillops Bridge (70 feet high)"

Don's comment "4.High country"

Don's comment "5.That road is 9 feet wide - passing bays are 1km apart."

Don's comment "6.Damage to my jeans and knee."

Don's comment "7.Damage to bike - very little."

I have heard from Don since and he said he is still sore and not riding that bike, it is kick start only and his knee is not yet up to that. I have the impression that this series of mishaps has not slowed him a bit!

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Sounds like poor Don, had a "get off" a few times on that road

Wish him all our best
and tell him to take it easy....oh yea we're talking about Don

All The Best..........keith.......

Keith, I'm glad you realized who you were talking about! As I said I don't think it slowed him down a bit! When you check out the pictures you begin to realize what he was dealing with. Of course they ride on the left and as long as they are going the way the camera was facing, everything is OK. I hate to think how far he would have rolled if he went off on the other side!

Don, glad you're back safe from the latest trip. Maybe you should give the knee a little more time, old bones heal slow, you know! I am at work, getting off at 5, going to Mabel's brother's house for a Christmas eve dinner. Since you have already opened your presents I hope the old Elf was good to you. I spoke to Glenn earlier today, he had a house full of company, seemed on the verge of panic! I guess the sailboat is frozen in and he can't run!

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