Escaping the Lyons Den (with the Lyon)

With Mawson alive and well we prepared to leave the Lyon’s Den. We will be treveling with the Lyon for a time.

Sunken Miles, ready to leave the Lyon's Den

Sunken Miles, ready to leave the Lyon’s Den


Barry (left), Raman, Oli and Donnie (right), ready to hit the road this morning

An old bridge on our climb into the hills heading west a little north of Townsville

An old bridge on our climb into the hills heading west a little north of Townsville


The stream beneath the bridge

The stream beneath the bridge

Being back on the road is great. It’s really exciting to have Donnie Lyon with us as well. A friend of Donnie’s, Barry, is also with us. Raman and Donnie rode together while Barry and I rode ahead but separately. Barry isn’t into riding two abreast. Its a little like a dance and quite graceful once the two riders get into the rhythm.

The bike is a new machine in several ways. Power is definitely increased and the motor smoother in operation. We will se how fuel economy is. The new Barrett exhaust is a lot louder. I did try it without the baffle as Rob recommended and all I can say is I put it straight back in. Much too loud. I can keep it quiet if I control the throttle so thats good being able to still be reasonably discrete if desired.

All in all the bike feels great. Its certainly good to have it back together and running.

Waiting for Donnie and Raman. "They are taking quite a while. I wonder if something has happened".

Waiting for Donnie and Raman. “They are taking quite a while. I wonder if something has happened”.

Gee, to think it was only yesterday avo I fired my bike up for the first time after the rebuild and we are now over 400km from Black River. I feel like we are in the middle of nowhere.

There was quite a lot of sandy drifts on top of hard packed road base which made for lots of fun sliding out of corners however Raman came unstuck on a corner and hit the deck. As a matter of fact Donnie narrowly avoided running over him as he fell off in front go Donnie.

Raman came out of it ok but the panniers look…”a little second hand” as Donnie put it.

Raman inspecting the damage

Raman inspecting the damage


He is carrying a little more weight at the moment as I divided the food in half, he has water in his big bladder(I have tended to carry most of the water) and he took the cook stove that I have been carrying. This combined with a propensity to ride at the pace of those around him may have helped precipitate the accident.

Reshaping SW Motec side boxes

Reshaping SW Motec side boxes


A little concerning is that he didn’t adjust his riding behaviour and went down again. This time he was’t so lucky. Rather than low siding as he did the first time, he high sided. Apparently he isn’t sore let alone significantly injured so he is still very lucky in my opinion.

This time it was on the left side.

Left side box after "reshaping"

Left side box after “reshaping”

Raman rides harder than I do. We each have our pace and I have learnt that it is my job to ride my bike, not tell him how to ride his. Raman will ride his bike. I have been amazed just how skilled he has become. Personally I feel less inclined to push it so much but we are pretty well match really and I am grateful for his part in the trip. I hope he learns to accept feedback and apply self regulation. 


Tonight we are camped at Oaks Rush in Kidstone, an old mining town. There is very little hear other than the old mining mess hall which is now a pub of sorts.

We are camped in the old mining gym. Its pretty damn remote out here. We’ve seen very few vehicles and the roads are long and dusty with dry country stretching as far as the eye can see in every direction. This is North Western Queensland.

8 Responses to Escaping the Lyons Den (with the Lyon)

  1. David September 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Raman, Indestructable youth or the luck of the gambler?? We want to see you back in one piece even if your panniers die somewhere along the way.

  2. David September 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Ol, I examined the GPX file that you sent me of your route west from Townsville to sus out where Kidstone was. To orient myself in the vastness of semi arid western queensland I used the photos that show up on Google Earth. As you say not much out there, but I see see one pic icon of Cobbold Gorge (from a high altitude) west of Kidstone and thought that surprising for Ol to out in such arid country and not check out a place like that. I zoomed into the spot where this Gorge was supposed to be and could only see savannha and sandy creek beds. Figured the photo was in the wrong place. That was a few days ago. Just discovered your Cobbold Gorge Gallery and immediately seached for the spot again. With a google earth fix from a tour website, I immediately went back to your route and discovered the spot (complete with a few properly located pic icons) Spectacular section of stone country with the ancient river encised through from open country either side. Although it was just over the hills from where I had been looking, its amazing how easy it is to get lost in the outback even with Google earth GPX routes to follow. I image your next post will be about Cobbold Gorge and hopefully you can update the map too so other can fly over you route

    • Oliver Holmgren September 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      It certainly is a vast expanse out there. Even bigger when you are riding through it compared to zooming over it on Google Earth. Cobbold Gorge update is now up.

  3. Sharon September 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Wow Oliver you are on an amazing adventure. Am loving the pictures and reading your blog. Am your dental nurse from Daylesford. Your dad mentioned the blog to me so I thought I would drop a line. Keep safe, am looking forward to new updates.

    • Oliver Holmgren September 5, 2013 at 1:10 am #

      Great to have you on board 🙂
      Enjoy the ride.

  4. Kimon September 5, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    I am sorry Oliver there is no way that anyone will take any feed back from someone who wears checkered fluorescent underpants over their riding leathers!!!!

    To Raman: The rule is you are only allowed to clown about if you are wearing checkered fluorescent underpants over their riding leathers…. so either get with the program (in this case uniform) or ride like you really want to make it back with all of your bike YA BOODY HOOON 🙂

    BTW my underpants are under my pants, they are grey … any I do not want any skid marks just yet.

    • Oliver Holmgren September 5, 2013 at 12:50 am #

      Yeah, I have to thank/blame Donnie for the “excited” colour scheme of the nylon pants. I gave up my trusty leather pants for these particularly bright pants in an effort to keep cooler, or perhaps I should say get less hot. I am told it gets very hot up at the Cape. Heat exhaustion is a real factor that I have to consider when wearing all my safety gear. Donnie has very generously (along with all the other generosity) given me a really good set of knee guards that are almost knee braces and a set of brand new nylons(the bright checkered ones in question). The nylon pants go over top of the knee guards. His son Matt offered me a much better looking set of nylons that already had a few holes in them from Matt’s “enthusiast” motorcycle riding. I told my self not to be stupid and take the new ones. So here I am, looking somewhat like a jester and smiling like crazy 🙂

      The backs of my knees are taking a while to come around to the idea that they have straps for the knee guards to contend with all day long. A little trapping tape has help stop the chafing. Fantastic knee protection though! I had noticed Rob Turton wearing a pair so I jumped at the opportunity when Donnie offered me a pair. Thanks!

      You conservative armchair adventurer Kimon, grey underpants! You just wait mate, there are a pair of checkered fluorescent underpants waiting just around the corner :p

  5. Lorelei September 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm #


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