Canning Stock Route by Bike - advice please

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:04
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G'day from England!

In 2000/2001 I had a great cycle tour of Tasmania followed by a tour from Melbourne to Coffs Harbour . A wonderful experience of your great country and hospitable people! Some years previously I rode the Molesworth Track in New Zealand and enjoyed the 120 miles of off road cycling in 1 long day.

Arriving back from Oz, my cousin gave me some Australian Cyclist magazines , one of which had an article of a trip across the Canning Stock Route. I was fascinated at the thought of 1200 miles of off road cycling through the wilderness of Western Australia and have since been thinking of doing it myself ! As it has already been completed solo and unsupported by Jakub Postrzygacz, this "first" is no longer available. So I'm thinking of joining a group of like-minded cyclists who are already planning to do the trip. Ideally with support vehicles.

To arrive in Oz and try to organise such a trip would be extremely difficult so I'm making enquiries as to any trips already planned which I could become part of. I understand that the best weather for the trip is June - September and I would be looking at either this year or next.

Any help, advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Mike Hallgarth

goldiecat@BTinternet.com
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Reply By: Mark - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:17

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:17
G'Day Mike,

CSR on a pushbike sounds like a real challenge as its not easy riding on sand. I just read an article in the Australian Trailrider mag about a solo guy doing it unsupported on a dirt bike. I suppose if you had 4x4 supporting you it would be possible as you would never carry enough water & supplies without a support vehicle. Anyway good luck if you do it, I plan to one day but from the comfort of a 4x4.
BTW. Two guys died from dehydration out there last year when their poorly prepared LandRover broke down.
Cheers
Mark
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Reply By: howie - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:52

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 20:52
are you completely mad?
seriously though, there are about 900 sand dunes and mostly soft sand tracks.
i am going to look into jakub's 'solo and unsupported' effort as, even if he took 10 days,how would he be able to carry enough drinking water given the effort of riding a bike on sand.
if you are mad, please return to this site for advice, there are a lot of us who have drove the csr on here.
ps have you got a hiclone fitted to your bike?
AnswerID: 156335

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:09

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:09
Suspect there will be more "hike" than "bike" - so fitting the hiclone to the bike may not be the best option.. If this is in fact the case would the hiclone work better fitted to the riders rear "exhaust" or “intake”?
Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:07

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:07
>Canning Stock Route by Bike - advice please

Don't.

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:50

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 21:50
G'day Mike.
I've come across some of your fellow English ultra cyclists in my road racing days, and a tough lot they were too... far from "mad". As you say, you have ridden some distances here already, but they are very civil routes. I've not been to the CSR yet, but know enough of the region in general terms. As you say, someone has ridden it solo, but he'd need to be in the "John Muir*" class of adventurer I'll wajer. For anyone a bit closer to "normal" it could be suicide. Far as I see it, its not the distance - its the sandy and stony terrain, the possible heat levels (even in winter), the isolation (no supplies) and the lack of safety margin. With a support vehicle or two, it might be a goer, but you'd need quite a bit of spare hardware for the bike I reckon. And.... the vehicles need to carry so much gear for themselves due to the vast un-serviced distances, they'd need to be really big to carry bike gear as well !There is a bloke in WA who does bike tours all over the center of Oz - [ I know him as VKS737 HF Network - Whisky 67 - Terry ] - site address is here [ http://www.cycletours.com.au ] - Doubt if he is onto the CSR but he goes in and around similar regions.
*
Muir walked from around Menindie I think, up to Burketown, with a small dog, a small cart of goodies and a rifle - unaided the whole distance - lost about 15 Kg or so - 4 months later he joins a group for a stroll into the North Pole - he could ride the CSR unaided I guess !
Cheers.......
AnswerID: 156348

Follow Up By: Graham- Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:33

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:33
Hi,

Don't know about this guy John Muir but have a read of "The Last Explorer" - Sir Hubert Wilkins.

Why on earth no-one seems to know about this Aussie beats the hell out of me!

He must have been a phenominal man to travel with.

regards

Graham
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:19

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:19
Mike,

When we were on the Canning last May (North - South) we kept hearing of a Swedish cyclist ahead of us and kept expecting to meet her. We thought she must have been mad, but it turned out she was riding only a bit of the trip each day - the easy bits like the long flat runs between the dunes where the sand is harder.

We never did catch her though we often saw tracks.

That's about the only way you could do it realistically in any reasonable time frame.

Covering 80-100 km a day with 2 4wds and 3 dirt bikes was a big effort.

We took on 600 litres of fuel alone at the half way mark!

I would encourage anyone to get out and see it. It is an amazing place. But go prepared with good support, the ability to carry 4 - 5 days water supply at a minimum, good communications (HF or Satphone) and a medical evacuation plan that covers looking after a patient for at least 2 days if required to get the patient to an airstrip.

Regards,

Dave

AnswerID: 156356

Reply By: Steve - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:37

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:37
As they often say Down Under ..'.Mad Dogs and English Men' ....you are joking really ?...solo on your bike !!!

YOU ARE 'FLOGGING' KIDDING ????
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Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:59

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:59
Gooday,
Am a very social cyclist, just to keep alive, read recently on bicycle forum about a group ride later this year via Great Central Road to Ayers Rock which may be a much more sane experience, drove this road last August approx 1200km dirt/desert.
Will try to look back thru history tomorrow when I get some peace & will spacemail you direct yo the address on bottom of your post if I can resuscitate the info.
Cheers, Boroma604
AnswerID: 156368

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:18

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:18
Mike.
The time it will take to cover the distance may be a month? If so your support vehicle would have to carry several tones. It is possible with a Mitsubishi Canter or very similar fuel efficent truck, a unimog can not carry enough fuel for its own use over that time. Its like sending a rocket to the moon, the more you carry the more fuel you have to carry, there is a limit. If you want to provide more detail on your likely average speed we can do the sums to see if it is possible. Eric.
AnswerID: 156371

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:41

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:41
"Mitsubishi Canter or very similar fuel efficent truck" - are you sure about that? - ones I have had experience with ate fuel like it was going out of fashion..but maybe as far as "trucks" go they are good? Suspect a normal 4WD will be suitable support vehicle anyway. Even if the bike guy took a year there would be no requirement to have the support vehicle running the whole time - send bike guy ahead (with radio contact) - wait till mid afternoon, crank the beast up and catch up, switch off, revive him/her, and repeat procedure...no different to anyone else travelling along it. Couple of refueling points available on way so that makes it easier again...plus I dont think its getting any less busy out there.
Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Eric Experience. - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 22:26

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 22:26
Greg.
I have some experience of filming in the desert, Its true you dont have to have the support vehicle running all day but the driver has to eat and drink so you still end up carring a lot of gear. As for the Canter, the current model driven gently will do better than 20 Litres/100 in sandy conditions, carrying 2.5 tones. A land rover 130 will do about 12 but only carry 1.2 tones. Reliability? you know the answer. Eric.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 11:05

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 11:05
No worries Eric - I actually havent sat down and thought about it so wouldnt have a clue about what you would need (or how much) for that lenght of time. Maybe the canters are Ok on fuel (I see quite a few people use them). I do remember fuel tank capacity is a bit small. We also dusted a few motors as the air cleaner set up was a bit sad (exposed) - knocked a few of with trees etc when driving through thick bush...preparation is of course the key - whatever vehicle you choose to take.
Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:39

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:39
>As it has already been completed solo and unsupported by Jakub Postrzygacz

That's bluddy amazing, I like to read more on that.
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Reply By: rocketsalad - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:43

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 23:43
Mike
Im sure its been done a few time already. Ill ask a few of my adventure racing mates and see if any of them know any more. You could also ask the same question in http://www.sleepmonsters.com.au/index.php forums

regards
rs
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 03:26

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 03:26
This has been tried in 1999 by robert bogeggi (Spelling??) It took 2 months of searching to eventually find him. He didnt make it far by bike and became lost. I reeely hope you have rich parents coz the search for him was eventually called off and it was a tv helicopter following the private search team funded by his parents that found him................................................ Get the picture??
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 03:41

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 03:41
American adventurer Robert Bogucki wandered the Great Sandy Desert for six weeks before he was found by searchers, about 500 km north-west of where the Kununurra man's body was found.

Mr Bogucki had been trying to cross the desert on a pushbike, but had been forced to abandon the bike because of the inhospitable terrain.

He survived by drinking muddy water and eating native grasses and berries.
............................... And he was a damn fit firefighter. the bike was abandoned not far from where he started
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 15:29

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 15:29
Yeah but he was searching for god..

I wonder if he found him??

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 07:04

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 07:04
Mike,

It sounds like an exciting thing to do. Some careful planning is needed and it can be done.

For all you non believers in the thread above, type Jakub Postrzygacz, into GOOGLE and go from there.

He did the trip solo, unassisted ( Makes us armchair airconditioned drivers pale into insignificance...LOL)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:24

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:24
>To cycle the full length of Canning Stock Route with no backup

Looks like some kind of elobrate con job to me. Maybe I'm wrong but to me it's unbelievable, then again heading north/south it's all down hill isn't it...ARHHH I dunno...very bluddy strange
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:36

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:36
I'm going to put up a web site describing how I trecked to the south pole in just me jocks and pet cat for company.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:11

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:11
Pet cat??? Was that a shaved pussy by any chance. LOL.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:24

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:24
LMAO, They are better shaved if you have to eat them to satisfy your hunger..lol

I just had a ph call from i musty (scouts honour) and he reckons he ran support with his coaster bus on that bike trip...the plot thickens
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:00

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:00
I don't suppose Molteni Mike and i Musty are related by any remote chance are they?

Mike Harding :)
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:18

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:18
lol...no you can't pin that one on him Mike...good try though
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:37

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:37
I've heard he would like to be related to Oliver Martinez, though.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 16:19

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 16:19
Ray - re the phone call.
Good to see nothing has changed, he's still full of it.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 18:04

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 18:04
Ray

It is not impossible. The track is quite hard in between the dunes. If you have enough water and you are plurry fit, it should be a breeze.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 21:52

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 21:52
oh ok Willem, it would appear that this trip is not as hard as some would have us believe, I thought it was difficult 4x4 territory, sounds too easy. cheers
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 01:46

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 01:46
I think the log in his guest book from 23 Dec sums it up.

More guts than brains. A truly epic adventure.

What a trip. I feel inferior in some ways. I thought it was a great 4wd trip and not as difficult as I expected but I wasn't sure what to expect and we didn't strike any difficulty.

Amazing. Just amazing.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:42

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:42
Ray

The trip is hard for a 4x4 because of the weight factor. We just HAVE to carry the plurry kitchen sink with us wherever we go.

Jakub was travelling light. He planned the expedition well, organised it well, brought lots of sponsors on board, and above all had the tenacity to complete the task he set himself.

I have had a good look at his website and some of the pics bring back fond memories of our 1994 trip along the same route. We were also there in 2005 for a short distance.

These are the adventures that many of us dream about but never achieve.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 12:39

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 12:39
Thanks for the insight Willem. I find it strange that some have to burden themselves with all these devices when heading bush, fancy devices for cooking food, showers, gas bottles, tables, tv's the list goes on....I do like my fridge for a cool drink but it took me a long time to succumb to that one, wont find much food in there though. Each to there own eh!, My ute is loaded with electronic gear :)
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Reply By: Molteni Mike - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 07:40

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 07:40
Jakubs site --- details
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Follow Up By: howie - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:06

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:06
i "googled" his name already to get to jakub's c.s.r. site.
what an amazing feat.
there is a lot of water on the c.s.r. and i suppose with the correct filter and puri tabs,water would not be a huge problem.
good luck
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Follow Up By: Member - John A (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:32

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 12:32
Thanks Mike for publishing the site.
This guy leaves me in awe!
Goes to show that with the right equipment, a good dose of lateral thinking and the pioneering spirit, amazing feats can be achieved.
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:32

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:32
Great photography - I wonder who took the shots????????
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 15:12

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 15:12
What an adventure and adventurer. Great web site and thanks, I think a lot of people could learn from this guy about determination and planning.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 00:20

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 00:20
Wombat

maybe it's called a tripod LOL
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:19

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 13:19
Did you see the fresh Kangaroo ribs in the photo's ready for cooking?

Wonder if the roo was push bike road kill. LOL
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Reply By: 515 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:58

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 14:58
Robi Rishworth (of Rooftop Maps fame) completed the CSR on a pushie. Several magazines had write-ups about it. It was 2 or 3 years ago. He can be contacted at Rooftop Maps.
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Reply By: Redback - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 07:55

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 07:55
The glass is half empty attitude of alot of the people on this forum is amazing.

Your bloody unbelievable,

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:19

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:19
You think it's sensible to encourage people to undertake the Canning Stock Route on a bicycle?

For every top level athlete like Robin Rishworth who have the fitness and bush knowledge to undertake such a journey there would be many who would like to do it but would surely die in the process.

Common sense, my friend, common sense.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:50

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:50
Baz

Basically it is just jealousy by others that someone had the guts and fortitude to take on a difficult project and succeed.

Yes, it was a dangerous thing to do but if we do not take chances in life then our lives may become meaningless.

I would have advised against it but then I again, I am not a cyclist and I am not in that age group..lol. Still if someone is admant to do a dangerous thing then it is best for those who have expoerience to offer the best advice possible. Jakub sourced all of that before taking on this adventure.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Redback - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 11:26

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 11:26
Yep totally agree Willem, if he wants to do it, then good on him, imagine if Bourke & Wills or Leighardt or Hume or any of the great explorers had the attitude of some here.

Also it's been done unaided and he'll have support.

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 15:56

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 15:56
"Bourke (sic) & Wills . . . great explorers". Now that's a long bow you've drawn Baz.

Burke set out for the Gulf totally unprepared with Wills, King and Gray and only one horse, six camels and supplies to last for three months. He was driven by ego rather than common sense. Having heard of Stuart's mission he was determined to become the first white man to cross Australia from south to north regardless of the cost. His lack of common sense was reiterated when, upon returning to the dig tree he managed to write notes in his diary which he buried along with a note telling where the group were heading, yet neglected to make any sign at the Dig Tree to indicate that they had been there and were still alive.

As Mikes states, I hope the author of this post has enough common sense to undertake the task he is setting himself.
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