Sunday July 10
Attempted to re-configure the GPS, no joy, it’s frozen, can’t input locations, view the map or worst of all, play music!!
Queensland Wall to Wall Liaison office Acting Inspector Bradyn Murphy and his family are at the Academy bright and early, Assistant Commissioners, and Commissioner Atkinson. Some of the local Blue knights attend with their President, Inspector Johan (Taz) Tennerman, 6 of them on their bikes. Bradyn has organised marked motorcycles to attend and help escort us out of Brisbane. QPU President Ian Leavers is there with his young son Jack. We hold a small ceremony with some heartfelt words. Commissioner Atkinson put it all into perspective as we remembered Dan Stiller and Damien Leeding – two young men who leave behind young families – that is why this event is raising money for Police Legacies. The organisers of this event have committed that every cent raised by each jurisdiction goes back to their Legacy to support families of members left behind.
Commissioner Atkinson stated he would follow the ride from Sydney and attend our event in Canberra in September, I look forward to meeting him there.
Georg and I were escorted out of town by the marked motorcycle escort and Taz and his Blue Knights Queensland contingent as far as the freeway turn off to the hills. They took that for a little scenic ride while Georg and I pushed westwards into a strong headwind. We make our overnight stop in Roma well before dark. An easy 477 Km cruise.
Monday July 11
We’re trying for an early start today – frost on the ground, chill in the air but not too bad. Nice Breakfast, pack up, load up the bikes, go to fire up – Dead Battery on my GS – Bugger, These things pull a lot of power and there is no way I want to jump start the beast. A call to RACQ and we are waiting around the motel. The owner gives me the name of the local battery and tyre service centre. A quick call to ‘Nola’, she checks their stock and low and behold, they have a motorcycle battery – two blokes come out in the truck, check out the battery is exactly what I need before filling it with acid. It fires up straight away. I make a call to RACQ to cancel their service, while on the phone, their truck rolls in. Oh well. $150 for a battery out here is not too bad. Finally on the road an hour and a half after we intended.
Crossing the Darling Downs you start to get a sense of the outback, the open highway, big sky, broad horizon views and road kill everywhere. ‘Roos by the hundred lie dead – all shapes and sizes a couple of wild pigs as well. Also live Emus just standing next to the road – I hate Emus, from previous experiences they are so unpredictable, we slow to a crawl waiting for them to dart back across our bows. We push on and make Longreach before dark – a couple of quick photos next to the Qantas Jumbo and into the motel for the night.
We are told by the fellow motorcyclist Motel operator the RSL is the best feed in town, sure enough the obligatory bus tour is in there, always a good sign. Georg orders the spare ribs – small serve, it’s massive, and Georg ends up with half the BBQ sauce over his face to the amusement of several patrons. 700 plus kilometres for the day.