Category Archives: Commentary

What a crazy weekend

So a Classic Industries ‘mini tourer’ popped up on ebay last week for $1200 Buy It Now. It was an ’86 model, so fairly old shape, but I still couldn’t resist – that was basically what I had budgeted for building a trailer! So I phoned the guy, had a good chat, and bought it. I’ll ride down on the weekend to pick it up, thinks I – it’s in Canberra, but that’s only 4 hours each way. Do it on the bike, and it’ll cost 80 bucks, max.

7am Saturday morning rolls around, and off I ride.30 mins down the road, and all my auxiliary power devices shut down. iPod, GPS, autocom, etc. Check fuses, nope those are all good. Ended up with the tank raised, inside what I call the ‘Brain box’ – whee all the relays live on the k100. I have NO idea what I was thinking when I first wired the bike up, but I had a daisy chain cum star wiring next of earth wires to all the relays and various circuit feeds. And this was iffy. Messed with it for a while, thinking I’ll fix it tomorrow over a relaxing day, and got everything working. Back on the road again, 30 mins behind.

Roll off the throttle 15km before goulburn, and the bike dies. UGH! Pull over, she starts fine. Next time I roll off, same thing! Babied it into goulburn, removed the fuel filter up-ended it onto the driveway, and wow, that’s a lot of water and other crap!

Continue to Canberra, no probs. It’s way too hot, so I strap my jacket across the back seat, and continue on in my tshirt. I haven’t burnt in over 10 years, so I’m not scared of the sun. I remember back to my Summernats days, the Maori guys would be lathering up with sunscreen, I never bothered, I just get more brown, if anything..

Arrive in Canberra at the sellers house, bugger me, I’m going red! UV must be through the roof today! Trailer is a little beauty! Went across to Duffy to catch up with my best man for a while, then headed off northbound.

Wow, the trailer moves around! The seller, Allan, did say you need to have a certain amount of weight in it. Apparently the bag of soil he put in for me wasn’t enough 🙁 ‘well, I have an esky’ I think, though it isn’t currently mounted – it’s sitting inside the trailer. I buy three bags of ice at the next servo (and some drinks), and the trailer is now towing perfectly!

20km short of Goulburn, the bike starts playing up again – the same old dying on power-off problem as on the way down! I manage to baby it to goulburn, empty the filter, yup it’s got water again! I go buy a 20l jerry can (cost me 60 bucks!!), remove the tank, and drain the tank into it – wow there was a lot of gunk! Reassemble the bike, and off I go again. By this time, it’s 8pm! I get 10km down the road, and the problem re-appears! I managed to baby it another 15km, then it gave up totally, and would not fire at all.

Ended up getting towed to goulburn, mrs drove down and picked me up, and towed the trailer home, then I did another trip down to get the bike on the Sunday. Time to look at the bike during the week!

All up, I was on the road for 34hr continuously – not a good weekend!

Could We Survive Without Private Cars?

Could We Survive Without Private Cars?.

It’s an interesting article.  I can see how folks in built-up areas could maybe make do without their own car – infact I know quite a few folks who DO make do without a car..  But it seems to be an inner-city possibility only, really..

What about those of us who live out of town?  Or for whom Car ownership/driving is a way of life or hobby, or even part of their work?  There are those of us who have Ham Radio gear in their car (in a lot of cases, worth WAY more than the car too!), or use their car for work (aka van/4wd with tradies rack, towbar, etc etc)  I sure wouldn’t be trusting a hired or ‘public shared’ car I can’t see a ‘public shared’ car coming with offroad-ability, and the reliability that you’d WANT if you went off-road?  I sure wouldn’t take a hired 4wd (if you could even hire one!)  offroad – You’d be pretty SURE you couldn’t trust it!   I’ve hired plenty of cars and trucks before, and I know how abused they are – I remember heading to Kempsey, the weekend before the start of my 4th year of uni, with two 1-tonner utes, pulling tandem trailers, and then towing back two old wolseleys..  By the time we got back to Melbourne, the engine on the manual was blowing a LOT of smoke, and the auto on the second was slipping like mad between gear changes..  Was a small petrol 1-tonner the wrong choice for towing that load? sure – but the hire places don’t hire anything larger!  Or at least they didn’t way back then anyway 🙂  Although I note that most hire places don’t have towbars on their utes anymore..  Infact, last time I needed to hire a car/truck to pull a trailer, I couldn’t actually find one!  So we ended up sorting out a larger moving truck when we shifted house, so we could fit motorcycles on the tailgate..  And found a towtruck driver to whom 50 bucks and a case of VB was enough payment to move a couple of minis across canberra..

I thought this was interesting too:

It’s easier not to go to a shopping centre if there’s a reliable home delivery service

I dunno about other folks, but working from home, I *LOVE* going to the shopping centre, as it gets me out of the house!  Now sure, in fine weather, I prefer to ride my pushbike the 12km round trip to get the mail every morning, but some days I just don’t have the time to take out of my work day to do it, so it’s on the motorbike, or in the pajero..  And yes, I know I can have austpost email/sms me *if* i have mail.. but that costs extra on top of the already spiralling costs of owning a postoffice box!

IMHO, *NO* we couldn’t survive without Private Cars.  *AS A WHOLE* that is.  I’m sure there’s a small portion of the Australian Population who live close enough to city centres to be able to.  But for the majority of us, it’s simply not an option!

Meanwhile you see soccer mums driving big 4.8L land cruisers, to take the kids to school and back.  yeah, if that’s not a waste of fuel, road wear, and parking space, i don’t know what isn’t..  Heck, even the folks who drive all year round with their aircon on shit me to tears – c’mon guys, you don’t need the aircon on when it’s 15C outside!  I don’t know what the smaller cars are like, but the missus’ commodore uses about the same fuel as my pajero in summer – that’s an extra 5L/100km, just because the aircon is running!

Meh, ok, that’s my rant done 🙂