Day 0 – Pre-Ride Briefing and Dinner

Arrived in Sydney mid-afternoon, checking into the Park Regis Hotel.  On check-in reception handed me an introductory letter from Mick McDonald who will be the Compass Expeditions’ ride coordinator.  Had a quick read, and it said that we’d meet up in the foyer of the hotel at 5:30pm to meet each other and to meet up with Charley.

We Get To Meet Charley

At 5:30pm, after an informal introduction between us all, Charley joins us.  He is a great ambassador for motorcycling. Very witty and gregarious, making everybody feel at ease and happy to be part of this inaugural Sydney to the Outback tour.

We then catch taxis to the Deus Cafe located at Camperdown.  This is an interesting place to say the least.  Dues motorcycles is a custom motorcycle shop, turning out motorcycles that can only be classed as pure works of art. Quite apart from that, it also has a fully licenced cafe/restaurant attached to it, and quite fittingly, is where we all gathered for our first dinner.

Mick gave us a general briefing on the tour, and we signed the appropriate bits of paper that is part and parcel of joining any tour these days.

It’s always something special to talk with the other members of the tour.  The common bond of motorcycling transcends all professions, occupations and social standing.

I had the opportunity to talk with Billy Ward, who co-rides with Charley on his African tours. He also organises Charley’s many public appearances these days.  I’d ridden Southern Africa a few years ago, and it was great to share some stories with Billy.

A beautiful piece of customisation by Dues Motorcycles.

A beautiful piece of customisation by Deus Motorcycles.

The Sponsors

This inaugural tour is being sponsored by BMW Australia, Hillstone Hotel and Road Rider magazine.  Janine and John from the magazine joined us for dinner, with Road Rider magazine intending to publish a full story on this tour.  We will be accompanied on the entire trip by a journalist.

The trip promises to be an experience of a lifetime.  Mick told us that Chris Vermeulen (Team Kawasaki World Superbike rider) will be co-leading the ride from Hall’s Creek back into Melbourne with Charley.

So it’s down to the car park tomorrow, to head off on Day 1 of the inaugural Sydney to the Outback.

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