Meet ‘Ricky Baker’

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It was a beautiful, golden sunset this afternoon so I decided to take some photos of my new project bike – a 2012 Honda CT110 that has been christened ‘Ricky Baker’.

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The rugged, reliable little CT110, or postie bike, needs no introduction. In production since 1966 the postie bike is easily the most numerous and popular bike in Australia. I have been tinkering with this one for about a month now since I purchased it for $1000. I am it’s third owner after Australia Post and one other careful guy and it has just over 30,000 km on it. I have been giving it a good clean up; the paint and chrome was really grotty and I had to remove the stock scratched stickers. I took off the front guard – straightened out a few dings – and body plastics and resprayed them the correct Honda, Monza Red with some clear coat. I sanded back and resprayed the front forks in silver and polished a few of the engine cases with wet and dry sandpaper. I fitted the older style ‘flying wings’ Honda emblems to the side covers where the distinctive Australia Post logo once was.

Additionally, I have fitted older style chrome indicators to the front and I sourced an older style Honda oval CT90 speedometer which sits inside the headlight bowl, instead of being mounted to an ugly bracket on the handlebars. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoy riding this tiny donkey.

 

Em’s new ride – Suzuki TU250X

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My girlfriend Em recently picked up a new learner bike, a 2012 Suzuki TU250X as an upgrade from her Postie (Honda CT110). Last weekend, we took the opportunity of some nice Canberra winter weather – for a change – to go for a ride together out to Uriarra Crossing, behind Belconnen.

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It was a gentle 70km return journey, generally idling along the backroads at about 80km/hr. I haven’t ridden the Suzuki too much yet, but it seems to be a very sweet little bike with light controls, a slick gear change and smooth revving engine. You really seem to sit on top of it – like a rocking horse – which I find disconcerting after my KLR with it’s big, high bars.

All the best with your new ride dear Em xo Enjoy the pics.

Canberra snow day

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13 July 2016

With the temperature only a few degrees below zero, Emily and I were surprised to wake up this morning to see a thin blanket of snow over our rear veranda, garage roof and the wagon. The nearby hilltop of Mt. Majura also had a few centimetres coverage. The motorcycle ride to work was extra frosty, with thin flurries of snow swirling around in the traffic.

The aquatic life below

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There is a dock out the back of my work here in Lakes Entrance. I quite often make a cup of tea and go peer into the water. Among the pylons I catch glimpses of small fishes, mussels, crabs, shrimps; thousands of animals going about their lives. Thought I’d lower my new underwater camera and take a closer look. Here is what I found:

Who needs an aquarium?

The dead leviathan

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I heard talk yesterday of a whale washed up on the coast at Cape Conran nearby to my home here in Lakes Entrance. I couldn’t help but go and investigate after work. This is what I found:

It is a sperm whale and I would estimate its length at around 10 metres long. They mature at 16m and can reach up to 20m so this is likely a sub-adult. As to why it died, who knows? We had a lot of storms here recently so it only just washed up, yet it seems to be decomposing pretty quickly so perhaps it was afloat for a while before being deposited here.

The photos don’t do justice to how big and impressive this carcass is.

Video

My way home

Time lapse video of part of my regular 5 hour, 440km drive from Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) to Lakes Entrance (Victoria).

The video starts, leaving the industrial area of Cooma, New South Wales which is about 110km from Canberra. I then head through Nimmitabel, take the Old Bombala Road (dirt) and then go through Bombala (not shown). It is then a blast southwards, over the border into Victoria and then into Cann River (not shown) which is just about on the Victorian coastline.

Car is a 2005 Ford Falcon Wagon, camera is a GoPro Hero4 shooting 1 frame per second and music is from the Boards of Canada.

The Devil Incarnate – Endo’s Goosefish

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Check out this interesting fish I found recently working on a trawler off the Victorian coast. Looking like the devil himself, Endo’s Goosefish (Lophiodes endoi) is a deepwater member of the anglerfish family of fishes. Growing to 38cm, this species can be found around the South-eastern and western margins of Australia’s continental shelf in waters ranging from 275-500m deep.

Like all anglerfishes, Endo’s Goosefish uses a specially adapted dorsal fin ray as a fishing rod to lure smaller prey near to it’s gruesome mouth. You can guess what happens next. Anglers possess some of the most impressive teeth in the animal kingdom; they ensure that once prey enters their mouths, there is no chance of escape.

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Riding Laos Style

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Check the video below to see some of the area around the Laos capital, Vientiane, seen from the perspective of a scooter rider.

I took this footage while living in Laos for a year over 2012-13. The bike was my tiny Honda Wave 100 S, nothing more than a postie bike with a fairing but super fun to ride.

The music is Sea World by my favourite Kiwi band The Phoenix Foundation who have a habit of smashing out these beautiful, low-fi groovy, trippy pieces.

Here are some more pics of my little Laos whip:

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