Day 6 – Townsville

It was just a short ride of 150 clicks today, which let us see the Pacific Ocean for the first time during the Long Ride, and we were greeted with warm temperatures and a city to fall in love with.


First of all we checked out the local lookout spot – Castle Hill – from where you can get a great overview of the entire area.


Team Berg went then for a little stroll trough the town and down to the beach, with Magnetic Island in the background.


The test of the day was not so much fun, since DB had to fly back to Sydney and go back to work on Friday….

Day 5 – Charters Towers

Todays leg of the Long Ride was supposed to end in Hughenden, but this little town was seriously struggling with accommodating all the participants of the charity ride – and since Team Berg came late to the party all was booked out already. Plan B was to continue to Charters Towers for the night – a 780km ride via Longreach, or shave of 270 km of the trip by doing 30km of dirt along the way… We opted for the later, but not without dramas….


First of all the Beast didn’t want to start due to a loose contact our something like that – nothing a little fiddling couldn’t resolve.


Once on the road, we actually had quite a good run, with the occasional road train forcing us of the road, which was heavily littered with road kill.


Until we hit the dirt…


But we made it in the end and finished the day with a big steak!

Day 3 – Charleville

Another day in paradise, and St George greeted us with chilling temperatures in the morning – cool enough to wear thermal underwear….


Everything started pretty well, until people kept on referring to the poor condition on CB’s rear tyre – yes, the one that just got changed upon the return from the Tasmania trip – so after 7000km there should be still some rubber left, right? But not so – in other words: outback roads 1 – rear tyre nil.

Now, what are the chances of finding a 180/55R17 in some remote Australian country town? Yes, correct, slim to impossible. But a few phone calls later we located one in Roma with the help of the local motorcycle guy.

Roma its just a little detour away (approx 100 clicks) on our way to Charleville – an opportunity too good to miss, and to be honest, probably our only chance to score some rubber for the Beast between here and Townsville.


350 bucks later a brand spanking new Pirelli Angel ST was mounted and off we went to catch up with the rest of the mob.

When CB did the booking for this nights accommodation, little did he know that the Carones Hotel is probably one of the most iconic ones in Central Queensland! Its more like a time warp back into the 1800s – certainly the bathroom looked antique, and i bet it its haunted, too.

Day 2 – St George

Another great day for riding, even though the morning was a little on the chilly side with only 10 degrees when we jumped on the bike.


By the time we crossed the border into Queensland we started stripping off the thermal liners to fully embrace the balmy conditions.


Jody pointed out that a historic pub established in 1864 at Nindigully was on our way, which is famous for their 5.5kg road train burger (apparently it feeds 1-6 people) – so needless to say we did a pit stop there to have lunch.


When sitting in the warm shade of an old big tree, we remembered how much we enjoyed the balmy temperatures of the north…. Apparently, many caravan travellers get stuck at this place. It is indeed a piece of paradise, with a river just running behind the house – downside is that it regularly gets flooded, damaged or even destroyed (and then rebuilt).


We arrived around 3pm at St George – good tome for a wee rest…


Tonight there is a Rodeo in town! We love rural Australia already!

Day 1 – Gunnedah

Team Berg had some minor technical problems in the morning to make it to the first meeting point at Wyong in time due to some early morning delays and an accident on Pacific highway, but then caught up with the group in Singleton.

Great to see so many familiar faces from previous rides again, and heaps of new ones.


We had perfect weather all day long, and we arrived at Gunnedah around 2pm – but not without drama – the Beast almost ran out of fuel on the last stretch, with only fumes left in the tank.

CB has been a number of times in Gunnedah before for work, but never made it up to the lookout:


At night we meet our friend Jody at the local RSL to catch up over a chilled beverage and yummy food.

Long Ride 2013 – Sydney to Cairns

Yes, it is this time of the year again: on 4 May, Team Berg will hit the road to participate in the Long Ride 2013, a fund-raising campaign to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and raise awareness on prostate cancer which is the most common cancer diagnosed and the second greatest cause of cancer deaths in men in Australia.

Long Ride is a voluntary group of motorcyclists of various ages, backgrounds and abilities who come together from all over Australia to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer. This year, hundreds of Long Ride motorcyclists will be supporting the Foundation by embarking on an incredible journey from all over Australia to Cairns.

Team Berg will be making the epic journey from Sydney to Cairns and as part of our Long Ride contribution to the Prostate Cancer Foundation; we have set up a fund-raising account. We would be most grateful for your generous support for this important men’s health issue. If you would like to make a donation, please visit our fund-raising page:

We aim to post messages and pictures for you on a daily basis once we’re on the road. So check out our site regularly.

Thank you very much for your kind support!

Dilini and Chris

For more info:

* Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website:

* Long Ride website:


Good-bye Canada

After nearly 20,000km we reached our final destination in Alberta, Canada… Our mate Jeff was already waiting for us and a bottle of champagne got ripped open as soon we entered the driveway, very much like a Formula 1 celebration – just without the podium. But the last few kilometers were not without drama…


I don’t know what it is, but it seems there is always something going wrong on the last day or just like in South America – this time it was a gel battery (Made in China) that completely died without warning. Gel batteries have become pretty much the standard for long distance motorcycle travellers since they don’t leak, don’t need maintenance or slowly deteriorate. Just every morning the same powerful punch that kicks the mighty single cylinder into action. HOWEVER,  if they fail they do like in our case. We just stopped for lunch and when we were ready to embark on the last leg for the day there was – nothing. No cranking, no clicking – heck, not even the headlight came on. It didn’t take long and there was quite a crowd around us, all with great suggestions and ideas on how to start the bike. We even hooked up some jumper cords but with no luck. A mild panic broke out, since finding a battery that would fit a BMW F650GS in the middle of nowhere could be quite a challenge. I could already envision myself riding that bike with a car battery duct-taped to the handlebars if we cant find a suitable replacement. A fellow BMW rider on a K100RS immediately grabbed his  mobile phone and started ringing around to track down a match – but once again, it was the Garmin Zumo 550 that saved the day suggesting a Napa  automotive outlet literally 1 km down the road. In a frenzy, CB ripped apart the bike to get the dud out, strapped it to the Dakar and rode away in a big cloud of dust. 10 minutes later he was back with a big smile on his face and a brand spanking new power pack. Only problem was that the poles where reversed and it was time to think outside the box. Since the battery connectors of the stock GS are pretty short, we had to perform another swap – so the battery of the Dakar went into the GS and the new one into the Dakar since you can install batteries either way…


In the end all was good, and the fellow BMW rider waited with us patiently all the time until both our bikes were back into commission. Since we were heading all to Calgary we decided to ride together, but not without some local sightseeing on the way – so we passed a humongous rock slide that took out an entire village about 100 years ago: and a massive glacier rock, that got dumped 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age:


The last few days were just great – we had plenty of time to catch up with Jeff and Cata, played with the bikes and other toys, even went boating with his family and a trip to Calgary included going down the Olympic bob-sled track from 1988 and checking out the fastest zip line in the world – yes: 140 km/h down the ski jump tower! Totally insane! Only Canadians come up with stuff like that… While the ride ride was not too bad, the breaking certainly was! You pretty much slam into a preloaded spring at the end of the zip line and depending on your body weight the impact force is accordingly… Considering that we have been putting on a few kgs over the last 3 month due to a very hearty diet the braking procedure was pretty uncomfortable and neither of us wish to repeat that any time soon. But needless to say, it was very sad to say good-bye to Jeff and Catalina but it is only another year until we meet again…

Overall, we believe that we had the most amazing honeymoon one can wish for. Surely, we could have flown to Paris or Antarctica, or stayed at the most expensive resort on a coconut island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean – but we doubt that we would have met all these amazing people, seen all this breathtaking landscapes or learnt so much about American history we did. Team Berg is all about adventure after all.


In the end we knocked off about 29 States, a district and four Provinces in Canada. We missed/escaped hurricane Irene, countless violent thunderstorms on the east coast, encountered only two 10 minute rainy periods over three months, got toasted in the record breaking heatwave (pushing +40 degrees Celsius for about 30 days of our trip) and shivered at Yellowstone at -1 Celsius. We have met some amazing and generous people, heard fantastic stories and learnt so much about North American history and geography – things we would never learnt as kids in school or uni. We feel so privileged that we were allowed to embark on this journey, with getting time off work to do it and the health and resources to enjoy it.

The downside it, that this trip completely hooked us and we cant stop thinking about where to go next year…The West Coast beckons us…

Glacier National Park, Montana

They say: “Save the best for last” – in our case it was, unknowingly, a visit to the Glacier National Park near the Canadian border in Montana –  While many people recommended this park to us (in particular thanks to David, who grew up right next to it), little did we know what to expect. For sure, we’ve seen some amazing scenery on our trip so far – like the red rocks of Utah, the Grand Canyon, the swamps in Louisiana and the endless prairies of South Dakota – but Glacier takes the cake. This is the heart of the Rocky Mountains! One of the “must-dos” of this park is taking the Going-to-the-Sun road. This road is closed for large parts of the year due to snow and ice, so we just hit the window of opportunity to explore this part of the country. A local at Browning, MT told us that snow can be expected from October onwards and snowfalls as late as July are not unheard of. Downside is that the park is only open for a few weeks in the year so there were many tourists to share the narrow winding roads with. Nevertheless, we consider ourselves privileged that we were able to see this park as it is quite difficult to get to without a vehicle.


Unfortunately, visiting this park also marks the end of our US tour, with the border crossing into Canada being imminent. There is still so much to see, so many places to visit – it seems there is only one option: we need to come back next year and continue what we have started – aka Team Berg Honeymoon Part II. Travelling without prejudice and with an open mind certainly opened up many doors and let us experience an America that has little to do with the image portrayed in so many MTV music videos, Hollywood movies or news stories. Of course, there is a darker side to it all, fuelled by poverty, unemployment and socio-economic disadvantages – but every nation has this regardless. We were extremely fortunate (and we believe that all our guardian angels were working overtime in the past three months) that we had no major problems (nothing that money cant fix), no accidents (other than a few tipple overs – mostly CB tippling over) and we only got rained on twice for about 10 minutes each time. Just the heat wave this northern summer was causing some frustration, sweat and (minor) arguments at times – but compared to the freezing cold we were generally happy with a few extra degrees.


Next Team Berg crosses the Canadian border for a short stay near Edmonton and Vancouver before flying to LA and back home to Sydney. Gosh Sydney we miss you and appreciate you so much more now. Can’t wait to see all our family, friends and work colleagues!!