New Team Member & CSR Tour Preps.

20/03/19, Cover Photo: Who isn’t a sucker for a Puppy pic 😉

Time for an update friends. By Will.

Hi everyone, Jenny & I have been busy enjoying the “THB* Lifestyle”. Summer in Mandurah, Western Australia has been magnificent (as usual). Progress towards Cycling (vehicle supported) along the Canning Stock Route has been moving forward ok. Jenny finally “cracked” so now there is a new member in the “Team wiljen” Family.

It’s now early Autumn at the THB in Mandurah & still the weather is incredible.

Let’s start by introducing the Dog, after bombarding me with many hints, pleas & wishes. Jenny finally took the plunge and rescued an abandoned dog through Herd to Home. I’d done my best to postpone the inevitable but finally gave in. We picked the dog up off a lady at a non discript parking area off Baldivis Road. Initially it all seemed a bit suspicious to me, fortunately it turned out to be a legitimate & the hand over went well. We met Christie, a lady in her early 40’s at the Parking Area. She explained how she has fostered over 50 dogs & that she likes to maintain her privacy. Fair enough !

Our first meeting with 4 month old Poppi (aka Kiki) at a Road Side Stop in Baldivis. 4 weeks ago.

Christie introduced the young puppy as Kiki (that’ll have to change) at the time of hand over she was a 4 months old, Kelpie Cross (appears to be some German Shepard in her mix as well) and like most small young animals a little too cute to resist.

Jenny quickly renamed the Dog, Poppi & so begins another period of life being a Dog Owner. Dog Food, Walks, Dog Poo, Training, damaged furniture & ruined gardens.

This will be the 3rd pet Dog we’ve owned since being together. So far not to much damage, we needed new out door furniture anyway & the garden is generally coping ok. We’re hoping Poppi will become the extended family Dog. Jenny’s Mum, Lorraine has offered to take care of her while we are travelling through the Western Australian Desert & Kimberley Region for the next 3 months. 

“Poppi this is your new home & here is your first toy, a squeaky monkey”.

If you wish to travel Australia with a Dog, you need to plan a specific type of trip. Dogs are not allowed in National Parks, vast areas of Pastoral & Crown Land are laced with 1080 Poison to control Wild Dog, Fox & Cat numbers (native animals are immune to 1080 Poison). It is possible but you need a well trained Dog & good planning. Fortunately many Caravan Parks have softened their approach to Dogs in recent years…

Let’s just see where it all leads to, I’ve come across a bit anti-Dog here, but there are many benefits as well. Unconditional Dog Companionship, extra House Security & more Personal Exercise (dog walking). At the moment I’m happy with Poppi, she definitely seems smarter than average & she isn’t to annoying.

Jenny & I also caught up with Andrew, Nancy & the Sailing Crew for the Labour Day long weekend. The mission was to relocate a 30 Foot Steel Hull Yacht, from Perth to Mandurah. In the small fleet is a 56′ Yacht, 30′ Yacht, 28′ Motor V8 Powered Motor Launch & 12′ RIB. What could possibly go wrong ? 

The boat that Jenny will be on with Nancy & Dianne to Rockingham.

Actually not much, Jenny & I both have our Recreational Skipper Tickets so Andrew needed us on seperate boats, we would have preferred to stick together as we make a good boat team. I was in charge of the 30′ Steel Hull Yacht, My-Kuti which appears a bit tired is covered in rust stains, powered by twin 10HP Yamaha outboard motors and has a max speed of 5.5 knots (10km/h).

Jenny was on the Petrol Powered V8, 28′ Motor Launch that at idle would cruise at 6+ Knots. Janet was Skipper on Quattro the large 56′ Yacht & Andrew on Eagle the little RIB with a 25HP outboard. The remainder of the 12 crew were scatted between the four vessels.

Motor Boat caught up in mooring line. Team wiljen can’t hang around, we’re on a bike ride tomorrow.

The only real hassles for the weekend was the Motor Launch dragging it’s anchor in the 40km/h winds at Rockingham on the Saturday & becoming a little tangled in a fixed mooring that had a 45′ Sloop hanging off it. No damage done. The other issue was the 28′ Motor Launch was suppose to follow the 30′ Steel Yacht to Mandurah on the Monday but the Starter Key was lost & took 3 hours to find. So there ended up being a bit of mucking around, meaning the Motor Launch didn’t make the voyage. Interesting weekend !

Sunday, we head out on a motorcycle ride with our friends.
Yippee, Janet has found the keys for the 28′ Motor Launch. 3 hours to late. My-Kuti & the RIB Eagle are long gone.
We arrive into Mandurah & have to lower the mast to get under the 5.2 metre Traffic Bridge.

Since getting home from America, we’ve been keeping an eye on Gumtree in the hope of picking up a reasonably priced, quality, secondhand Fat Bike. Unfortunately nothing decent presented itself. There was one bike just before Christmas but we missed out on it. This means we have gone down the path of NEW. 

The decision is made to purchase a new Surly Fat Bike for the CSR Ride. Surly

I contacted Cycles Bespoke in Bayswater, the Surly Agent. Brad sorted me out with a Surly, Karate Monkey with 3” Tubeless nearly Fat Tyres. I’ve been on a couple of 30km rides & have realised the seat is horrible ( WTB Volt) & the Jones Handle Bars are too low for my style of riding, which causes considerable shoulder pain after 30kms.

Brad at Cycles Bespoke, Bayswater was helpful.
Here it is, team wiljen’s Surly Karate Monkey. Cycles Bespoke

No doubt Cycles Bespoke could rectify these problems for me but they are up in Bayswater about a hour & 15 minute drive in good traffic. The Karate Monkey is a compromise as it needs to suit both Jenny & I. Not an easy task, Jenny is 163cm tall & I’m 178cm, the bike frame is medium size so very slightly on the small side for yours truely. I’ve ordered a new fully adjustable Zoom Brand Stem to raise the handle bars & for my butt relief, a Brooks B17 Flyer Saddle. Once those 2 mods are done, Jenny & I’ll just have to deal with it.

My brother Geoff also flew into Perth from Queensland, he was staying in Scarborough so we caught up with him & other members of the family. The logistics for the whole week were a little complicated because Max arrived into Perth from Sweden on March the 12th & I’d committed to picking him up at 7.30pm from the International Airport.

Catching up with the two Bro’s, Steve & Geoff in Scarborough, Perth.
Scarborough Beach, Perth. Nice area to visit next time you’re in town. 😀👍🏍🏍
Welcome to Perth, Max….let’s ride !

Max has now been here at the THB* for a couple of weeks preparing his bicycle for the 1000km ride to Wiluna. He’s disappeared a couple of times to catch up with friends Scott & Evelyn plus a short trip to the Perth hills to see his Dad & “Step Mum”. 

Max needs to depart sometime during the first week of April if he’s to make it to Wiluna in time for team wiljen to rendezvous with him in the Landcruiser. We are nearly ready to tackle the mighty Canning Stock Route. There is just one more commitment for Jenny & I too complete. 

Max testing his Fat Bike with it’s 3.8″ x 26″ tyres, 20L of water in the bike trailer. Between Singleton & Madora (north of Mandurah).
Max about to test out his Rig as he rides for the Perth Hills. Warm humid day Cyclone Veronica has started to form off the North West Coast.
Jenny & Will take the Brompton’s down to Mandurah’s Crab Fest. It’s a huge weekend & there’s never any parking.
Recovery points fitted to the front of the Landcruiser.
Super Heavy Duty, Dual Bicycle Carrier from ISI Systems Australia
40L water bladder from Fleximake
Max’s Santos Bike with it’s 2.5” road tyres vs the Surly Karate Monkey, Trail Bike.

Once again we are giving a talk about our travels at the Horizons Unlimited gathering in Collie. Should be fun ! They have requested we give our talk about our 21000km, 5 month Motorbike Tour of Australia/New Zealand that we did in 2017. I personally would have preferred to talk about our recent North American Bicycle Tour. Still the HU mob are predominately into Adventure Motorbike Travel so I guess it makes sense. They’re a great bunch of people & we always have a fun time. There should be 120-150 people attending so talking in front of a crowd will be a little nerve wracking for us.

Horizons Unlimited WA Meeting 2019

There’s a small taste of what we’ve been up to. Not sure if we will have time to do another blog post before hitting the CSR** . We definitely intend to document our next 3 month 4WD/Off-Road Cycle Tour so stay tuned for that.

That’s it for now everyone, as always thanks for reading & hope to see you on the road somewhere, sometime.


*Travel Home Base.

**Canning Stock Route.

Here is one very happy doggie 🐶

8 thoughts on “New Team Member & CSR Tour Preps.

  1. Greetings Jen and Will,
    Jan and Doug here from Victoria (met on bike trail and went to Starbuck’s with you)
    As Jan and I sat on our lanai in Honolulu this month ,gazing across the Pacific Ocean at the horizon, looking toward Australia, we wondered what Will and Jen would be up to now? So it was great to hear you have acquired a new puppy! Congrats on that acquisition. As long time dog lovers ourselves (Cocker Spaniels) we know you will never regret taking on Poppi. Poppi is also a lucky dog. Happy travels, and pat Poppi for us.
    Jan and Doug


    1. Hi Jan & Doug,
      Great to hear from you both, Hawaii hey, nice one. Hope you are both having a nice holiday. Bet the weather is glorious. Actually saw you both pop up on our tv the other day as our Apple TV ran through photos of our trip. Our next big tour is a bit daunting due to the isolation out there in the middle of Western Australia. We need things like Aboriginal Land Permits, Sat Phone & be fully self sufficient. Still hard to beat travelling across the Australian Desert. I have a soft spot for Dogs & I’m hoping Poppi will be one of the good ones. She is certainly getting enough attention & training to turn out alright. Take care both of you always a highlight to hear from people we’ve met during our travels.
      Will & Jenny


  2. Can you hear the applause? I’m applauding! You guys really are the poster-couple for livin’ life…dog, boats, motorbikes, epic cycling…you could write the book! Good-on-you! Your new four-legged team member is utterly adorable and will make an extra nice welcome for you when you get back from your CSR adventure. You must be almost ready to set off. Keep livin’ the dream you champions!


    1. Hi Heidi,
      Yes we are at the pointy end of preps for the CSR, Max set off for Wiluna two days ago on his Fit Bike/Trailer combo, so it’s sort have already started. I’ll endeavour to post one more blog before we go dark for 5-6 weeks while out in the desert. We will rendezvous with Max in Wiluna at the beginning of May.
      Quite a lot has happened during the lead up for this tour, thanks for your support. Guessing you & Steve are busy planning your own next cycling adventure.
      Will & Jenny.


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