Like all the good stories, it has to come to an end. Being avid readers of the ‘Sunken Miles’ photo journal, we found it a bit of surprise that Oliver Holmgren’s sojourn up north (to the very tip) came to an abrupt end last week. Oliver had left his home heading up to Cape York on his trusty Kawasaki KLR motorcycle, he affectionately called Mawson (after his distant relative, of the Antarctic exploration fame). Reading his blog has been a treat for us, but unexpectedly, we found that the great journey had come to an end. Oliver and Mawson both became ill at the same time, Oliver has recovered but Mawson’s problems are more serious.
Waking on Tuesday morning, I had a very difficult decision to make. What should I do with the bike considering what I saw last night?
I don’t know how or what wore the cam chain, but I am pretty sure it will have worn everything the oil is in contact with. Some how dust has got into the oil, it seems.
The reality of all this is that, without pulling the whole thing apart, I just don’t know how much wear has occurred. I have to assume lots. There just isn’t any sense paying a bike shop to change the cam gears and chain knowing what I do. I am at a difficult cross roads. What do I do with the bike?
After talking with my parents a bit and thinking I decided to freight the bike back to Vic where I may swap out the engine in my own time in my workshop.
So, I took the plunge and found a company to freight the bike home.
And so, quite unexpectedly, the Sunken Miles journey comes to a close.
I am standing here blinking, in shock how quickly it has all come to an end. Less than 24 hours from the problem to it being gone on a truck. What a crazy set of events.
It has been an amazing journey and I am very grateful of the experiences, challenges and lessons it has thrown up.
Mawson got me to Cape York and back out. I am glad that it has happened this way rather than in some remote place.
I have done my very best to keep the bike functioning despite the harsh conditions. I managed to ride my bike for just on half a year in some very challenging conditions time and time again without injury and for that alone I am very happy. The fact that the bike is in poor shape and I am well is much better than the other way around.
(From “An unexpected end” in Oliver’sSunken Milesblog)
By his counting, he and Mawson travelled over 16,266 km in 175 days through some of the most rugged terrains on the continent. His blog traced his journey from Victoria up the Great Dividing Range to the northernmost tip of Australia, and back to Cairns, through his journal and breathtaking photos. Thanks for the great ride Ol (and Mawson).