The Australian Motorbike Road Trip: Day Four – Coffs Harbour
The fact that the motorcycle electric starter wasn’t working–even after giving it hours to recharge while running–had us worried. For people that are attempting to traverse over 3,000 km by motorbike, we know very little about the actual mechanics of the bike, leaving us at the mercy of local mechanics and the internet to solve our problems. We weren’t sure if the problem was with the battery or the stator (or alternator – the piece that recharges the battery), so we push started the bike once more and got it up to Super Cheap Auto of Coffs Harbour where we stayed in their parking lot for around two hours–using their tools, staff, and driveway as our own personal motorbike garage. Somehow, we got the seat up and managed to take out the old corroded battery and found a matching model inside the store. We had several bike enthusiasts come over to us and give their two cents on the matter–including a very pierced and tattooed member of the Diggers Motorcycle Club who was extremely helpful. Little did I know, when you buy a new battery, you have to freaking MIX the battery fluids (electrolytes) and pour it in manually to the battery pack and let it sit for hours and then charge it somehow for 24 hours. This was a depressing realization as we had zero knowledge how to do this, or even the proper tools to charge a dead battery. Luckily, the store let us return the opened battery, and one of the biker guys sent us across the street to Battery World where they give you pre-mixed and pre-charged batteries all good to go.
Connecting positive wires first, then negative–we installed the new battery. Greasy fingers crossed, I prayed to the motorcycle gods as we put the cover back on and hit the starter. Berry’s engine rumbled to a glorious start and we jumped up and down and high-fived for all the world to see. We were filled with pride as we rolled out of the parking lot, relieved to have a working bike again, and happy that we did it all by ourselves–along with the input of a dozen employees, biker dudes, and Wikipedia pages.
With the rest of the day now free, we made use of the hostel’s Stand Up Paddle boards and explored up the muddy creek. I’d never SUP’ed before and was sure I’d be face-first in the water in a heartbeat. Somehow, I stepped onto the board and it wiggled, but nothing more than a splash of water washed over the board. I wobbled a bit as I pulled the paddle through the water, but was soon gliding along the banks like a pro. We saw the quick flash of rays flopping their fins to scurry away as we disrupted their rest. It was relaxing and worked some foot muscles I didn’t even know I had.
Afterwards, I coerced Byron into a run to the Botanical Gardens and down to the ocean, right as thunder boomed from the dark grey clouds in the sky. Determined to make it into the water, we stripped off our shoes and sprinted into the refreshing ocean waves as fat rain drops pelted us from above. The rain didn’t matter since we were already soaked as we walked back through town to the Aussitel hostel. We ended our night with warm showers, delicious alfredo pasta, and a chat with a backpacker couple who was bicycling up the coast of Australia.
April 20, 2018
Accommodation: Aussitel Backpackers, $32