Everyone seems to have been pretty quiet lately and there’s not many stories from adventures anywhere so, I’ve had to go out and try and get lost yet again .
It’s been over a month since the last time I was out dancing with the DR and today was the day to break the drought. After going over maps on the dining room table while having breakfast I still had no idea where I was going. Beauty. Just take it one turn at a time and see where we end up!
North seemed like the go, so out through Sherwood Forest I went, and with a quick refuel at Halfway Creek, the sunshine to the north beckoned. With familiar roads to Whiporie there was a loop north-west that’s been calling me for a while, so today was the day to get it off my bucket list.
With Pikapene Road behind me I was faced with a choice: right to Tabulam or left to Cangai. It was time to flip a coin. Tails and left won, and it was a great option, with postcard views and sweeping granite roads. I was in a happy place for the next hour.
Hmm…so now I was at a tar road and it was only one o’clock. There was only one option. Up the Gibraltar range.
I’d always wanted to explore the trails up top of the mountain, so again I was like a kid in a candy shop. With a new back tyre and leaf mulch everywhere the day just got better and better. Well…until the signs saying KEEP OUT. State Correction services. A prison farm area, bugger.
Back to the tar, and not happy Jan.
So to cheer myself up there was only one thing for it: my favourite road – the Old Grafton Road.
Now it was getting on a bit, and with just enough fuel to get back to Coffs I did what any normal adventure rider would do . Try and find new trails on the way.
Now, those who have ridden down the the tar from the top of the mountain, and ever wondered if there are any shortcuts straight down, there are none. WELL, almost none. After trying every wallaby trail I could fit the DR up – yes experience has taught me to try up, not down as – well – you can’t always get back up when the trail ends and you have to turn around and try and get back up.
There was one trail. Well, it was a trail a long time ago.
With thoughts of MartyHardcore thinking that this is a good idea and thoughts of Ramdog Dave on his BMW thinking this is stupid, I went with Marty and gave it a go. With the clutch getting a workout, lots of wheelspin, sweating and a few hairy moments the safety rail of one of the hair-pin bends up above came into view way up above. With an end in sight the the mighty DR ignored the fallen logs in the waist-high grass and scrambled to the top. Almost.
The safety rail blocked the way onto the road, and with each end of the rail ending in vertical drops there was no way onto the road itself.
There was only just enough room to park the bike on parallel to the rail. Bugger.
The only thing that made it all worth while was a car going by with an elderly couple in it. The wife, mouth open in horror, looking at me on my bike clinging on to the wrong side of the rail at the edge of the cliff.
So with a soiled pair of undies after the descent back down to the road it was time to keep going. But now it just gets better.
So there I was riding along the river at the bottom and I come across a car changing a flat tyre. The bloke was under the car changing it and his girlfriend – in those short shorts with legs up to her armpits – was standing there watching. So I do the right thing and stop and see if they are okay – and…well…have a perv.
She smiles and waves me on saying it is all okay, but I just stop and say, “Nah. I’m just stopping to look at ya bum”.
Well she laughs, but the boyfriend jumps up looking a bit cranky. Oops. DR don’t fail me now! And off we go in a shower of dust.
Now with thoughts of those long legs still with me, and only a few miles further on in a narrow cutting next to the river there were two sheep. If I was at all part Kiwi those sheep would’ve been in trouble, but seeing as I’m a true-blue Aussie I rode past with clean and pure thoughts.
After a quick photo of the DR in front of the old Newton Boyd service station the sun was getting low in the sky it was time to pin the ears back and head for home. But then it started to rain, and then the fuel went onto reserve – bloody hell! It’d only gone 550km and onto reserve already – and with 100 km to go to get home.
You little beauty, a true adventure ride. It does not get any better, does it?
Righto. So there’s no excuse for everyone else. Get out there and go for a ride.