Is it frigging cold, or WHAT?
It’s not that bad I suppose, but after a nice Summer and a very mild Autumn, these last couple of days have been a bit of a shock. It’s time to start thinking about preparing for some cold riding.
D’oh. I hate being cold.
I’ve been hammered by work this week, so haven’t been on a bike at all.
There was a pony express scheduled at Uralla for today (Sunday), and I was all set to take the 125 for a gentle sprint, but it was cancelled due to dry conditions. Thank Dog! Imagine how cold it would’ve been at Uralla. The Dominator was looking very tempting for a blast out to a Challenge location this weekend instead, but if I hadn’t spent the time at my desk I doubt I would’ve made it through the coming week. It’s a pest having to work, but there it is.
So I have to be patient and look forward to the rides coming up, and there are a few good ones. I’ll get all journalistic and list them an’ that:
* The Poker Run: June 21 (would anyone rather do the Sunday?)
I came up with a goofy idea. I asked Marty Hardcore to set the toughest, shittiest, death-on-wheels loop he could fit inside 30 minutes from Macca’s. As long he could ride it himself on his DR – no doubt with bald tyres and leaking fork seals – it would be in. The plan is for Marty’s loop to be ‘The Wildcard Loop’. All the ‘normal’ riders with dualsport bikes can ride Pottsy’s loops, have a great time, pick up snacks and coffees, get their poker hands and see how they go. They’ll ride the loops and get their cards. But there’ll be no jokers in the decks. Anyone who wants to increase their chances of taking home a not-very-fabulous prize can ride The Wildcard Loop and that will earn them a single joker, or wild card. Fast or competent riders can do Marty’s loop as often as they like, but they can only get one wild card. Every loop after that gets them a single card from the competition deck. Marty and Craig Murcott were out riding that loop this morning, and I’ll bet anything they get back and say, “Well, it’s not 30 minutes…”
* The Snow Ride
I’m not too sure how this one’s going to work out, because my boss is involved, but I did a very similar thing in Victoria a few years ago. This time we’ll deck ourselves out for the cold and head down to Kosciusko or the Snowy Region somewhere amid the NSW snowfields. The idea is to see how some things work and others don’t, and to share ideas on how people might deal with real cold…in the snow. I’ll let you know the dates when they’re settled. Everyone will be welcome, but I can tell you from experience it can be a very tough turnout. Riding in the snow is different and fun in small doses, but being that cold, and finding something doesn’t work, can be bloody miserable.
* The APC Rally May 17 to May May 30
I’m not doing the APC Rally, but I’ll have to follow it for a couple of days for work. At the moment I look like meeting the crew in Sydney and heading down to the Snowy, but I’ll find out more as the start gets closer.
* The KLR
This is more from work, but there’s a 2009 KLR about to land in my shed. As I write this it’s STILL not running, but is likely to be purring away in the next day or two. It’s a bit of a story in itself, but it’s likely to be my ride for a while. I have some bits and pieces I want to sort out on the Dominator – sorry, I’m hoping Craig Murcott will sort out on the Dominator – and this might be a good opportunity.
* The Pan-Pac Masters Games
Believe it or not, the Pan Pacific Master’s Games in November is running ‘enduro’ and ‘vinduro’. I put them in inverted commas because, as near as I can tell, it won’t be an enduro at all, but a pony express with a single special test on the following day. Motocross bikes are eligible, so I have my fingers crossed I can get that weekend free and go for a strop with all the other cranky old grey-headed fools.
That’s what’s coming up.
I have a story here from Craig ‘The Onesy’ Wilson, but I need him to send the pics separately, and he hasn’t done that yet.
Here’s Marty’s ride report and pics on his Wildcard Loop. He calls it the Joker Loop, no doubt because he and Craig are a pair of jokers…
The Joker Loop
A recent phone call from Tom had my mind racing, It was a straightforward enough request: a short loop from MacDonald’s and make it as hard as I can.
Maybe it was the devilish laugh that had him concerned, and just because last time he asked for a similar loop the second crew through had to make a new track to get out of a nice, moist gulley that earned my “Hardcore” nickname.
Fear not. I’m a changed man. Trust me [have I got a deal for you]. Although, for anyone who wants a shortcut, Peak Hill will cut 15km out of this course and probably years off your life. Something to tell the grandkids about, although they could use this info against you come old-person home time. Taking a dualsport bike down peak will not convince anyone you’re sane. In fact the opposite is true.
We ended up with a nice gentle 30km romp in the countryside, half tar over a bit of a hill and back. It’s all very scenic and rideable in all weather on a small bike with a rider of above average skill and better tyres than me.
Here is a few photos from the day checking out the course with Craig…
On a big bike (990 and smaller) in the dry you will have a memorable experience that will be satisfying once conquered. In the wet, taking a big bike on this loop will get you hospitalized .
Attempting this loop on a 1200 should get you committed and isn’t advisable wet or dry. There’s a challenge for all the loonies out there