Blog: June 9. Two weeks to the Poker Run

Alec and his KLR are great company.

Alec and his KLR are great company.

It’s Sunday arvo. Yesterday Craig Murcott, Alec Whitelaw and myself went out to ride the northern loop of the Poker Run.

Alec is new to our group, but he and his KLR are as keen as mustard, and not only did Alec do the righty and deck it right in front of me (so I knew there was one line through the wet clay I needn’t bother trying), but when we pulled up at Glenreagh he shouted pies and coffees all ’round.

So you can bet Alec is welcome on rides in future!

Anyhoo, it started because Chris Laan looked at the Poker Run northern loop route sheet and thought one particular section might’ve been a tad technical for big bikes. We agreed to ride the loop and check it out. Saturday morning was a bit cloudy and Chis thought the weather looked a touch chancy, so he bailed. Alec was in touch on Friday to chat about tyres and tubes, and said he was keen for a ride, so at short notice he jumped on the KLR and hurtled up the highway on Saturday morning. What a champion!

The loop is a cracker. There’s a fair stretch of bitumen to kick off – same as the southern loop – but it’s worth it when you head on to the dirt roads.

Saturday morning was glorious. The early cloud burned off and the loop was near perfect dualsporting.

Saturday morning was glorious. The early cloud burned off and the loop was near perfect dualsporting.

A little way in Pottsy had marked ‘mine shaft’. That’s all it said. We stopped for a look, and this mine shaft must go more than 100 metres into the side of the mountain. And it’s open! We couldn’t believe it.

From the outside it's just a square hole and you'd ride right past it. Once inside it's frigging amazing!

From the outside it’s just a square hole and you’d ride right past it. Once inside it’s frigging amazing!

Craig grabbed his torch and disappeared into the hole in a flash, and Alec and I trailled along after. It was incredible. There’s were bats and bits of fallen rock and a chamber or two off to the sides. Far out it’s dark in there! It was a fabulous experience that I don’t think it’s that easy to find. I’m pretty sure it’s an experience some people don’t want to find. Still, I thought it was awesome. Little bats fluttered around us in the torchlight, and it was incredible. Craig thought it would be a good place to hide bodies.

At the far end of the mineshaft Craig and Alec sat with the bats while I tried to snap a pic ion the pitch blackness.

At the far end of the mineshaft Craig and Alec sat with the bats while I tried to snap a pic in the pitch blackness.

By the time we’d checked out the mine shaft and had coffee and pies at Glenreagh, the morning was buggered and I had commitments in the afternoon, so we didn’t get to ride the final third of the loop. We bolted back the bitumen to town.

There’s only one weekend left before the Poker Run itself, so I might try and get out and ride both loops next weekend, just to check the state of the roads and make sure there’s no errors on the route sheets. I’m still thinking the northern and southern loops are going to need about two hours each, so it’s going to be tough to get five loops in the day. We’ll deal with that. No problem.

I’d spent the morning on the Dominator, and I have to be honest, I’m thrilled with how it looks. I’ve always said I don’t care how my bikes look as long as they’re mechanically sound, but I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing sinful pride at the way that bike looks now.

Earlier in the week I rode the BMW G650GS Sertao. I rode it on a wet and foggy day at Peats Ridge and had a ball. It’s a nice bike, with 10 horsepower more than the Dominator, so it’s a rorty outfit, and not overpowered by electronics. I’d been looking forward to riding the Sertao for a long time, and I enjoyed it, on- and off-road.


That’s about all I have to report for this week.

If you’ve downloaded the route sheets for the Poker Run, delete them. There are a couple of typos. I’ll post final, corrected, pre-ridden sheets before the ride.



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  • Dave on June 8, 2014 at 9:28 am said:

    Seriously disappointed that Craig didn’t ride his bike up the mine shaft, especially after his cool culvert parking on Longest Day.

  • TF on June 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm said:

    He was just as quick to disappear into that mountainside, I can tell you. There’s none of that, “I wonder how safe this would be?” girly hesitation with Craig. By the time I had my helmet off he was underground!


  • marty on June 8, 2014 at 11:48 pm said:

    Craig would have if you asked him to. Over and over again for photos and he won’t complain no matter where you take him.too good

  • Chris on June 10, 2014 at 5:49 am said:

    Maybe the term is from the hesitation observed on entering the cave near Macintyre Falls, and it is huge compared to this little hole in the ground.

  • Dave on June 10, 2014 at 8:10 am said:

    I think he is referring to me the time I stopped & went to have a look at that bloody 5 lane pole bridge before throwing my bike over it & some choice language at Tom.

  • Dave on June 12, 2014 at 6:58 am said:

    I don’t recall hesitating at the caves near the Falls….
    Hold onto that email address for now until I find out if it was a direct quote or the use of poetic license (and stereotyping)

  • Chris on June 14, 2014 at 1:18 am said:

    Careful Karen, I once accidentally under Maso’s name on ADVRider and we both got lifetime bans.

    I didn’t say you did hesitate, guilty conscience maybe?

  • Karen on June 14, 2014 at 4:59 am said:

    That did come to mind and I was wondering how long it would take TF to kick me off the site….so far, so good.

    Even if I did hesitate, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a guilty conscience about it (I’d save that for better things), and it certainly wouldn’t be ‘girly’.

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