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.
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.
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.
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.