It’s Sunday arvo and I’ve been in Tasmania all week riding the BMW GS Safari.
I didn’t get an invite to the GS Safari Enduro this year – from Darwin to Cairns – so I was pretty rapt to be offered a seat at the more dualsport-oriented event in Tasmania.
I was there only a couple of weeks ago, and it rained the whole time. I went prepared for the wet and cold again, but the weather was glorious. It was sunny and warmish and never became uncomfortable, even on the slightly chilly mornings.
The ride had an interesting start for me. I was supposed to take over a new R1200GS that was ridden by Free Wheeling‘s Rennie Scaysbrook for the first two days. That’s a common arrangement and was fine with me.
No-one was there to meet me at the airport when I arrived, and that’s very unusual for a BMW function. Like everything BMW, their functions run with well-oiled precision. As I stood around drinking coffee and wondering what was happening, the phone rang and it was the BMW people to say there’d been ‘a problem’, and I should just sit tight for a minute.
The problem turned out to be that Rennie had had a fall and done some fairly major damage to the R1200GS. He wasn’t looking too sharp himself when we met and he struggled to lift his arm to shake hands. The hand he finally managed to offer was missing some skin here and there and in general he looked a little ropey. It turned out later he was only badly bruised, so that was some good news at least.
I’ve not had a good history on BMW rides myself, especially in Tasmania, so Rennie had my full sympathy.
Anyhoo, with the bike out of action I was offered my choice from the GS range and opted for the 650 Sertao. From there I spent the rest of the week chuckling away inside my helmet. It’s the best decision I’ve made for as long as I can remember. The guys on the big bikes struggled and slipped all over creation on the loose gravel roads while, I admit, I had a ball playing boy racer on a bike that weighed about the same as a 1200 drive shaft and had 10 horsepower more than my own bike.
I was a little surprised when I was given a swag. BMW rides are normally all about five-star accom and gourmet dining. But I needn’t have worried. We swagged it at Freycinet’s Coles Bay, and it was about as five-star as swagging can get. The catering was well up to standard with coffee hot and on tap.
The ride took in all the high points – Freycinet, Jacob’s Ladder, Scottsdale and the rest – and showed me a couple of new ones, especially Mount Barrow.
Here’s a few pics to give you an idea of how fabulous Tasmania can be…
Just quickly, the Dominator is back. I realise I’m probably boring everyone by showing it all the time, so I won’t. I’ll gaze at it in awe on my own. Craig Murcott has done his usual superb job and I’m as rapt as ever.
Marty HC has sent in a story about a ride held yesterday. I’ll post it as soon as I can.
Finally, very sad news for the Foster family at Bellingen. I’ll post that separately when I’ve had a chance to speak to Cousin Chris and Cousin Matthew.