With Tom and Craig setting out a few days earlier, and with work and family commitments not letting me get away with them, it was time to set up a Plan B. So it was a call out to Boris to see what he was up to, and in typical Boris fashion, he was all over it. Within 30 seconds he had a plan…well, as loose as a plan gets with Boris and myself.
If past rides were anything to go by it was always going to be an adventure.
So with the usual meeting at the Wimpy for fuel at five o’clock, it was going to be a wait-and-see of who was going to turn up.
Boris was just taking off his helmet when I rolled in, and we heard Hardcore Marty’s voice before we heard his bike, (yep, Marty, you have to ditch the standard muffler). He was bubbling with excitement, straight off his bike and giving cheek to everyone within earshot.
So it was the three of us who wobbled out to the headland, but when we got there five bikes rolled in. Somewhere our numbers had grown by 60 per cent. It was Dan Vaughan, Boris’ partner in
crime from two years earlier who set the record together for the longest
distance out there, and Meg on her great little 250 DRZ – which would be
great to see if a Longest Day record needs to be set on a 250.
Maybe next year, Meg?
With the sun about to rise it was only to be Boris and myself going for a ride, Marty having family duties and Meg having another ride to meet up with later in the day. There was none of the usual nerves as we set out, well, if you don’t count each time Marty would race past and set up to take
photos. We would ride past only to have Marty scream past again out of nowhere.
We waved bye to Marty at Thora, and headed up into the clouds to Dorrigo. The further west we got, the thicker the cloud and the wetter it got. By Ebor we were wet and cold. Well…Boris was warm because he had his MSR waterproof jacket, and I had warm hands with my heated grips. It was just the rest of us that was half-frozen. That’s always part of the Longest Day ride. Dorrigo is nearly always wet and cold, then, as you venture west it gets very hot (Tom had sent Boris a TXT that it had been 48 degrees at Tibooburra the day before ). But it is all part of the ride.
After a pot of warm tea at Ebor, I took over the lead, as Boris had never done the old Guyra Road it was first on our list, but with a few near misses with rabbits, cows , Kangeroos and the biggest Wallaroo I have ever seen, it was a steady pace that bought us out to Wongwibin Road. Through there the sun was breaking through the cloud, with the fresh shoot of green grass after the recent rains, it was hard to pay attention to the road with the scenery so spectacular.
So it was back onto the tar to Point Lookout, Forest Way and down the mountain to the banks of the Macleay River. With the temperature now well into the 20s and with Boris wanting to say hi to an old mate of ours at Five Day Creek, it was a great start to the tighter section of our ride.
After a quick yarn to Whitey it was over Postmans to Nulla Creek, then a much-talked-about trail on this site – Kilpotay – but before we could get a supertest going between my DR650 and Boris’ KTM 625 we turned down West End Trail then back up Richmond Trail. I think someone forgot to tell our bikes that the bike comparison had been called off, because through here there might have been a throttle cable stretched a bit , the tyre life reduced considerably, and leaf mulch thrown in anger at each other. Big grins were smeared accross our faces as we wobbled down to Taylors Arm,but only to resume the bike super test as Hanging Rock trail wound down to Bowraville.
By this stage though, time was against us. Boris had family commitments at home, so off through Valla and back to Coffs we went. With only 400km since we left that morning it wasn’t really a Longest Day ride for record distance, but if laughs and smiles are anything to go by it was up there as one of my best rides ever. Thanks Boris, for yet another great adventure. The Secret Squirrel trails we did – as we all know you can’t let all the good stuff be known to everyone – will be kept a secret, and for those who want to know, well, you’ll have to tag along on our next ride which will
be happening in the new year, so look out for it in the next few weeks .