Blog: January 11. A wet one

TriumphPreRideTaylorsArm_055It’s Sunday night and I’ve spent a couple of days riding with Marty HC and his crew. It was a frigging great ride, too – even if I did drop the KLR in a creek twice and then didn’t make it up a hill and broke the clutch lever as the bike slid back down over the shitty rocks. And got lost so everyone was looking for me for ages. I was in the company of a health professional, so it was all a bit Ewan-and-Charlie.

We stayed calm and maintained our dignity and battled on in very difficult circumstances. We went without coffee for hours.

Anyhoo, I’m sure Marty will want to tell the story his way so I’ll let him fire in a post if he wants to.

The funny thing was that it rained yesterday arvo, all night, and pretty much all day today. But we still had a great time.

Phil Davis kept smiling in the rain at Karuah after everyone bailled like big girls' blouses.

Phil Davis kept smiling in the rain at Karuah after we all bailled¬† on a beach ride like big girls’ blouses.

I figure that’s mostly due to having such a good bunch of people. No-one complained, everyone seemed to keep enjoying themselves, and I feel like it’s the best ride I’ve had for out-and-out fun for ages.

It was definitely the ride of the year so far!

We stayed at a set-up called Barrington Tops Trail Bike Tours, and the accom was absolutely brilliant. Look ’em up at and if you have the chance to stay there, don’t miss it. I’ll be looking to go back. I don’t want to ride the area. I just want to sit there and take in the view and wildlife.

Work’s KLR has had a tough time lately, and this was its first ride for a while. Unfortunately the rough time continued. Still, the bike is working out really well. Pottsy’s footpeg mod is proving more and more astonishing all the time. This would have to be one of the most comfortable stand-up bikes I’ve ever ridden. I know I’ve been setting it up to suit my stance and so forth, but I’ve done that with a lot of bikes. I don’t think I’ve ever had one work as well as this one, and I think Pottsy’s brilliance in recognising the problem and correcting it was the key.

You’d think I’d be careful not to chuck it away in creeks and send it arse-backwards down greasy hills in the rain, but the bike feels so good I want to ride it.

It still needs a fair bit of catch-up maintenance. The rear brake disappeared on the Oxley Highway near Gingers Creek – thanks to those mad bastards on the 990s. That’s Cain and Gibbo, by the way – the gear selector is bent and it won’t select gears without a lot of effort, the front rim has a big flat spot…now -t hat’s another thing that happened yesterday – the clutch lever is the bent spare I fitted out on the trail and it’s a finger breaker. There’s a few other bits and pieces, but nothing too major.

It was great to ride with Karen and Dave Ramsay, especially with both of them on their own bikes. There’s apparently still some dispute over the ownership of their DR, but for this trip both the BMW and the Husky were on deck, and Karen in particular was visibly riding with a heap of confidence. She’s obviously made some big steps in riding skills.

She didn’t fall off in a creek or throw her bike down a hill. Only useless squids do that kind of thing.

Lean Mean Dean, Gibbo, Cain, Marty, and of course, Phil Davis made up a sensational crew. The riding was brilliant thanks to Marty’s considerable effort in putting the weekend together. He did an almighty job, and it was good one.

Marty put a lot of effort into setting and mapping  a great trail.

Marty put a lot of effort into setting and mapping a great trail.

So what’s coming up?

A whole heap of work, unfortunately.

There’s some riding in there, and I’m looking forward to that, and to putting some more polish on the KLR.

The next ride I can invite you on is an overnighter on Monday, February ninth, and Tuesday, February 10th.

It’s a run from Walcha down to Wiseman’s Ferry to meet the Sydney group and head to the Adventure Film Festival in Bright, Victoria. If you have time you can go the whole way and take in the film festival. You’ll need a week or maybe 10 days, and I don’t have that kind of time, so I’m just doing the Monday and Tuesday and bolting back up the road Tuesday arvo.

That’ll do for today. Keep your fingers crossed that Marty logs a story. There’s a few tales to tell from the ride, believe me. He took a heap of pics, too. There’s Onesies, pick-ups in the Woolies’ parking lot, some finger-pointing over a breakdown of the cornerman system, and Cain hurling salt over half the diners in the Beechwood cafe. No doubt from Marty’s point of view there’s a lot more to add – I’m betting none of it is about how Cain and I coped with our situation, notified a responsible person of our plight and intentions, and found our way to a rendezvous point.

Which reminds me: Cain didn’t get any pics of me swimming around beside the KLR in the creek. Ha! So that one as good as never happened!



  1. I don’t recall you binning it in the creek Tom, it looked like you were simply testing the waterproof nature of the soft pannier bags. They seemed to pass the test though, and you were very thorough in submerging them.
    Thanks to Marty “I’m sure the Google car has been through here” Blake for a super ride, and to everyone else for some bloody good laughs and good company.

  2. Thanks for the great ride Marty and to the others for the exellent company
    Don’t worry Tom you weren’t the Lone Ranger in decking your bike,I was guilty of it too.
    Shame about the rain but the scenery of the Glouster region made up for it!

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