Marty HC’s had a big weekend launching the new disc with Vince Strang. Here, in his own words, is how it happened…
Back in March when we started Volume 3, the September launch was so far away it was hardly worth worrying about. As we ticked the boxes and got everything ready well in advance September 19-20 was still nothing to worry about. We were well on top of things. Easy.
The last week provided a few extra challenges and last-minute details – including reversing one of our loops – and the extra stuff that’s required for an event proved a packing nightmare that made the launch feel very close indeed.
Trying to streamline tasks, I hit Vince up for a weather report instead of checking personally. “20 degrees and sunny!” was his reply,
“So I won’t need rain gear or thermals then, Vince?” I asked
“God no. It’s beautiful,” Vince replied.
Reassured, I jettisoned the wet-weather gear to make room for spiffy posters, good clothes, heaps of discs and other extras.
20 degrees and sunny
With lots to do I headed off early Thursday morning, priding myself on dodging a few early showers for a uneventful run to Ebor for a splash of fuel. The storms were circling Ebor so I held off as a major front went past before heading off, making it to almost Wongwibinda before being hammered by heavy rain, big hail and lightning all-around.
At this stage I would’ve happily swapped anything I had for my wet-weather gear sitting at home. Even my spiffy posters. But pushing on we popped out the other side wet and cold but relieved. But 40km later it was on again. The hail was even bigger and hurt so much I had to slow down. That turned out to be a good thing too, as over a rise the hail was completely covering the road like a slippery, giant slushy which had the bike spinning and fishtailing through the slop.
Eventually the vicious storm passed over and the bright sunshine returned, although not warm enough to warm me or melt the deep ice piled up on either side of the road for kilometres as I shivered and shook my way into Guyra like usual.
Chips and gravy never tasted so good.
To be fair, it was 20 degrees and sunny by the time I rolled into Inverell. After four hours in the workshop the DR rolled out considerably brighter as well, and ready for a big weekend.
Despite the weekend being a navigational challenge I didn’t want to lose anyone – like usual – and I spent Friday marking out both loops with tape before having dinner with Vince’s family and Suzuki’s Laura Jones.
The girls retreated to make up show bags with Suzuki goodies, refusing all offers of mine to help myself to some of the goodies…er…help pack the bags for customers, so empty-handed I retreated to Vince’s cool shed that got colder as the night went on.
Saturdays trade show went off a treat with people milling around the accessories, and the Build-A-DR display keeping the registers singing all day.
Vince smoothed out the public speaking by encouraging Motobikin’s Phil to add more stories to fill out his time, dragging me off while I was still talking because apparently my time was well and truly up.
Saturday’s loop went off without a hitch despite having a shady looking character hanging around the side of the trail with a camera, had he been smiling it would have looked exactly like our Tom. Unfortunately I wasn’t on top of my game and was too late, missing a chance to soak him and his camera like usual to cheer him up.
They say it’s the thought that counts. Oh well. There’s always next time.
Sunday dawned blurry and rough-tasting after a bigger night in Vince’s shed after being led astray by Queenslanders and a certain Coffs local who, after winding me up, all snuck off to bed.
Arriving fashionably late to Sunday’s ride (but still before departure time) to a large crew of bright-faced DR riders that obviously weren’t in Vince’s shed the night before, we soon had route sheets dispensed and cans of Coke drunk until it was my time to sweep.
Pottsy was a late arrival, thanks to the boys in blue, and he accompanied me to the first jump before disappearing into the distance and not reappearing until lunch.
Despite the riders briefing repeatedly mentioning the corners being loose and slippery there were numerous skid marks running wide or disappearing straight off into the grass on the outside of the turns, but we didn’t have to scrape anyone off the ground so it was all good.
The mostly dirt course, around 90%, was well received by riders, Vince’s cooking earned the thumbs up and a good day was had by all. A pub about 30km from the end proved a slight bottleneck, with riders getting stuck in the carpark until their thirst was quenched but everyone was home still by 4.30pm.