Blog: June 13. Marty HC to the rescue.

DucatiPreride_001It’s Sunday arvo and yesterday Marty HC, Trev Randall and myself went out on a recce ride. The Ducati folks are doing a model release here in Coffs in a few weeks, and seeing as it was in my back yard they asked if I’d lay out a course suitable for the bikes.

“No problem!” I squawked, then realised I wasn’t much good at that sort of thing. Marty is exceptionally good at that sort of thing though, so after I’d done as much groundwork and rough mapping as I could, I asked him for a little help finishing it off.

Lucky I did, because my groundwork and mapping, in total, amounted to, “They’re staying at one of the resorts on the beach, and then I thought we’d run them up to Sealy Lookout and…kind of…on to the dirt. Somewhere near there. Sort of.”

Within an hour Marty had e-mailled me a GPX file and Google Maps route that pretty much filled in the couple of blanks I’d left. Trev Randall on his super-exotic DR650 was free for the morning, so the three of us went to give the course a run.

DucatiPreride_002I was on work’s BMW F800GS and Marty and Trev were on DRs, but I didn’t think there’d be any problem. I’d explained to Marty the Ducatis were 250kg, 160hp and cost $30,000 each, so I was pretty sure were weren’t going to tackle anything too tough.

Sealy Lookout was nice, as always on a sunny morning, then we headed west through the forest and up to Mount Coramba. It was really nice, too.

DucatiPreride_003From there went toward George’s goldmine and after a little casting around and checking different trails we dived down a nice little dirt road and ended up at the disused goldmine from Pottsy’s poker run a couple of years ago.

DucatiPreride_007After that we fanged around a little more until we pulled up for a break at Nana Glen’s Idle In. What a great cafe! And very bike-friendly.

DucatiPreride_008At that stage all was looking pretty good. There’d been a few sections that’d give the big Ducatis a workout, but nothing to be frightened of.

After a citrus tart and a couple of toasties we headed off to Marty’s ‘special trail’.

Special it was. The rock-strewn descent was broken up by rock steps, ruts, more rocks and a few sand wallows, just to keep it interesting. Marty pointed out he’d cleverly organised it to be a downhill, and that made it so much easier.

That was true, but there was no way in the world anyone who’d paid $30,000 for a bike wanted to subject it to that kind of treatment. Marty and Trev were rapt because it meant we could turn around and ride up the special trail, and I have to admit, it was a blast. Really different and good fun, but I wouldn’t have like to have been on a 1200 of any brand in there. I’m pretty sure my journalist colleagues would’ve gone straight to punching stations if they’d made it through, and when they’d finished with me, the Ducati folks would’ve left me sleeping wit’ da fishes.

But back on the forest road again we scorched through a beautiful afternoon until we popped out…somewhere. I forget where. It was just above the resorts.

DucatiPreride_010So it’ll be a good loop and the Ducati riders should have a ball.

I tried to video the route, but I cocked up with the mounting of the camera and all that can be seen in most of the shots is the speedo and GPS on the BMW. I was a little surprised at some of the readings on the speedo. I’d better get it checked (and I’ve erased the video, just in case).

Next step is to ride the adjusted course again this week, probably Saturday. If anyone wants to come along, punt me an e-mail and we’ll work out a meeting place. It’ll probably be four or five hours, and probably Saturday morning. Very lightweight technically, but good fun, I think.

Other than that I have to wander up to Inverell on the BMW for work this week too. So all in all, it’s looking like a good week for me.

I hope you guys are all getting a ride here and there as well. I see on Facebook Marty’s posted a couple of pics of me making the BMW look gay on that ride, Dave Ramsay is out on his bike – as always – and Pottsy only ever seems to post pics of the new love of his life…and it’s not a bike.

Good on him, I say.

TF

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