It’s Sunday arvo and it’s a warm one. I’m waiting for things to cool down before I go out to do some mowing.
I took my kayak for a paddle a couple of hours ago, and as I sat at the intersection waiting to turn on to the Pacific Highway at Urunga, Ramdog Dave Ramsay cruised past in his ute with a couple of bikes on the back!
How about that.
I knew Nige Locke was hosting a ride and the Ramsays were due here this weekend, but I’d forgotten until I saw Dave there in his 4WD. I’ll look forward to finding out how it went.
I, meanwhile, have been on the BMW GS Safari in Victoria riding a 2018 R1200 Rallye-X GSA.
I’m in love.
I always liked the original Rallye-X, which I think was released last year, but this new one with the extra fuel capacity and upgraded electronics is a mind-blower. It’s incredible. Check out the new dash…
The GPS is a rebadged Garmin, and it’s great for routes. We followed tracks on this ride and it was okay. Not awesome, but okay. When you ask it do routes is when it really shines. It’s hard to beat in that function. The TFT display with the speedo and an amazing wealth of other info is incredible, as is the bike itself. I joined the ride at Mansfield in Victoria, rode down to Lakes Entrance, then bolted up to Thredbo, including a run along the Bonang Highway – where I may have been a little irresponsible, I admit – and Barry Way. The weather was good in that it was warm and pleasant, but it was incredibly dusty.
Even when we had light rain overnight it was still pretty bad. It’s a credit to the organisers no-one was hurt. The only mishaps were minor and nothing to do with dust. Briefings made a big point of keeping left, being courteous, and staying defensive and I think it was taken to heart by all the riders.
Crossing the mountains in the early morning was pretty incredible. The fog in the valleys was amazing to see from the ridges…
At the very end of the event there was a small creek crossing with a slippery old railway sleeper parallel to the crossing just under the water. It caught out a lot of riders. It was a gift to anyone with a camera.
At least, I think that’s what they said. I didn’t wait around for them to finish the sentence. As soon I heard ‘ride it home’ there was a blinding flash of light and when the dust settled I was heading down the mountain to Jindabyne, going like a cut cat and watching the sun come up. It was a long run home and thanks to the tank capacity I made it in just under 12 hours, largely because I only needed three fuel stops.
What a bike.
Even if I hadn’t got away with that bike, I still have to give BMW a huge tick for the running of the event. BMW still sets the standard. This was the scene at the tyre station every evening, for instance…
Those guys booked everyone in, got the tyres done, had everyone up and running by the next morning and no-one had to miss dinner or get their hands dirty. There was also the usual BMW techs riding through field offering help to anyone who needed it, the BMW off-road accredited coaches doing the same and, of course, right at the back, a GS-mounted doctor.
What a great event. I had a ball.
Now you’re wondering when BMW will get that bike back, right?
My answer is, “What bike?”
Of course all that awesome riding meant I wasn’t at my desk this week, so I haven’t any news about anything else. This coming week will be similar. I’m heading back to Victoria, believe it or not, to ride the new SWM Superdual, which I expect will be a fantastic bike too, in different ways.
I’ll tell you about that when I can.