The Secret Squirrel ride had it all. Squirrel bikes that disappear into thick air, secret military installations only able to be shown to a select few, homemade flamethrower, Police escorts and a Squirrel trap that caught the wrong rider. Good fun, you bet.
Rise and shine
Being the longest day everyone had to be up before sparrow fart, in fact, the sparrows would have been still tucked into their beds along with Tom who was fashionably late. The clouds did there best to hide the sunrise but it didn’t dampen enthusiasm.
There was a good turn up, Santa was giving lollies away, a few new faces and no onesies in sight. Tom even turned up with an unbelievable excuse, a fridge had been blown off his veranda, yeah right, you often see fridges floating around in the wind.
The Longest day run historically ran past my place and when I told Pottsy of all the trees down from the huge storm he suggested I lead the first section in case of timber or powerlines across the road. Thanks for that, but all good.
We regrouped at Dorrigo, then sidetracked our way towards Ebor. I politely moved through the pack, stopped for photos then pushed er politely worked my way forward again.
The rain had kept dust to a minimum so all was good, even the speed camera was facing the wrong way to catch Gav, but I did see the police having a quiet chat to him at the refuel.
After a cups of tea and coffee, some toasted sandwiches. Unfortunately, there seems to be someone that gets their gear off and with Wilso safely at work it was left to another, they claimed to be swapping to cooler gear but Dave still got all excited taking photos for “later”.
Tanks for Nothing
With secret defense insulations just up the road, Pottsey, AKA Secret Squirrel (SS) was keen to see, a bit too keen if you ask me. Exactly who he spies for is unknown, he had me worried.
So leading once again I made a break for the Tank traps and hid a select few riders in the bushes, for the good of national security a few extras missed out that could be a bit suss and we gave SS the slip. Tom was OK but as usual, he got lost by himself.
With mobile phones we were soon regrouped, I made the right call, how could you trust someone who tears a post out of the ground and tries to beat you with it. Lucky for me he was “all thumbs” and I got away unmolested.
Hiding behind a few rocks I whipped off some photos for evidence then took off, caught and passed the pack, passed the lead rider then stopped for some more photos
Hide out back
It was only 10am and I had already lost half the pack, made a heap of dodgy passes and broke the number one rule in passing the lead rider so as we said goodbye to the Locks I put on the pink disguise and hid as the sweep for a while.
The run out back was fine, ran with Dean for a while although the Africa Twin made my left leg hurt every time he opened the throttle. Telltale marks showed that people were starting to get into it, one particular corner had 3 marks overshooting but only one person owning up.
A KLR rider was beating his bike with a big rock as I pulled up, didn’t think they were that bad, he might have been still upset about breaking the doohicky? After a few more rock beatings the bike apparently started to behave although he took the big rock in his saddlebag just in case. The rock was big enough to even make me behave.
Just as we would get close to Glen Innes we would dart off in a different direction, it couldn’t be in case we were followed as there were huge slide marks everywhere, lost maybe? It didn’t matter, the riding was good, nothing like New England granite to put a smile on your dial.
At the refuel I paid Tom the substantial entry fee for the ride, everyone else looked surprised, Tom must have had something stuck in his eye, he kept winking but then everyone else said they paid earlier. Good to see I’m getting special treatment and can pay at lunch, nice bloke that Tom.
Going down, going up
Soon we were winding our way down the mountain as the temperature climbed alarmingly. The lunch and swim were looking good. Close to a picnic area had my hopes up, then we cruised past, I double checked but no bikes. Then the small creek we were following was dry, eventually, we stopped at a well-hidden spot with nice shade and good swimming.
Is everything Secret Squirrel does have to be secret? Lunches were produced, Dave and Karen brought enough for everyone just in case. As we sat on a log in the shade Tom was a flurry of activity, eventually producing a comfy seat, table with assorted chocolates a thermos plus his lunch. I thought I saw a kitchen sink and a lounge near his bike as well but seeing the rest of us were underprepared in comparison Tom mustn’t have wanted to boast and left the extras by his bike.
Giving the sweep job away, the next hour was spent dodging rocks from a BMW or two which was being ridden in a most unBMWly way. Thinking the Germans were attacking drastic action was called for. When one of the 800’s overshot a corner I cunningly pushed the half-full fuel bladder back over the end of the exhaust. Thinking it would shoot flames out the back keeping the BMW away.
It half worked, burning a hole in the bladder and dumping my spare fuel. Low on fuel, I took off in the lead from Dalmorton, this time losing all the other riders. As I slowly picked my way through the shorter but rock invested ridge track it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t a mistake I was by myself.
It was a relief to make the fuel at Tyringham and leave the sharp jarring rocks behind. By the time I had refueled and was enjoying a cold coke when Gav turned up, he must have been giving Rudolf his V-Strom the extra carrots because he was far in front of the pack and looked a lot smoother than how he went through the tunnel.
Eventually, everyone turned up or peeled off to head for home. As we carved up the tight tar into Dorrigo Gav blasted by and I tried to sneak by SS as well. Worried about his nuts, Squirrel took off into the mist like he was chased by a dog and left me for dead.
We caught Squirrel again in town, joined by the Police we were escorted out of town. I thought the cops would stop Squirrel running off again but just as we hit the end of the 50km section Squirrel showed his was truly secret and literally disappeared in 50m, gone.
The pea soup thick fog might have helped slightly and he reappeared halfway down the mountain, still with the police escort speed limits as always were obeyed, steady steady down as rain started to spit.
A tight corner near the bottom was coated in either oil or diesel, The Squirrel trap left Pottsy unflustered, my DR snapped sideways giving me quite a surprise. Pottsy pulled over so I joined him, relieved to be still upright. As I put my camera in a plastic bag Pottsy made a quick U-turn, as I looked behind flashing blue and red lights first caught my attention then Tom and his beloved Dominator lying on the slippery tar.
The trap had missed the Squirrel. Tom seemed OK and was keen to get going just as heavy rain opened up to finish up the day.
Great day, thanks Pottsy and Tom, we not only got to take away great memories, but we also got a SS badge too.