Commuting can be fun and a bit scary

I outsmarted myself this week, twice actually on two consecutive days too. Looks like I don’t learn.

8 Hour


Sunday was the 8 hour at Ulong, so I figured make a bit of a ride out of it. Craig and Trev were taking the car so after an oil and filters and a newish tyre I was off. It was too easy to just ride up and I like doing a loop so I headed west out the back, did Somerville than thought I had a great idea. Double back for the Horseshoe and add some colour, seemed reasonable.

The Horseshoe was a hoot, down Orama and all was good in the world, nothing like adding another fifty kilometers of dirt. I was still patting myself on the back for a great idea when the first raindrop hit me in the face, no worries nearly to Thora and turn off for Dorrigo and outclimb the rain.


That didn’t work, I shoved the camera in a ziplock bag just before it started to get heavier, turned off for Dorrigo and it just bucketed down. With a near decking for me last time on a wet mountain (Tom wasn’t so lucky) it was steady, steady don’t lean over, slippery tar with diesel spills is so hard to read and scary. Finally, as we hit Dorrigo town the rain went to the right and I went left.

Only trouble was left didn’t last long, so after stopping to close all the vents on the Klim jacket I gritted my teeth and turned right and dived back in. It was a pleasure to finally hit the dirt again, the rain backed off to a shower and the red clay glowed in the dim misty light. At least you could tell were the slippery bits are, the puddles were full and water ran down the road and it was great.

Dry zone

Five kilometers from Ulong the rain stopped and the road turned bone dry, no mud bath for the riders, we checked out multiple viewing spots of the grasstrack, rattled off a couple of hundred photos using the old cheap sony as my newer sony was getting a service and split. It was still dry down Pine as I headed home.

Slippery as snot

By upper Orara the road was soaked again and the strong desire to avoid Coffs I headed for the back off Englands Road. This track has heaps of clay, a permanent boghole, and more clay. It certainly didn’t disappoint, slippery as. As I struggled to get the DR up the small hills, keep the standard front tyre was washing out in every shining rut we clawed our way gingerly across to the highway, stopping for a few wild turkeys to drink whilst I watched the supercross.

A great day out, the photos turned out OK, all good.

Work commute

With work now in Woopie, the coastal range called my name, sure it took a bit longer but I was only an hour late getting to work (hard to find good help nowadays) at least I saved time by not taking photos but it was a bit dark anyway, still a nice way to start the day.

Knocking off at lunchtime the urge to go exploring got the better of me, at the back of settlers Pork Chop trail looked narrow and inviting, still a bit damp and shining red clay there was a lot of rutty downhills that looked like they might be a challenge getting up with poor tyres and all those ruts so onward and upward seemed the go


A couple more half-decent downhills made me wonder if this was such a good idea, by myself and unsure if the trail went out, backtracking was looking like it might be a lot of hard work. After a few downhills it only seemed fair for a few uphills, lucky the bits between the ruts were just wide enough, the DR lugged gently up, barely spinning unless too much throttle was used.

hard to keep girls away from DR’s

A few big puddles later and a couple more downhills later I popped out on rover trail at brunxer park. A quick trip up to check out the lookout and the loonies in the trees and home. I might leave that bit out of my commute or at least save for a dry day.

Clay you gotta love it.

if anyone wants to see if I have a photo of them at the 8 hour, bring a usb and you can sort the lot, teach you guys to all ride KTM’s, they all look the same


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