I woke early Saturday morning, not sure what time because I broke my watch Friday to Mary calling me. Keen as I jumped up and dressed quickly, I had wanted to visit Mary.s View for a while, I had even penciled it in for Sunday but with no response, I thought I should go now.
That and my wife wanted me to help paint today.
So just before 6am I sneaked out of the house, the standard DR exhaust went unheard and I was gone in the mirky darkness.By the back of Bello I wished I had grabbed another layer, near Baraville my hands were burning with cold. I had told myself that when the sun hits the ground I would stop and get a photo and slip some disposable gloves between layers. Unfortunately, the sun was in on the joke and waited to Greenhills Rd east of Taylors Arm to relieve my cold hands.
As I was stopped a heap of KTM’s pulled up and asked if I was going too, “sure” I replied, I just wasn’t too sure where. They nodded and took off, one cutting to the inside of me and passing all his mates, then they were all off in chase. I whipped off some photos, added an extra layer and took off.
Despite the KTM riders looking as they could ride, I caught the main batch easily and the mighty DR passed them like they were standing still. I suppose I should mention the bikes were on trailers with the riders in 4wd’s with the heaters blaring, typical soft KTM riders I thought as I shivered and shook cursing the cold as I chasing the last one on a ute. I never did catch him but the dust led me into Bellbrook to what looked like a KTM convention.
Something fun was going to happen but my DR stuck out like a sore thumb, I watched the large group and picked a quiet-looking bloke over the back, he was keeping to himself, so I greeted the blokes I met at Taylor’s and walked over to the quiet bloke and found out his name, it was John or Mark or something. When anyone asked who I was I just said Mark asked me to take some photo’s today so I will need to be up the front out of the dust, worked a charm.
Everyone was congratulating this bloke with a red mohawk, not sure why, he might have had a kid, could be his birthday or maybe he just brought a new KTM, it didn’t matter. I went up and shook his hand and said congratulations, he looked at me strangely trying to think where he knew me from, which was fair enough seeing he had never met me before but his acceptance cemented my place. I was in and that was all I cared about
Excuse me, slow bike coming through
Not only in, but I was also escorted out front to get a dust-free ride at some areas for photos, then I would sneak my way back through the pack. The quiet DR was a blessing, as the riders in front were being polite I would cut them off, then block. It wasn’t very nice but they didn’t know who I was anyway. KTM’s can be difficult to pass if you play fair and every now and again some would blast past in a blur of Fluro Orange and disappear.
Every time a gate or corner turned up I just stopped short, pulled out the camera, banged off a few photos whilst someone took my place then pushed back into the group and stayed out of the dust.
The group must have had some connections because we hit private property, grassy paddocks, and farm tracks before we popped out on a little-used track deep with leaf litter following skinny ridges.
The trail varied from drier forest on top of the ridges to dark rainforest in the gullies, too good.
Before long we popped out just before the huts on Carai plateau turn. By this stage, I had cut most people off, pushed in, took people clean air gaps away and generally been a pain in the arse, top fun that’s for sure.
They were going to do a loop around racecourse then regroup back at the huts so I explained that I was going to slip out to Mary’s View and would meet them later, better to go now before they got too sick of my antics.
I had been close to Mary’s numerous times but never had taken the time for a look. The pot-holed road swapped from open forest to grassy areas, to high forest, a mixture of clay and sandy granite base.
The views were excellent if a little smoke haze in places and I couldn’t believe it has taken me this long to enjoy this remote corner, this day was just getting better.
I returned to the huts before the main group returned to find a full BBQ had been set up complete with icy cold drinks. A bloke with a mint 83 KLX250 had stayed back so I even knew someone.
After he vouched for me being part of the group lunch was served with a cold sugar-free coke. When I asked whether they had any real coke they just offered to put some JD in it to make it tasty, and it was. The lunch was so good I grabbed seconds, found out where they were headed next and suited up.
Pinch me, I’m dreaming
A few photos of the crew returning and I was off, the ridge trail was one I hadn’t ridden in 25 years as it drops into a private property but I was told access had been arranged for today. I had forgotten how good this trail was, deep leaf litter or grassy twin-track, heaps of nice corners and some nice hills. The rest of the track clung to the side of the ridge with impressive drops and it just seemed to go on and on.
Pure bliss and considering I left at lunchtime I had plenty of time to savor this beautiful track, after complaining about the state of some local trails recently this track was just like they used to be, so much fun.
What a stroke of luck, met some riders, conned my way into a ride, private property and leafy trails plus a free lunch with bourbon in the middle of the bush, was I lucky or what.
I felt a little guilty riding out through someone’s front yard, the signs on the other side of the gate screamed not welcome, but that was for ordinary people, not me.
A few leisurely causeway shots and I rolled into Willawarrin only to find the servo had shut five minutes ago and I was very low on fuel. No amount of knocking and pleading could rouse them from the locked and shuttered store.
Damm, if only I didn’t break my watch, I could have shaved off ten minutes in numerous places. My bike was good for between 300 and 350 kilometers on a tank of fuel and the trip meter said 315 but I hadn’t been very light on the throttle. All that rude behavior was starting to bite. A sign said Macksville 31km so I gently set off with my fingers crossed.
About ten kilometers from Macksville I thought I had it in the bag so I upped the speed as we were going out tonight with friends and I didn’t want to be late, my wife after painting all day wouldn’t want to cook and I figured a night out and all might be forgiven for sneaking out this morning.
A huge pothole in the tar jarred the DR so much I wondered about the rims then 5km out the bike coughed and died, out of fuel. Tipping the bike upside down scavaged enough fuel to limp into the servo, well nearly fall off actually, my front was dead flat.
I filled up, sculled a V and pumped the tyre up, it was 430 and time was pressing. My rock hard tyre was down to 9psi by Nambucca ten kilometers away, if I put in the spare tube I would be late and with 35km to go I figured if I pumped the tyre up real hard and didn’t check it again it would be right till I got home.
So with my weight back I throttled up to 115km and hit the freeway, by Raleigh ten kays from home it smelt like someone was burning tyres, hmm that could be mine. I just kept the throttle on and was home in time. Might need a new tyre and tube but.
I.m not usually a fan of crashing but crashing that party was unreal, hope they don’t read this website, what would the chances be, hang on John invited me, all good, very good indeed.