A hardcore Christmas ride

With Tomartys fruit Market dominating my time, Trev dropped in and suggested A Christmas ride before things go completely crazy. With challenging riding planned we kept it to DR riders, Trev, Craig andTroy who thrive on a little adversity along with myself who loves creating it.

With rain forecast, we were treated with a brilliant blue sky day after a week of rain. South offered nice challenging options with a minimum of clay. The boys turned with nice clean well-prepped DR’s and well I dragged my mud encased bald-tired DR out of the shed.

Three rivers

With a coastal route planned and three major rivers to cross meant a little tar to make use of bridges intermingled with zig-zagging to spend as much time in the dirt in between.

Mt Yarrahappini turned up soon enough and the start of some nice coastal ridges. A couple of Enduro riders offered a chance for a few KTM jokes to brighten the morning, well my morning anyway. After asking if they brought their KTM Hard parts towrope, things went downhill quickly from there with lots of good bites and a flurry of good-natured jokes about DR gearboxes and KTM reliability.

Hide the parcel

A steep loose rutted downhill provided a challenging downhill and even more fun-going backup. Troy became a little confused and thought we were playing hide the parcel but the Christmas gifts were all in the riding.

After a few goes at getting up Troy took the easier option and was waiting at the bottom of the next long downhill ridge where we regrouped

on Middle Head after Trev spent 10mins trying to get lost crossing directly across a tar road.

Pushing the boundaries

I casually mentioned maybe skipping boundary trail because it might be a bit technical today only to have the boys insist on visiting.

With a few clay sections, huge bike swallowing ruts, numerous roots and steep undulating hills the track did not disappoint. Craig had so much fun on the first half of a root-infested uphill he did it three times before moving onto the top half. Troy too tried to savor the moment and spent extra time to conquer.

Sometimes he was out of shape like a number plate be he did well to get it in one go.

A regroup had the boys inquiring about my planned lunch break and when I said there were no shops Trev pointed out that we could nearly see one at Grassy Head which was just below us.

Outnumbered I reluctantly agreed but snuck in a nice clay single that looped us back to near the start of Yarrahappini adding a nice 20mins extra. With no food but ice cream and cold drinks, the shop gave a nice break with a cool ocean breeze to regroup.

Ridges and black sky’s

Fun flowing ridges took us the long way to the lookouts which unfortunately showed a pitch-black sky to the south with large flashes of lightning. If we turned back now we would be safe and dry so we dropped down a steep rutted hill and headed south.

A tricky highway crossing had us back into skinny long ridges high above the valleys below with a cool breeze, it was almost magic only split by the lack of light and the now close boom-crack of the lightning. From the top of Scotchman Mt we dropped down a freshly graded very steep downhill to the west to start to loop back.

The soil here is loose but gritty and had Troy intrigued so he stopped for a closer look halfway down and coated himself in a good-sized sample to take home.

Blockade

With the storm now very close we bolted, a few kilometers down the track the road was blocked with around twenty KTM’s. The boys thought the KTM rider was getting a little angry with my ribbing and I made the mistake of telling him we were going this way.

Heavily outnumbered I was trying to weave my way through as quickly as possible when I heard a friendly “Blakey” yelled from the back. Turns out it was Sauly’s group and not after my blood so after a quick catch-up over a cold drink the storm became impossible to ignore so we bolted.

All hail the leader

Unfortunately home was back towards the center of the storm and even though the narrow steep ridges were breathtaking the large hail hurt as it slammed into your fingers and neck whilst banging on your helmet and combined with the torrent of water running down the hill took some of the magic away.

The steep freshly graded track turned to slop so luckily I had plenty of contact patch on my tyres as we slivered our way to the top.

The lightning took away the dark many times as we bolted out of the forest, the white bright flash and smell of close hits only increased the urgency. Huge puddles had appeared and the ruts were full of rich red water gushing down the hills. ten kilometers later we were out of the bush and bolted down the tar in zero visibility the last 15km home.

The boys were suitably impressed with the challenging exciting ride and keen for more.

Merry Christmas everyone.

 

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