Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nelson Trip

We had a blast today.  Although, I came off worst, I really enjoyed the ride.  New territory and lots of sand.  Now, I hate sand (not sure if I've mentioned that before), but I must admit, I did okay in the sand, not great by any means, but I'm getting slightly better at it.  Those might be famous last words though.  I have to ride sand to get better at it and no better way to do that than to get pushed into it.  We had another of those famous Slowpoak "That should be the last of it" comments and just got more sand.

I came undone twice today.  Quite embarrassing as they quite soft ones.  The first was going through a ditch where 4WD have been churning it up and the tracks criss-crossed through the ditch.  My front wheel caught one track and then twisted as it was pushed into another one at a sharp angle and I lost it.  The second time was really strange as I came down a track and started breaking and the front wheel just slid out from underneath me.  I wobbled all over the place and ended up in a ditch full of mud.  I was covered in it and it was that nice rancid, matured mud as well.  It was everywhere.  In my helmet, inside the visor, all over my jacket, all over my gloves and I broke my backpack as well.  That, and I started to look like a real monkey.  Ah well, I enjoyed the rest of it.

I met up with wdrally in Hamilton and we headed out through the Mount Napier State Park on our way out to Macarthur to meet up with Slowpoak.  James Cook was there as well and we had a bit of a yarn about this and that and started talking about a weekend ride in April.  James Cook wasn't going with as he had family obligations, so the three of us headed just south of Mount Eccles National Park.  Just outside Big River State Forest is where I lost it the first time.  After that we headed up to Milltown and into Annya State Forest.  Lots of buckshot roads here.  The roads were great.  Nice a swooping and open.  Good fun.

After this, we took a shortcut through some pine forests.  Just outside Crawford River I lost it the second time.  Slowpoak disappeared ahead of us and it took him a while to realise something was wrong.  He has crossed the river already and was waiting strategically with his video camera to capture the moment.  We crossed Crawford River soon after, but not before we lost track of Slowpoak and came around a corner where we saw a massive uphill.  Now, just after dropping a bike, this is not the kind of thing you want to see to get back your inspiration.  I was about to utter a couple of colourful words before wdrally point back at Slowpoak, sitting on the other side of the river with his video camera, waiting for us.  Nothing like a good river crossing to make me smile again.  We took a breather after this, but mostly so I could wash all my gear.

Heading past Dartmoor and into the Lower Glenelg State Park, we started hitting the sand.  It was sand almost all the way from here.  Slowpoak ate this stuff up, but he's got a stabiliser on his bike.  Anyway, that's the excuse I use.  Dammit, he's just good at it, okay!

wdrally handled all of this really well, especially since he's riding an Aprilia Pigaso with road biased Heidenau tyres on.  I'm definitely the rookie here.

It did, as expected, start raining, but stopped soon after.  Just enough for me to stop and put my liners in and then having to wear them all day, making me sweat.  Gotta get me some of those Klim pants.

We eventually make it to South Australia and the border road.  Slowpoak did the necessary jumping back and forth over the border and we pushed on again, tasting that beer at Nelson already...and it was worth it.  Beer and pies.  What more do you need after a ride like that.  We had a great yarn over a beer or two (my second one was a light in case you're wondering) and again made our way back into the Lower Glenelg State Park and more sand...much more this time.  I was paddling that bike like I was 5 years old and on a trike again.

From there we crossed the Princess Highway and gunned it up the Lyons Hotspur Rd to Condah.  This was all long open road.  Something of everything, except sand this time.  It was good, although my bum started hurting after a while, 'cause those DR seats are so comfortable.

At Condah pub we had some company.  A few Harley bikers were sitting at a table, but luckily they were quite friendly and we didn't have to bash them up to show them who owns this place...  The one guy had a super wicked beard though.  Looked like ZZ Top was in town.

So, all in all, a great day out again.  I really look forward to more rides with the Green Triangle crew.

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