The alarm went off at 4:30am time to jump into the car to rendevous with Miles and Scott from BMW for a day of bush blasting with 2009 Stockmans Rally, usually Rick does the Stockmans but he's grown a moustache and bought himself a Harley so we'll have to see how long his road fetish lasts.
5:00am bikes loaded and ready to roll
After a pretty cruisy drive with Miles at the wheel and a dodgy Macbreakfast we were soon driving through Marysville, the place is hard to recognise these days so the fact that part of the proceeds from the ride will go to the Marysville CFA seem quite fitting.
We arrived at Shanes Bridge, with a bit of rain in the previous week and the threat of a few dark clouds we were all quitely asking Huey for a bit of precipitation to make things a bit more interesting. We did get a spit during the briefing but that was all Huey was giving us.
Line up with your Licence and the boys from MCRCV will get you sorted.
Scrutineering and noise abatement tests were the next of the tasks to be undertaken
Lot's of camping facilities available
For those not silly enough to get up before the earliest of Sparrows even seemed remotely likely to squeeze out a Fart then there is plenty of camping available and by the looks of a few of the bleary eyed punters we saw wandering around there were plenty of sherbets sunk the night before. Seriously though it's a great way to have a weekend away a bit of camping and a great ride thrown in.
There was a few girls on the ride as well this pair from Yarra Glen
The Forest Patrol Rides a CRF, Scrutineers and 530 Dirt Bikes all in a row
With all the preride stuff done, bikes fuelled up, scrutineered and checked for noise abatement it was time for the riders debriefing. The usual arrows for this way or that circles for yep your on the right track, wrong way and caution signs for obstacles.
Turn this way, Keep Going Straight, Wrong way, Look OUT !
The Forest Patrol had two messages one keep your bikes quiet and
two if you see him on the track please pass with consideration.
With all that out of the way it was time to settle into what we were all here for, line up, start the bikes and take off in staggered intervals, make sure you get on the line with your mates or you might find youself playing catch up.
Once we hit the trails there was a little bit of hardtrack before we turned and headed up into the Victorian Hills. Shanes Bridge provides some great scenery and a variety of riding tokeep a smile on any enduro riders dial.
The open trails were fast flowing with a little bit of dust
Plenty of spoonies to make the open stuff fun and sweeps to help out
Easy or Hard, decision decisions
The course was cut into 2 sections Easy or Hard, 70k's or 100k's we took the hard way for a 100K's and it was a pretty good track. Lots of single trail rutted uphills and some particularly nasty white knucke downhills, 100k's was pretty good riding apart from stopping and taking photos and chatting with punters it was a good challenge for your average enduro rider but nothing too hard.
Some nice single trail, no dust here. Decisions, decisions hard or easy ?
One of those long and rutted uphills played havoc with some riders
As with every ride there was lots to stop and bench race whilst on the track "did ya see that ?, almost went over the hangers on that one!" These boys were up from Geelong for the ride and spend more time with the kids at the track then riding these days so this was welcome break to get away and have some fun with the mates.
Some of the open tracks were shared so caution was urged to keep an eye out for 4wd's and cars, luckily we didn't see any traffic other that the 530 dirt bikes that turned up for the ride.
Pick your colour all manufacturers were well represented
There were 2 river cossings with plenty of carnage this one was on both loops with another on the 70K loop that was bypassed on the 100K.
I think some riders just panic and go hell for leather hoping momentum will save them soaking themselves in the process, remember boys smooth is the go.
Good spot to stop, regroup and watch the watersports.
Once through the river there was plenty of fast flowing sections like this one and even a few puddles to dodge or fill your mate in as you pass, paybacks a bitch eh!.
Just some of the variey of trail conditions you get to enjoy on the day
Phelpsies Ride the new BMW G450S Bavarian Brilliance and at only
$12,500 great value too. More to come as we have a review in the pipe for this baby.
By the time I got back after playing Mr Havachat and Shutter Buggin, most of the punters had completed the first loop and decided that that was enough for them, packed up and gone home having too much fun can be a bad thing ?.
Miles, Scotty and myself decided we hadn't had enough, besides we wanted to see what the 70k loop was like, I also (for the sake of Jouralistic Truth and partly due to the dodgy McBreakfast that made me sick as and unable to eat or drink read massive dehydration and muscle pump) opted to see what the easy section was about. For those of you who don't have the trail hours up to compete with the likes of Grabbo and Wonka then this section was as easy as, all open trail and bretty breezy. I met up with Miles and Scotty again and we twisted the throttles for home.
Phelpsy and Scotty take to the river a second time on the 70K loop
and yep had the obligatory step off when the camera is trained on you, looks like the monster from the black lagoon!!
On the second loop I caught up with this pair, he'd broken his chain. "I've got a joining link no worries but don't have a chain breaker, so his offsider was waiting with him for a sweep to come through hope they've got one.
Go collect your licence so they know you made it back safely, get your free feed, I had to skip this one, and your all done and dusted for another year. The MCRCV donated $2500 to the Marysville CFA, God knows they can use it.
Organiser Con Thermos from Otways Trail Tour presents the CFA with $2500
These boys are still waiting for a TT350 to fill the spot on their trailer ufortunately he's broken down on a hill about 20K into the bush.
All in all a great days ride and the proceeds have gone to worthy charities, these rides are the blood in the viens of the dirt bike industry in Victoria and the organisers are finding them increasingly popular. Finding good places to ride is getting tougher and tougher these days. To be able to ride all day with arrowed courses, great terrain and sweeps in case you get into trouble makes it a fun and safe day our for all. I'd strongly suggest you give it a whirl next year and the 100K and 70K loops with easy/hard means that all levels of riders can partake and have fun.
There are over 120 images in the gallery HERE images are available for free in Hi Res if you want any copies email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll email you your ugly mugs. Thanks to KTM the MCRCV and Con from Otway Trail Tours for their excellent efforts and to Miles from BMW for the great experience on the BMW more to come on that.
See you on the trails,