Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fordell Trail Ride

A few months ago I sniffed out an upcoming Trail Ride and after Colin and I had so much fun on our last one, I set to inviting all and sundry who I knew had a suitable weapon in the shed.  In the end I only had one keen man sign-up in the form of Cookie.

Now that we're in September it is supposed to be spring so the weather should be on the improve.  But, no, there has been some decent rain at times and this is what we got on the way over to Fordell.

Luckily, this was just a shower and when we arrived at the ride the weather was a lot nicer.

The below pics may give a hint at what the riding conditions were going to be like...

Did you work it out?  Hint, both bikes have side-stands fitted...

Bikes and riders ready, we had a quick rider's briefing and then we were off.

The first little stretch was a quite pleasant drop down into the pine forest on reasonably a nice, non-slippery track.  I'm allowed to show the following video as it was the only time I saw Cookie have a whoopsie and he got to see me have more than one...looks like he was just a victim of some sort of brain fart...

Once down the hill the fun really started.  The track got a lot wetter and any grip that had been there well and truly vanished.  Pretty much everyone was in the same boat with bikes slipping and sliding all over the place and plenty of bikes requiring the odd lie down.

I certainly had plenty of drama with my tyres probably not really being up to it (we ended up airing them right down) and the little WR is actually a lot heavier than most of the moto-cross bikes (it's about 20kg heavier than Cookie's 500).  Combine this with my splendid state on unfitness and I was really working for a living.

Pretty soon we caught up to a log-jam of riders attempting to climb up a slippery section.  The delay was quite long and in the end one of the support crew came down and suggested that we turn around and hook up with the track via our first deteour onto an "A" loop.

Now, an A loop is intended for those who happen to be pretty damn good riders and an AA loop is for nutters...

I dunno when we came off the A loop and back onto the main track but there really wasn't much difference in conditions.  It was torturously slippery everywhere!  Somewhere in here I started having the odd off when the bike either went sideways or I got so damn tired that I couldn't hand onto it and keep it on line.  The poor little bike also got a fair workout to with plenty of revs being used in an effort to get moving and clear the rear wheel.

It was here that the idea to bring Cookie along came in handy...He made himself pretty useful by helping me up some tricky bits by pushing and even (I'm ashamed to admit) riding Mighty Mouse while I had a quiet heart-attack on the side of the track.  Here he is giving me a pep-talk...

Here's one section where I waited for Cookie (after he'd helped me up a section).  The video doesn't really show the steepness but it does show the slipperiness.  I hate that guy on the white bike...Cookie had a wee bit of excitement but got the big KTM up the hill no worries.

I think it was after dropping back down off the above hill that we got out on some pasture for a little while.  I managed to get stuck in some grass (avoiding the muddy track) and when I finally caught up to a waiting Cookie gave him a good show by biffing the bike away again and tumbling down a hill - sorry, no video of that one.

Another of the support guys then advised us of a another short-cut (yes, on an "A" section) to get us out of the wallows and back towards home base.  So, after another off in a bog we got back onto the main track and I actually had a neat blast up a reasonably tidy track (2nd gear even) until finally running foul of some goop again.

One last grind through the slop and we got out onto a decent track that took us back to the ride start.  I actually saw third gear a couple of times...

Well, that one (part) lap was pretty much enough for us.  I for one was stuffed and wasn't in a hurry to do it all again, so we grabbed our lunch and then loaded the bikes back up for the trip home.

That plate is supposed to be like that...
Back home, it was time to give Mighty Mouse a bath before my body seized up.

Waterblaster now needs waterblasting...

Anyway, as hard as the ride was (and now three days later, so the body is nearly recovered), it was still a lot of fun.  I'm just hoping the next one might be a little easier...


  1. Yeah, rides like that are why I gave dirt bikes away. Too much opportunity to spear myself in and hours of cleaning/repairing that could be used for something more fun.... funny to watch others(you) do it though... ;-)

    1. It's fun I swear...Go on, you need another dirt bike...

  2. Andrew, you brought back old memories of temporary elation and more lasting exhaustion and pain when I had an IT 175. Always fell asleep in the armchair when returning from a ride like that! Good on you for giving it plenty - I'm way past that :-).

    1. I dunno Geoff, maybe you need a CR500...

  3. Looks like a lot of hard work, and then there was the ride at the start. Did you have more mud or the bike?

    1. Dunno, but I think the WR weighed more than the Tenere by the end of the day...