Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bush Riders Xmas Trail Ride

 Since the purchase of the RMX I've been keeping a keen eye on trail riding Facebook groups and Silver Bullet for any sniff of a trail ride and so far I seem to be able to find at least one per month not too far from me.  I spotted an event listing for the annual Bush Rders Xmas Trail Ride a while ago and was really keen to give it a whirl.

The ride was on Sunday and as usual I was up early and loaded up not long after 7am.  A quick trip to fill my gas can up and then grab some cash and I was off over the track heading for the Makairo Track.  Sign-on started at 8am and I was one of the first there so had to do quite a bit of nothing one I'd unloaded the bike and got my gear on.

The ride was organised as a led trail ride meaning that there were lead riders to keep people on the right track and under some sort of control.  There were also A and B groups to allow you to pick the one that best matched your skill level and also a small course marked out in a paddock for the little guys and girls to blast around on.

I decided to stick with the B group to make sure that I stayed out of trouble but somehow ended up near the front of the group most of the time - the pace on the first lap was pretty easy for this noob to manage.

The ride itself was over about 3 big farms (they mentioned 20,000 acres at the briefing) and also involved some short bits of the Makairo track to link up the paddocks.  There was plenty of neat hill climbs with the odd spooky decent, a few creek crossings and plenty of dust!

Yes, that's a bike in front of me...

One of the more disappointing aspects of the ride were the number of gates that had to be opened and then closed.  The lead rider would open the gates and then ask someone to wait at the gate until the sweep crew came through.  Yes, I got stuck at one of the gates...

I don't like to complain as I appreciate the work that goes into running one of these events but I think a club should be able to organise some of their own members to look after things like this for the paying riders.  I was stuck on that gate for nearly an hour and yes, it was very frustrating.  Talking to a girl who stopped at the gate, she mentioned that there were a lot of people needing help to get up some of the hillclimbs so the B group was definitely strung out a fair bit.

Eventually a couple of other guys who had been doing gate duty rolled up and said that they'd been told that they could go so that was all I needed.  I was back into and then soon back at base for lunch.

During lunch it was cool watching the little bikes tearing up their track.  I saw one little guy get his bike fairly sideways in a corner - just like a pro or an out of control RMX pilot.  Another boy on a Kawasaki was trying his damnedest to catch some air on one of the bumps in the circuit and I saw him definitely loft the front wheel at least once - very cool!

After lunch it was time for a second lap and this is where I got the video (for some reason the camera didn't co-operate on lap 1).  This lap was run a bit quicker too which was great but we did have quite a few stops at gates etc.  This allowed us to group up again and resulted in a big bunch leaving together and a lot of dust eating.  Never mind, it was still great fun but definitely over a lot quicker than my first lap.

Unless this little dude got lost somehow he must have done the B loop - keen man!

Ride done, it was good to get out of my dusty, sweaty gear and get stuck into re-hydrating before loading up and following the dust trails of others out of the valley.

Here's a wee map made up from a couple of tracks from the camera.  The data is from both the first and second laps - it's quite interesting how inaccurate the data is...

Anyway, yet another great day out on the Yella Terra and I'm looking forward to it giving more exercise next year!

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