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Old 06-15-2011, 12:25 AM   #1
PeterWebtrax OP
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Stockton Beach Wet Dune June Long weekend

Ross wanted some sand riding practice before heading off on the APC rally in July, so Stockton Beach near Newcastle (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...70416&t=h&z=11) was chosen as the location, June long weekend as the time.

Stockton is over 30 kilometres of beach and extensive sand-dunes.

I was a late entrant. We ended up with Ross (RosscoACT) on KTM 690, Martin (Pominoz) on DRZ400E, John (Fishbulb) on DR650, Mark (Carmima) on KTM 990, and me on Husky TE610.

Saturday provided the following highlights, although they didn't really happen as someone had forgotten to take his camera.

Tour leader John demonstrated nose diving in the sand within the first 100 metres.

Unfortunately, it had rained buckets overnight, so this was to be a pattern that repeated itself. We expected the sand to be harder and easier to ride but that was not the case. It was treacherous in the places you least expected.

We started on the beach heading to the Sygna wreck at the other end. I took some detours through the vegetated beach-side sand-dunes (which I later found out was not the right thing to do), having fun, and proceeded to nose dive on a big rut with some damage to knee and pride.

Mark was finding things heavy going, literally, on the 990. By the time we neared the end of the beach he had had enough, and decamped back to camp for a little snooze.

We tested out my tow rope after John led us all into the "sand ravine of death" where the only way out was up. 2 pushing, 2 pulling, finally got each bike back to the top.

On our way back I managed to do another nose dive into the sand in front of a posse of Japanese tourists. The front wheel had buried itself to the top of the wheel in an instant. Luckily the tourists decided to help as my 'mates' had decided to carry on their merry way leaving me to die in the desert.

We spent the next hour trying to find Ross and Martin, only to eventually discover they had scarpered back to the pub. Nice...

John then ripped the tube out of his tyre trying to carry a carton of tinnies back to the campground. Only real damage of the day, except for Ross's loose handlebar mount.

Sunday was a late start, as it was bucketing down rain again, and we had to fix the bikes first.

Had the camera this time...

First bogging by John.



Closely followed by Martin, who thought he would take the 'solid' sand next to the water. Turned out it was like quicksand, stand still and you slowly sank into it.

Trying to pull the DRZ out without disappearing into the sand was a challenge.

Some of the following photos are small, as my wife's camera has a habit of switching to video mode. Not that I'm a crap operator.

Things still going well, heading up into the dunes.


What, my finger over the lens, never...


Then the proverbial started to hit the fan. Ross decided to plough a new path through the dune.



with his HEAD. The large hole in front of his hand is where he landed.


Needless to say, he was groggy, or groggier than usual. Luckily not concussed, but damn close.

He needed a rest.


John decided to try heading up to the top of one of the 'very large' dunes next to us. He made it about 100 metres before executing a beautiful hand-stand swan dive over the handle bars. I reckon it would have rivalled the one he is famous for, but unfortunately, no photo, so it didn't happen.


He managed to catch his wrist in the barkbusters, didn't look good.

but apparently it always looks like this.

When Ross restarted, the 690 start to misfire. He got another 1/4 mile before 'she no go no more'. We checked what we could but no joy. It eventually showed a FI Check error light, so we gave up.

We are currently about 1/2 an hours riding into the dunes.
Considering our limited options.


It was decided that John and Martin would go back to get Ross's 4WD to take the bike out.

'Best laid plans of mice and men'. Margaret had taken the 4wd to watch the movies, and was uncontactable.

So, Ross and I waited, and waited...
Ross, trying to get mobile phone reception.


Me killing time behind the limited protection of the 690 from the rain and freezing wind.


One of those 'wherethefarkarethey' moments.


It is getting close to 'dark time', and those clouds are getting more ominous.


... when finally Ross sees the lights of the 4WD in the distance. 15 minutes later, it arrives, inhabited by 3 merry chappies clutching alcoholic beverages.


By the time the 690 was loaded it was getting dark, drizzling, and we decided to head directly back up the beach, which was only 400 metres away. First we had to get there.

Didn't quite make it...


A good example of how the sand turned from solid to babyshit soft in a few metres.

Luckily had the loading ramp to provide some traction.

and we were on our way.

I took the Husky out in front on the beach, just to ensure the bastards didn't leave me behind if I came off. The beach was covered in wet slippery 4WD ruts, so that was real fun in the dark.

Anyway, as they say, all's well that ends well. We did get a solid amount of sand riding experience in the 2 days, which was good considering the amount of rain we had while there. I was very happy with the humble Husky, Ross is probably less happy with the 690, Martin is happy he didn't bust his collarbone like last time, Mark needs a baby 990 to do the sand, and John needs to keep practicing his over-the-handlebar technique to get a 10 out of 10.

Full size photos are at:
http://gallery.webtrax.com.au/20110611_Stockton_Beach

Cheers
Peter
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
ferals5
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Hi Peter Awesome stuff mate. Thanks for the pic links from delegate as well
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:42 AM   #3
ClearwaterBMW
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that was one tough ride
at 5'6"... i could never even DREAM of taking part in something like that, sadly

thanks for sharing these with us
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:29 AM   #4
PomInOz
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Couple more Stockton pics

Peter, thanks for the great write up. As previously discussed, you weren't left on Saturday...it was an international relations test...and you passed!!

Couple more pics. First off, Ross deeply embedded:


Then Ross saluting the camera next to his KTBoom:


Shame we didn't have pics of the "Sand ravine of death" cos that was one beeyatch of a detour. Super-soft, deep sand, with nil chance of a high-speed run-up because of whoops in the trail. Took about 1 hour to get all 4 bikes back on to level sand.

PomInOz screwed with this post 06-15-2011 at 04:35 AM
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:56 AM   #5
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what a great weekend, one day we will get through one without breakages. Thanks Pete for hanging around and not bagging the KTM, and thanks Jon and Martin for riding back to pick up the ute, thanks Mark for handing me the ciders

Looks like the fuel pump is dead. I found the rollover switch Pete, it was right in front of our noses and easily reached. Unfortunately it is perfectly operational.

I've got a full fuel pump assembly as a travelling spare so it will be installed before the weekend. Bugger is that I'll have to buy another to go travelling with, and they are not that cheap
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Ah the joys of Stockton

Thanks Pete, good recap of the weekend.

It was definitely harder going than last time we were there...didn't help having road biased tyres on the 990 either, especially on the front!!

I didn't break any bones this trip but I did some serious damage to my liver
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:58 AM   #7
DANNOj
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Guys, glad to see you had an eventful time at Stocko!!! Pete you were lucky being behind that camera.... there is not one shot of your wheel pile driven into the sand, nor you laying tits-up like the rest of the crew!!!

Ross, my friend...... ah..... nothing.

Fish, friend, I was going to say..... nah. Nothing.

Sometimes situations need no words

Glad to see you all out enjoying. Wish I was there!

Cheers,
Dan
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
rosscoact
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DANNOj View Post
Guys, glad to see you had an eventful time at Stocko!!! Pete you were lucky being behind that camera.... there is not one shot of your wheel pile driven into the sand, nor you laying tits-up like the rest of the crew!!!

Ross, my friend...... ah..... nothing.

Fish, friend, I was going to say..... nah. Nothing.

Sometimes situations need no words

Glad to see you all out enjoying. Wish I was there!

Cheers,
Dan
Mate, you'd have dug it, a cracker of a weekend

Now I only wish that bloody 690 would get going.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:12 AM   #9
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Interesting to see the 690 fuel pump give in. I am looking at getting one of these bikes but am worried about reliability. This story doesn't help!!
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:19 AM   #10
rosscoact
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompee View Post
Interesting to see the 690 fuel pump give in. I am looking at getting one of these bikes but am worried about reliability. This story doesn't help!!
it's done 26000k+ without a problem and i think it failed becuase it was on its side for 10 seconds or so running before the rollover sensor stopped it.

But if grin is the most important thing there's none better, if reliablity is then buy a DR
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:39 AM   #11
Steve_C
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That looks friggin' NUTS!!

Awsome.

How to bury a bike.

Tx for the pics you crazy bastards.

cheers,
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