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Old 03-19-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
woafa OP
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A weekend run with the 'Little Guys' - OZ

A short-ish ride report, simply because I can’t be bothered writing a lot.

Who: DSMRA Parramatta
What: 2 day Hill End ride
When: Saturday – Sunday 17-18/3
Where: Wallerawang – Hill End and back (Lithgow - Bathurst if you’re not local … West of the SydneyBlue Mountains’ if you aint from round here.)
Why: Seriously, do you need a reason?
How much: $50 included accom and a donation to the club.

The word was to meet at the Macca’s at Lithgow at 8.30 before we wander out to someone’s property so the ‘trailer riders’ can park their cars and get ready. Well, it’s 8.20 and I’m here in time for 2nd breakfast. By 8.45 I’ve finished my heartburn and sugar and starting to wonder if today was 1st April.
Finally cars and trailers arrive and we decamp. Another 10km up the road and by 9.45 we’re riding.
9 riders on trail bikes (a 250EXC smoker, a few of 450’s, a 525, a red 650, Pete’s old Ballards 630, Bill on the TTR250 and me with Heidi)

Sunny Corner forest via Portland and we’re onto some of the tracks they use for the infamous Sunny Corner Trail bike rally. The fire trails are generally smooth through the pine forests but turn ugly on hills with plenty of loose pumpkin-sized goolies waiting to put you down.
Down-hills are interesting on the 950. My 1st gear is equal to their 2nd. Through the nastier sections, the back isn’t turning fast enough and stalls.
Up-hills are fun but I have to give the others a head-start because I don’t want to be fanning the clutch, trying to ride SLOWLY up these rocky pieces.
Bec got her 1st flat of the weekend and did what any respectable rider would do, got someone else to change it for her.
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woafa screwed with this post 03-20-2007 at 04:46 PM
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:46 PM   #2
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obligatory wheelie photo
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
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Bill finds a bike he can finally finally get both feet down on.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:50 PM   #4
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Somewhere around here I put the 1st ding in the rim . A good-sized effort that left me wondering, I didn’t think I’d hit anything that hard…

By mid-morning and we’re on our way through Turon River Nat Park for lunch at Capertee pub. Pete accepts the offer to swap for the final run into lunch. Never thought I’d find an XR630 with a 30 litre tank ‘small and flickable’. By the time we get to lunch, I find a 2nd ding in the front. Not happy and Pete is claiming innocence.

After lunch we’re off to Sofala, actually following the Turon River. This is the sort of road the 950 is for .
Then it starts to hose down. You notice the red clay in the road surface and things get skatey and not all in a good way. A quick swap with James on his XR650R and I’m just as quick on the smaller bike. James hops off, complaining about the lack of rain protection and how he couldn’t find the heated hand-grips. I told him it wasn’t a BMW and that he should get stuffed .

Just as the rain was easing off, Graham and his 450 decided to have a little lay down in the track. Nothing serious, just the result of a brain-fade and all the excuse we needed for a break. Soon enough the rain stopped and we wandered into Sofala for cleansing ale.

About 15 minutes before we got to Hill End, the heavens opened again. For a moment I thought there was bit of hail but it was just the combination of driving rain and +100 km/h.
Once you’ve ridden in rain with an MX helmet and goggles, you know how it can sting around the mouth. We all went through the various facial contortions but gave up to the old method of holding a hand over your mouth. This just made the corners interesting.
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woafa screwed with this post 03-19-2007 at 09:07 PM
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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The day ended for most as they parked their bikes and went looking for a shower and a beer. James realised we were staying about 200m from the start of the Bridle Track and was keen to ride some of it. Pete offered me his XR630 and we were off!!
The track has just been graded and the day’s rain settled the dust and provided just the right amount of grip / slip. That late in the day and the only other traffic we saw was a herd of feral goats. I still feel guilty about what I did with the XR630 but suffice to say she kept up with an as-new XR650R for the entire run back up the hill.

Sunday started, as you’d expect, with a hangover and yesterday’s riding gear. While doing the usual ‘pre-flight’ I got confirmation of yesterday’s carnage.
- Front = 4 dings. 2 small, 2 medium
- Rear = shagged tyre
- Speedo = on the blink since yesterday’s rain and creek crossings
Today should be good.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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another one
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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and another
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:05 PM   #8
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might have to consider grip in the mud
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:17 PM   #9
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Back down the road to Sofala, turn right and up to Wattle Flat shop for a Mars bar. Things are starting to cool off and people are actually putting jackets on as the clouds get lower and turn grey. The REAL trouble brewing, however, is with Pete. He and the shop owner have got the maps out and are talking about tracks that “may still be there”.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:15 PM   #10
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Up Limekilns Rd we wander. Another good road for the 950 with wide sweepers that beg to have the back stepped out. The hills to the east are shrouded in cloud and you just know that’s where we’re going. Into Winburndale Nature Reserve and we enter the clouds. The road tightens but is still a good fire trail with trees forming a natural arch in places. A quick stop at what was supposed to be a lookout isn’t much when visability is 100m.
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woafa screwed with this post 03-20-2007 at 04:33 PM
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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From here is got interesting with Pete leading us down ever-narrower trails until we reached here.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
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Old Bill took the advice and tried to ‘dead-engine’ the bike down a rut but forgot to turn the ignition off and accidentally bump-started the TTR250 ½-way down. It was a bit much and he binned it with Pete and I running down to help him. This I don’t mind, it’s the walking back up to the bike that hurts.
I followed Bills lead and dead-engined the 950 down a rut. This was OK until the back tried to overtake the front, found another rut and had me crossed-up, sliding down the hill.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:33 PM   #13
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Woafa, nice pics, looks like it was agood ride!
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #14
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There was more of the same for the next hour or so as we worked our way back to the main track. Once we got back to the ridge-line things got a lot easier. We ended the day on the main fire trails around Sunny Corner in time for lunch at the servo at Yetholme.
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:38 PM   #15
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Not before Bec scored another flat. Amazing how she can get other people to change them for her.
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