Suzuki Gold Coast organized an adv ride for VStroms this weekend. A few of the DR and DRZ guys came along for fun, along with a couple Aprilias and a Beemer.
6:30am start from Gold Coast, picked up a couple more in Murwullimbah, 1 at Doon Doon and a few more at Kyogle.
Assembly point in Kyogle
Mal delivers the ride briefing in Kyogle
Headed over toward Toonanbar Dam veering south.
VStrom #1 hits the dust - Steve D runs wide and collects some grass on his Strom 1000.
Not too much later, Steve C (me) goes into a corner a bit hot and departs from his 650. Nice landing, all ok except another blinker snapped off. He blames the new Anakees ("I miss the nobbies," he cries.) Strom #2 down.
Two minutes down the track and Chef Gareth snags a tree root, veers into the ditch and his left leg catches and ... sort of turns backwards.
That's VStrom #3 down, and we've only just started the ride.
Chef bravely tries to stand and take a few steps. "AAArrrrrrGGGGHHHH," he says. "It's broken. I can feel it moving around when I turn." We discuss options and he decides to try and ride home (1.5 hours) so his bike won't be left in Small Town, Nowhere. I'm concerned that might be the adrenalin talking so I volunteer to ride with him for a while. The others carry on.
We stop in Casino and I check his eyes (not crazy or diluted). He's coherant, regular pulse, no nausea, and is happy to ride the rest of the way back by himself. I help him back on the bike joking, "I'll try not to kick your leg." Just then he moves it forward into my boot. "AAARrrrrGGGGHHHH!" Poor bugger. I watch him ride off up the street, gingerly trying to change gear with his heal. Even the wind pressure at 100km/hr had been hurting him.
I head south down Summerland Way to Grafton hoping to catch the others in Jackadgery.
Unbeknown to Gareth and me, the other Gareth had dropped his Aprilia just a couple minutes on from where we'd stopped. He hurt his leg but rode on to Jackadgery. By then he wasn't feeling too good and headed back home. Turns out he had a sprained ankle.
Not a lot of phone reception where I was so I ended up doing Old Grafton Road by myself, about an hour ahead of the others. I didn't know where they were.
Errr, this is a tunnel.
Just before the tunnel, Huggo decides to change lanes in the mud and his dual-sport tires chog up, turn slick and fall over. He sits down getting dirt on his nice BMW jacket. That's 5 falls today (4 Stroms and 1 Aprilia).
We all met up again at the motel in Glen Innes
Txt message from Chef Gareth. Xray confirms a spiral break just above the ankle and bit of bone floating around. Surgery required. This was his first day out for about 6 months (since the VStrom gathering at Lions Road). Major bummer.
Meanwhile back at the motel is was the usual beers and dinner and yackity yack by the fireplace. A good night. Electric blankets and heaters - ahh, the soft life.
Morning fuel up in Glen Innes.
Headed north toward Tenterfield via gravelly roads.
Howard squeezes one out. "Replacing the ozone."
"I want one of them."
From Tenterfield over to Drake, on to Tabulam, up to Old Bonalbo then over to Richmond Range Road, up to Toonumbar Dam and over to Kyogle. Cup of coffee and everyone sort of split up to make their own way home.
Lee, Howard and I rode back toward Uki together, but Howard and I split off and went through Mebbin State Forest, last bit of dirt before home. Just as we got onto the gravel, a P plater was stuck in the middle of the road. Howard went onto the grass to get around but had a bit of trouble climbing out of the ditch when his Strom bottomed out. He gunned it and shot over the lip finally with a big roost flying out the back. Then to make a good impression (on the pretty, young P plater), he fanged it, Akrapovick roaring, and fish-tailed away in a cloud of gravel dust, Heidenaus spinning furiously. I think she was duly impressed. "Sorry," she smiled.
About 950 kms all up.
Hey Lee, if you're reading this, tx for the coffee, mate, and you should have come through Mebbin with us. It's a great little track.
Tx to Mal for organising everything and to the group leaders, sweep riders and the hot bar maid.