DSMRA Taralga ADV ride OLD

DSMRA Taralga ADV ride

The Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association posted a ride calendar on Facebook and listed a ride that I had been meaning to do since buying the Himalayan from Paul. A ride that the bike had done before when Paul took the bike to Taralga and beyond. They were intending to ride from Mittagong to Taralga via the Wombeyan Caves road and back via Swallow Tail Pass and through to the Highway via the Canyonleigh Road.

I recently purchased some 3 litre auxiliary jerry cans that attach to the tank frame on the Himalayan and wanted to see how they stood up to a rough road. The SRC mounts are very well made and easy to fit https://srcadventuremoto.com.au/products/royal-enfield-himalayan-fuel-tank-mounting-brackets?variant=31633602936931

The idea is to carry one full of water for washing up when camping and the other with spare fuel.

These attach using Rotopax style holders that fit through the jerry can and have a t-bar bolt to secure them.

I also fitted the leather panniers I bought with my Classic 500 years ago from Motociclo to use as tool/spares bags.

I have a compressor and a jump starter on one side and a tube, a tyre repair kit and spare clutch and brake levers in the other.

The pillion seat rack I bought from Glen off the Himalayan Facebook group holds the tool roll and tyre levers etc.

DSMRA is a national club with branches in most states and sub branches in major cities. They run graded Enduro and Adventure/Dual Sport rides and hold an annual premier event in Canberra called the Kowen Forest Ride which attracts around 850 riders. Now that I have done my complimentary ride with them I think I will join up and try to fit in a few ADV rides in between all the other stuff I do.

So I spoke to the ride organiser Tim Clarke who happened to live in Baulkham Hills. We decided to meet at Norwest Maccas at 630am and jump onto the M7 from there. I initially intended to trailer the bike to Mittagong and save the boring 100 kilometres each way of the Hume Hwy. Riding @ 5000 rpm just sitting on 100ks on the clock (93 on the GPS) and getting passed by trucks and learners isn’t my cup of tea, but since Tim was riding a Dual Sport bike as well, a KTM 640 Adventure, he wasn’t in a hurry we decided to ride down together.

We arrived at Mittagong at about 745am and topped up fuel at the first servo in town and then headed to Maccas to meet the other riders at about 8am. There were about 9 in the group, from memory a BMW F800, BMW F650, KTM790, KTM640, KTM390, AFRICA, WRF250, HUSABERG, and the Himalayan.

After a coffee we started out and headed to Wombeyan Caves road and regrouped at the Bullio tunnel.

The road was dirt from just before the tunnel which lies at approx. 764m ASL and descends via a rough fire trail with switch back corners down a ridgeline into the valley to the Wollondilly River Ford at about 200m elevation where we stopped again to stretch the legs and get out of the heat.

We climbed up away from the river towards the caves with some more interesting and challenging terrain which was tackled standing up for most of the sections and then detoured onto Langs Rd and then back onto the Wombeyan Caves road which by then was a fast gravel road almost all the way to the Taralga Rd.

We got to Taralga at about 11am and we had lunch at the café as it was too early for the Pub Bistro.

The trip home was via Swallow Tail Pass which winds down to the Terlo River and back up through farmland along the Canyonleigh Rd to the Highway and then home.

The off road riding was a mix of low speed 2nd gear 20kmph on climbs and descents and up to 60kmph on the open fire trials and about 80kmph on gravel roads.

The Himalayan went really well in the dirt considering the extra weight I was carrying, approx. 10kg on the front and similar again on the rear. I didn’t bottom out the rear shock too badly despite some big potholes and a very soft spring. The front took some hard bumps too which didn’t seem to faze it. It was the first time riding the new Mitas E-07s on dry dirt and not mud like last time. They performed quite well and I only had a few issues mainly some lock ups due to over enthusiastic rear braking and a bit of a sketchy front on what seemed like fine power on hard pack, from time to time the dirt would build up into mounds on the road, due to cars tyres, where changing lines around corners was a little un-nerving. On the gravel they were great. I was pretty impressed that the bike kept up with the group only getting passed by a few of the bigger bikes on the straights and by some of the smaller more off-road oriented bikes on some of the uphills. It did not miss a beat.

It was a long day but worth it, If I did it again I would probably take the slow way down via the old Hume Hwy (which makes it an even longer day) or trailer the bike to Mittagong and enjoy the ride home in the truck in air conditioned comfort as the bike is just not suited to hours of freeway riding.

A great ride with a new club and a nice bunch of people.

Link to video of the ride made by Peter from DSMRA  https://youtu.be/8qTscdAergU

Thredbo Mountain Biking – Anzac Weekend 2016

Thredbo Mountain Biking – Anzac Weekend 2016

Thredbo Mountain Biking – Anzac Weekend 2016

Thredbo – Anzac Weekend 2016

Scroll down for latest posts

Since it was the end of school holidays combined with Anzac day, Angus and I thought it was a good opportunity to have a last ride on the mountain  before it closes for winter on the 1st of May. Craig Martin was coming down after work and another mate Chris Curtis was also riding this weekend who I was keen to catch up for a ride with. I used to ride cross country at Lake Parramatta with Chris but have not ridden downhill with him.
We left home about 430pm and had a quick trip being a Thursday, stopped for the obligatory Maccas, this time at Goulburn and then stopped again at Cooma to clean the windscreen and stretch the legs.
Slight rain had activated my rain sensing wipers smooshing all the bugs that we ran into on this balmy autumn night to the point that it was becoming difficult to see properly. It was 28 deg.C when we were stuck in some traffic on the M7 and about 20 deg. C when we got to Goulburn at about 7pm.
I wanted to have good vision for what I knew was waiting for us on this unusually hot night as we approached our destination of Kosciusko National Park. In fact we didn’t have to wait that long as the first roo jumped out on us somewhere between Berridale and Jindy.
From then on it was like a video game, Angus was spotting for me calling out roos in the darkness of the paddocks and ones lurking in the shadows on the side of the road. Then we hit Penderlea and all hell broke loose with deer running everywhere. I slowed down untill we got into the park proper where the terrain was too steep on either side of the road for them to be a menace.
We made it to Thredbo safely in the end and went to sleep about 11pm. I was woken about 4am with heavy-ish rain.
I got out of bed at about 630 to re-check the weather, the rain had eased but the BOM forecast didn’t impress me so I took a few photos and turned on the laptop.
 Not the best thing for mountain biking.
I can see a Cascades breakfast coming on !
Mid Morning Update
The mornings weather didn’t improve but the rain did reduce to a slight drizzle
We were worried the weekend was a write-off however I was assured by Craig Martin that the rain would produce some “hero dirt”So we headed to Cascades and had breaky as expectedAs an experiment I wanted to attempt a blog update via mobile deviceBeing Google affiliated Blogger does not support the browser on my iPhone – kel surprisSo I used my work phone a Samsung Note running Android and it was an absolute pain in the arse and made my breakfast get cold. Long live Windows. I will need to get a Microsoft Surface.

Eggs Benedict is my weakness …..as are pancakes for Angus


No bikes on those lifts

We finished off breakfast and went over the bridge to check out VT. ( Valley Terminal)
There was no one in sight, the first person I bump into is Old Mate the chef from Avalanche Cafe, cheery as usual. Then we walked up to the lift concourse and again it was empty so it was back down to the bike shop to talk to Dan.
I asked about the track conditions and luckily enough he had just ridden and opened the Flow track. He said it was a bit greasy in parts but OK. I immediately purchased a new back tyre a Maxxis Minion DHF 26 x 2.5 57 DUR (nice and sticky) since mine had been given to me by cousin Dibble about three-quarters of a decade ago and had gone hard like a piece of chewy from under a school desk and all the centre knobs had ripped off. The new one had the consistency of brand new bubblegum, just what the doctor ordered.
We headed back to the van and fitted the tyre and geared up. The rain had abated and the track had a chance to dry out a bit so we we looking forward to a ride. The temp was still cool as there was no warming sunlight, even so we dressed lightly, Angus re-attached the bottoms of his MX pants and I put on some Skins and a thermal T-shirt under my DH jersey, summer gear basically.

In the end it wasn’t that cold and from time to time we were encapsulated in the clouds which saturated us in a fine mist.

A few runs necessitated a re-fuel so back to the van for some home cooked health food 😉

After lunch the sun came out and we set up the GoPro on the chest mount.
Every time I use the GoPro it involves a bit of experimenting to get the angles right and it always seems to be pointing at the ground. It is hard with the chest mount to get the aim right particularly since your body position changes when you bend over etc if affects the view angle. The fish-eye lens also makes things look further away and if you are following someone riding a bike or skiing you have to be right on their back-side to get good video.

This one is an old Hero2 HD and takes video in 1080P at 30fps and 720P at 60fps so I’m not about to upgrade in a hurry. However, I was talking to some Thredbo locals in the pub last night and one mentioned that the Hero2 is fish-eye and the newer ones have a normal  lens that doesn’t cause that problem. I don’t really want to upgrade, notwithstanding Angus’ cheap $99 Jaycar GoPro copy gave up the ghost so he may inherit mine if I deem a better device is required for this type of filming.

I need to edit web website settings to allow larger uploads so no videos on this blog at the moment