A couple of times a year I try to gather some Dirtriderz members for a ride to explore the Otways down at Wye River. Given timing was close to April – RCHA appeal month – I thought that we could get the Dirtriderz appeal off to a good start by asking the guys to “pay” for their beds in the form of a donation to the RCHA. The guys didn’t need much prompting for the appeal and donated a very generous $588. In fact some of the guys selflessly donated money, not to get the best available bed but to make sure kmatt55 slept on the floor
The first day (Friday 29 March) involved a small exploratory ride with @riles, @kmatts55and myself. We managed to find a track which had forever alluded kmatt55 down a step hill, through a river and up the other side. The track was named Area 51 (think aliens and Nevada desert) because of the mystique which surrounded this track and the many tanks of fuel kmatt55 had burnt over the years trying to find it. It was a spectacular track which gave a hint of what to expect given rain, logs, clay and wet foliage when the rest of the group arrived.
Later in the afternoon we were progressively joined by the other riders @Cujo, @Marko_FE250, @Glenn T and @Ghost Rider. Dinner Friday night was spaghetti bolognese, prepared by Riles, salad and cake for dessert. A few beverages were had to help prepare for the next day.
As promised by the BOM, it rained all night and partly through the day. Conditions were very slippery and threw challenges at everyone through the day, but particularly me who spent considerable time sitting next to my fallen bike. Kmatt55 owns leading rides through the Otways and did a great job taking us through amazing rain forest and tracks which (I thought) should never transgressed in the wet.
Highlights for me were a solid days riding, beautiful scenery, teamship and camaraderie to get all bikes and riders through the day and Cujo for doing the bulk of the sweep duties. Special mention to Ghost Rider who can do some amazing things on a bike, and then have us all in stitches by launching his bike into the shrubbery after attempting to clean the mud from his knobbies in the only bit of solid ground in a 50km radius.
Saturday night dinner was at the Wye pub. Pre-dinner we enjoyed Ghost Riders special cob loaf and smoked salmon dip.
Sunday was a shorter ride on a track which featured a dozen creek crossing and a few challenges due to the slippery conditions. Back to the house for some “wog” food brought, cooked and served by Marko which was delicious.
These weekends involve lots of laughs and hands on contributions by everyone involved including helping each other on the trails, taking photos, and also the essential chores of cooking, cleaning, bike set up and repairs, so I am grateful to everyone involved. The crew are honest, genuine and nice people to be around and spend time with.