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Bruce's Big Desert ride from Yaapeet

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Leaving home at 7:30am for a 500k 6hr drive to Yaapeet. What was in store for me? I had no idea. Would I enjoy it? I was yet to find out.

The drive up was fairly uneventful. I took a wrong turn about 6ks out of Yaapeet which took me onto a dirt road for about 10ks. When I arrived, my bike looked like it had already been ridden and in need of a filter change.

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Blokes came out of the woodwork for this ride. And what a great bunch. Arriving just as they were suiting up in the rain for a afternoon ride. I opted to wash the sand off my bike and set up camp. The camp site was terrific. Lots of amenities to make you comfortable in any conditions. I ended up setting up my tent in the big shed. This worked a treat. Nice and warm with all the conveniences. Went for an afternoon blapp of around 22ks to check the place out. Came back with no illusion as to how the next day was going to unfold.

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More to come for sure. 

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The Big day had arrived and we were all keen to hit the desert. 

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My first time in the sand. I really loved the experience. A whole new learning curve was applied to navigate the terrain that moved under the wheels. I likened it to riding a snow mobile (even tho I never have.) The rear wheel spinning and driving you forward the entire time the front wheel is skiing across the surface. On the gas going down the hills was different, but necessary to stop the front wheel from digging into the soft sand. I found I could not sit down for more than 5sec bursts as the bike was moving around just way too much. 187ks later. The body has done a mammoth workout, The mental drive to stand up 96% of the time with the concentration levels peaking. I couldn't allow myself to relax for a sec. Proud to say the bars only hit the ground once in the last 10min of the ride as fatigue and concentration levels dropped.

 

 

 

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If you like high speed there is no shortage of that in the desert. Whilst My speedo sat predominantly around 50-60kph. There was brief moments of reaching 110kph.

I likened myself to Mr Magoo plodding around the tracks like I was on a country drive. With the others blasting past me. I met a few at the next corners eating sand as I plodded on past them. My favourite part was in the creek. slippery and wet where I felt most at home. The more open tracks were big whoops or very close together whoops. While most bounced off the top of these. I was content to see the bottom of just about every one.

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Murder track. Whoops were very close together. for what seemed like kms and probably was. This track alone was an endurance event. I was quite pleased to see Arbo and Son set up at the end of this track with some much needed fuel and the kettle on.

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Sand had built up around the rear caliper early in the ride. Was told not to brake with the front brake. The rear brake was out of action. Coming into some of the corners hot made for some pucker moments for me. Even tho the guys told me this is how its done. Completly different style of riding. Accelerating into corners instead of just out of  corner. On the gas going down hills. Keeping the power on to float the front wheel. Yep!!! It was going to take me more than one tour of sand to get my head around all that. 

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This was our 3rd fuel stop and rest. Bruce and a couple of others rode off for a quick 32k option. i was content to have a beer and egg and bacon sanga while I waited for them to come back.

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Big thanks to Bruce and Bear for running this ride. Arbo and Cam for your support. Bear and Tony for sweeping. To all the guys that turned up and made for a fun experience.

I can now tick this off the bucket list. I can absolutely see the attraction to riding sand for high speed adrenalin riding. It would take a few more tours for me to become comfortable with that.

On the way home. I had a strap break. Lucky the peg straps I added stopped the bike falling off the trailer.

Tailendcharlie "Tony". What a legend. Brought the Urn. The water. The Tim Tams. The coffee.Tea and all of Yaapeets Hospitality. Thankyou very much mate for looking after us so well in your little town.

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A Pic of a Pub I past on the way home. I have some great memories in with my Son on one of our out back adventures.

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Till we ride again

Cruiser

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Pics of our short Fri arvo ride

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Cooking lunch to take with me on Saturdays ride.

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Sounde exactly like my first time there Cruiser. Great ride report and makes me want to return for another go at it. That creek run is definitely a work out haha

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Well done boys.. Spewing I missed this ride.. cracker of a place at the Yapeet Hilton.... great report..

 

Cheers  RIC

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LOL@Cruiser...my first time at Rainbow...my video was rated XXX for swearing!!!

I do love the challenge of real sand/desert riding but when your doing 60-70kmph and that front end wants to plough like a grader and ya mate zooms pass you at 100kms+...

Great that you had a go and your comment "The mental drive to stand up 96% of the time with the concentration levels peaking..." spot on - how's the thighs?:D

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2 minutes ago, ohmygewd said:

 

Great that you had a go and your comment "The mental drive to stand up 96% of the time with the concentration levels peaking..." spot on - how's the thighs?:D

I stopped a few times on the way home for a break. Getting in and out of the car like a geriatric.

Wasnt sure whether I needed to go for a run or have a radox bath to loosen up when I got home....................The radox bath won.:relax-03:

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Great report and pics Cruiser - covered about 50k Friday and 198K on Sat (for those who did the full ride)  Great bunch of blokes to ride with - thanks to Arbo & Cam for manning the support truck.  BearMX and Tailendcharlie for sweeping.  Keep the pics and videos coming.

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Ok you asked for it.

The Vid of the first 30 odd ks when I was at my least confidant. The battery on my camera doesn't last much longer.

Needed to put the camera on the head of a more proficient rider. 

The camera deceptively does not show the Whoops to there full extent.

 

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Great report Cruiser . Thanks for sharing your experience .  I might have to give it go . I was reluctant thinking the entire group would be desert sand racers and I'd bet the lost kid.  Bit worried about the thighs cramping up though .  I can see this as the ride to do it more than any other.   

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16 minutes ago, PeteV said:

Great report Cruiser . Thanks for sharing your experience .  I might have to give it go . I was reluctant thinking the entire group would be desert sand racers and I'd bet the lost kid.  Bit worried about the thighs cramping up though .  I can see this as the ride to do it more than any other.   

You would of loved this ride Pete. 

Anyone thinking they aren't sure what to do to get bike fit...........This is the answer.

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22 minutes ago, cruiser said:

You would of loved this ride Pete. 

Anyone thinking they aren't sure what to do to get bike fit...........This is the answer.

Not just physically either, Cruiser!!!

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Unless you other blokes on this ride chime in and let us know your experience of the weekend. 

I am going to have to rename the thread to Cruisers Big Desert Ride.

13 hours ago, PeteV said:

Great report Cruiser . Thanks for sharing your experience .  I might have to give it go . I was reluctant thinking the entire group would be desert sand racers and I'd bet the lost kid.  Bit worried about the thighs cramping up though .  I can see this as the ride to do it more than any other.   

But we were Pete. I know the Vid did not do my speed justice.:rolleyes:

Last night I was watching a couple of Vids from others who have ridden the area. First vid clearly competent and monoing every where.

The second Vid. They were planning on camping out after a long distance. 45ks later they were cooked and  took the easier road back to where they started.

So from what I accomplished on this tour. I am very happily sitting in between those two Vids. Actually quite pleased with how it all went.

At one point in the ride. It was considered the furthest point from Yaapeet .(Not sure of distance) Sitting on a ridge with no means of any vehicle getting anywhere near us except another bike or helicopter. It was certainly not the place to be cramping up or having bike issues.

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If i wasn't overweight, unfit, unmotivated etc etc etc. I would have almost thought i was there, after reading all of that.

Best ride report i have read in a long time.

Thanks for sharing and for the pics!!!!

Kudos to all involved, legends!

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Great report guys!!! Looks like lots of fun always had by all....maybe next year I’ll be able to participate!!

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Bruce led a great ride with some tracks I'd never been on. The woops seem to be getting bigger as I get older, the legs are just coming right today. A great group to ride with, hopefully we can showcase some finer weather later in the year for another whirl. After a clean up in the shed I found some O'Neil body armour hanging near the corner bench, a barbie mate and a container, if it's yours give me a message.

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Great report Cruiser.

It wasn't really a typical desert trip - never had a ride there with this sort of weather before. So much water around. Luckily the facilities at Yaapeet are fantastic and we took advantage of keeping out of the rain and cold in the Big Shed with it's fireplace and facilities. Thanks to Tony for the preparation (too bloody good as usual; even brought chocky royals for Bruce).

All up we had another great group rock up including some Big Desert newbies.

For me it started early Friday morning. I was doing well getting there; got loaded and on the road nice and early for the 5hr drive. After a few hours on the road I noticed something flapping on the bike in the mirror. At first I thought a sticker had started to lift but soon realised it was the fuel cap - doh, mustn't of put it back on when I fuelled up a few 100Kms ago. Luckily the breather hose held both at the frame and the cap (wonder what a KTM fuel cap is worth?). Unfortunately it was raining most of the way so I was expecting a bit of water would be in the tank.

The warm up ride was an experience. Bruce took the lead and I rode sweep. I didn't even go a metre before I found a kickstarter; turns out one of the KTMs has a penchant for shedding parts / bolts. 5 of us took off but Dan pulled out early - the sand / whoops always takes a bit of getting in sync with (no point burning out on the warm up ride; he was fine on Saturday's main ride). It was super slick on anything other than deep sand. The bike was a backfiring demon on decel with the water in the fuel and sounded and pulled like a 1960's 2 stroke lawnmower every where else (the sound on the video doesn't do it justice). I also managed to tweak my hip (first time ever; must be getting old or shock / horror even more unfit? Is that even possible?). I think I did it when I bottomed out on one of the whoops which made me struggle to get on the pegs from then on. I managed to ride out the rest of the ride and with the help of some special stuff that cruiser had I fronted Saturday's main ride as well but eventually pulled out at the first fuel stop.

Video is from Friday's warm up; unfortunately didn't have the camera on for Saturday

Friday night I camped in the shed - great to be warm and dry but around 1 in the morning I started to get a sore throat and eyes and couldn't get to sleep. After about an hour I got up and the place was totally full of smoke. The lads had put firewood in front of the fire to dry out and it had caught alight! I reckon I could've died but everyone thinks I was exaggerating. Funny thing is after Cruiser and I aired the place out and cleared up the fire we both were hanging out for a smoke.

Sunday was nice and relaxed; bacon and eggs courtesy of Monski (thanks!). A leisurely drive home (with no hassles or fines; Yay!) and ended up watching a couple of good footy games I had recorded (Magpies and Bulldogs) till I nodded off.

 

 

 

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Great vid bear. I hear what you're saying. I see what you're doing. And it scared the pants off me just watching your front wheel do the sand dance. Awesome stuff mate.

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5 hours ago, BearMX said:

Great report Cruiser.

It wasn't really a typical desert trip - never had a ride there with this sort of weather before. So much water around. Luckily the facilities at Yaapeet are fantastic and we took advantage of keeping out of the rain and cold in the Big Shed with it's fireplace and facilities. Thanks to Tony for the preparation (too bloody good as usual; even brought chocky royals for Bruce).

All up we had another great group rock up including some Big Desert newbies.

For me it started early Friday morning. I was doing well getting there; got loaded and on the road nice and early for the 5hr drive. After a few hours on the road I noticed something flapping on the bike in the mirror. At first I thought a sticker had started to lift but soon realised it was the fuel cap - doh, mustn't of put it back on when I fuelled up a few 100Kms ago. Luckily the breather hose held both at the frame and the cap (wonder what a KTM fuel cap is worth?). Unfortunately it was raining most of the way so I was expecting a bit of water would be in the tank.

The warm up ride was an experience. Bruce took the lead and I rode sweep. I didn't even go a metre before I found a kickstarter; turns out one of the KTMs has a penchant for shedding parts / bolts. 5 of us took off but Dan pulled out early - the sand / whoops always takes a bit of getting in sync with (no point burning out on the warm up ride; he was fine on Saturday's main ride). It was super slick on anything other than deep sand. The bike was a backfiring demon on decel with the water in the fuel and sounded and pulled like a 1960's 2 stroke lawnmower every where else (the sound on the video doesn't do it justice). I also managed to tweak my hip (first time ever; must be getting old or shock / horror even more unfit? Is that even possible?). I think I did it when I bottomed out on one of the whoops which made me struggle to get on the pegs from then on. I managed to ride out the rest of the ride and with the help of some special stuff that cruiser had I fronted Saturday's main ride as well but eventually pulled out at the first fuel stop.

Video is from Friday's warm up; unfortunately didn't have the camera on for Saturday

Friday night I camped in the shed - great to be warm and dry but around 1 in the morning I started to get a sore throat and eyes and couldn't get to sleep. After about an hour I got up and the place was totally full of smoke. The lads had put firewood in front of the fire to dry out and it had caught alight! I reckon I could've died but everyone thinks I was exaggerating. Funny thing is after Cruiser and I aired the place out and cleared up the fire we both were hanging out for a smoke.

Sunday was nice and relaxed; bacon and eggs courtesy of Monski (thanks!). A leisurely drive home (with no hassles or fines; Yay!) and ended up watching a couple of good footy games I had recorded (Magpies and Bulldogs) till I nodded off.

 

 

 

Great report Bear.. would have been nice to ride  with you again... Soon... THX  RIC

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