2018 Wall to Wall Remembrance Ride

By 5th October, 2018Video

 

Wall to Wall Remembrance Ride 2018 Video Transcript

Alright, let’s go.

I can’t think of too many times when a small bunch of motorcycle adventurers get a police escort through the city and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But this small contingent of adventure riders are part of a much bigger event involving thousands of motorcyclists from all over Australia. It’s September and time for the police family and their friends to remember those that have fallen in the line of duty. In a couple of days we will all converge on The Canberra Police Wall of Remembrance and pay our respects. For us over the next five days we will ride a less travelled route and cover 1800 kilometres of trails, dirt roads and blacktop in the central western planes of New South Wales.

On our first day, we’re heading to Gulgong and it’s great to be off the blacktop and into the dirt and into the country, but the country is doing it tough and the whole state is in the grip of one of the worst droughts in a long time. From high overhead the countryside looks like a collection of brown stamps, so it came as a bit of a surprise when somehow we managed to find the only mud hole in a thousand kilometres. Actually, it wasn’t so much a mud hole but a muddy lane that had lots of trips and traps that kept you on your toes. The mud was indiscriminate about the capacity of bike it was going to trap and the first to fall was Kat on her Yamaha WR250R, the beamer riders looked a little apprehensive, because recovering from going arse overhead for them would be a whole lot more effort. And the Suzuki DRZ400 rider whizzed past and wondered what all the fuss was about.

He’s through the crusty DR mouth.

On tracks like these, you sometimes have to commit to a course of action and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

He’s lining up and he’s made a decision. Here he goes, beautifully executed, oh.

But when you lose like this, you qualify for a slow-motion replay. Now this wasn’t my smartest decision and i could have easily ended up covered in orange mud, but fortunately luck shined on me on this occasion.

At Gulgong we will be met by Greg Jager and his crew from rideadv.com.au. This is a navigational ride and Greg provides us with some brilliant trails as well as rider support. And the riding support came in handy pretty early when my riding buddy Felipe finished the day on the back of a truck after an electrical problem.

Well, I’ve never been a zero rider before and I’m going out with the master, Crash.

Day two and we’re heading from Gulgong to Parkes. I’ve been asked by Greg to become a zero rider with a bloke called Crash who’s riding a Yamaha Super Tenere. I’m not sure how he got his name, but our job is to go out first and mark any hazards or dangers with orange flags.

This day is very much about big flat country and it’s the ideal place for big twins like the Super Tenere and Beamers.

There’s Crash doing his duty. Just go back up the road a bit and come down and see what you think.

Yeah, really good.

They say four wheels moves your body, but that it’s two wheels that moves your soul. And although these riding conditions were not challenging I enjoyed watching the scenery change and taking in the sounds and smells of this big country. Time for thinking and reflecting and not a mobile phone in sight.

It’s lovely and green, but there’s no dams with water in them.

No, this is only just, we had about 26 mm and that’s just brought a bit of a green tinge up. But there’s no runoff or anything.

No, I’ve noticed that. Some places have completely missed it all together.

Oh absolutely. Where we got that they might’ve got 3.

Yeah, well good luck.

Thank you very much.

At times the country looks surprisingly green, the legacy of brief localised downpours. But the dams were empty and as we headed south-west, the land was dry, brown and desolate. In these tough conditions the farmers were under pressure to keep their stock in good condition, and were taking their herds on the move in search of food. And this is another reason why i love adventure riding, breaking away from my rhythm of life and gaining a glimpse of what’s important to others. Back in the city we turn on a tap and the water flows, but out here their whole life and livelihood is reliant on rain. And we can see that right now they are vulnerable.

For lunch Greg tips us into a fast flowing trail that gets us on our toes and brings a smile to our face. It’s a pleasant change to be off the big straights, but it wasn’t long before we were back on them.

Fuel and then food at the Rabbit Trap Hotel, steak sandwiches were the order of the day with a side serving of bench racing.

Stewie, how was today?

Awesome. Awesome, them tracks, didn’t expect those tracks. I thought it would be all flat and level, but it was really really, it was great, great. Good on you Greg, he’s come through again hasn’t he.

He does, he always does. A Parliament of BMWs. There’s two bikes that have upset the equilibrium here. Ever reliable Yammy WR250R

Stewart I didn’t steal anybody’s food, this is mine.

Very guilty there Bruce.

The little 250s had acquitted themselves well in the open conditions, but this bloke on his Triumph Triple couldn’t help but crack open the throttle in front of the camera.

We arrived in Yass in the early afternoon after clocking up over 450 kilometres for the day. It was an easy ride, but a rewarding one.

Mark from Sydney. Jonno from Sydney. Andros from Estonia. Michael from Sydney. Steve from Sydney. John from Sydney. Kat from Sydney. Bruce from Sydney. I’m Mal from Canberra. Phillip from Maroubra. Alex from Sydney. Mount Wombat from Sydney. Vic, Sydney. Harry from Blue Mountains. Mark from Sydney. Phil from Bega. Ross from Bega. Mark from Sydney. Greg from Sydney. Stewart from Berrilee. Stew from Sydney. Greg. Steve from Sydney. Peter from Sydney. Brett from Morisset. Crash from Sydney.

Beautiful, and I’m Dave and we’re on the wall to wall adventure ride, Day 3. John from Sydney and Fiona from Berry. Hey Barry wind down your window.

I’m Barry from Gosford.

Beautiful. We’re in.

Day three and we’re riding from Parkes to Yass with a total distance of around 350 K’s. The morning starts like yesterday with big, long straights and flat farm country, but later in the day we enter some hills that hold a few surprises that keep us occupied and entertained.

But in the early morning we move from the farmland into the forest and the combination of dust, kangaroos and stock kept us vigilant, shedding off some speed and covering our breaks. The dust eventually underpinned what was a huge get off by one of the Beamer Riders.

Mate your bikes looks like it needs a wheel alignment. You all right?

Yeah, yeah, Nah I’m good.

What’d you hit?

That bump over there.

It’s a big bump.

Yeah, I was following a truck and the Triumph, and the Triumph moved to the right, so I thought, I’ll follow the Triumph. And we both hit the sand.

So what have you done?

I’ve beep, beep, beep beep beep beeped it.

You wanted to avoid dust when you could. Unfortunately, I overshot this navigation point and one of my long-time riding buddies Mal got in front on his adventurised Beta 500 and he took off like a scolded cat.

Mal and I haven’t ridden together for ages and riding side by side in the open country at a reasonable speed was a great moment to share.

Later in the day I caught up with Crash on his Yamaha Super Tenere in the hills heading towards Yass. Considering the roughness of the track we were clipping along at a fair pace. The Super 10 was easily handling the rocky trial and the odd surprise. Those black things flopping along behind his luggage are his dress up thongs.

Just before Yass we headed back out into the open stuff. The Yellow of the canola looked stunning against the backdrop of green, but when you get up close you realise it’s just not as dense and lush as it is when it’s watered well.

Day four, Yass to Gunning via Canberra, for those that were attending the police remembrance ride. Later in the morning we would head to the west of Canberra, into the fantastic Brindabella Ranges where Greg would provide a breakout section for more skilful riders that would include some steep hill descents and climbs, equivalent to what you’d find in some parts of the Victorian High Country.

The ride out to the Brindabella’s was not without its challenges.

No, it’s not a Boy Scout camp. Something’s going on here, Andros what’s happened?

My tyres flat.

Flat tyre, with big hole in.

Big crack here somewhere.

Yeah, right there.

Ah, you’re making a lining my friend.

Yep, I think it’s the way to go.

Andro’s flat tire highlighted one of the advantages of a supported ride, spare tubes, mechanical advice, spare tires and a complete truck lift if the bike is stuffed. Fortunately, the boys were on their way pretty quickly.

Felip and Harry were making up time fast when I hooked in behind them. Felipe on his KPM 690 was chasing Harry on his Yammy WR250R. These guys were enjoying the twisty twin trail in the Brindabella’s, and it would be fair to say they weren’t dawdling. And the little 250, it was holding its own.

With well-formed erosion mounds assisting to have your two wheels leave Mother Earth pretty regularly. The steeper sections of the Brindabella’s very much reminded me of the Victorian High Country. With steep descents, almost always finishing in a lovely water crossing before you get back on the gas for the next hill climb.

I spent some time riding with Andros who is from Estonia and over here for a couple of years. He’s ridden his Yamaha Tenere all over the country and it hasn’t missed a beat.

We’re on the final kilometres of dirt before heading into Canberra to participate on the police remembrance ride.

These aren’t bikes, these look like houses.

It’s not until we reached the form up point for the final leg of the police remembrance ride do we get an appreciation of the enormity of this event. Thousands of riders from all over Australia have ridden to this point on this day to remember fallen mates. To be a part of the final ride out to Canberra Police Remembrance Wall is a moving experience and I spent that time thinking about Paul Katsivelas and Craig Zakety [inaudible 00:15:02], colleagues and mates that were killed in the prime of their lives while serving the community.

What a ripper of a day to go adventure riding.

Our fifth and final day of riding and we’re heading back to Sydney. But we will complete this ride with more than what we came with. New friendships have been forged on the back of our shared love of adventure motorcycling.

In our final briefing with Greg we share some laughs, but behind those smiles we appreciate the effort Greg and his team have put in to provide us a cracking five-day adventure.

If you decide to pull out today, if you get to Taralga or somewhere and you decided you’re going to marry a girl you met there in the street, just send us a text so we don’t go looking for you. Seriously it’s a beautiful town.

I know a bloke who married a girl from Taralga.

Yeah I went in Taralga once and there was no one there, it was just empty and I drove around to the little oval, and the oval was full. And I went over to the bloke that was on the gate and I said what’s going on, he said footy grand final. I said who’s here, he said, everybody, I said, you’ve made a killing, he said, Nah they all got in on the one family pass.

Last day of the wall to wall. I’m a bit sad, it’s been a cracking ride. A cracking bunch of people to ride with too. It’s been fantastic.

Greg’s final gift was the iconic Wombeyan Caves Road which winds through a dramatic landscape of rugged bush. No room for overcooking these corners, unless of course you have a parachute.

This was a great way to finish up a unique five-day adventure ride, that had provided us with a constantly changing landscape.

If you’d like to ride with Greg and his crew, look up the rideadv.com.au website for more details. RideADV is proudly supported by Yamaha Australia, it welcomes all brands of bikes to these events.

 

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