Back to Index Page

August 2013 Club News

Overland | Swimming | Dirt | Disc | Oz | Bowls | Route 66 | Melbourne | Planes | Newdegate | Calendar | Membership

Swimming in Rocky Gully

by Chris Sainty
pics by John McKinnon

I came away from the recent club ride to Lake Nunijup with a smile on my face. Dan Webb and I enjoyed a beautiful sun-filled morning riding the gravel from Denmark to Mt Barker where we met John McKinnon and Rob Boyes for coffee and cake that we didn’t need but felt we deserved.

Chatting to Bob
Then on to the Lake in time to catch up with those that prefer the sealed roads. Bob Jackson and I had a lovely chat and then it was back to the serious fun of getting home on the dirt. All was fine although the rain started in earnest as we approached Rocky Gully and was absolutely heaving it down by the time we parked under the service station awning for shelter.

A discussion was had between John, Dan and I about which was the best way home. Already wet and up for an adventure I handed the decision to the guys. I can’t tell you exactly where we went but the idea of writing this story is to share the aquatic experience I had on the ride home.
Chris after first excursion off-track.

It happened somewhere south of Rocky Gully on exceptionally slippery clay covered track. Wheel ruts with a few inches of water in them made me head for the higher side of the track, pretty ‘good thinking’ for the first little while and then not so very ‘good thinking’ at all.

Chris emerging from water.With the rear wheel slipping into the water-filled wheel rut I decided that I would be happier with both wheels back on the higher ground, hence the acceleration that brought the rear wheel up out of the rut but threw the front wheel down into it. Oh boy, I’m suddenly tired and not at all interested in wrestling with my bike anymore. Bike to the left, Chris to the right heading for what I thought would be light scrub on the side of the track.

To my surprise I am heading for water. No problems my brain says “Put your hands out”. So I put my hands out, I saw the splash of the water as my palms hit the surface of the water and then waited to feel the bottom of the puddle. As I waited, my head entered the water and as the water entered my helmet, my brain decided that waiting was no longer the best course of action but swimming might be a better idea. Floundering around I eventually found my footing and stood up to watch the water level falling down my visor.

Dan’s hot tea and a piece of Mary’s wonderful fruit cake were served and the ‘what happens in the dirt stays in the dirt’ conversation was had. However I found myself smiling for hours after getting home and decided to share the story with the guys at home. They, like me, found it funny and I hope you find something to smile about each time you take your helmet off.

Harley was moved to poetry after laughing at Chris' story:

When Chrissy was learning to swim
By Harley Trent

The bike she was riding
started it all by sliding,
It went on to a bit of a crash
Then there was a hell of a splash,
It was Chrissy learning to swim.
She was all out of luck
By trying to be a duck.
When she floated to the surface bum first,
Boots, jacket, helmet and all
Full of that smelly swamp water.
When the helmet drained out,
There was a big loud shout,
But the words were not fit to print.
Unless I’m mistaken,
Not a photo was taken,
Of Chrissy learning to swim.
Keep on riding dear and the bladder full!

Back to Index Page