Our annual Northcliffe ride was here again. A couple of lads did a recon to the river crossing a week earlier after all our summer rain and confirmed it's too deep, so change of route through the bush.
Friday morning all the adventure riders gathered at North Dandalup. Nine sidecars and six solo riders with Kylie on a DR650 the first lady rider to join us.
Head to Dwellingup and head bush through to Collie. Found some interesting tracks and bog holes plus one gravel hill that sidecars had trouble with traction on, requiring energetic pushing to keep them moving. Nothing a cold beer couldnít fix for smoko.
Track not in map book so we keep going till we find a larger road that gets us to Collie for a late lunch then have to move on as need to be at Sunnyside near Bridgetown before dark.
A quick blast through new bitumen road at back of Wellington Dam, past Gnomesville, then Grimwade Ė Greenbushes road to Bridgetown and arrive at 5.30 to be greeted by four more sidecars.
Set up camp in the old hall and find Paulís sidecar mount broken, bugger. Lucky Nick from Bridgetown was out to see us, so back to his shed in the dark to do welding repair with Noahís welder.
Dodgy repair completed back to camp and dinner, then a few ales before crashing. Sure enough they all arise at 6 am, even though departure time is 8.30.
Nick arrives to lead us on what turns out to be one of the most interesting and fun rides through the bush to Northcliffe.
It took 200km and six hours of it criss-crossing the highway three times. Fire breaks - rail access tracks - forestry roads - logging roads and abandoned tracks.
The further south we ride the wetter ground was, so some great drifting to be had on sidecar.
Norm broke his shocky mount so we headed down the tar, then Paul got a stick through his oil cooler. Into Warren National Park and come across an old timber trestle bridge in good nick. Pass the local ranger who couldnít believe his eyes as we slide past him.
With 1km to go and bogged in nasty greasy slop. Out with the strap and many hands pull sidecars through. Kylie nearly hi-sides the 650, but pulls up neatly. Drain her carbie as got some water in and continue to pub, to be greeted by another forty or so old boys who rode from all over the State to catch up with mates. Too many beers and lies later itís time to head home Sunday morning. Note: should have gone to bed earlier than 2.30am, Kylie.
Up Deeside Coast Road and cut through to Boyup Brook on some great tracks and come across the old fire lookout. After 5 flat tyres we leave Paul and mates to it and arrive home at 4pm.
Canít wait till next year and do it again. Growing old canít be helped, but growing up is optional!