2023-10-30 Madcats Loose in Laos
If we thought this was going to be a predominantly off-road ride, we were about to be disappointed. Apart from an exciting level 3+ excursion for 20 minutes or so to a remote village, we stuck to main or secondary roads which were ‘sealed, although sealed is completely overstating it. Following the monsoons that had just ended, the ‘roads’ were in poor condition, with large sections of dusty, loose, corrugated gravel. All sections of the road had a multitude of potholes, some with their own postcode. This was more a motorbike tour of Laos than an off-road ride, but it suffered not at all for being that. The scenery is remarkable, with the jagged limestone karats slashing the skyline like shards of broken glass. This is a country of predominantly mountains, jungle and rivers.
Our steel horses are Honda 250CRF, and very capable they are. Like the Royal Enfield in the Himalayas, these bikes are very much at home in the Laotian habitat. Lightweight, plenty of ground clearance but still easy to touch the ground with both feet, well-shod with off-road knobbies, some with a sonorous pipe, with Damo’s being the envy of us all. With a throaty burble that quickens the blood, he was a man who strode the world stage like a Colossus. Tapped out at about 110 clicks on a slight downhill with a tailwind if you wring its neck, the bikes nevertheless had sufficient power most of the time, even with a 25-40 L tail bag on the rear. Super reliable and virtually indestructible. Micky D wanted to take his home.
Not a Madcat ride, but a Madcat story
The real reason for this write-up is Rolf doing the Sunraysia Safari Rally in 2023 and his account of the event. Only a surprising 3 years after the Loch Sport #1 ride. This achievement just after sharing a ripper adventure with good mates, some fellow Madcats, riding Googs track and further north ending up crossing Simpson desert. Then, nerv-rackingly, rushed back to Melbourne to get ready for the Rally.
2023-09-17 ORANGE IS MY FAVOURITE COLOUR
Today’s ride organised by the veteran Trevor B generated so much interest the club was almost required to contact Ticketek in an effort to manage entry numbers. Due to the unprecedented interest, the rider count was raised above the typical value allowing up to 20 riders to participate.
Eighteen riders committed to arrive at Beechworth bakery by 8:30 a.m. The car park was engulfed with Madcat members and their bikes. No bravery was required this morning, the day was shaping up to be one of the best in months as winter begins to taper off.
2023-05-19 High Country Bushranger
Close your eyes and you’ll hear it. The way each Robbo-production starts: “G’day, Rob here”…When I came up with the idea to run the Bushranger ride, I didn’t intend on running it this close to winter. But boring life stuff happens which meant that late May was the earliest I could muster, and that is what it would be.
In the days leading up to the ride there was news of fresh snow flurries atop the very mountain ranges that we would be crossing, so it was decided that we should ditch the bush camping — which was met with, well, very little resistance actually — and go for cabins instead.
On a cold drizzly morning at Warburton I was met by Trevor, Peter, Anthony, and Mitch — all sporting several layers of thermals and waterproof coverings. We then blasted off up the Reefton spur to Cumberland junction. The trip through Matlock to Licola was on regular dirt roads, uneventful other than slippery in places due to the persistent drizzle.
2023-07-22 Red Castle Rumble
The day was overcast and cold, with no rain but only 8°C so the transport section to the start of the track was pretty cold. It dropped to 7°C for a while. All riders were compliant and held their positions throughout this session.
Once we hit the dirt they continued to hold their positions. For the first while the roads were fairly pedestrian, but wait we knew this wouldn’t last. The tracks became tighter and a little more challenging as we progressed through the ride.
2023-06-24-THE ACHERON RIVER RIDE
With a preceding week of cold and rainy weather, nine brave Madcat Adventurers were under no illusion of the conditions we would face on the “Acheron River Ride”.
Arriving at our meet point in Yarra Glen we had a good mix of Adv bikes and their owners ready for whatever this ride had coming.
Dean and Craig on the Gen3 KLR’s
Ray and Bryan on CRF 300’s
Clinton on his new and highly modded CRF 450 weapon
Alan on his trusty Himalayan (V2.0)
John and his DRZ 400 setup in Supermoto spec running a 17” front
Wael on the big Triumph Explorer 1200
And our sweep Russell on his Africa Twin
2023-07-01 The Nugget Run
Recently, we have had quite a few cold, wet weeks in Victoria. It has rained most days and the temperatures never really climb above 12 degrees. So why not do the illogical – buckle our boots, throw our legs over our bikes and ride! After all, it’s just a level 2 ride. What could possibly go wrong?
The day started by meeting at the Romsey Ampol. Brett has been sidelined for a bit, so we were delighted to see him arrive in Romsey on his brand new KTM 890 Adventure R! We were saddened to learn he would not be joining the ride. Rather, he was there for two other reasons: (1) make us all envious and wishing we had new bikes again; and (2) deliver some club merch to Benji. Cue the first moment of madness for the day.
2023-03-04 Mazcats do Marysville
“Repetition is an essential part of learning”, or so Rosie claimed in his ride description before taking us on the ride earlier this year. It all started innocently enough, with him announcing that the ride would focus on learning. But then, in the middle of the afternoon loop, Rosie, who always seems to have a “great idea”, suggested a more challenging track. The group eagerly agreed, not knowing that his track evaluation skills were far from accurate and the group were about to face the infamous “Marysville Mayhem”.
2023-03-10 Open Roads Rally ’23
I can now relate to teenage Elvis Presley walking into the revival tent getting swooped up by the feeling of something so overwhelming to an individual. My knees buckled. “Rubber-leg” dance moves over each whoop. Weightless rider. Women leaping to the air screaming. The authorities desperate to shut me down. The Rally organisers futile attempted to contain me.
You see…I was fortunate enough to be hosted at Airbnb PW. A ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ host. A host with vision, generosity and an all-around great spirit. Between our host and his trusty sidekick (aka the ladies’ man), we were spoilt with a pre-determined menu of burgers, schnitzel, sausages, and bacon-egg rolls. The Esky’s was like Spotify’s genre of music. A playlist of never-ending chilled thirst-quenching liquids.
We all gathered at McDonnalds Whittlesea for the beginning of a great ride. There was much excitement and interest in Ian and Anthony’s new stead’s as the came on matching Aprillia Touregs adding another vehicle to the Madcat menagerie. They looked the part and. Now it was time to prove there worth.
The ride was rated a 3-4 meaning a solid day out with steep ish ups and Downs with a couple of steep hills making it occasionally quite a challenging, the good news was there were planned work around a for people to choose if they desired.
2022-12-17-matlock woods point day ride
The last ride for 2022 was a re-run of an easy ride that was first done very early in the clubs’ existence. The roads leading east of the Yarra Valley are made for Adventure: wide, well gravelled, mostly un-corrugated but with a sprinkling of pot holes to keep you on your toes.
As I sit here to write this, we’re almost in Feb now, with the silly season having taken its toll, I’m doing my best to recall the finer detail of this ride! This will be a brief report.
2023-01-15 Bishop’s Backyard Ride
This ride is now fondly remembered as the Banished Bishop Ride, due to the Cathedral Ranges State Park being closed as a result of recent landslides. Not to be disappointed, a substitute route around the closed tracks was quickly devised.
2022-09-16 Riding the roof of the world..
…Day 4 and 5 and our group is in awe of the sheer majesty and scale of the mountains. At their base are valleys that meander through the lunar landscape, and braided rivers that are now a green-blue colour. No one is unaffected by their surroundings, and in a group where shit-talking has been to the fore over the previous few days, a quiet reverence has taken over. Words fail to describe a remarkable landscape, and each is lost in his own thoughts as we ride…
2022-06-16 Road To Nowhere.
Well, we know where we’re goin’
It was a cold and windy day my friends and we were on a road to nowhere. I believe this is was repeat circuit that was instigated by Tim our current president.
Tim’s rides have a musical theme and you’ll see a pattern if you look back over past ride reports.
A mix of old and new members ,12 in all, gathered at the Kinglake meeting point. Once the formalities of the briefing concluded we headed down to Castella on a beautiful twisty road which lead us to our first section of dirt. Turning off the Melba Hwy it was evident that this is a popular spot for off road bikes with single track heading off in all directions. We were traveling well as a group but the side track we were on was getting narrower and a little slippery. Riders were taking it easy and going their own pace.
Click here for the full ride report
2022-07-08 WAW – Murray Sunset / Big Desert Bash
The riding we did on this day cultivates happiness. The stuff of dreams. The ride that has made so many give up a day job and go travel the world. Mixture of surfaces, mixture of speed. Whoops with close calls. Sights that presents unseen. After this day, for this trip the sun has set for us in the Murray ’till 2023. For tomorrow we pack up and return home.
“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”
– Australian Aboriginal Proverb
2022-04-23 Gone Bush
We plan so many great rides in the Madcat club, but sometimes you just want to sit in the bush, in a chair, in front of a fire. So that’s it. I had the idea for my Gone Bush ride. I posted the ride on the Madcat website long before I knew where we were going, or how we were going to get there. But the idea was solid. The location was out there somewhere, I just had to find it.
2022-02-15Madcat (Tas)mania 2022 – Ride Report
The Madcat Tasmania Trip was initiated by our President and Founder – Ian Ribchester. Originally booked for March, the scheduling of the 2022 Targa Rally meant we decided to pull it forward by a month. In late 2021, up to nine members had indicated their interest in attending. Due to personal reasons, and the ongoing spectre of COVID-19 closures the final attending numbers settled at six.
Riders and bikes
Ian Ribchester – 2019 BMW F850GS
Ed Van Der Wissel 2011 BMW R1200GS
Masoud 2017 Kawasaki Versys 300
Ben Hercus 2017 Suzuki 650 V-Strom
Tim Stolz 2018 KTM 790 Adventure R
Andrew Robertson 2021 BMW F850GS
2022-07-02 Ruffy is not so tuffy ride
This ride was held on the 2nd of July 2022 and had a total of 15 riders join in. I performed the role as Lead Rider on the Norden 901, whilst Dean undertook Sweep Rider duties on his new and embankment resistant KLR 650.
This is a fantastic turn out by the club during winter and is indicative of the commitment by those ‘hard core’ adventure riders that call themselves MADCATS.
2022-06-18 MADCAT vs Mosquito. Loch sport sand tracks 4
Quite often my wife will say to me in a disapproving kind of way, “when the hell are you going to grow up”. I suppose when I tell her I’m going away for the weekend with a bunch of blokes to play in the sand, I don’t really have a leg to stand on. But you know what it goes in one ear and straight out of the other one. It was heaps of fun and I’m sure its medicinal in an odd way. Let’s keep on riding.
2022-04-25 Social Touring Ride Ride Report
We wondered if anyone else was up for a leisurely run on ANZAC day? I reckoned that a few people had not so much to do on Monday other than mowing the lawn or desperately need to escape the kids long weekend at the end of the school holidays that just seemed ONE DAY TOO LONG?
The idea was some light off-road (unsealed road / gravel), take in some nice views over the hills and the dam, stopping at every scenic point we can for a photo and a chin wag, and then have a nice lunch at 1pm somewhere. After that it could be tar home or take another scenic route back.
2022-02-26 Toombon Haunted Huts
…After lunch, it was time for The Toombon Haunted Huts group to peel off and the “daywalkers” returned for a lazy afternoon ride back home. No time for a siesta if you Toombon Haunted Huts group. Are we Mexi-can’s or Mexi-can’ts? Let’s kick things into another gear. Spooky route alternative day one on the menu, thank you. ..
2021-07-14 VP OUTBACK TRIP
A plan was hatched and I posted a vague trip itinerary up on the Madcat chat channels, hoping to get maybe 4 or 6 people interested. Would you believe I ended up with 15 excited riders locked in and paid up? I didn’t, but I can tell you I was pretty happy!
And thus, the VP Outback Trip committee was formed. It is worth noting that not one of us planning the trip were born here!
Wayne R (Amazing Author) – In charge of accommodation, meals and beers; clueless with tech.
Rolf – Route Creator and all-round tech guru
Christian – Route Creator and all-round tech guru
And here we are, what could possibly go wrong with such great looking and smart blokes in charge?
2022-02-05 Murrindindi / Toolangi – U-Turns, Dropped Bikes & Horrible Hills
This was a last-minute ride posted by Wayne, which promised nothing more than to be of unknown difficulty, and with a route which probably wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be followed.
2022-01-22 Rocky Mountain High Ride
… A truly speccy find. Hues of blue as your eye travels north over the ridge lines of several ranges. And the hut, set in a meadow above the snowline, dotted with summer daisies, granite boulders, tough and tortured snow gums, small in stature, hardy in nature. Pure unadulterated magic. Well worth the sphincter- tightening 10 min side trip off the Circuit road….
2022-01-04 ANDY MACEY, SOLO RIDE.
Partly because the weather wasn’t looking terrible and partly due to FOMO about the mental as anything ride I did head out for a ride today. I learnt several things….
1) Riding from 0630am to 1830pm is too much riding.
2) Don’t try tracks just for the sake of trying tracks as you won’t actually get where you intended to. Just waste a lot of time on dead ends and unsuitable for an adv bike tracks.
3) If your internal voice is saying things like
“it doesn’t look too bad if you stay on the right” it probably is too bad.
4) Being somewhere between Matlock and Noojee and nearly out of fuel causes anxiety.
Click here for the full ride report
2022-01-02 MENTAL AS ANYTHING
While it was only a few days short of being a legitimate last-minute ride, this trip was inspired by a club member’s post of a local enduro rider smashing out the Tinger Spur Track. Damian posted the Youtube Clip on 20 December on Madcat Slack, and by Christmas Eve Tim had the bones of an overnighter mapped. The ride was quickly christened, and in the current nomenclature was blessed with “Mental As Anything”, name-dropping the track I’m on a Road to Nowhere. However a quick check of MAA’s discography fails to find a track so named…so either he was thinking of Talking Heads, who, to be fair, could be pretty ‘mental’… or maybe there were any number of Mental tracks he was channelling
2021-11-19 MADCATTERS T- PARTY INAUGURAL AGM WEEKEND
1 week to go and the BOM forecast looked like a nice day for the wetlands of Scotland, not good for our intrepid heroes trying to celebrate their recently returned freedoms. Reverse Indian rain dances were performed by a native South American with an injured knee to please the Gods of Rain and eventually, with 1 day to go, the sky turned clear, with some clouds, but no rain.
2021-11-05 MARTIN’S LOCH SPORT SAND TRACK PRACTICE
It is a weird sensation when your expensive, well-balanced adventure bike becomes squirmish underneath you. Like a lizard tail hurrying across the desert sand. Even scary when it happens the 1st time. What the , is my front wheel lose? Are my tires flat? My handlebar has come undone? The lads on Facebook debated 50/50 Motoz, 10W fork oil and full synthetic. Lying bastards!
2021-11-02 CUP DAY KEPPEL AND WHISKY CREEK HUT
When Rob posted his Cup Day Keppel and Whiskey Creek hut ride, I knew I had the day off, and I knew I wanted to do some harder rides. Surely I squeezed into the requirement of ‘Intermediate to Advanced’? I knew my bike had qualified, 50/50 tyres – check, Bash plate – check, BYO tools and tubes – check. ‘Bugger it’ I though I’m going, so I sat my intermediate arse on my bike and off I went to the meeting place in Yarra Junction.
2021-10-23 WE ARE BACK
After spending the last 11 weeks or so in lockdown, I missed the joking and banter that was part of a MADCAT ride, Riding alone is better than not riding at all, but it’s nothing like riding with the club. We’re back!.
Click here for the full ride report
2020-02 JAMIESON/KEVINGTON RIDE
This was a big one, with a big story which I will try and recount the best that I can.
The reccy ride
This trip was well planned, a pre-ride was completed in a day by MADCAT President Ian and Vice President Wayne without incident, so running this ride as an overnight club event was going to be easy right?… right?
2021-06-19 The Steppenwolf Ride
Two weeks of lockdown and primitive travel restrictions saw the Madcats with their claws out. Add to that the better disappointment of a postponed outback trip for over a dozen members, and frustrations were growing… as demonstrated by some of the weird exchanges on SLACK. As Hunter. S. Thompson said “when the going gets weird… the weird turn pro”. Plenty of evidence of that.
2021-03-27 THE BOB SEGER RIDE
After a dreamy low- 20’s temperature the day before the Bob ride, the heavens opened in Melbourne about 7am on 27th March and it looked for all the world like a miserable mid-winters day as six hardy souls, of the original 17, sloshed their way out to our rendezvous point at Yarra Junction for a three-day-ride on mixed surfaces. At its conception, it was, in the mind’s eye, imagined to be a mid-Autumn ride, when the weather is at its balmy best: warm still days, dry roads, native bush, a campground on a river, and a hearty pub meal each night.
2021-01-07 Loch Sport Sand tracks #2
Loch Sport Sand Tracks – After the success of the first event, and for the benefit of those who could not attend the first time — We present: Loch Sport Sand Tracks #2 – Jan 2021
2020-12-13 END OF ISO
End Of ISO – Ironically, was the name given to this ride originally when it was planned before Victoria’s second lockdown. 8 Members attended the ride for its second innings, it seemed fitting to end the year with this ride — we hope NEVER to be in lockdown or Isolation again!
2020-11-28 Ride Report – Alpine Run
After the COVID lockdown caused the cancellation of this ride originally, 14 members were keen to get out on the road for Damien Tammer’s “The Ride formally known as the Cup Day Alpine Run”
2020-12-05 Beginners practice day 1
Training day were we focus on slow riding, body position, tight cornering, brakes control, and all those little skills that can be overlooked and not practice enough, but can save you in any ride.
We also test the real flavor of Adventure Rides when we have to help a member of the club and teamwork worked perfectly.
Practice was done in Pheasant Creek.
2020-11-21 Sneaky overnighter. Heading up to Big River.
To describe a bit how the trip was , we need to quote one of our member, Martin:
“Hard to say what I enjoyed the most this weekend. Was it the excitement to see a new area that I was introduced to? Was it the spectacular camp, the lucky great spot find within the spectacular camp? Was it the cool bubbling creek just 10 m away from where we slept? Was it the open fire under beaut sky? Was it the sizzling Brazilian BBQ meat prepared to perfection? The chicken, licken dinner? The brekky egg roll? Or, was it the excitement of the whole camp as the MADCAT riders pulled in with pipes roaring and growling? Kids stopping in their tracks. The onlookers getting upright from their seated position to gaze upon the lucky few who dare to tour, camp, live. Thanks!”
2020-09-21 First official Madcat meeting
2020-09-07 And it’s almost ready
2020-06-26 We have a page in our website to add news. Who would have thought eh?