Cup Day, Keppel and Whisky Creek Hut Ride Report

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.

Seven of us made the start and we were slightly delayed when new member Judd and his new-to-him KTM640 Enduro starting pissing oil from places I didn’t know oil pissed from. The mood was still high as guys with a lot more knowledge than me reckoned it was fixable. Of course, it was fixed and we were off, with surprisingly little time lost.

A beautiful run to Marysville to say hi to Wayne and family. It was funny to see Wayne not wearing bike gear and looking very relaxed.
It was time to do some riding. We meandered in the warm weather dusty roads until our first intermediate track – Tweed Spur Road. This ‘Road’ was heaven, second and third gear, slow and steady, watching your line but nothing that was overwhelming. Just so much fun. Rob radioed to me at the back, making sure I was OK but I was making sure I kept my own pace and enjoying every bump and little slide. I caught up with rest of the group waiting on the other side of a felled tree. Not a big tree where you need to get out the saw. Just big enough for me to perform my log crossing in front of 6 very skilled riders. Not glorious but I didn’t fall!

After running into a few large fallen trees we re-routed and headed down a couple more fun and challenging tracks to make it to Keppel Hut for lunch.

Rested and watered, we headed off and instantly found our track of the day. McFadyen Track. Steep rocky dusty tracks then made way for flat grassy rocky tracks which made way for steep, rocky, grassy, muddy tracks… well, you get the idea.

Rob declared that this track was definitely a grade 5 difficulty. It was academic at this stage as we were on it and the way out was to go forward. The group was upbeat and committed and slowly pushed through with a few small offs and bike drops.

We gave the second hut a miss as the track was a bit too tricky for what was now late afternoon.
A beautiful ride down Reefton Spur finished the day. The idea of beer at the Reefton Hotel vanished when we arrived to a pub with no power. The power outage from the storm a week before still affecting them.
Thanks to Robbo for a great ride. I knew I wanted to push myself and my skills and you certainly provided that for me and then some. Thanks to the boys for being helpful and positive all day.

By Damian McGrath

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