Loch Sport 17th – 19th June Madcats v Mosquitos
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.
The majority of the weekenders travelled down in the comfort of their cars with their bike either strapped onto trailers or the back of ute’s. With the exception of Up-side Down Dave who rode his Dakar inspired 701 via Mt. Baw Baw in the dark. Often wondered why it’s called MadCats, you gotta love the enthusiasm for two wheels.
I suppose the weekend started when the first beers were opened which was probably just as the sun started to go down. We had a couple to be sociable and then skipped off to the local RSL for a counter meal and then back to the house for more beers. Madcatter’s slowly arrived over the next hour or so. Robbo gave us an insight into what was in store for the following day with a plethora of videos streamed from his laptop onto the big screen. With beer googles on it didn’t look too bad…………..bring on tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow arrived with the smell of bacon, Chef Stolz whipped up a fantastic breakfast fit for Kings or Madcatter’s. Well done Tim. Everyone rolled up their sleeves to make light work of the clear up in eagerness to get out on the bikes. The sun was shining let’s do it.
First Robbo’s briefing………..ok riders, you can either sit or stand and probably best to go fast. Any questions……….no…. let’s go then……..oh and we’ll be doing the hardest bits first!
Off we went in search of sand, a kilometre or so on the blacktop and we turned off down a dirt track where Robbo had found a patch of deepish sand for us all to have a play and attempt to get some sand legs. A few of the horses wanted to lie down immediately and their jockeys allowed them to, no broken bones and the jockeys got the whips out and had those horses under control in no time.
Onwards was the call from ride leader Robbo and off he shot down Waverley Track. Which we soon found out was a track with the deeper, softer sand.
Ok what was Miles Davis’ advice for sand. Get your arse over the back wheel, grip the seat, loose on the bars, look ahead and don’t be shy with your right hand. So far so good. Riders were going good until the first hill, slow down and you’re stuffed as a few found out. Time to help with the recovery, bikes are bloody heavy when you’re helping push them up hill with sand being fired in all directions from spinning wheels. The hill was eventually conquered by all, but as we all know if you go up you’ve got to come down and coming down can be just as tricky.
With all of us ticking of Waverley Track, Robbo led us on to more tracks some with hard packed sand but complacency on these tracks is not recommended as deep sections of sand can be just around the corner or should I say on the corner as was so often the case.
Robbo was having fun. It was plain to see he was reliving his youth on those tracks having spent his younger days at his family’s holiday home in the area. His mate was down for the weekend at his holiday home and joined us for a short blast. One of life’s characters with a story or two to tell. He told us he knew of some tracks that are seldom used and led us off to one, but there didn’t appear to be a track and he disappeared up a hill…in the bush literally. Ok I think we should go this way, Robbo thankfully pointed to a more passable exit.
Leading onto sand tracks through the bush, you could soon get lost through the maze of tracks. Just as well we had local knowledge from our lead rider.
We eventually got onto the Pipeline track aptly named as a pipeline runs along it. This was fast straights with a few humps and kinks, mainly hard packed sand but with sections of deep just to keep your alert. The faster you rode the easier it was and the mosquitos couldn’t keep up!
The Pipeline led us back to the black top and lunch was beckoning at the local Fish n Chip shop. Fed and watered went rode out to 90 Mile Beach for a quick look and see.
The group then broke into two, one group went off to find some tracks in the National Park and four of us, Robbo, Upside Down Dave, Andy Macey and myself headed back to the sand tracks. Waverley Track was our first go to again, however we had chewed it up earlier in the day and it was a lot more challenging. Each of us taking a lie down at least once, all part of the fun though. We had an hour or so blasting around sandy bush tracks to points of interest that Robbo knows of. A great ride so good we voted to do it again the next morning.
Saturday evening was spent at the local clubhouse which was a two minute stroll from the house we stayed in….perfect. Good food and a few beers set us up for more beers back at the house.
Sunday, once again Chef Stolz came up with the goods for breakfast. I’m sure he’ll be delegating on the next trip now he is our President!
Not all riders opted to go out on the bikes on Sunday morning. Either they needed to get away early or were just a bit sore from the day before. Understandable it is a bit tough on the body especially if you’ve taken a few tumbles and not landed gracefully. How is that rib Tim?
As mentioned earlier we voted to do the route the smaller group did the afternoon before. Lots of varied terrain from deep to hard packed sand and many tree roots to navigate. The route took us out places such as Spoon Bay, the old eel farm and Waverley Track.
Loch Sport ticked off we headed off to The Simpson Desert……that’s for another day!
Story: Simon Gregson
Photos: Robert Haines, David McGowan, Damian McGrath,