Ride leader                               John Papas
Sweep                                    Ray Parlanti 
Brett Grabham 
Dean West
Damien McGrath 
Trevor Bastin 
Tony Mylius
Paul McKenzie
Alan Casey
Bryan O’Donoghue 
Mark Womersley 
Phillip Mason 
Peter Whitmore 
Christian Wichmann

Norden 901  
CRF 300
KTM 890
Husky 501
T 700
KTM 690
KLR 650
DR 650
Royal Enfield
CRF 300
KTM 450
T 700
Husky 701

All participants met at McDonalds Wallan with bikes fueled up, keen to ride.

The first business of the day was to chat with Jeff, Hal, Pete and Bob who were all heading off on the big adventure to Cape York. Hal and Jeff are then going from Cairns to Darwin with the BMW Safari. Afterwards heading back via Daily Waters Tennant Creek, Mt Issa, Birdsville, Maree and then home via Adelaide. Good Luck Men. 

 John then gathered the riders to commence the pre-ride briefing which was concise and straight to the point. We then filed out of the car park in an orderly manner using the corner marker system along the transport section. 
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.
It wasn’t long before we encountered our first challenge. A tight single track with a loamy soil surface. This track was lightly wooded and you could see all the bikes snaking through this section. I did see a couple of unnamed riders taking shortcuts through here. 
The method of riding this track was on the pegs, balancing throttle and clutch control. Especially on the bigger bikes. I thought this was going to be a long day and wondered how long this was going to last. But before long we had completed this section. 
On we went! The tracks remained interesting all the way until our lunch break at Heathcote. A pie and a coffee were appreciated.

Once lunch was complete we headed out of town and it was not long before the tracks became enjoyable, fast and flowing. But wait, the corner man directed us under John’s instructions to John’s current favourite “Catch them out” track, otherwise known as ‘Slippery as Shit track”. 
This method of riding requires good balance, light throttle and definitely, little to no braking. Throttle on and the back is gone. Front brake on and you are heading for a face plant. Jump on the rear and you are destined to disappear. 
Today it claimed 3, so there was some assistance required and a regroup at the end of the track. Discussions took place as to how some managed to stay on their bike and explanations as to why some didn’t. 

Once the debrief was complete we soldiered on. Energy was rejuvenated and at a high. We were totally warmed up. More nice fast-flowing, exceptional tracks. Through some farm sections and a nice climb up to the top of the mountain. 
I pulled up to mark the corner in a similar fashion to the way my Blue Healer marks a corner. Brett & Ray were kind enough to indulge me in this luxury pause and then off we went. Winding up to the top of Tallarook overlooking the valley of 1000 hills. Just spectacular. It was at this point that Brett found his mojo on his new bike. I was increasing my speed and all the while maintaining a view of Brett in the rearview mirrors. He kept up with me all the way to the top “You Beauty”!

Another regroup and John was clearly assessing the group’s ability throughout the ride. He decided to throw in some additional tracks as a sign of his confidence in our ability. Thank you for the additional challenge, John.
Some steeper downhill and uphill sections were added for additional interest. It was at the top of one of the steep descents that Paul’s Dog Rooter, aptly named, decided it liked the look of Damos T7. I think the DR thought the T7 was a Dalmatian or something because the Dog Rooter tried to mount the T7 twice before coming off second best. The T7 obviously wasn’t all that interested with the over-enthusiastic attention.
Once Paul was reacquainted with his DR the descent was completed with relevant ease. There were some more awesome little sections to complete the ride with a quick stop off to regroup and then depart. 
Thank you so much John for another excellent day of riding. To Ray for his patient and professional approach to his sweeping duties. To Brett for his first real ride on his beautiful new bike. (Congrats Brett) and to all participants for their riding ability, friendship and laughter. 
Also thank you to Tony Mylius for the great YouTube video: Madcats Redcastle Rumble

By Peter Whitmore