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Old 13-11-2016, 03:29 PM   #1
twowheeler
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Default Offroad school

Wanting to do more rides like last year's Dig Tree, but without the broken bones and punctured organs bit , I decided it was time to learn a little bit about what the hell I'm doing.

It cost $500 to spend the Cup Day weekend at Shane Booth and Chris Urquhart's off-road school. I've yet to regret spending money on training; it's helping make up for a motorbike-free youth and the unconscious skill that brings.

It was based at Myrtleford's Motocross Track and in the hills behind it. What a great part of the world Myrtleford is - no wonder Tim (SF) you've moved there - I stayed in Bright just down the road with friends.


Escaped work early on Friday and rode up via Alexandra & well-policed roads (breathalyzed in Buxton then again in Taggerty) then onto the Whitfield Road.
With all this rain, how green is my valley, just before Broken River -






Bright and early Saturday morning. Heavy bikes, low skills and a motocross track. What could possibly go wrong ? -




We were taught all sorts of basic type skills over the weekend. We didn't learn how to hang the back out in sand at 160kph like Toby Price, but we did learn how to lockup the rear at sane (read, low) speeds to rear-wheel steer which made me feel 10yo on my Malvern Star again, and other stuff like that.

This pickup technique looked crazy easy -




so I tried it and it was -




We did lots of this sort of stuff, all about standing up and clutch/throttle control -




Up into the hills -




And the opposite hill -




That was after being taught hill recovery. Let it stall in 1st, keep engine off, dab the clutch to gradually ease around to 90 degrees, shake the bars to ease the front down the hill, off you go. I suspect it could be a wee bit harder on the side of a cliff with some slimy tree roots thrown in -







Let loose onto the track -




I learnt that listening is easier without earplugs -




The lap record was not in any danger whatsoever -




But it was brilliant fun -




The track surface was gradually improved with the addition of mirrors, indicators, hand-guards and other sundry pieces, and obstacles added in the form of dropped and stalled bikes; glad to say my GS remained unscathed.

It was a top weekend. Shane Booth in particular is a bloody excellent teacher. He has very high bike skills as you'd expect; he's also articulate and can talk at many levels of understanding .


The ride home to come ....
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Last edited by twowheeler; 14-11-2016 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 13-11-2016, 04:00 PM   #2
John & Johnny
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Default Re: Offroad school

Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeler View Post



Boy that pic gives me the willies. You look like you're about to do a high side.

Great tips, thanks.
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Old 13-11-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
twowheeler
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Default Re: Offroad school

Rode home on Monday. The original plan was to go over Mt Hotham and the Dargo High Plains Road, but that was still closed for winter. The forecast was -7deg on Hotham that morning anyway, stuff that.

So with new and possibly unfounded confidence for gravel, I came back on a lower and round-about route, starting with Lake Buffalo -




then the Dandongadale Road -




And its bridges -




Stopped at Paradise Falls which had a bit of water going over -










Had lunch in Cheshunt so it was a relaxed pace so far, time to get a move on. Headed south through Jamieson and onto the Woods Point / Matlock Road, which looks reasonably direct on a 1mm-1km scale map .

Gaffney's Creek stonework -




Spooky looking mine near A1 Settlement -






Not Mt Dandenong's Devil's Elbow -




Nowt wrong with that (Woods Point) -




Maori Creek -




I was surprised how remote-feeling this road becomes past Woods Point, with some real alpine-like viewpoints. It's not that far from Melbourne in a straight line.

Some beautiful timber somewhere near The Triangle, on this random stretch of manicured bitumen that starts and ends nowhere in particular -




Eventually got home at 7:30pm after 9-plus hours. As taught, I'd diligently stood up for all of the gravel, which was lots, and my feet ached for days. May have overdone that bit.
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Last edited by twowheeler; 13-11-2016 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 13-11-2016, 04:54 PM   #4
twowheeler
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Default Re: Offroad school

Quote:
Originally Posted by John & Johnny View Post
Boy that pic gives me the willies. You look like you're about to do a high side
That's a pic of Shane demo'ing. My attempts achieved the same outcome but without the elegance.
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Old 13-11-2016, 05:06 PM   #5
Fuzzy Dunlop
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Default Re: Offroad school

Goodonya. Looked like fun!
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