Salt creek camp

A large number for this popular camp this year, with good weather forecast & 3 families taking advantage of the cabins to make 19 ½ riders for Saturday (Jeff took son Ben on the back) & 5 wives & various kids & 3 dogs.

New guy Dennis was on a brand new 650 berger which all were interested to see. Started on time at 0930 & 1k later Paul was down in the gloop, didn’t know what had hit him – slippery stuff that clay.

5 k’s further on & Jeff had to remount the pillion pegs for Ben as they were slipping around. Great tracks in excellent conditions saw lots of very enjoyable riding get us to lunch at Tinty with very few incidents, apart from Ben getting well bounced around in the woops & Jeff having to work hard to try to give him as smooth a ride as possible.

A few with the thirsty bikes needed to bludge some fuel from the tankers to make it in, with Darryl needing 100ml to get the last k.

The arvo ride started with Simon laying a black snake on the black top around a corner with the front wheel in the air – he reckons it was under control, but I doubt it!

Plenty of great tracks with lots of roadside single track in the tight stuff to keep you on your toes. A bit of water here & there, mostly in the paddocks/swamps but now & again it spilled over on to our route.

One particular stretch saw Paul almost drown out without actually falling off after attacking it with his usual verve. We waited there for Jeff to catch up only to see Ben dismount on the far side & start walking through the at times foot deep muck.

When Jeff got to us we sent him back to rescue the foot soldier as he had made it without drama – on the way back to Ben he almost lost it in a big hole, then when they returned 2 up he gunned it as they were both already quite wet & got back as wet as shags – I hope Gropey got it on video.

Back to camp at a reasonable time to crank up the campfire, except I had to take tricky Dicky 5 k’s back to get his bike with the trailer as it wouldn’t start – turned out to be crap in the carb.

A few went home & a few more turned up, with Gropey not riding Sunday as he hurt a recurring knee injury when he fell off Saturday. This made it 18 starters & once again we started on time at 0930 with extra fuel & lunch carried as no shop today. Rode along the spectacular drain & met up with a group of oldies in 4WD’s.

A little later I saw something that I have not seen in 40 years of riding. Mark E moved his bike a little as he was kicking it & I was directly behind. One of his rear brake pads fell to the ground! The pad material had become unbonded from the backing plate! That was the end of his ride as he & Dave S rode gingerly back to camp without daring to touch the rear brake pedal.

On we rode until we discovered that Merv the ride leader was lost! Obviously actually it was the other 17 of us who were lost. Dicky didn’t see Merv pointing to a corner, Merv didn’t wait for Dicky’s wave, both rode on briskly in different directions. Naturally a circus ensued.

Eventually Merv caught up to our melee & lunch was called. During lunch Paul test rode bikes & declared the 650 berger frighteningly powerful & Simon’s Husky extremely well suspended after seller JD had worked his magic on it.

More top tracks for the arvo, back by the big drain briefly, an extra loop tossed in by Paul during which the berger ran out of fuel (probably due to Paul’s full throttle test ride – he doesn’t know any other way) & we headed back to camp.

Darryl needed some fuel from Dad to make it in & Paul needed a push on the pipe by my boot to make it in the last ½ a k to salt Creek servo.

Arrived back at camp to find out that Jessica's boyfriend Tom had tried to emulate her prowess of the previous day on the tennis court & jump the net, tripped on the top & broke his arm! The lad should take up something less dangerous like riding dirt bikes!

All packed up, said our goodbyes & headed home enthused for the next camp.

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