Dergholm Camp 2/10/05

The October long weekend camp was at Dergholm near Casterton in Victoria, which is beautiful at this time of year, very green and lush. The weather was perfect, sunny in high teens and no rain which was a pleasant change from the Sunday before where it poured down all day and everyone was wet to the skin.

I had the day off Friday to get my act together i.e. wash bikes, change oils, go to shop and buy tyres and oil, change front tyre on Darryl's bike (there is another stone stuff up, which shall stay on the trail). Pack caravan etc and get to city to pick Darryl up by 2 pm. We were using Darryl's car for the first time as we had bought it the week before. An XF wagon on gas for a $1000. Found out that with all the weight of van, bikes fuel etc and 3 people, let us say it lacks a bit of power up hills and tended to get a bit hot. Fixed overheating at Tailem Bend and proceeded at a leisurely pace i.e. 95 ks to Dergholm, thank god we didn't have to pass anything as it may have been a problem. Anyway it got us there and is not a bad old bomb for the money and at approx $90 for the return journey good value as well.

Saturdays ride set off with 19 riders, even Welly drove down from Broken Hill which was a major effort. A committed club member.

Did the usual and through Dougals farm, across the very slippery wooden bridge, with no one falling over, down the track for a kilometre and what's this Stoneman the ride leader is pulled over with a stuck throttle. Turns out the throttle cable had frayed inside and stuck his throttle wide open, much to his concern. After dithering about, photos taken of slack maintenance (someone else for a change) some decided to go back to the camp to get Timbos new cable. Oh yeah before that not 1 k out of camp Chris s KTM 450 spewed oil out of the rocker cover area, and he turned back thinking his day was done. Turns out that was a tappet cover gasket which had blown out following him adjusting the tappets during the week. Anyway to his joy he was able to come back with the throttle rescue party. After further dithering about and much arguing as to the best method to fix the cable it was done and we were away 2 hours after we started the ride 5 ks from camp.

Onward Christian soldiers and into the valley of death. Dave found a different way in and set the challenge of climbing up this mother of a hill. The challenge was too great and chaos ensued with bikes and bodies all over the place, and most turned back with some finding an alternative track up the hill. Too slippery and covered with tree roots. No doubt Stefan Merriman would have sailed up in third gear but for us mere mortals, no way Jose. Darryl's bike was hitting the red limiter and trying to be a chain saw, boy that little WR can take the punishment and come back for more. Mental note change oil again after this weekend.

Regroup and more trails into Dergholm for lunch. Some local riders there with one guy trying in vain to kick-start a YZ400F. Eventually he rolled it down the hill and it fired up, to great cheers from the mob. There was a Yamaha quad there as well which looked and sounded very mean and nasty and must have been a hoot in the sandy tracks in the area. No need to worry about rego or legality Pah that's for you city pooftas.

On leaving Dave committed an indiscretion by pulling a very small mono by our standards for the pub spectators but no one else did, even Peter beck which caused shock and awe to all in attendance, what is the world coming to with Becky behaving himself. Tambo el presidento was heard to castigate Dave for his abominable behaviour later on.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing in the forest tracks with much racing err I mean challenging riding going on. Mark Grope stitched me up nicely, after I having past him at warp speed around a corner after giving him a friendly toot toot get out of the way warning. It was on and I must be losing touch as I overshot corners not once but 3 times. I blame the front tyre for its lack of grip i.e. no knobs but to be fair he beat me fair and square. Russell Saint was on one corner and freaked a bit when Gropey went one side and I the other, Gropey around the corner and me into the boondocks for quite a few metres. The challenge shall resume at the next ride.

Many sandy tracks with Darryl complaining to all concerned that the 250 needs more power. You will have to wait son for another year, sorry thems the breaks.

Cannot think of much else except Welly had some rear brake issues and was not happy. These were fixed later in camp.

That night was a quiet one around the campfire with most going to bed reasonably early. We must all be getting old. Story of the day at camp is that Dianne Stone had caught a trout in the Glenelg river which made her day.

Next day dawned bright and sunny, with this time 18 riders I think as Kym Stock had gone home to Portland to do a family day. Good to see him again after many years.

I was the ride leader this day and to cut a long story short as being out in front you do not see much going on we had a good ride down to Dartmoor and back, with all sorts of a variety of tracks, heavy sand to loamy clay based and slippery.

One feature was an enduro track I found which was a first and second gear whooped out track winding in and out of the Yacka bushes which really raised the heartbeats of the mob, talk about hard work and all after probably less than 2 kilometres all were glad to see the end of it. Getting too old for that caper.

The only other drama is that we lost a rider Tom Jarvis. Coming back we had a minor regroup and I took off but unfortunately whoever was behind me forgot to stop and mark the corner. Tom comes along and no corner marker. He takes off in the direction of where he thought we went but it was the wrong way. Meanwhile Tim has turned back to mark the corner in the absence of the person who should have, Mark Jarvis turns up and they all take off the correct direction. Meanwhile Tom is 10ks in the wrong way.

Later on we all have a major regroup and no Tom. We figured out what went wrong and decided that being a smart boy he would go back to the corner and stay put.

So we went back to camp.

Tom had indeed done that very thing as Mark and I went in the four wheel drive and found him at the corner, and he was safely returned to the flock back at camp much to his girlfriend Ashley's relief.

Most went into the pub that night for dinner and to all accounts it was very nice, whilst some had stayed back and sat around the fire.

Another early night. Up next morning at sparrow fart after Welly woke us up with his noisy Ute leaving for home.
Everyone packs up and goes home after a great long weekend.