Tales From The Playground

    you ride rain or shine


    Posts : 30
    Join date : 2009-03-29
    Location : On The Playground

    you ride rain or shine

    Post  Desmo on Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:44 am

    The early morning pared back the darkness as the last hooting of our resident owl methodical as desmodromic valving left for places the nocturnal go at that time of the day. I shifted uneasy in the bed releasing a tangled tee shirt from the Homer Simpson grip it had on my neck.

    I made my way to the electric screen that brings all things to light in a blue miasma of safe radiation levels.
    It revealed that Sunday morning had come around too quickly for some. It was all about the night / morning before the Sunday ride that had the original post writer locked out of the things he needed most. This however was probably the least of his worries and saved one from probable sausage creature visions as the decreasing apex of a Scott Creek hairpin tortured the already suffering mind beyond its capacity to cope, but that was another place and another time.

    Oh well, I guess I had kind of hijacked the posted ride anyway and in true Desmo fashion was committed to a day of twisted bitumen and fast sweepers fulfilling ones promise to a fellow OZ sportsbike forum member Piffile. Whom I had for better or worse proffered the RSA web page as a means of meeting fellow SA riders in the most non threatening way I could imagine. So it was up and at them, a bowl full of some form of breakfast that was meant to make you ride 10Ks swim 5Ks and run a marathon all before the posted meeting time on the Sunday ride, devoured with in five minutes.
    Weekend rides have been a bit of a non-event for me of late with MrsD not riding and having spent everyday of the working week on the playground I find that weekends are enjoyable at home doing odd jobs and resting for the next week of autumnal forays into our wonderful hills and all roads beyond. So it was the threat of some rain that had the choice of the blue streak wheeling from the lock up, a not so formidable bike with stock everything but for a rear seat cowl, perfect for lazy riding at anytime but particularly low profile for weekend rides.

    First stop was the servo for some ozone depleting nutrient the blue streak so enjoys then on to the mob up point. Already in the shade of the gums were fellow riders Jamie on a smick green machine, the big bang of Busabazz’s Busa, the Piffle on a black Ninja. Soon we were joined by Grant and the silver Hinckley triple with Neka Kwaka fiend making up the final numbers for a ride south.

    We headed out into the two lanes of Greenhill road motoring east to the start of the playground. It was the usual warming of the tyres on the curves of the hill face. With a few obstacles that can be expected on a Sunday dispensed with in the usual way. The group remained tight climbing the summit road offering great glimpses of the plains below. Riding down the lesser technical road to Crafers it was onto the Sturt Valley road and some narrow tight bitumen that lead us on to the Ironwood road. Where we encountered the playgrounds equivalent to a thrush infection and most likely just as irritating in the form of a 70’s VW Combie. We all managed to work our way past just in time for the turn off that would lead us into Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. It has a wonderful hill climb that involves some decreasing apexes and tight bends that make for a first gear play out though the rev range from hairpin to hairpin quite an exciting proposition. One can be tempted to short shift into a higher gear but is lessens the thrill of sustained corner speed then the full rush of maximum torque when exiting the corner. So it was hard on the pipe into the hairpin off the throttle running into the last ten meters of road leeeeeean hard on the left hand side of the handle bars weighting the foot peg with 5000 rpm still on the clock hit the apex tight and on the inside of the white line twist back the throttle and feel the Gs as you unleash peak torque onto 28 square mm of tyre footprint. It is a wonderful feeling until you come face to face with the aging Fait 500 bellowing more carbon than a Russian fossil fuel power plant. Needless to say having half the cubic capacity of most of our bikes and ten times the weight, Desmo had clear view ahead and just kept on the pipe as did the Hinckley triple, leaving our fellow raiders of the weekend bitumen to do battle with the bambino’s toxic waste. I was not too stressful as a few bends later we could see the lights of the bikes catching up as we hit the turn for the road to Mylor and onto the Angus River Scenic Drive. This was a clear ride though Echunga and towards Mackie where we encountered some fellow Desmo riders out for a club run consisting of mostly 1098’s and a modern Paul Smart green frame replica.

    Ah you have to love those Mackie road twisties and we had a green light run to the reserve and a toilet / smoke stop where Neka bid us farewell. We continued onto the back road towards Meadows and the famed Bull Creek.
    It was a hoot, only one obstacle for the Bull Creek run and with a fleeting blip of the throttle it was dispensed with leaving the rest of the road open for some excessive lean angles and flowing chicanes that road is famous for.

    With a quick regroup at the Strath turn off we headed for the next great flowing road of the day, Ashbourne little needs to be said that has not been said before but it was an enjoyable hit out that had the crew easing there way into Sleepy Strath and the southern bike Mecca of Marylou’s “Garage”. It was a welcome break and coffees all-round that had the crew checking out the bikes and with more riders arriving in the form of “RealRiders.com” it was a great atmosphere. We even found time to do some combined Grant, Dmagic and Desmo maintenance on Piffle’s clutch leaver and soon it was time to head out of town down the Mackie road. It was a hooting run though those sweet 100KPH linked corners that had us experiencing the first of the afternoon’s precipitation. The roads remained dry and the thought of light showers spurned us on to some of the Adelaide hills more technical blacktop.

    After Hahndorf and Balhannah the rain started to become heavy and the roads wet. It was a thought that we should cut for it with the boys from the north heading that way and the crew in the south making for the plains down Greenhill. What a silly thought that was and Grant ever keen to negotiate a fresh wet Forest Range road had Desmo leading the fellow enthusiasts back down some twisty back roads to the steep descent of Forest Range. As we were passed by a maniacal Ducati supermotard rider who almost sucked the Desmo into a race to the bottom of the range the rain become a drenching downpour. With the roads becoming slippery a Desmo track of lesser use was used it has a steep but relatively straight descent followed by a twisty very tight ascent. This led us to the Norton Summit road that once we reached the lower twisties was a dry run. Goody that allowed some extra zing through the last of the sinuous curves for the day.

    We congregated at the Liberty servo where bikes were refilled and adieus given.
    It had turned out to be a great day on two wheels with people I had never ridden with and some I had. I was happy that I had fulfilled my promise to a fellow OZ sportbiker to show her though I had presumed a he some of the roads our great city had to offer even if the conditions at the end were slightly less than conducive to two wheels. It does however add to the skill level of all riders when encountering wet slippery roads and making it out the other side sensibly in an intact state gratifying.

    Thanks to everyone for making it a safe enjoyable day on the playground and look forward to riding with you all again in the near future.

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