Monday, June 27, 2011

Tallarook Vinduro Report

Tallarook Vinduro, 29 May 2011, Victoria, Australia

I was surprised to discover that I would be in the first three riders away, and that I knew both of the guys quite well. When I discovered this I belatedly tried to form a team of the three of us for the team challenge, but we were overlooked in the final analysis.

The dreaded cold start went without incident for all three of us, and we were soon weaving our way through the rocky course. A tight ‘special test’ type section near the pits provided a good introduction to the loop, which then passed through a paddock and into the bush (forest). The other guys on my minute were on an IT200, and a TT600.

This event had jokingly been billed as “The Tough One”, and it took me a couple of laps to work out why. Initially I found it quite challenging, but not too hard, and couldn’t figure out why everyone kept asking me about ‘the hill’ when I came past the pits.

As it turned out there was an ‘easy’ route, which bypassed a steep hill climb, which I didn’t notice until the third time around. I found my TT600 riding mate there, resting at the bottom of it after a failed attempt, and he pointed out the way up.

This part was pretty damn tough! With no direct run up, the long and steep climb was littered with loose rocks of all sizes, and I had to flog the poor little 175 and run alongside it at times to make it to the top. It was very tempting to forgo it for the rest of the day, but I did successfully climb it four times, and had one abandoned effort too that resulted in an amusing somersault down the hill for me.

There was just over 50 riders present, and several PEs, including Alex’s 400. The day also incorporated a longer trail ride for those with the appropriate road registration, but I didn’t take part in that aspect. I did 12 laps of the closed course, but only 4 of these included the dreaded hill. I have to take my hat off to the rider on the KDX200 who did 18 laps, all of them consisting of the full loop!

My PE ran really well all day, the new rings making it very easy to start. Of course there are other things that need attention, and I’ll see to them in due course. The only bother I had was when I damaged the kill switch after I dropped the bike on the hill, and it was shoring out. I am a bit worried about potential clutch damage from my last hill climb of the day too, but hopefully it’ll be ok.

The next vinduro event is at Harrow in July. This one is always a beaut, and the organisers are talking about a 35km loop, and people coming from overseas to have a ride. It should be great!
(Originally posted on PE Motorcycles Yahoo Group)

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