Friday, May 28, 2010



“The best Kenda rally ever” -- that’s what the riders were saying at the end of two loops of prime Victorian high country trails. Their tired but satisfied grins said it all, as they parked their bikes next to their utes and trailers, grabbed a cold bevvy and let the bench racing start in earnest.

The Alexandra district MCC were inundated with entries from the opening week and reached their limit of 500 riders three weeks before the expected closing date. Over 100 riders were unable to get on the start grid, due to the club's policy of keeping the numbers at a manageable level. This keeps the event running smoothly and ensures minimal bottlenecks and track damage.

The 2010 Kenda rally was run in perfect conditions at Rubicon, near Lake Eildon,with moist loamy trails and sunny skies greeting the 500 riders as they pushed their bikes through scrutineering and onto the starting grid. The Alexandra District MCC lived up to their reputation once again, as one of Australia’s most iconic dirt bike events returned from a year’s hiatus after the devastating Victorian bushfires in 2009.

The course change that enabled rec-registered bikes for the first time, allowed quite a few riders that had been champing at the bit to ride to ride with their fully registered mates. Local motels, pubs and caravan parks did a roaring trade as dirtbike riders from around the state descended on the area. Quite a few riders from interstate too, with a large contingent from NSW making the pilgrimage down south for some "dust-free" trail riding, "southern-style".

The Nolan Dash was this year supplemented with a choice of either a Nolan helmet or an EK chain and AFAM sprocket pack, and the potential winners lined up for a no-holds-barred 50 metre sprint in full riding gear with the inevitable falls and trips that goes along with running full-pelt in motorcycle boots. Hilarious, and a real crowd pleaser.

Two loops of around 80km gave the punters real value for money with enough time for a quick bite to eat and a re-fuel in the middle. Many riders had helmet cams on their heads, so expect the YouTube and various dirt bike forums to have quite a few Kenda Rally videos up by the time you read this.

Plenty of loamy uphills interspersed with flowing fire-trails gave the riders a great mix of conditions. There was even a section of single-track that wound out over a rickety bridge to keep the fast guys honest. Some of the steeper uphills featured a chickens and roosters option, which allowed riders to take the easy way if they felt they werent up to the challenge. The legendary ADMCC hill-pushers were stationed on some of the more technical uphills to render 'technical assistance' to riders that weren't using Kenda tyres!

Plenty of action at the merchandising tent, with nearly all the posters, T-shirts and long sleeves selling out by the end of the day. The Toylok tent had a steady stream of visitors, checking out the latest in bike security and locks.

After all the riders had picked up their licenses and grabbed their classy finisher's stubby holder and meal tickets, it was off to the Crawford’s catering spaceship for a gourmet feed and a drink, before the prize winners were drawn out of a hat. TBAM made sure everyone had a magazine and a DVD in their show bags, along with a bunch of subscriptions as prizes. The Toylok team donated a stack of bike security locks sets, and all this was handed out to the lucky ticket holders.

In all, well over $9000 worth of gear was handed out to the riders on the day. There were stacks of Kenda tyres, Mobil oil packs, AFAM sprockets and EK chain sets. Most of these great prizes were donated by Ron Angel Wholesale, who has been the major sponsor of the Nolan and Kenda rallies since their inception in 1985. Events like this can’t exist without great sponsors and Ron Angel has supported the ADMCC superbly, with 38 consecutive rallies carrying the Nolan or Kenda name. That must be some sort of record in motorsport events!

The K&J Thomas motorcycles biggest team award was hotly contested between “Matt's Half & Halves” and the “Best Blokes in the World”, with Matt's team winning 32 to 31. The trophy and the $500 cash was duly handed over and here's tipping it won’t be spent on lollies and fanta!

The local ambulance team were on hand to look after any injuries, but business was pretty quiet for them with only a handful of bruises and scrapes. No broken bones or major injuries in an event with 500 riders is an excellent effort considering the amount of riders entered and the kilometres covered. The local SES and WICEN Communications provided their usual faultless service to keep track of every rider throughout the day, enabling the club to keep on top of any emergencies that may have arisen.

Keep an eye on the web site for photo uploads and details of the upcoming 2010 Sawmill Rally in November.

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