SNOWY RIDE SOUTH TO THE 10TH ANNUAL SNOWY RIDE
Come the first weekend of November each year, it's time to head for the top of Australia and the annual Snowy Ride at Thredbo, which is a mighty motorcycling fundraiser that generates significant funding toward the fight against childhood cancer for the Steven Walter Foundation.
Once again this year TRAIL ZONE joined forces with www.offroadexplorer.com and www.adventuremoto.com.au to lead a pack of adventure bike riders south from Sydney on the Friday, arriving in time for Saturday's official festivities.
Russ from ORE and the Wolfman from Adventure Moto put together the ride, which this year kicked off from Marulan and punched south to Braidwood and then through an absolute feast of forest riding and fire trails that eventually saw us emerge near Tuross and Kybeyan before reaching civilisation again at Nimmitabel -- and then blazing across the high plains to Berridale and on to our overnights digs at Jindabyne or Thredbo.
A whopping 45 riders pre-registered to join us, but come Friday morning and pissing down rain, the ranks thinned decidedly to just a total of 21 starters, with Russ handing out a route-sheet to one and all -- and then we were off!
It wasn't long before the action started, with a flat tyre first-up, and then a little nautical activity at the crossing of the Shoalhaven River just north of Braidwood, when Pistol Pete from Hervey Bay (yeah, in Queensland!), rode off the causeway and crossed his Tenere with a submarine to get a Tenarine! After de-watering the mighty blue beast, she fired right up again and we were off.
Wolfy's new trails south of Braidwood through Bombay were absolutely awesome, with the ground slick enough to keep us all on our toes. While fallen trees demanded a couple of slight bush detours, everyone emerged unscathed and a few hours later we had all passed through Nimmitabel and sweep riders Clive from MotorcyceBiz and Heath from Trailbike Rallys were looking decidedly unfussed after precious few dramas the entire way. They're the rides they like!
After that it was on to Thredbo, where most of us promptly lounged back at the bar of the Alpine Hotel and joined the event organisers and major sponsors Honda in celebrating the tenth anniversary of this mighty event.
While the wet weather might have kept some away, in excess of 3,000 motorcycle riders were still expected in Thredbo over the weekend.
Come Saturday morning, Russ and I had to high-tail it back home to Sydney under the threat of deadline pressure, while the rest of the boys stayed on to make a full weekend of it and to tour the high country on the dedicated adventure bike loops that are now part of the Snowy Ride.
All in all, a sweet and successful Snowy Ride South, which we will run again next year -- and here's hoping for more summer weather conditions!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au
(PS: check out a gallery of photos from this ride by going to the TRAIL ZONE home page and clicking on the 'Facebook' link at the top of the page)