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Author Topic: Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« on: March 13, 2007, 12:24:04 pm »
Lin and I drove up on the Saturday morning with Wayne (from Durban South Africa) in his 4x4 complete with trailer.
The DT 175 looking very comfortable next to wayne's 250 KTM 2 stroker.

We arrived at the Anna Bay camp ground about 9.30 and proceeded to set up the tent, un-trailer the bikes and meet the other ADV'ers in attendance.
Christophe Varju ( The Ivory Coast born, now Aussie resident Paris Dakar Rallye racer) turned up promptly at 10 am, despite having pushed his girlfriends car from Newcaste to Nelson Bay the night before.
Push 500 metres, drive 500 metres, all night long, arriving home at 5 am and still getting to our meeting point on time that morning.
We were a motley crew of kawasaki KLR 650, a couple of XR 600 Hondas, a DR 650, a KTM, the little DT 175, the KTM and Professor of Sand Varju on a Aprilla 500 dirt bike. And the huge BMW 1150.

Leaving Lin to have a wander around the camp site and sort gear out the rest of us followed Christophe out of the site and around the corner to the dunes.
It was only a matter of some fifteen minutes or so before the BMW rider realised that the huge BMW's are only capable of transversing soft sand and dunes when piloted by riders like Gaston Rahier.
The poor bloke was obviously struggling from the first.
But all credit to him for even trying to ride the pig of a thing at Stockton, I know I would not have.
So we said goodbye to him when he very wisely decided to head off.
Credit to him again, knowing when to stop is a smart move in my book.
The rest of us continued over the flat sand plain and started hooning about in the first dune section.
There's nothing better than blasting up and down unmarked, pristine sand dunes. Great fun.
Proffesor Varju aimed us up one of the really steep dunes and a couple of us had a few problems getting to the top, me mainly because the DT lacks the grunt needed to propel the bike upwards thru really soft sand. I compensated by gaining speed at an angle and then shooting upwards.
We all stopped right on the edge of a REALLY steep dune.
Chris gleefully informed us we would be riding down it in a few moments.
A quick camera shot there with Wayne's camera and I was the first one to let out the clutch and start down the dune.
The front wheel sank down almost to the mudguard, and I could hear cries of "Quick get a photo!"
I twisted the throttle and the back wheel began to push the bike thru the bow-wave of sand, gaining speed very quickly until I was shooting down the face of the dune.
Once you realise you aren't going over the handlebars after all it's very good fun.
Down that dune and straight up one on the other side!
I waved back at the rest of the lads and prepared to watch their efforts.
Wayne came skimming over on his KTM and he managed to get the camera out in time to snap a pic of two of the other guys tackling the dune.
An hour had passed quickly already, so I headed back to the camp site to find Lin and take her out for her first ever sand dune riding.

I'll leave it up to one of the other guys to fill in the rest of the day spent with Chris...but I know it involved lots of steeper dunes, rutted out tracks thru the forest and apparently lots of spiders.

Lin had a great time riding in the sand and the dunes.
Sure she droped the DT a few times, hell I dropped it more than her.
But that's what's it all about.
Sand dune riding is all about having fun as far as I am concerned and we did just that.
She rode up dunes and down dunes, got stuck in soft sand and dug herself out, picked up the bike by herself. Tried different techniques for crossing the small sand waves and the much bigger ruts. Triumphantly got to the top of the highest dune next to the flat sand plain area and came roaring down, probably half out of control, and loving it.
The elbow armour and knee guard armour proved it's worth.

Lin, skimming across the desert like sand plain.



Jaq, practicing takeoff.



That's "Two sugars please?"



On the Sat evening Lin and I rode into Shoal Bay to have dinner with Chris and his lovely girlfriend Debbie.
The rest of the crew took a taxi.
Wayne drove his 4x4, now complete with Delphin, his lady who had come up to spend a romantic week end with him.
Hmmm....a romantic weekend with a bunch of sand covered ADV'ers...now located at the Country Club Pub...
What girl could wish for more I ask?

Left to right: Dan, Linda, Jon and John.



Trevor (pre-broken collarbone) Delphin and Wayne.


Wayne, Prof of Sand Varju and his lady Debbie.



Sunday morning.

Lin and I awoke to the strident sound of Chris's bloody Aprillia ripping around the camp site.
"Come on, it's time to go riding again.  

We staggered out of our tent and got the billy on.
Likewise the other ADV'ers were shuffling about.
Wayne returned from the "cosy, romantic" hotel that Delphin had found for them the night beofre.
Though how romantic a bloke is after an entire day spent riding and falling and picking the bike up in soft sand I can only imagine.
Lin and I: Idea of romance was; "I'm exhausted, goodnight!"  

After a cuppa and some walking around and chatting, Lin and the chaps saddled up for a ride along the beach, hopefully to see the famous shipwreck further down the coast.
I stayed behind because Lin was keen to do some more sand riding and I had pulled a couple of tendons in my right wrist when I'd had the bars wrench sideways the day before.
Thoughts running thru my mind being..."Be careful, don't break anything, you only have 3 weeks to go before the Africa trip!"

And besides Lin was having such a great time I could hardly begrudge her the beach ride.
So off everyone went, now having been joined by Geoffrey on his big BMW 1150 GS.
One of the John's declined the ride this morning...due more to the alcohol consumed the night before than worried about the bike's ability to cope I suspect.
I pried open a tin of salmon for brekkie and got the billy going again as Lin and the lads headed out behind Chris.
They were gone for a good couple of hours (which I spent de-tenting and packing the gear up...don't think I was just lazing around in the sun relaxing! )
A couple of the lads and Chris came in, explaining that Trevor had fallen heavily and hurt his left shoulder.
Two-up riders returned to get Tevor's bike, which Lin was looking after in the dunes.
While this was going on Geoffrey was telling me exactly how hard it is to ride a BMW 1150 even along the beach.
He's a slim guy, like me about 5'8...I was impressed when I discovred he'd picked the bike up several times un-aided, even in the dunes.
Trevor arrived, arm in a sling courtesy of one of the ladies who runs the camp ground.
Chris and I took one look at the way the shoulder was sitting, and a strange lump to one side of his throat,and right away agreed his collarbone was broken.
(And we were correct, as the hospital staff at Nelsons Bay informed us.)
NOTE: Don't bother to go to Nelson Bay hospital for an X-ray..they don't have an X-Ray machine.
While Trevor was being poked and prodded by the nurses I was outside poking and prodding the clutch cable on his bike into something resembling an "easy pull" action. As opposed to the Ducati/Harley like action it had when I started riding it.

Thoughts and suggestions were bandied about and the result was Trevor would be driven to a Sydney hospital by Wayne.
I would ride Tevors XR 600 Honda back to Sydney and Jon would pick it up from my workplace later that night.
Delphin had to get her hire car back to Sydney by 5pm anyway.
So we all thanked Chris very much for his participation, and there is no doubt the lads benefitted from his teachings over the weekend.

Our little convoy left Nelson Bay and we began the ride/drive back to Sydney.
An hour later we all stopped at a petrol station to refuel and re-hydrate.
I ripped off my summer riding jacket and promptly donned my South African Wild Dogs Forum riding shirt. Ah, relief...it was stinking hot, I don't know how Jon and Dan could stand to ride in their Dri-Rider suits.
If I have a choice between protection and comfort I always go for
comfort.
I discovered that 5'8 is not a good size for straddling an XR 600 either, I've got long legs and I could only reach the ground on the tip-toes of one foot or the other, depending which foot I decided to put down. Ridiculously high. The 35 litre long rane petrol tank probably didn't help.

But so long as I can get one foot down I'm ok, so off I went...
I had not anticipated the sun going down in front of me the entire length of the Newcastle motorway however...and to say my neck and face got sunburnt thru my helmet visor is an understatment.
Luckily I had a bandana to wrap around my throat, it saved me from more severe sunburn.
Dan tuned off at Maitland.
Jon and I were doing quite nicely, he being on the DR 650, cutting thru the traffice until we got to the Wyong Bridge...and that's where we encountered a wall of cars, all inching along in the direction of Sydney.
I went straight into Motorcycle Courier mode and hammered past the slow moving cars at an amazing rate, the exhaust on Trevor's bike no doubt startling some of the cagers.
I left Jon on the Dr 650 somewhere in the distance and continued on for another 45 kms or so before I took the turnoff for the Pacific Highway.
I was sitting on the balcony at my work enjoying a ciggie and a cuppa when Wayne and Lin arrived with Tevor.
Arrangements were made with my fellow security chaps to look after the bike until Jon came back for it later that night.
We unloaded the DT,I retreived my BMW Boxer, we said adios to Wayne and Trevor and Lin and I rode south towards home.
All in all a great weekend marred only by Trevor's unfortunate accident.
Lin and I would do it all again in a second.
Hopefully after our African adventure we will organise another Stockton Beach weekend.
The only fly in the ointnment being that NPWS have taken over some of the Stockton Beach area and the rest seems to have been handed to the Aboriginal Land Council.
Going on the experience of what's been happening in the Sutherland/Illawarra region I must say it does not bode well for the continued use of Stockton as a 4x4 and trail bike and ATV riding area.
I could be wrong, time will tell.

Cheers: Jaq.
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shark_za

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 12:35:47 pm »
Ah nice, something different.

So you guys might be keen for some sand riding (riverbed) when you are in JHB/PTA area.
I could show you the SA bushveld.
 

Offline Lito

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 12:53:11 pm »
sweet riding! and if u wanna do sand down here south.... 8)
 

Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 01:02:33 pm »
Quote from: "shark_za"
Ah nice, something different.

So you guys might be keen for some sand riding (riverbed) when you are in JHB/PTA area.
I could show you the SA bushveld.


No worries mate, though perhaps not two up on the KLR with luggage. :lol:

I forgot to write that Stockton Beach is about 40 kms long, the dunes go that distance, the dunes go inland for a km or more, and there is also a forest to ride thru.
The forest is full of semi-posionous spiders. Wayne had one crawl out from under his camelbak when the lads stopped for a breather. :shock:
Chris Varju, the Dakar rider, lives in this area and this is his training ground for his Rallye events.
He told us that many times he has had a spider run down inside his shirt as he has torn thru it's web.
Needless to say the blokes let Chris go in front. :lol:  :lol:
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Offline JourneyMan

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 01:24:04 pm »
Lekker feeling to see the WD logo going international! 8)

As Shark said. Must go do De Wildt area when you are up here. Koos se Klim, riverbed, technical riding.

Make it a day jol. Leave the luggage.
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Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 01:50:06 pm »
Quote from: "JourneyMan"
Lekker feeling to see the WD logo going international! 8)

Yes, I thought you guys and gals would like that.  :D

As Shark said. Must go do De Wildt area when you are up here. Koos se Klim, riverbed, technical riding.

Make it a day jol. Leave the luggage.


We'll have to sort a date for it when I'm in SA. :D
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Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 02:33:25 pm »
A few more random pics from the weekend.

Took this pic seconds before an F-18 Jet fighter came screaming along the length of the beach. An RAF base is nearby.
This is looking back south.


My fave pic of Lin...magazine cover shot for sure. :D


Lin contemplating the next Dakar Rallye.


Arty shot Lin took of her helmet. The blue circle is the sky above, and check the clown feet. :lol:  :lol:


Jaq in camp mode. 8)
 

Heading back towards Sydney. Jaq in the middle on the XR 600 Honda.
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Offline Captain Zef

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 04:14:45 pm »
Nice to see.

You should more pics of the various trips you do.
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Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 04:25:58 pm »
Quote from: "Captain Slow"
Nice to see.

You should more pics of the various trips you do.


Only just bought the new digital camera.  :D
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Offline Captain Zef

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 04:39:16 pm »
Quote from: "Jaqhama"
Quote from: "Captain Slow"
Nice to see.

You should more pics of the various trips you do.


Only just bought the new digital camera.  :D


I suppose its for the SA trip. :D
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Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 05:27:32 pm »
Quote from: "Captain Slow"
Quote from: "Jaqhama"
Quote from: "Captain Slow"
Nice to see.

You should more pics of the various trips you do.


Only just bought the new digital camera.  :D


I suppose its for the SA trip. :D


You suppose correctly Mr Holmes. :D
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Offline wino

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 06:12:59 pm »
Quote from: "Jaqhama"
You suppose correctly Mr Holmes. :D


now how does john holmes fit into all of this :roll:

nice pics there jaq! i hope you invest in quite a few memory cards for your trip through sa :wink:
 

Offline Grondpad

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2007, 07:53:50 am »
Cool trip!  :D
Food looks good, tell me who drank the oil on the table?  :shock:
 

Offline Jaqhama

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Aussie beach Riding. Stockton Beach sand dunes.
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2007, 09:15:17 am »
Quote from: "Grondpad"
Cool trip!  :D
Food looks good, tell me who drank the oil on the table?  :shock:


Ran out of BBQ sauce. :roll:

2 stroke oil did the trick. :D
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!