A dirty bike story
Back in march 09, six middle to old age trail bike riders decided to venture down to the Far West Coast of Tasmania. Low Rocky Point was the destination. The plan of attack was bikes by boat (2 per boat) 40 odd km up Macquarie harbour to a small inlet and man handle the bikes on to a small jetty, then load em up with as much stuff as we could carry and we’d be off for a good 4 day trip.
Headed off early afternoon to a cabin used by parks and wildlife to monitor the activities of the rare orange-bellied parrot. The cabin was full so we had to move on. Carrying 15 lts of extra fuel, and a 30kg backpack on my CRFX 250, I was a casualty of the first mud hole, we had to push on as we had a long way to go to the next cabin as only 3 out of 6 bikes had lights.
We followed the track along the ridge tops made of a white quartz rock, like riding on marbles. Across a river (no problem) and on to an airstrip where we down sized our fuel load and talked about were we might have to spend the night. We decided to push on as not dark yet but the track is about to change to button grass, black peat bog and creek crossings, but we made it to an unused mining camp right on dark.
The camp had all our needs with one condition LEAVE IT IN THE SAME CONDITION YOU FOUND IT.
Day 2. Off we went looking for the track to take us to Low Rocky Point but with exploration tracks everywhere this could take a while. A few hours went past with no success so back to the camp for refuel and re think. A change of direction back the way we came in yesterday and we got lucky and headed for the coast. Our path was blocked with a large broken bridge and no way around so we had to make a path with boards we recovered from the bush and on to the coast again reaching it in time for lunch.
With no Low Rocky Point lighthouse in sight we searched for another track. Discovering a faint pair of wheel tracks at the start of a 5km long stretch of button grass plains we raced straight in. The weather was some of the best you would ever see on the west coast. The button grass didn’t seem too bad at first with the first couple of bikes only making small amounts of environmental damage but it got WORSE until every body had to lift and heave each other bike out of gearbox deep black bog in the full sun wearing full riding gear for a few hours. What a haul!
We made it to Low Rocky Point lighthouse and admired the coast north and south as far as possible to see, but what we were not looking forward to was the ride back to the camp with our camel packs empty and batteries flat, on bikes and riders. There was only one way out, maybe try to make some new tracks was the answer, so the small tee trees that live in the gully’s water and bog that came up to about our chests were hit full noise in 2nd or 3rd.
If the gods were with you, park your bike on its side and struggle back in and help the people who had no gods, then back to the camp for some warm beer, red wine, port and a dip in the creek to remove our retained black bog.
Day 3. We ventured to a different bit of coast for some snorkelling and half a dozen crayfish to take back to camp to be enjoyed with the last of the warm beer, cask red wine and port.
Day 4. Heading home with big black clouds on the horizon and a large river to cross we made hast, making it to the airstrip before it started to bucket down. The last 10 km or so from the boat, the water on the track was deep enough to cover the marbly quartz rocks and made it easier to ride on, so much water we drowned a bike 300m from the boat. A bloody good trip!