TRAGIC COLIN & HIS MIGHTY '83 XT-Z JUST KEEPS THUMPING ON
G'day Clubby & Tania: I would like to thank both of you, Steve, Big Pete, Lance and Yamaha for putting on an absolutely great event. I would also like to thank all the other Tragics for their part in making the event what it was.
In the lead-up to the ride, I did have some doubts about it being a latte rider's run, but after meeting up with you at Hawker, these doubts rapidly faded. The ride out through the rock farm on Saturday morning was the final proof I needed to convince me that no one was looking for either a latte or baguette.
As a rider with 35 years of off-road riding experience, both trail and competition, my hat goes off to those riders with little dirt experience that took on the challenge of the rock farm and conquered it, and more so for those who rode 1200s through it.
I had a good trip home. After leaving the main group of Tragics at Yunta, I rode down the tar 17km to Paratoo, then took back to the dirt on the old Orraroo Road. I ventured down to Dawson (another virtual ghost town), then picked up some more dirt tracks to get me down to the old Kidman stock route, which got me down to where I work at North Brown Hill wind farm and then home via Boobarowie and Farrell Flat.
I probably rode the shortest distance of any Tragic, some 1,560km, and have been inspired by how well the old 'pig' handled it. I am now considering riding this year’s SA Reliability Trial series on it (Class M – pre 1990), including the 24 Hour (though only the Rally class).
As soon as I got home my Ténéré Tragics name tag went straight to the 'pool room' and now hangs with some of my other prized motorcycling treasures.
I will always be proud to be able to call myself one of the original Ténéré Tragics and would happily send you the entry fee tomorrow for next year's ride, no matter where it is heading.
-- Colin Jay, Ténéré Tragic #6
Now Colin, rest assured we, too, will be proud to call you an original Ténéré Tragic! I will never forget your arrival to join the group in Hawker. There we were, all us Tragics on the Getting There Ride, almost ready to leave the servo at Hawker, when I turned and looked south back down the main street and saw this big white/red/black lump of classic adventure bike history turn the corner and come thump-thump-thumping up to us. I knew right away it was an '83 and a tear welled up in the corner of my eye: another truly tragic Tragic! And then, as you pulled up in a flurry of emu feathers (after hitting a bird on the run up) and a massive cloud of pungent fumes after melting your right sideplate against the muffler, well, I just dropped to the floor and knew I was in the presence of Tragics greatness. And to think just a few days before your bike had been in a zillion pieces and you had sent us a photo of your fully loaded machine ... with just one part missing: the motor! Unreal! Now, after all the fun and games of the event (and, yes, the rock farm!), you and I must have gone so close to crossing paths on Sunday arvo. I left Arkaroola early Sunday morning to follow Tania out to Leigh Creek to make sure she got the dirt kays done okay before she started humming down to Adelaide to fly home to Sydney. I decided to get in a couple of bonus dirt sections on my way home and snuck through Beltana and Glass Gorge again on the way to Blinman, then zapped down to Hawker and decided to explore some dirt back roads south of Hawker on the way across to Yunta and then Broken Hill overnight. I ended up putting in a 760km day, and my wanderings took me right through Dawson, too! There's some good back-road riding to be had down there, which I've filed for future use. Thanks for coming along and we all look forward to seeing you at next year's ride.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1