Tuesday, August 16, 2011



On Saturday (August 13) I rode my 1983 Ténéré in the Theo Nixon Six Hour (the fifth round of the SA Reliability Trial Series), which was run near Mallala on the Adelaide Plains. The course comprised nine competitive special/paddock sections of two to ten kilometres long spaced out over a lap of 130km. The paddock sections were in great condition due to the rain that had fallen during the week and put just enough moisture into the ground to prevent any dust, without turning it into mud. The paddocks were a mixture of mallee scrub, salt bush flats, red loam sand hills and even a couple of excursions onto some not quite dry salt/clay pans.
Through a 'strange' quirk of luck the eight solo riders from my club (Clare MCC) all drew consecutive numbers in the 'random' ballot for starting numbers, so the ride was quite a social occasion, with everyone having a good time as we waited for our 'minutes' at the start of the paddock sections.
I was having a great ride and all was going well until I had a bit of an incident in the ninth (last) paddock of the first lap. This paddock section was a seven kilometre run through some medium density mallee scrub. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and with the sun starting to set, visibility was crap riding in and out of bright sunlight and heavy shade. About a kilometre or so into the section, I was powering out of a reasonably tight left hand corner in second gear, when there was a God almighty thump to my right foot. After a lot of swearing, the pain subsided (well, my foot when numb) and l rode on slowly to the finish of the paddock, and then back along the final transport section to the main control. After a 15 to 20 minute lay-over at the main control/fuel dump, I was still able to kickstart the bike, so I headed out and rode the second lap rather carefully. I rode the last paddock a lot slower than on the first lap, and kept a good look-out to see if I could find what it I had hit. It turns out that I had hit a descent sized log/fallen branch about 15 to 20cm in diameter and about three to four metres in length, that was right on the edge of the track.
So ... foot versus log -- guess which won? You got it, the log won!
-- Colin Jay, Ténéré Tragic #6

Now, Col, there is always only one winner in the age-old contest between logs and feet ... and that's the timber! So what was the final prognosis on the toes? Any broken or just black and blue all over?! Keep that ol' banger firing -- and thanks for the report and photos!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1