The Friday before the Dusty Butt Chris & his bro had organised a ride through one of the local stations down the Orari gorge. A few of the local boys were coming along & we were hoping to meet up with a group we knew were taking the scenic route from Christchurch to the Dusty Butt kickoff in Fairlie. First up however was some maintenance down at the local garage, run by Chris's bro & father.
With my flaky GPS power connection fettled & Chris's 690 re-tyred & serviced we headed for the hills.
The other guys all had dirtbikes so we waited for them to arrive & unload then splashed through the river & onto some fun farm tracks.
They would have gone through a few cases of gelignite & a few dozer blade corners pushing this track in.
We try to loop back on some dodgy track but it gets too sketchy even for the light bikes so we turn back the way we came.
On the way back we meet with the Chch crew who are taking a different route again.
Back at the river crossing we meet up with the Chch group again, they are having a conference on the best place to cross. Having already scoped that out on the way in we plunge straight in & show the way.
Back at the trailers we stop for a coldie before heading back to town.
A big thanks to Chris & co for the tour guiding over these few days!
That night was the DB1k ride briefing & dinner. A great feed was put on by the rugby club & we enjoyed a few beers with friends from all over who had come for the ride. Numbers are capped at 150 riders & that limit had been reached a month before.
The idea of the Dusty Butt is to ride a set 1000km route in a weekend (or 24hrs if you are really nuts) The route is laid out to take in a very indirect ride, with as much gravel & 4x4 track as possible, between Fairlie & Alexandra on day 1, then back to Fairlie day 2.
Much of the route is public access but with a few key sections linking it all together where permission is required. CooneyR has organised the ride for the last few years & either a roll chart or GPS route can be followed. I had both.
There are also 3 optional challenge sections that can be bypassed by saner types or those on big bikes. This was to be my first run at the DB1k, I had ridden parts of the route before & was looking forward to revisiting those places & riding some new ground like the Awakino Saddle challenge section that I had heard so much about.
With a room booked in Alex I packed the minimum of gear on the 640 & set my alarm for 0530.