The annual Flinders Ranges Classic III for 2010 attracted over 45 riders from around the state & other parts of Australia converging on South Australia's absolutely stunning & beautiful wilderness area "The Flinders Ranges", some 500 kms north of the state capital, Adelaide for another exceptional & unforgetable trail & scenic riding experience in god's own riding country. Most were trailering their weapons of choice to base camp, this year at Angorichina Village in the Parachilna Gorge, 14 kms west of Blinman, while a gnarly few prepared to attack the adventure ride north. An air of excitement was building early Friday morning under threatening westerly clouds as the "real" Adventure Riders, TonyRDR (DR650), MonoTech (DRZ400), KevS69 (KTM640), GNP59 (KTM625) & myself, masterbrewer (TDM850) departed for the fun ahead. Fortune favoured us during the morning with cloudless clear skies & perfect riding conditions ................ it was really tough going though ...... nah! .... really ..... it was. To ensure we reached base camp before the grazing roadside wildlife terrorists emerged in the late afternoon, we took a bee-line past the midnorth town of Clare before getting a whiff of the Stone Hut Bakery out to the northwest over rolling hills and sweet dirt tracks, where we were to meet Cheeseburger on his mighty ex-Dakar podium finishing KTM. After purposely arriving at the bakery earlier than indicated to Cheeseburger, ensuring sufficient camel pies & other delicacies were still available, it was up Snake Gully Road out east of Melrose, through the swarming locusts near Wilmington and up the Gunyah Rd to Quorn to refuel. Further north along Yarrah Vale Gorge, Warren Gorge & past Simmonston ruins and then over the fabulous riding Bobby Creek Rd ...................... well! ................ a winding, twisting, fantastic two wheeled track actually, through numerous creek crossings & many gates before hitting the black stuff for Parachilna Gorge and into Angorichina Village for an early dust quenching ale or two or .... Pre-dinner entertainment was provided by Dave from the village with his mighty "sideways action" 20 seater pizza delivery bus, with an exciting ride into Blinman which had everyone was buzzin' :dg Mind you, since the tar has been laid between Wilpena & Blinman last year, "inflation" has pushed the price of the pizzas up by $4 a hit, but never-the-less still outstanding value for hungry bikers. Looking back at this shot in hindsight ....... one wonders why was I holding that specific hand up, I ask myself!!!!!!!!! ........................................... the answer is revealed later. Saturday saw us riding Parachilna, Brachina & Bunyaroo Gorges into Wilpena Pound stopping for the inevitable "mugs" shot and quite frankly a forgetable lunch at Wilpena Chalet. After lunch some of the group headed back through the gorges, while a few of us tackled the Moralana Scenic Drive for its truly "memorable" riding experience ................... !!!!! (in more ways than one ) Casually cresting a small rise and rounding a clump of trees at a leisurely pace, I caught a glimpse of a large grey "rock" moving into my path. Immediately washing off speed with the fabulous TDM's brakes, I could sense the inevitable as the unsighted roo jumped out knocking my front wheel to the right. Just managing to hold on as my mind flooded with....... "f&#k! :eek1 ............... that was too close for comfort." the stupid roo, not content with our lucky escape ................. spun around as I rolled over his tail to apparantly check the ground clearance under my low slung TDM. He was obviously well fed after the recent rains in the area and unfortunately exceeded the measurement. With a loud clunk heard against the bash plate, my rear wheel launched towards the stars, with me holding on for dear life or should that be "roo life", not wanting to miss the opportunity of an outer space experience. The sputnik style landing was somewhat rough ................. slamming to earth on the right handguard, shattering the fairing, denting the fuel tank, and stone pummeling the rear exhaust with the luckily, extra strongly built engine crash bars taking the brunt of the blow as the heavy TDM bounced three times, metres apart before spinning around and sliding to a holt, taking its toll on rider & machine. The next few seconds of silence were eerie before help arrived. After collecting the many scattered pieces, including the broken front brake lever from obviously pulling too hard, I was able to adjust what was left on the once mighty TDM and limp the 60kms back to base camp. With a badly bruised & swollen hand, no front brake lever and a twisted rear brake pedal, I was in no state to encounter more terrorists, as there would be little chance of avoiding another roadside attack. Back at camp, 'Dr' TonyRDR & Dr CharlieW wasted no time jumping into action prescribing "just the medicine" they said and soon half a bottle or was that 3/4 of a bottle of "neat" Southern Comfort was consumed together with the left overs of last night's pizza. It wasn't long before my mind was clear and feeling like I was back in orbit. They tell me my mouth was working overtime for the next four hours and it wasn't long before others wanted what I was on to generate such a big happy smile considering the circumstances, but alas ................................. there was none left. Obviously gasgasbird's doctor didn't get as excited as mine over her fractured ribs, as she had far too much medicine left in her bottle. The things one has to do these days to get a "Man of the Match" trophy ............... but still very much appreciated & many thanks. It is a very comforting feeling to have good mates around when circumstances turn bad. It was also good to see so many best friends & partners on this trip too. Great times to remember with great friends once again, cya next year. Cheers Medical prognosis: TDM: ..................... R.I.P. WANTED : a replacement Mk1 TDM 850 to keep "The Legend" alive.... contacts anyone? (pref RED) Masterbrewer: ........... appropriately named (wild) Gamekeepers Thumb ....... more like F**kin' Roo Hittin' Thumb I didn't realise how often you use your thumb to hold things: .................. thank god for double sided tape for the loo paper For those interested, heaps more reports here Flinders Ranges Classic III 21/5/2010: Latest Masterbrewer Medical update .......... Life's never that simple ........ Loose floating bone fragments plus a separated, retracted & coiled ulnar collateral ligament. Full-on operation Friday 28th with possible tendon transplant from elsewhere for added support .................... first operation in 50 years though ................. think positive, now that's not too bad Out of action for some months ........... AND just when you really need to go for a ride to feel better.