June 05 Dirt course photos

Discussion in 'Australia' started by atgreg, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Adventure Bike Training Weekend

    I’d always wanted to do some dirt bike training aimed at our big bikes ever since I’d read about the BMW training course in Germany but I’d never been able to find one, all the courses seemed to be for serious enduro and MX bikes. A story in the BMW club mag about a course they’d organised got me keen on the idea again so the search began again. I called Stay Upright, they said they’d get back to me but I never heard from then again ! I emailed the Stephen gall offroad academy as a last resort, they do enduro / MX courses and didn’t mention anything about the big adventure tourers on their website , to my surprise an email came back saying yes they could do a course for us specifically for the big bikes , excellent !!. Now, was there enough interest to run the course ? , I sent out emails to various groups Im on, my Sydney touring club, the OAR’s , the Oz section on the Advrider website and The Oz Honda V-twinners list, what a response, about 40 people said they were interested, obviously there’s quite a demand for this type of course. The course was to be 2 days over a weekend and the cost $200, a bargain I think, I picked a date and it was on.

    The course was held at a small riding park in the hills outside Batemans Bay, I headed off from Sydney about 2pm Friday arvo for the 300km trip south , I managed to avoid the worst of the traffic and made reasonable time, it got dark at Nowra and the cold and the fog rolled in making the last 100km to Batemans Bay interesting. A quick meal at Maccas and it was out into the hills and onto the dirt roads to the campsite. I managed to find it OK though the signs were pretty hard to see and several people ended up having a night dirt odyssey in the hills after missing the sign but they eventually backtracked and found us.

    There was basic camping at the park and most people camped out but a few stayed in town. 26 riders attended the course , a good mix including, 2 KTM 950’s, 4 Africa twins , 5 transalps, a selection of 100,1100,1150 and 1200 BMW GS’s , 3 NX650’s 2 KTM 640’s and a lone XTZ660, a couple of bikes were trailered out which as you’’ see later was a good thing. People came from Sydney, Victoria nth NSW and Daniel came all the way from Bourke. Our instructors, Miles Davis and Jason Cater arrived early on Saturday morning. Miles was the main instructor, he has owned a BMW adventure and was an international downhill mountan bike competitor as well as running the Big bike courses. Jason is an ex Aussie enduro champion who normally teaches on the MX / enduro courses and this was his first with the big bikes, both instructors were great and the riding demos they gave us were just amazing and certainly made me feel like I was on L’s again.

    The day started with a talk about riding gear and proper body positioning for standing up, we would be standing for most of the course so we also adjusted our foot and hand controls to suit then it was out into the grassy paddocks where we spent most of Saturday. We did lots of exercises aimed at getting used to using the controls standing up and using our body weight to control the bike all at slow speed. Miles told us that “Slow speed skills will improve your riding but riding wont improve your skills” At first I wasn’t convinced but now there’s no question in my mind of how right he was. Full lock figure 8’s , locking the rear wheel and steering with your body weight, locking the front wheel and pushing it across the paddock with a spinning back wheel again steering with your body weight. There were a few minor drops but nothing major, the whole idea being to work on your own personal limits and not feel pressured to do anything to much over your head and we were all at different levels , ost of us were amazed at what we could actually manage to do with our bikes. Just before lunch we were taken on a short trailride and we had our ownly dad crash for the weekend , John went WAY to fast over an erosion hump and launched his 1100 GS into the air ending in a big end over end crash and a basically written off bike , luckily John was one of the people who had trailered down so getting home was no drama.

    Saturday arvo was more slow speed excercises followed by a hillclimb uo one of the single tracks on the property, I was absolutely stuffed and was happy when we finished for the day and I’d certainly found some muscles I’d forgotten I had. We had a great night around the fire telling stories and listening to Miles tales of Mountain bike competitions around the world. Bloody hell the world is a small place sometimes, it tuned out that Miles knows the guy I bought my Africa twin off and also know people that Mike went to school with !!.

    Sunday dawned, a lot of us were moving pretty stiffly , Miles took us for walk and through some excercises to warm up for the day. More slow speed stuff and we had some great fun with the braking excercises, it’s bloody amazing how much grip you actually have on grass. The demo Miles gave us had our tongues hanging on the ground, crash stops from full noise into the most amazing rolling stoppies. Onto the trails in the hills we did some creek crossings, worked on the correct way to ride drainage humps and bike positioning on the trail. After lunch we were onto the speedway oval for some practice in sliding round corners and proper body and weight positioning (there’s that one again)
    at faster speeds. Riding over obstacles was next with a course set out with tyres we had to ride over, I found it hard to get the throttle and body weight coordinated well in lifting the front whee but others had no trouble. The last thing we did was another ride up the single track hillclimb loop again and then it was time to pack up , get our certificates and course manual DVD’s , thank Miles and Jason and ride home. The 4 hour cold ride home in the dark , being bloody sore and tired , was the final chapter in a great weekend. Everyone Ive talked to who did the course really enjoyed it and learnt a lot and would do it again. It’s hard to distill the course into a few paragraphs in this story but what it basically is about is that correct use of body and weight postioning with smooth controlled use of the throttle, brakes and clutch will conquer just about anything you come up against, of course you have to practice all this and that was what the course was all about. Do yourself a favour and do a course, it will improve your riding experience heaps. I’ll be certainly organising another course next year.


    Chief instructor Miles Davis

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    Some of the riders

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    #1
  2. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    the only casualty of the weekend "to fast over a drainage hump and looped it !!"
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    lots of slow speed balance work
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    #2
  3. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    lightening and lifting the front wheel over obstacle
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    #3
  4. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Cornering practice on the speedway oval

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  5. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Single trail practice

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  6. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    3 AT's - me in the middle

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  7. FuddyLogic

    FuddyLogic Blue'n'Orange

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    Atgreg,

    Great Report and pictures, thanks for posting.

    Would love to do one of those courses.

    Have you been able to make any permanent changes to your riding style since the course? Notice any improvement in skill/confidence?
    #7
  8. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Just being comfortable and balanced standing up was one big achievment for me on the weekend. Also practice at sliding etc was great. I certainly have more confidence in my riding now. I'd recomend a course to anyone.

    Greg
    #8
  9. tribeless

    tribeless _________________________

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    Great stuff :clap
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  10. Simple Simon

    Simple Simon Banned

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    Hi Greg - how often do these courses run?
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  11. lemmiwinks

    lemmiwinks sometime dirt squirter

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    Good one Greg! Makes me wish I'd signed up now, though Batemans Bay is a fair haul for me (though not as far as from Bourke!!)

    Cheers,
    Ash
    #11
  12. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    Simon,

    the full on enduro / mx courses run quite regularly but the courses for the "big" adventure tourers are run to order, The NSW BMW club have had 2 this year as well as the one I organised. You need about 14 people minimum for the course. I'll be organising another one next year sometime. Anyone volunteer to organise another one this year ??
    #12
  13. Speedzter

    Speedzter Been here awhile

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    I talked to Miles and Jason on Sunday after we had finished, about organizing a course down South . They both appeared very keen to do something and
    suggested holding it at the Broadford complex .
    Maybe I should follow this up for later this year ( probably too late ) or early next year . I'm sure we could round up enough interest again .
    It is definately a great course , worth doing more than once , especially as I missed out riding on day two due to bike problems .
    Well done Greg for getting the ball rolling the first time.

    Cheers
    Brendan
    #13
  14. Simple Simon

    Simple Simon Banned

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    I noticed the BMW club site a while ago - i will investigate - thanks
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  15. LeLievre Down Under

    LeLievre Down Under Le Lievre DownUnder

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    QUOTE]I noticed the BMW club site a while ago - i will investigate - thanks[/QUOTE]
    G'day all - I organised the two courses for the BMW TC NSW - We ran one about 2 years ago which led to Miles keeping the GSA for a long term test bike. Since then we had a number of members who wanted to do it all again. This year we will have had 33 members attend and a couple of others to help Miles out and make the numbers needed to put it together.

    All three courses that we've run have been at Singleton and it works well but is smaller than Batemans Bay. As a couple of people have pointed out too its a fair hike if you're from down south.

    I spoke with Miles during the week and we are going tot ry and put two more courses together - one will be at Stockton and the other will be a GS course at BAtemans Bay. In practical terms the earliest that we could run the GS course would be early to mid December so it will probably roll over into early 2006.

    There is obviously plenty of interest and whilst BMW will be offering their course in Qld personally I think its better to use the bike and set up you'll ride with - it's also probably more enjoyable catching up on the social side as well.

    If interested I'll post details when we get organised - Hope to meet up with a few of you at Cundle Flat

    Andrew
    #15
  16. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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    I think there will be enough demand that two more courses at Batemans Bay could fairly well be filled by bm club guys! I'd give them first bite at the cherry if it is a club type thing, and then after the mag has been out for a week or two give the rest of us heathens a go.

    And as I said on the bm club list I think things will be a bit warm around Xmass so I'd think a latter date would be better from a comfort and safety view?
    :1drink
    #16