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Scooting through the dust



I've had my new bike now for about 4 months and the only dirt its seen is the 1km I have on my way to and from work. So I decided to check out a back track that I hadn't been on for a number of years and then only once. The two wheel track runs over Mt. Buggery out the back of Borumba Dam via Bella Creek Road and takes you the back way to Land Cruiser Park and the Jimna forestry. There is a reason the mountain is called Buggery... Now my little scooter is not a trail bike. It's a DL 650 which is part road bike and part tourer. A trail bike it is not. This became rather obvious once I left the tar. Two things immediately came home to me, 1. the bike is front heavy and 2. the tyres are for the road.. slicks and useless on sandy gravel. However, not one to let a challenge go um.. unchallenged, rocks pinging off the oil filter I charged forth.

The final approach to the summit of Mt Buggery is rather steep, so much so I was rather concerned as I came upon it. But being far to late to turn around I stamped down to 2nd and wristed it. Rear wheel spinning and front wheel skating over the road like it was ice I arrived at the top of the goat track with heart pounding. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spied a weedy sapling that was in dire need of some hydration so I came to a halt in a cloud of dust, marched off into the scrub and rendered assistance. Feeling rather like a super hero I climbed back aboard my steed and carried on. 1hr and 10mins later I arrived at the entrance to Land Cruiser Park. Piece of cake.

Decision time, take the left and go to Jimna/Kilcoy or take the right and head into the unknown. I chose unknown and 15 mins later realised I was low on fuel, Doh!

Just when I thought I'd be spending the last hours of my life stranded miles from anywhere I found a road sign. It was in english, so I was still in Australia. It said Kandanga (get down and say praise the Lord). Thinking I was home and hosed I headed off down this yellow brick road to civilisation, visor up, bugs ricocheting off my teeth.

New sign.

Permit required.

Large fines.

Cursing, I pulled up to check out the largest carpet snake (carpet python for the city slickers) I had seen in quite some time. Easily 8 feet long and as thick as my calf through the middle. As I watched the critter search for a warm place in the sun, along came the park Ranger in his Land Cruiser. He nearly ran over the snake as he considered if I had broken down and how best to render assistance. Some skillful braking, sliding, spinning and sphincter clenching brought him past the snake and up beside me. Moments later, he's telling me that the road I was heading down was much better than the one I had taken over Mt. Buggery and to disregard the permit signs.

With a sigh of relief and waving thanks, I headed off with visions of paved freeways racing through my head.

5 minutes later I almost came back to earth with a large thud. What followed was an hour of white knuckle riding that saw me almost on the bike the whole way. Never in my life have I been so close to falling off for such an extended period of time. Sheer drops off the road, near vertical sections of rocky switch backs. The Ranger said the views were spectacular. I didn't notice. With the words of Banjo Patterson's Man from Snowy River running through my head I landed at the bottom of that 'Terrible Descent' and just shy of kissing the ground I dismounted.

After a few deep breaths and couple of moments counting my blessings we headed home, along paved road. My trusty steed, pluck undaunted, courage firey hot, snuffed the battle with delight and thought nothing of the ordeal. It's rider on the other hand, will not be riding that road again.

I can laugh about it now, safely home, bike in the shed nibbling some well earned hay.

No. I didn't take a camera. More fool me. I'll be turning left next time.

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