Words: Adam Brooks | Photos: Jock Davidson
To quote the lyrics of 1970’s super group Super tramp’s song “Goodbye Stranger” “Like a king without a castle Like a queen without a throne Like a ship without an anchor Like a slave without a chain”. The NSW vinduro scene has been reminiscent of this with riders without an event. Yes we have Rockley but with events once or twice year, riders were left wanting more. So enter the Inaugural Cookardinia Vinduro held on Sunday 18th September 2011. The location was on a property named Bendemere situated some twenty odd kilometres from submarine city, that is Holbrook. Home to some beautiful countryside and one of the best pie shops around.
The 9.5 km course was laid out by Holbrook MC president Murray Jones who kindly offered up his property for this event. It was evident that it had been some years since a knobby tyre had touched the ground and it was bestowed upon some 34 entrants to take duty and carve it up vinduro style. The track was strategically set in a way to keep the motorcycle folk happy, with a large expanse of open plains to really wind out those big bores and a good mix of wooded section that is generally used in the special test sections of enduro’s. It was evident that some riders like Grahame Hunter aboard his beautifully presented KDX 250 revelled in the tight stuff and ate it up like candy. He was a testament to well soughted bike and fitness, which I’m glad to say “I lacked”.
The Saturday night was spent around the camp fire set up in Murray’s home made containment box, made out of some disgarded Armco railing, probably found on the side of the Hume Hwy after some poor soul swerved to miss one of the many fury creatures or should we say road kill seen along the way. It was great to meet many like minded and great guys and girls that were there to support this event and motorcycling in general. The mosquitoes had a field day with some fresh bait, not to mention the unlimited amount of eight legged friends dropping from the skies…..they were everywhere.
Fast forward to Sunday after a restless night on the back seat of the Falcon and many pits stops to stretch the legs and water the plants Jock and I were up at sparrows fart to get registrations in order. It was judgement day, fingers were crossed hoping that all would run smoothly…..and it did. Thanks to forum member Adam Nightingale who managed to put down the bottle of Meguiars polish (free plug) and lend an extra set of hands to process the participants.
A quick briefing was held to cover formalities of the loop before riders and machines were lined up for a pre-ride photo session. Apart from being a great chance for avid photographers to snap away it was a good time check out some other bikes lined up alongside each other and say “hey nice Honda man” or “hey brother your kick start lever looks like it’s about to fall off” and yes it did. If anyone has seen Les Dew’s Husky kick start lever can you please return it to……..
The laps began with a sighting lap to familiarise people with the track. Riders were kept at bay behind Murray’s TT250 with many chomping at the bit to get past him. The sight of riders returning through the start/finish gate keenfully maned by Mrs Poppy with clip board and check list inhand signalled the beginning of the event with riders quickly setting off on their laps. The required amount of laps to complete was five with most riders averaging around the eight or nine mark. Some competitors though like Ryan Dew proved to be a man of steel chalking up a massive 15 laps aboard his WR 430 Husky. A highly comendable effort.
The track itself was quite free flowing and really came into it’s own after a few laps. I found that towards the end of the day my fitness was coming back and I was able to put together some back to back laps. The off camber corners and double backs through the wooded section were great. There were a few fallen logs to cross and a set of truck tyres to clear. Many opted to take the easy route and go around, “chickens” while others came to grief with the many trees and tight corners. A few close moments were thrown in also, Peter Andrijwesky, don’t ask me to pronouce that, showed us how close an XL motorsport can come to trees. After just missing the first tree, recovering then clipping the next with his shoulder only, to then nearly lose it completley and finsh with a mono, it’s was a funny thing to see.
Out the back of the property it was like a scene from “High Plains Drifter” the misty heat haze on the horizon and a dust trail ahead. Some long stretches between the rolling hills let the big bores really open up their lungs and scream. Throw in a few divets and mud crossings and you soon realize the value of checking your handle bar bolts. Doing a lap with the bars on the tank, chopper style apart from looking awesome was very unco!
Across the top of the hill was like mine field, speckled with quartz and granite rock poking through the surface. Although not visually challenging it did however catch a few out including yours truly with the back end stepping out on regular occasion. As the day wore on it was getting harder and harder to wind up the event. Riders just wouldn’t stop. A few even pleaded “please sir can I have more” they loved it. The words f@#ken awesome and a big thumbs up were kindly received from many riders. But like all good things the event did have to end, many had travelled from a far so onto the presentation we headed.
Prizes were handed out for best presented bikes with the main honour going to Tim Kontis and his beautifully prepared 1982 XR 500. Tim received a new pair of goggles and some other goodies kindly donated by Whitehorse Motorcycles of Albury. Some other prizes kindly donated were by, Mick from KC tools, Meguires and Liquid Moly products on behalf of Jock. With the winding up of proceedings it was time to hit the road. It had really turned out to be a great weekend. The weather gods had been on our side and there were no hicups. Driving home I turned to my co-pilot Jock and “said man that was a great event, we actually made it happen”. Next year we are hoping for an even bigger event with some added sections to extent the loop. For all those who missed, what can I say but don’t miss the next one and to all those that attended, a very big thankyou. Once a gain a big thanks to the Holbrook MC, and everyone involved.