What a way to start the day: diarrhoea!

Author: Mitch Ladyman

Author: Mitch Ladyman


Adventure Rally's are growing in popularity day by day with hundreds of riders taking part and most manufacturers running similar type events.
I love a good “adventure rallyâ€
You can be on a 130kg KTM 500 Adventure tourer or a crusty old Maico or XR, it doesn't matter. Note Man in photo is not Dr Mitch!
Adventure rallies are non-competitive so, providing you can temper your own ego, the only thing you need worry about are the A-grade enduro riders that will use you solely for the purpose of gaining additional traction out of a corner. You don’t need to worry about having a head on collision with another bike, quad or buggy, as you would every time you ride in one of those fish bowls that local governments call a ‘designated riding area’.

You don’t need to worry about being harassed by rangers for riding in a catchment or quarantine area and, best of all, there are little signs along the entire route that tell you where to go and when you are about to encounter a widow(er) making obstacle. All you need to do on the KTM Adventure Rally’s is breath; ride; repeat.

I have attended several. More often than not, my bike won’t start in Park Ferme and I am OK with that as there are more than 250 other riders that can give me a bump. I ride a bike that is brilliant once it starts, but it is an electric start with no kick start back-up; who can guess which bike I ride? And herein lies one of the greatest attributes of the rally: It does not matter what you ride because it is not a race.

You can be on a 130kg KTM 500 Adventure tourer or a crusty old Maico or XR. Your bike can be as reliable as sunrise or as fallible as…..well, let’s not name names. And that is why I come back year after year. So you can only imagine how disappointed I was when my digestive system decided to explode 15 minutes out from the start of the event. I don’t even know what it was I ate the night before, but it wasn’t pretty. Nevertheless, I buckled up my duds and got on with it.
The perfect way to start the morning and a day on the bike.
Once you get going there are two loops (the first being 65 km and the second being 35 km) to keep you entertained. And if you are better than me, which most people are, you can ride the second loop multiple times. This year dust was an issue, but more often than not it is boggier than Shrek’s back paddock. Nevertheless, it was pretty easy to find a gap among the riders where the dust had cleared and you could more confidently put the hammer down.

Unfortunately for me, after less than 5km my back brake faded to nothing and I was compelled to ride like ‘Miss Daisy’ for the remaining 60 km of the first loop. I think I may have been passed even by the local fauna.

Remembering that this was not a race, I resigned myself to relax and enjoy the tootle through the scrub. Will I be back next year? Of course I will.

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