With invaluable advice and demonstrations offered by RideADVs experienced crew, these events offer so much more than an adventure ride. The start/finish location is prime – on a large property in Ourimbah, NSW – right on the doorstep of supreme ADV riding areas such as Yengo and the Watagans. During each ride, the group pulls up frequently and the crew - led by experienced rider and tour operator Grey Yager – stop to share riding tips earned over years of powering bikes in the bush.
But this weekend is not just about the ride. Camping is available onsite and a BBQ dinner is offered where the crew discuss everything from bike setup, tyre choice, tools, hydration, air pressure, suspension setup, servicing… and much more. It’s a lot to take in but even more experienced riders can learn plenty. And a surprising number of participants are not newbies. There are many who rock up to improve skills, to prep for a solo run, or just to have a fun weekend with like-minded riders.
With a wealth of information on board, 28 riders set off for a tour of the Central Coast hinterland on Saturday 4 Feb. There was a wide variety of machinery - from a 400cc Royal Enfield Himalayan to a BMW R1250GS - as the intro riders ducked straight into the Ourimbah State Forest where they got a chance to practice line selection and body position while dodging the many potholes and larger rocks.
“We like to test out the group to see how they go first up,. and then modify the course depending on ability,” explains Yager. “In some cases we split into two groups to offer the best experience to our customers,” he continues.
Our group appeared to be rolling along sweetly, so we rode together. The group ran a corner man navigation system so there was no GPS as a potential distraction, and we rolled along comfortably up through the Finchley Track for a riding demonstration – with the opportunity to test out new found skills.
Lunch was at Laguna and then the group headed back along Watagan Creek Road which turns steep and rocky – a good challenge for some of the less experienced riders. The crew offered test spins on their Ténéré 700s to whoever wanted to sample a well set up twin cylinder adventure bike. With over 300,000 accumulated kilometres on the fleet bikes, the crew machines are extremely well prepared, so the comments were universally positive. In particular, the Teknik suspension specced on RideADV bikes received a great rap from the test riders. “Because we spend long days in the saddle, we need suspension that can not only handle the big hits but is also comfortable all day. Nick Dole at Teknik has helped develop settings that tick all the boxes,” explains Yager.
After a fun 170km loop the riders returned for a BBQ dinner, a debrief and some fine tuning of machines at RideADV’s workshop. Then there was a trailside tyre change demonstration from the crew – another entertaining feature designed to give newcomers the confidence to set off on their own adventure ride. Or in many cases, return for a multi day RideADV event. “We find that these intro events act as feeder events for our longer rides. People seem to like the experience we offer and become repeat offenders,” jokes Yager.
Time to hit the swag, then get up Sunday morning to do it all again.