Saturday, 26 October 2013

Ural Adventure Rally October 2013

The annual Ural Adventure Rally  for 2013 was held at Kentucky, Ural Australia’s headquarters on 18th to 20th of October.
Walcha Lunch stop
This event attracted 18 Ural outfits. It was a weekend of local ride tours, some mechanical training and some novelty events. Riders came from as far as Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne to enjoy time riding and socialising with long time Ural colleagues and new acquaintances.
Friday’s meet up in Tamworth at the Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum was followed with a ride taking us along quiet back roads into the hills on the way to Walcha’s Royal Hotel and a combined coffee and lunch stop.
A highlight was the steep climb out of the Weabonga valley up the infamous 4WD “Harley Hill”. Despite the challenge, only one rider needed a little outside help to scale the long steep climb.
Clare prepares lunch on Saturday
Friday afternoon we had an interesting technical session in Graham’s workshop where we looked at some Ural items that had failed over the last six years that he has been repairing Urals. Explanations of what, how and why was of considerable interest to the owners as they learned how to get the best out of their outfits and what they should and should not try to do in servicing and adjustment.
Steep Riding out of the crossing

A nice sunny Saturday saw us all away on a 200km scenic tour of New England roads. Coffee and lunch stops were in pleasant and friendly surroundings. A sand and rock crossing over the Gwyder river  at the lunch spot provided some good photo opportunities and enough challenge to encourage some determined riding. Ural Australia’s office manager Clare had prepared a great picnic lunch for us all and later for the Barbecue back at “The Huts” accommodation on Saturday evening.

Gwyder River crossing

The afternoon run took in a nice variety of road surfaces and scenery including the spectacular Dangars falls and gorge lookout east of Armidale and we returned via the much photographed Gostwyck Chapel on the historic Uralla property of the same name.

Gostwyck Chapel

Sunday morning was again warm and sunny and a slow start with bacon and egg rolls from the barby prepared the riders for the novelty events.
First up was a navigation and observation farm tour. Fluoro pink dots led a meandering 7km course around the farm with creek crossings, grassy hills, pine forests and farm roads. Random numbers posted on marked trees, rocks and posts had to be added up. It was hard enough to spot some of the fluoro dots and ride among the forest trees without trying to mentally add numbers and remember them as you rode. Needless to say, there was a wide variety of totals submitted at the finish. Lots of laughs and fun was had by all. Winner of this event was Ray Ward who had his trusty dog in the sidecar to help navigate and add up numbers!
Ray Ward and his trusty navigator
A slalom around a tight set of marker drums was held next. Riders had to drive out and at the far end select reverse and do the course backwards. Several older riders commented on the core muscle exercise provided by looking behind to alternative sides as they reversed around the markers.
The final competition was a magnetic dish stuck on the sidecar bonnet and a tennis ball placed in it. The driver had to accelerate around a circular course on a hillside without losing the ball from the dish whilst being timed with a stop watch. Lee Edwards was the overall winner at these timed events and he won a new Duro tyre for his effort.
It was once again an enjoyable get together of Ural owners and there are now some similar regular events for Urals in other states. The next scheduled event is in the Victorian Alps in March. Ural Australia can provide contact details for that.

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