Heading off the highway looking for adventure – Riders traverse the Blue Mountains (NSW) to Bairnsdale (VIC)
The recent 2015 BMW GS Safari was a huge success with 200 riders traversing the magnificent off roads between the Blue Mountains National Park in NSW and Bairnsdale on the Victorian coast.
Backed up by a dedicated support team, the BMW Safari riders departed from the heritage listed Jenolan Caves Village west of Sydney, and threaded their way through the Blue Mountains. Riding on lesser-known gravel roads, the course navigated through rolling farmland and forests before participants arrived in Mittagong for a well-earned break.
The following morning, the riders were soon rolling through Kangaroo Valley and running parallel to the coast toward Batemans Bay. Riders were kept honest by some technical terrain, steep trails and boggy mud holes, they were ideal GS-riding conditions that tested both man and machine. The wide range of terrain and more challenging sections rated well with the group, with many saying day 2 was their favorite.
For Wednesday’s ride Batemans Bay was the base for two off-road loops showcasing the breathtaking countryside between the coast and the lip of the Great Dividing Range. Steady rain made riding very challenging, for some, this was their toughest day ever on a bike.
Although challenged by the muddy and slippery conditions, it was an experience that they won’t forget in a hurry. One of the GS Safari first timers who rode in these tricky conditions was Kate Peck, a BMW Motorrad Ambassador. Kate, who is kept busy with her Myer fashion ambassador and RPM TV hosting duties absolutely loves bikes and jumped at the chance to join her first GS Safari. In the last year she has completed two BMW Off Road Training courses as well as a California Superbike School course. On Wednesday Kate was pushed to her limits but showed she was up to the task. “That was awesome!”, she screamed when she walked into the Nelligen Café drenched from top to bottom.
With heavy rain falling and the forecast for more, Thursday’s route was adjusted, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the group as they wound their way through interesting back roads into Jindabyne.
The final day was an epic run into Bairnsdale that tracked the Snowy River on the Barry Way. With the Snowy River in full flow from the recent rain the scenery was as incredible as the riding. From the lunch stop in the historic town of Omeo the route headed south through forests and pine plantations, finally arriving in Bairnsdale.
As is the custom, the BMW GS Safari wound up with a farewell dinner. It is a great way to celebrate an amazing week of motorcycling adventure and the making of many friendships.
BMW Motorrad Australia Marketing Manager, Miles Davis, was on hand to not only see the riders smile at the end of each day but also witness many of the first time GS Safari rider’s improvement throughout the week.
“An important aspect of the BMW GS Safari is the optional rider training. Two days prior to the kick-off, thirty plus riders signed up at an amazing property at Oberon for the opportunity to brush up on their Adventure riding skills at the pre-Safari Off-Road Training Course. This training proved invaluable over the week’s riding,” said Davis.
“The 2015 GS Safari was a fantastic event – beautiful Australian countryside explored with other GS riders in a spirit of adventure and mateship. I can only encourage all GS riders to experience it for themselves,” said Davis.
The BMW Safari has been running since 1994, with a proven formula for motorcycle fun and adventure. This year the GS Safari was backed by a dedicated support team which included BMW Roadside Assistance by Allianz who provided the sweep vehicle and Safari Tech Support Team and Europcar who provided trucks for Safari Luggage and Tyre Support services. The Safari support team also included medical support, lead riders and a management team to ensure the event ran smoothly and provided riders with maximum support.
The next BMW Safari event is the 2016 TS Safari, which is a road touring event that will take place from March 13-18, from the Byron Bay area to Jenolan Caves. Full details of all 2016 BMW Safari events (including GS Safari and GS Safari Enduro) will be announced before the end of the year. For more information visit www.bmwsafari.comand register for BMW Safari news.
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