The second installment of The Dirty rat rolled onto the dirt a little further west of Ararat this time around allowing some more challenging roads to be thrown into the mix. A good day out was had by all despite the McKenzie Falls Kiosk not being open for ice creams! No one finished the full course leaving a bit of unfinished business and a taste for more dirt!
The first installment of The Dirty Rat was a plan on paper which in the field could have gone a number of ways. On that day everyone who came was on their game and although we limped to the finish, I was always quietly confident from the beginning we would finish the day out.
Fast forward two years later and many stories from the day and I’m somewhat overwhelmed by the turn out for the second installment of The Dirty Rat. What started as shits and giggles and a funny name appears to be growing beyond my wildest expectations.
As a group gets larger managing expectations becomes something that is harder to keep in check. I realized after my ride down from Alice Springs that if you take a bunch of good pictures it helps to brush over the suffering one endures during a long day in the saddle. This also means people can get sucked into a false sense of security as to what the activity entails. With more than thirty people of hugely varying skills and fitness levels I had my work cut out for me meeting individual needs.
I wanted to keep the same ‘big day out in the saddle’ feel from the first ride whilst still keeping everyone happy and quietly breaking as few bodies as possible. Not an easy task but the maze of fire roads in the Grampians National park lend themselves kindly to such logistics.
The route was designed around a big 200 km loop with a series of short cuts to be taken if time limits were not met. This allowed for contingencies of your big day in the saddle turned into an unanticipated shit fight!
The hard hitters were eager to get going and didn’t stick around for the briefing so they weren’t aware that I had doubts anyone would finish the route in the allotted time limit, they found this new out about 9 hours later.
The main group of about 15 of us stuck together on the 200 course for the first 70-80km before short cuts began to be taken and the day wore on.