We did it! Mountain Madness 2009 is done and dusted, with Garage Night “satellite squad” the Mushman Candidates placing FIRST in the under-650cc class and 2nd outright on points.
Trent and Pete again teamed up with KTM rider and navigator extraordinaire James to produce an outstanding result – though scoring second overall for the second year running left them even more determined for outright victory next year.
Our not-so-hotly-competitive “official” entry Team Garage Night – myself (Waz), Richard and Etienne – placed 8th out of 14 in the over-650cc class.
Richard and I hadn’t ridden on dirt for years, and for the three of us it was our first outing as a team. Not making excuses – but it took us a while to find our offroad legs.
Team Garage Night had an exhausting first day scoring not many points, then a mad dash home to check in, only avoiding a penalty by three minutes.
On the second day we were much more confident riders, but found ourselves prematurely knackered from two full days of manhandling our bikes around mountain tracks. We never thought we’d win, or even score a podium finish, so 8th is fine with us and there’s plenty of room for improvement if we want to take a more competitive approach next time.
The Mushmans, on the other hand, ran a very disciplined operation with many hours dedicated to map preparation and course plotting. Their seriousness became a bit of a running joke in the Garage Night camp but you have to seriously admire their riding and route-finding skill.
As for the bikes, we had no major problems. On Team Garage Night, the KTM forks on Richard’s BMW worked flawlessly; Etienne’s DRZ-400 performed in the usual bulletproof fashion of these bikes; and I felt that the others’ doubts about my Elefant’s offroading abilities and reliability were finally put to rest, along with some doubts of my own.
And no punctures, except before the rally had even started when I pinched a tube fitting my offroad tyres.
So now it’s back to the garage. Richard’s bike needs some repair work after a minor low-speed crash during the event, and I’m turning my mind to fitting the Elefant with some Husqvarna-Showa offroad forks I scored on eBay for cheap. I think my carbs need a mixture adjustment and balance too, so we’ll be filming that.
See you back at the workbench.