With fellow X Team rider Colin Lawson competing in this years Australian Safari, I wanted to offer support like he offered Bullet 2 years ago when he competed. I am not sure if i thought it through that much , but anyway, I ended up at Adelaide airport with my Swag wondering what I was getting myself into.
Arriving at base camp a few hours later ... I knew. Guys and quads everywhere , communual showers and transportable toilet blocks was to become my life and that old swag that I brought.... well that was my new best friend, store room, clothes cupboard, change room and more - but I have tried to block some of it out :)
Three quad riders were competing this year. Although only three, they were the good three ( other than Bullet ) Colin Lawson from Atherton, Paul Smith from Warnambool and John Magazidas from Adelaide. Each brought a pit crew of one or two to help them through the week, give them massages, spoon feed them, ...... fix everything the guys broke each day on the bike and generally tell them they were soft and to try harder tommorrow ( I was good at that job).
So anyway, the business owner, the dairy farmer and the almond grower took place in a 7 day journey that included some of the coolest looking but roughest cross country riding they could have hoped for. There are many photos and links to the event on the Thumbpump website to look at, but I have included some of my favourites below.
Colin Lawson was lucky enough ( I am sure thats what he thinks ) to have Adam Green , Chris Howard and myself there for support. Colin rode exceptionally well each day with numerous stage wins across the 7 days, however a time penalty of 5 hours on day two put him at the back of the field and in a difficult position to make up. He worked his guts out to make up the time and it came down to the wire in the end between Colin and John for second place, with John securing second on the last day.
I hate to say it , but dare devil Paul Smith may have just grown up on us all when we werent looking, because he rode exceptional all week, stayed focused, rode consistenlty but cleanly and was a well deserved first place winner.
Congratulations to all the guys who competed in a very expensive but rewarding event. Hope we see a few more quads out there next year - start saving your pennies