The 2018 Ural Adventure Ride was held on the 13-14th October. Every year since 2009 the annual ride has been organised to gather interested Ural owners together and celebrate the fun of back roads touring on a Ural outfit. It has proved to be a great learning experience for new owners and an enjoyable challenge for many repeat participants.
Ural Australia is located in Uralla and the surrounding New England region has an endless supply of mountain roads to tempt many participants who came from as far as Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. They came for two days of sidecar travel on the lesser frequented, and often challenging mountain roads, following a different route every year.
There were more than twenty sidecars entered and a number of female drivers again showed their prowess in the sometimes challenging conditions. Two of the ladies were accompanied by their non-riding fellas in the chair.
There were two junior passengers in sidecars and a family of three on one of the outfits.
A wet, “dust free” weekend was forecast with only occasional “light” showers experienced. The forest roads were in excellent condition and a wide variety of terrain was covered. Highlights occurred on the wet clay and rock ascents along the Racecourse Trail, followed by the steep descent to the Forbes River crossing with its rocky entry, deep water and a loose gravel exit point. The crowd on the far bank grew as each outfit crossed over, as did the number of cameras.
Our lunch stop was at a quaint shelter with open fire and tables and chairs. Out of these sidecars came refrigerated eskys full of food and warm drinks. Delicious home baked cookies were handed round, wet weather gear was taken off. After an hour, wet weather gear was dragged back on, we departed and it stopped raining!
The ride back to the Oxley was just as good as the morning’s ride, up and down hills through beautiful rain forests and over creeks.
All this on lovely wet slippery roads, the kind of roads that strike fear into the hearts of many adventure riders who wish they were anywhere but there! The last 5 kilometres flashed past in a feast of fast, sweeping, cambered roads and we joined the Oxley again for a sedate ride into Port Macquarie.
Saturday evening found us in comfortable waterside cabins at Port Macquarie, eating pizza and reliving the day’s adventures.
Following a hearty breakfast at the Rivermark Café, Day Two of our Adventure Ride began with a ferry ride across the river.
Soon we were on some excellent roads, racing through beautiful countryside following the Macleay River.
Lunch was enjoyed at George’s Junction where we gathered for a group photo shortly before hitting the road on our slippery ride up the mountain.
Recent road grading and rain had prepared a smooth road surface, but it soon became increasingly slippery toward the top of the climb out of the river valley.
The Ural outfits were able to maintain traction on the slippery climb. A vehicle ahead of us failed to summit the slippery climb and had to turn around and head back down, while the Urals all motored steadily on and over the top to the amazement and delight of some less experienced Ural owners. For the old hands, we were never in doubt about getting there!!
One flat tyre and a muffler that had come loose were the only minor mechanical holdups all weekend and no one failed to ride their outfit through the many and varied challenges along the way.
Once again, the Ural Adventure Ride had given the participants a shared experience to talk about well into the future as well as a demonstration of the fun to be had piloting a Ural along some challenging roads. Bring on 2019!
Words adapted from Jon Taylor and Greg Jansen.
More on the ride can be read at Rocky Creek Designs where Greg Jansen gives his account of the adventure filled weekend!