“Like riding in chocolate cake”
Once again run in perfect conditions, the 2008 Kenda Rally was “like riding in chocolate cake” according to moto journalist Steven Tuff, after he completed two loops of Rubicon’s finest trails.
This year the Kenda Rally had an almost a full contingent of nearly 500 riders to put their trail bikes through scrutineering. A selection of dirt bike entries with aftermarket exhausts were noise testing by the Department of Sustainability’s Trail Bike Project team. Thanks to the Alexandra District Motorcycle Club's hard line on noisy bikes, only a handful of bike owners were cited, which was a considerable improvement over past years.
The 2008 event saw some changes, with the event now being named the Kenda Rally. A long running sponsorship agreement with the Ron Angel organization has seen an increased involvement with Kenda tyres as the naming rights sponsor. Trail Bike Adventure Magazine was welcomed onboard as the media sponsor. Nolan helmets, EK Chain, Mobil lubricants, AFAM Products and K&J Thomas Motorcycles Whittlesea continue as long term support sponsors.
The Nolan Dash
Prior to the rally, the now traditional and eagerly awaited Nolan Dash (foot race) was once again held. The contestants, who are dressed in full riding gear, run like hell to reach the prize, being a brand new Nolan helmet.
The rules are simple ... there are NO rules! The first rider to reach the helmet, is the winner. Trip-ups, tackles and no shortage of mud and hot air make sure that the Nolan Dash is always a memorable crowd pleaser.
The Kenda Rally Start
As the first wave of Kenda Rally riders set out, no doubt many of the waiting dirt bikers were still chuckling over the "highlights" of the Nolan Dash. It took just over an hour from the first to last group, to get all the competitors off the starting line (almost ten riders per minute). This year's entrants included more than a few interstate riders, with one AMTRA rider coming all the way from Western Australia.
Cool, Crisp & Sunny - Perfect Conditions for a 147Km Rally!
Cool but sunny conditions ensured that the dust ratio was almost immeasurable at less than 0.0001%. Dirt bikers in the early waves around the first loop, also found that some of the puddles high up on the Royston Range were still frozen over.
The ADMCC's legendary Hill Pushers manned the trickier and more technical uphill sections of the course to ensure that there were no bottlenecks or delays to spoil the day's riding. The first loop of the rally wound its way back to the start-finish after around 70kms of prime high country loam, giving the riders a break to refuel and rehydrate before setting off on the second loop.
The slightly longer and more flowing 77km second loop saw the day become steadily more clouded. Fortunately, the rain held off until later that night. A second year in succession providing the Kenda rally with perfect weather conditions for a truly memorable Rubicon trails dirt bike experience.
Post Rally Reveling
After all the riders had picked up their licenses, grabbed their classy race finisher's stubby holder and all important meal tickets, it was time to head for the Lions Club's catering van for a hamburger and drink, before the prize winners were drawn from a hat.
Included in the prizes were heaps of shiny new Nolan helmets, Kenda tyres, Trail Bike Adventure Magazine subscriptions, Mobil Oil packs, AFAM handlebars / grips and EK Chain sets. On the day, over $7,000 worth of gear was handed out to the fortunate dirt bikers.
A sincere word of thanks goes out to Ron Angel Wholesale who has been the major sponsor of the Kenda Rally (formerly the Nolan Rally) since its inception in 1985, for kindly donating these great prizes, along with K&J Thomas Motorcycles in Whittlesea.
The Dirty Dozen took out the Biggest Team award and the $500.00 cash prize with 14 of their team finishing the Kenda Rally event.
With thanks for the Superb Support
With almost 500 riders giving the Rubicon trails their best, it was perhaps surprising to have a day without any broken bones. Though the event had its share of spills and mud-munching, the local Ambulance Team, who were on hand to look after any injuries, had only a handful of bruises and abrasions to deal with. Sadly, there's not much they can do for those suffering from wounded pride.
The local SES and WICEN Communications provided their usual faultless service to keep track of every rider throughout the day, enabling the club to sat well on top of any emergencies that might arise.
The Kenda Rally is run each May by the Alexandra District Motorcycle Club as a major fundraiser for both the club and local community. Keep an eye on the Alexandra District Motorcycle Club web site for details of the upcoming 2009 Kenda Rally.
Many thanks to Steve from Holeshot Images for the fine pictures. Please visit the Holeshot Images web site