800 riders take on 2018 North Star Trail Ride

Around 800 motorbike riders faced 140 kilometres of widely varied terrain for the North Star Trail Ride last weekend.

Tracks ran through dried out creek beds, rocky climbs, scrub and wide open spaces. 

“We were more than happy, and the feedback from the riders was very positive,” organiser Jeff Nixon said.

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The dry weather was expected to create an extra challenge for the speedsters, with more dust on the tracks. However a smaller number of riders and a few rain showers on the Sunday made for clearer conditions than initially anticipated. 

“(The rain) made everyone happy. You don’t want to be riding in dust all day,” Nixon said. 

Photo courtesy of Jeff Nixon.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Nixon.

“From a rider’s point of view, not having an overcrowded track is important. There was the odd logjam, but never a big back up of riders.”

Although it wasn’t ideal, the dry weather did allow organisers to add new tracks through creek beds.

“Most of them make for free flowing riding with a few logs, low branches and tight turns to keep it interesting. The bottom ranges from fine silt to hard black soil,” the trail ride Facebook page explained.

The 11 kilometre long ‘Enchanted Forest’ proved a challenge for experienced riders, as they took on the rocky, scrub-filled terrain. 

Photo courtesy of Jeff Nixon.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Nixon.

Nixon said that over 14 years of experience, organisers had realised the importance of knowing how many riders would be on the track and preparing accordingly, particularly considering the town’s relative isolation.

They chose not to exceed 1000 riders this year due to the dry conditions. Several St John’s Ambulance vehicles were on the scene, along with support vehicles and volunteers. 

Police were on the scene to perform random breath tests each morning.

However the day still proved hazardous to some, and one man was flown to Tamworth following a high speed accident on Sunday. 

The 88, 50 and 20 kilometre loops were designed for all levels, with several bypasses for novice riders. 

Although a price rise proved controversial this year, Nixon said the ride still worked out to approximately $1 a kilometre for most, and that the extra funds went to additional costs such as higher insurance fees.

Anyone who left equipment behind or lost pieces of their bikes to the rough terrain are encouraged to follow the North Star Facebook page, which will post pictures of pieces found on the tracks over the next week.

This story Riders conquer North Star tracks | Photos first appeared on The Inverell Times.

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