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Riding with Geoff Eldridge of Australian Dirt Bike Magazine

So many visitors to this site are here to read about Geoff I decided to add a few stories about Geoff to keep his memory alive. My friendship with Geoff started when I was invited to ADB to do some work on their Mac systems back in the early 80’s. After being razzed for my weight problem, I was quickly invited into the fold. Geoff let me have a loan of his trusty old KDX 250 and quickly after seeing that I actually could ride he let me buy it off him for a bargain. Within a week he had given me boots and gloves and pads.

The loop “at the top of the world” near the ADB offices was a 12k testing ground that I was hell bent in getting around faster and faster. The first time around it took 36 minutes. A 4 wheel drive guy I say took over an hour… lots of rocky climbs, ledges and a creek waterfall that you had to get up!

After about three weeks of practise it was time for me to ride with the guys from ADB… the fastest lap I had done was 18 minutes by this time.

I can still remember the first ride. Geoff had some close friends he rode with and somehow I got to be included.  Terry Schulze arrived on his KDX 200 with his garbage bag raincoat and Wayne Brady and Geoff and I all trailering into the staging spot in his car at the south end of the circuit/loop.

Terry just flew on his KDX 200. It was a bloody fantastic experience. Geoff was so smooth and fluid, Wayne just jams it and Terry just made it look so easy. Of course I was the last guy, but actually kept up with them because I could follow their lines… down some 2 foot drop away rock ledges to some thick sand a shale drop away and a cheat 60 degree cliff shortcut to a creek crossing and woopdy doos before a rocky creek and up a waterfall… I was following Wayne and going way too fast to stop when he bounced off two rocks before hitting a waterfall rock ledge about two feet up before having to ride near vertical up another 3 foot of rock face to get over the top…

I held on for grim death and it worked.. hit the bash guard hard but made it… every other time I came to this spot I got off and physically lifted the bike up the 4 feet….

To top things off Geoff and Terry had got up the waterfall and got off their bikes to watch me come a cropper (or help me lift the bike up if I piked out in disgrace).

As it happened I followed Wayne who stopped to watch me crash but sailed right past them and powered up the next section of the track… it was one of the best moments I ever had riding….

But it probably cost me a lot in that they never slowed down for me after that… I always felt like I was going to kill myself when riding with those guys… they travelled sooo fast, but beautiful to watch… every turn was a graceful power slide, always on their pegs and smooth.

I think that was the first and only time I was first to the rock we used as a start end point for our loops, the place called the “top of the world” where we later left a little piece of Geoff after his funeral.

After riding with those guys I used to do the loop in 12-14 minutes and felt like I was defying death. For them it was a fun trail ride.

I remember another time when Geoff Ballard came down for a serious run and everyone (except me) was doing sub 10 minute runs with the two Geoffs doing 8 minuters…. Geoff Ballard got and held the record to Geoff Eldridges great distress.. ha.

No ride was complete without the mandatory after ride wash up, maintenance and obligatory beer in the ADB driveway… what a sad loss…. but makes me think I should track down Terry and Wayne.. will have to lose a lot and get riding really hard before I could ride with them again.

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