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    Bigmark & the boys go to Dust Devils

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    bigmark68

    Posts : 19
    Points : 36
    Join date : 2010-02-09

    Bigmark & the boys go to Dust Devils

    Post  bigmark68 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:09 pm

    It all started at the Dirt Bikes show last November when we happened upon a professional looking stand manned by a chap called Bob who told us about his company Dust Devils http://www.dustdevils.net/ and the trail riding holidays he could offer in the hills around Marbella. It all sounded mint and if it was half as good as what Bob told us we knew we were in for some good riding.

    A plan was hatched and Dave (you know Dave, Dave Carter) was quickly appointed as our travel agent and took on the role of organising a trip for the 5 of us (Me - Bigmark68, Juz - Caseboy AKA Blue Smartie Boy, Steve –Trebble99 AKA Pidgeon, Dave – Dave XXX AKA “Mr Dave” & Lee – Ktmbrock).

    The piss taking started by text about a week before we set off and by the time we met up at Manchester Airport for our flight to Malaga we were all on good form and ready for the weekends riding. The flight was fine and we arrived at Malaga Airport to be met as promised by Jon in the Dust Devils minibus. Jon was a nice chap with a strong accent I think he might have been Scottish or Welsh or something (Scouser) but we did not hold that against him and he struck us all as nice friendly bloke and we knew straight away we were in for a good laugh with him. He asked Juz what sort of riders we were and Juz used the immortal words “HARDCORE” which I knew straight away would come back and bite us all on the sugar but if you know Juz you know that he will have a go at anything on a bike so “HARDCORE” is not so far from the truth although “MENTAL” would probably be a better way to describe him.

    Jon dropped us at the 4* NH Marbella and promised to send Bob to pick us up in the morning for our first days riding. We got checked in and found the hotel and our rooms to be spot on. After an hour to get settled in we went for a wander in our T-shirts that Dave had got printed up. Well when I say we, I mean Me, Steve, Dave and Lee because Juz would not wear his because Dave had put Gayboy 101 on it.

    For some strange reason Dave decided that pink letters on a black t-shirt looked really butch but I think Juz had the right idea by not wearing his looking at this picture.


    That night we went to Puerto Banus and had a steak for tea to build our strength up for the next days riding however unfortunately Dave, Steve & Lee washed this down with copious quantities of booze whilst me and Juz went back to the hotel for an early night and a cup of horlicks. A decision that was to prove very sensible the next morning when the 3 of them rolled out for breakfast looking sheepish and decidedly hung over. Oh how Juz and me did laugh……

    Day 1

    Bob turned up at 9am in his Land Rover Discovery and took us to his premises about a 10-minute drive away where we found Jon and a fleet of shiny KTM bikes and kit waiting for us. After picking our bike for the weekend and getting our kit on we were ready to go. Bob and Jon gave us a safety briefing and an idea of what to expect and we were ready for the off. I took a 2011 KTM 450 with 11.5 hours on the clock, Juz took a 2010 250F with a 280 kit, Dave took a 2011 250F with a 280 kit, Steve wanted a to try a lowered bike (cos he is a short sugar) so took a 450 and Lee picked a standard 2011 250F.

    After a quick stop to fuel the bikes we were off and within 5 minutes were up into the hills on dirt roads and single track with a few little climbs and loops around the forestry to get us warmed up. Bob occasionally stopped to let us have a go at a climb or something of interest and Juz was like a kid in a toyshop.

    Juz


    Juz with Dave, Jon and Bob looking on


    After a brief stop in a clearing where we could pick oranges straight from the trees we were off again.



    Bob stopped at the bottom of a climb that looked fairly straight forward and offered us a challenge “if anyone gets to the top without stopping they get 10 euros but if you fail you owe me 10 euros”. Juz & Dave could not get on the bikes quick enough and Me, Steve and Lee waited for the carnage to start. The boys tried and tried but neither of them could make the top in one go but eventually they both got up but they looked well knackered.













    On the way again we arrived in more open ground that started to climb up the side of some big hills. Bob was leading and had a little handlebars down moment on the side of the next hill and unfortunately for him Juz was right behind to offer words of comfort which to be fair to the bloke he took in good humour.

    Now those of you who know me you know “I don’t do hills” but as we had travelled all this way and the place was basically just full of “Big Hills” I decided to have a go at a few and see how we got on. Jon and Bob did tell us before we started that there was an alternative route round most of the stuff if we did not fancy it.

    The first one looked steep but we all made it Juz and Dave went first and Juz got some video of me then Steve coming up.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/2/BmUROecY2QA

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/0/Ta0fICrcWuE

    The second one looked worse than it was although it had a slight right hand turn about half way up which almost caught me out.

    The next one looked proper mental and I sat at the bottom with Jon as Bob then Juz just flew up it, so far so good, Steve went next and got to about 10 foot from the top and fell off busting the tip off the gear lever in the process. Dave was not far behind him and made it just passed Steve and then let the bike go as it all got out of shape and nearly flipped. I swear that I thought his bike was going over the edge down a shear drop and even Jon was relieved when the bike and Dave both stayed on the side of the hill. I looked at Jon and said do you think I will make that or what as them boys can both ride and neither of them cleared it so I am bolloxed. He said he did not know but he would ride my bike up for me if I did not fancy it, as going back was not really an option at this stage. I looked at the hill and I thought I would have a better chance trying to ride up the big twat rather than walking up it, which would probably kill me anyway. I waited till Steve managed to make it back down in one piece although his descent of the hill made it look even worse. At this stage Juz arrived back at the top of the climb shouting come on Big so off I went. I just about made it but in the last 10 feet I ran out of steam and talent and was off. Juz came down and helped me turn the bike around and as we could not get up from where we were he rode it back down which looked even more mental from near the top than it did from the bottom.

    Juz then flew up it again on my bike and we set off climbing a bit more before we descended down the other side of the hill where we re-grouped and did a few more trails before we stopped for some lunch.

    Juz riding my bike back up.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUEbXocs8ko

    Lunch was spent outside a cafe on the main road chatting and watching the road bikes go flying past us as we tucked into omelettes and drank plenty of fluid. It was proper warm now it must have been about 25 degrees and when we set off again I was glad to feel the cooling breeze.

    After a short ride on the road we turned off again and retraced our steps which meant eventually riding down the big hills we had tried to ride up before lunch but not before Jon had a word with Juz who was demonstrating his wheeling technique much to the amusement of me and Lee who were both laughing like fook in our helmets.

    Once again Bob and Jon offered us an option to ride round which I was very tempted to take but Juz gave me one of his “come on Big you fanny you will be alright kind of looks” so I set off after him. At the top of the first decent Juz told me “get on your pegs get that fat sugar over the back and try to stay on the bike Big” thanks mate just what I needed to hear. Now I can honestly say that going down these hills was the scariest thing I have ever done on a bike but I made it to the bottom of them all. It was not stylish and I was not totally in control but I did it and surprisingly I was still on the bike at the bottom, which was a massive bonus.

    Dave and Steve going back down again


    I was the last man down and when we got to the bottom the rest of the boys were waiting and we were soon off again. The next time we stopped Bob & Jon told us the next hill was like a trials section up and then down the other side and it was tricky but there was a ride around. Going up was tricky but not too bad as there was a defined trail to follow with quite a few rocks to get over but at the top all you could see going down the other side was just a field of boulders it looked like something out of planet of the apes.

    “Death Rock”


    Bob riding down “Death Rock”


    Bob, Juz and Steve went down first and then Jon rode back up from the bottom. Then Dave and me started to ride down and to be honest some of it just scared the crap out of me and I bottled it and walked the bike down a few of the real tricky bits. Juz decided he was going to have a go at going back up “Death Rock” as it was now called. He had a bloody good go at it but never made the summit before he turned around and rode back down. I think if he had had a couple more packs of blue smarties and he would have been the “King of Death Rock” instead of Jon.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHblqgoRxMg&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt8Yt1QfCuQ&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    Lee at the bottom of “Death Rock”.


    After a bit of a breather we were on our way back towards the workshop via a few steady trails. We were all still buzzing and got changed and had a drink and a chat with Bob & Jon before they dropped us back at the hotel. Bob had told us that he would not be with us the following day but Jon would lead and Paul would ride as our back marker and he would come for us in the morning in the minibus.

    A brilliant day in good company on some fantastic trails. We never saw a gate all day and everyone we passed either on foot, mountain bike or horse all seemed happy to share the countryside with us. It really was days riding that will live in all our memories for a very long time.

    Day Two

    We got picked up by Paul who also had a strong accent he might have been Irish or a Geordie or something (Diamond Southern Geezer) and although we had a laugh with him on the way to the workshop the mood today was a bit more subdued as we had left our mate Lee behind as he was feeling proper rough so stayed in the hotel buried under a mound of blankets.

    On arrival at the workshop we met the four other guys who would be riding with us today. They had been out with Paul the day before us and were all from down south. After we had got geared up and were ready to go Jon & Paul gave a safety briefing and explained that today we would have to ride on the main roads to get to the trails so we needed to have our wits about us. We made it to the petrol station where we found about half a dozen local lads on motox bikes with no lights number plates or anything. The local plod drove in and never gave them a second look but gave us the once over some things never change.

    After fuelling the bikes we set of up the road another few km’s before climbing up fire roads and single track with a few little tricky climbs and tracks into and out of the woods. The first real climb of the day has a couple rock steps in it near the top and the lad in front of me got stuck and me an the lad behind both had to stop I then made a right meal of getting up it and had to wait for the lad to help me as I was sweating like a fat lass eating a kebab and the tyre smoke coming of the back wheel could be seen in Marbella.

    At the end of the trail the others were waiting and Juz & Steve were both on their way for a second lap when I emerged to find Dave taking a breather after a body/tree interface in the woods on the way through. On the second lap through the woods Paul reminded Juz and Steve (in his eloquent southern twang) that they needed to ride on the right hand side on the fire roads otherwise a big truck or 4X4 might clean the silly twats up which made me laugh as its usually me who has to check the daft buggers into line but I was having a well earned weekend off from being “DAD”.

    I was not on good form at all in the morning and the next section that Jon took the others into, which was a bit of a quarry with a rocky climb, I decided to give it a miss and ride round to the top with Paul and the others. It did not take the boys long to clear the tricky section and we were soon on our way again

    We continued upwards again to a fire house on the top of the hill where we stopped for a photo opportunity:





    Shortly after Paul told us that the Spanish lads on bikes were either “proper handy or shite” a group of about 12 passed us and went flying down off the hilltop that we were on with one of them getting it a bit wrong and having a little trip over the handle bars at the bottom.

    We set off again and rode some long trails with a mixture of dust gravel stones and rock surfaces before ending up in an old quarry with a dry riverbed running through it.

    The main attraction here was a massive climb with a near vertical face at the top, which Jon rode up like it was a speed bump in Tescos’ car park. Dave had a go and made it first time and Juz decided to ride the side route up it to have a look and then he rode down the big climb. Now as you know Juz is my mate and a proper good kid but fook me that hill was mental and he was even crapping his pants so I knew this was defo one for me to sit out unless I fancied a trip in a Spanish ambulance. Me and Steve and a couple of the others sat at the bottom whilst the rest of the boys had a play around.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jsvTpeS_qo

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPYjerWhrXY&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    After about half hour in the quarry we rode to a lovely local restaurant where we had a nice lunch and stocked up on fluids. Steve did his usual trick of ordering something healthy because “his body is a temple” and then sat pinching my chips and dipping them in my satay sauce (the cheeky gap toothed gypsy twat).

    “You touch my chips again and I am going to chin you Pidgeon”.


    We set off again for some more great trails. Jon had an evil glint in his eye as we left the lunch stop and the reason for this soon became clear as he dropped off the side of the trail through the quarry into the dry riverbed and most of the rest of us followed.

    Steve must have had indigestion after eating all my chips because I had to show him how to ride it and the useless twat still fell off.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/1/05NybgDIc1c

    After the quarry we set off again towards another hill climb and Jon took those of us who wanted to have a go with him whilst the others waited at the end of the lane:

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/1/ltGNxLii9U0

    After the little excursion to the hill climb we were offered a choice of rocky hill climb through the forest with Jon or a ride around with Paul and we all took the climb through the forest which was good fun although I did make a meal of riding over a tree root no bigger than a lolly stick on the way through but made the top eventually. Steve, Dave & Juz all pissed it no problem and Juz even had time to stop half way up with his camera to catch some of the action.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/0/ogOqM3YR2yc

    At the top it seemed to be my turn to get this piss taken out of me again as Leeroy somehow became the main topic of conversation (Thanks Steve) so after making our new southern friends laugh for 5 minutes or so we were off again onwards and upwards.

    The next trail basically went on for miles and miles along the side of a mountain. It was totally mental and just kept switching back on itself and at times the track was a couple of bike widths wide and there were massive drops off the right hand side. It was one of them trails were you need to be 110% focused or you could have a quick trip down the side of a mountain to be added as the last entry on your “100 things to do before you die” list.

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/user/caseboy0101#p/u/0/GUgDEsDcdyk

    VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdOUtGF8v5o

    Paul led this section and Juz stopped to take some pictures backing the rest of us up behind him so Paul was left with DaveXXX (our ex schoolboy motox champion) for company. They proceeded to have a bit of a blast round the mountain. I’m sure Paul won’t mind me saying this but he ain’t no spring chicken but the geezer could ride a bike and was proper quick. At one stage he managed to spin the bike 180 on a fast corner and how he managed to not go over the edge I will never know but he did and he was still smiling when I got to the end of the trail even with Dave in his ear taking the piss (top bloke).

    After the others arrived and Dave told everyone about Paul’s spin which was followed by a bit of piss taking then we were off up to the top of the hill we were on where there was a radio mast.







    We had a few minutes to take some pictures and have a chat as this was to be the last real trail of the day before we started to wind our way back to base on some more twisty fire roads and then equally twisty tarmac leading us back down to the petrol station where he had fuelled the bikes that morning.

    We had a bit of a breather whilst Jon & Paul washed the bikes off before heading back to the workshop on the mad Spanish roads. We all made it back in one piece to find Bob waiting for us on a blinged up BMW road bike with more carbon fibre on it than Steve has orange tat on his bike at home. Unfortunately Bob must shop at the same clothes shop as Dave as he had a dubious fluorescent yellow jacket on although in his defence after seeing how the Spanish drive we let him off, as it seemed a sensible idea.

    We all got changed and collected all our gear and tried to cram it all back into our kitbags ready for the trip home. We said our goodbyes to the other lads although we did bump into them again in a restaurant in Puerto Banus that night and then again at the airport the next morning.

    Jon & Paul took us back to the hotel in the minibus where we said our goodbyes and thanked them for their company and for helping to make our weekend such a fantastic experience.



    The following morning Bob picked us up in the Discovery, squared up the bill for the hotel, and we crammed our bags in the car although we had seriously miscalculated the amount of luggage we had and I ended up in the back seat with bags piled on top of me for the trip to Malaga airport.



    We did not know what to expect from our trip to Spain to ride with Dust Devils although after meeting Bob at the Dirtbike show we all believed that we would have a good time.

    The service we received from the start by Bob and his team was top notch from the booking of the trip by Dave (thanks for that mate we all appreciate your efforts) through to being picked up from and taken back to the airport, the standard of the bikes, gear and equipment was second to none and far exceeded our expectations. They look after everything including picking you up and taking you back to the hotel, sorting your lunch and drinks during the day and we never had a to spend any money at all whilst we were out with them.

    Most importantly for us was the fact that Bob has a great team of people working with him. Jon & Bob on the first day and Jon & Paul on the second day could not have been more helpful and really contributed to making our weekend something really special. They were professional and friendly at all times but were happy to share their knowledge and experience with us and have a laugh and a bit of banter which made us feel like we were riding with a two of our mates rather than some guides who were just there to earn a days wages.

    If you have ever thought about going away for a trip riding enduro bikes with your mates in the sun but have never done it for whatever reason then these are the people to book with and if you have half as good a time as we did you will still come away very happy.

    Dust Devils are proper “HARDCORE” and we will defiantly be returning (if they will have us) we will just need to pack more blue smarties for Juz so he can conquer “Death Rock” next time.

    It was the best weekends riding ever.

    Bigmark and the boys.



      Current date/time is Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:43 pm