Rymill Coonawarra Rally Team

On July 28 2012, John Rymill, Micko Gruetzner & Nathan Craig will take on the APC Rally; a 7000+ kilometre, almost entirely off road, unsupported motorcycle adventure traversing Australia's Murray River, alpine, outback and desert regions.

We can't tell you exactly where they're going. We're not all that sure. Just before departure a route will appear on their flash new gps units. We hope they know how to drive them.

Starting at Ouyen, home of the world famous snot-block (setting the culinary tone for the entire event), the trip is expected to pass great pubs such as Charleville, Innamincka, Birdsville, Parachilna and many more. Where possible, the boys will be dropping in for a beer or even the night. If you see them, be sure to say g'day. Commemorative teaspoons, Allen's Raspberries and Nurofen Plus are all welcome gifts.

The rally runs anticlockwise in a loop, allowing the 200 or so competitors to start at various locations around the course. While there is no set time frame, a hefty dose of competitiveness (and the pending Coonawarra Roadshow) means the boys need to keep moving. They are aiming to be back to celebrate my birthday on August 12, and will be reviewing chicken parmigianas and vanilla slice at pubs and bakeries along the way.

Keep track of their progress, crashes and catastrophes on flickr, facebook or twitter (if they remember to post), and on their map (see below) which gives live updates of their exact location.

Enjoy the trip lads. We hope to see you again.


paw print


Want to place a wager on their misfortune?

Far be it for us to wish ill on this little adventure, but it would be un-Australian to let the opportunity for a wager to pass. The highly supportive team in the Rymill admin office are running a book and you're welcome to join in. The person to nominate the correct rider and nearest kilometre point (between 1 and 7,233 km) at which the incident will occur will win a prize, as selected by Scotty our Financial Controller.

Give us your tip on the first to:

  • fall off, requiring assistance to right the bike
  • require the services of a medical practitioner
  • engage with local law enforcement

Need an example? John Rymill will fall off at 76 km or Micko will require the services of a medical practitioner at 5,306 km

Should you be inclined to take a punt on one of these incidents, please email Nharess with your bid on the lucky pilot, the incident and the km mark you think it will happen. One bet per incident only please.

Photographic evidence of the incident will be submitted by surviving team members as proof.


 John Rymill

The Riders

John Rymill

MD, Rymill Coonawarra

John's first motorcycling experience involved riding his sister's pee-wee 50 directly in to a closed gate. More recently he has been trying to park on kangaroos, and is having no more success.

John has done his best to look the part on his BMW F800GS and new outfit. Don't let appearances fool you though; he's likely to be the first to end up in the shrubbery while checking his ipad.

Micko GruetznerMichael Gruetzner

Vineyard Manager, Rymill Coonawarra

Micko is at one with machinery. He can build, fix, ride and drive just about anything. John is relying on Micko to fix anything John breaks.

Micko's nimble BMW F650GS Dakar has been lovingly rebuilt. Scoffing at the notion of training for the ride, Micko reckons "... there is time to train on the ***** trip." Micko will probably take a few wrong turns when distracted by low flying aircraft, and care must be taken not to leave him in bakeries chatting to locals.

Despite the somewhat haphazard approach he usually takes, Micko is the most likely rider to finish in a better state than he sets out.

Nathan CraigNathan Craig

MD & Chief Spanner Swinger, Zero-Till Farm Services

Nathan hails from Naracoorte in the sunny South East of South Australia. He is an avid motorbike rider, having grown up on the family farm just over the Border at Benayeo. At the age of 16, he graduated from the Honda Ag bike to a 1968 Suzuki motorbike that seemed to go like a rocket compared to the rather weary Ag bike. Fast forward to the current day, Nathan now has a Suzuki DR-650 as his trusty steed, and first choice among fellow frugal adventure riders.

He keeps busy during the year with his contract seeding business, Zero-Till Farm Services, which sows crops and pastures about the Naracoorte and Apsley area. He is also daddy day care one day a week to his two children, Charlie and Amaya, and in the off season is employed as a stay at home dad when his wife, Penny, is busy with her agricultural research.

His interests include cooking, cleaning, farming on his hobby farm, fishing, and hoodwinking other fellow friends into taking part in what will be the greatest motorbike ride ever taken by these three amigos'. "It was my idea to enter the damn thing, John put the pressure on to commit, and Micko thought it would be a hell of a ride" he lamented. Nathan later went on to describe that "Come hell or high water, we will have a heck of a time. If all else fails and we don't finish the rally, hopefully we can sell a bottle of wine or two!"


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