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Ride Report - 06 Feb '22

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

WARNING: May contain bad language and wild exaggerations! Names have been changed to protect the innocent...

It didn’t look very promising when I woke up this morning. Rain was falling and the skies were low, grey and ominous in every direction. It might clear I thought, but it didn’t seem likely. As one after another of the legendary hardmen suddenly found that they had an urgent need to work on their bikes in their nice, warm sheds I thought that that was it for the day.

When my very favourite pillion arose I told her it looked a bit too wet and cold to ride. She looked at me scornfully and asked, ‘I thought you wanted to be one of the hardmen?’

‘But it is wet and cold,’ I responded, aggrieved at her scorn.

‘You told me you were going riding, I have plans, you are not part of my plans. I suggest you go riding.’

(Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I have a terrific lady and I am a happy man, but when she suggests I do something, I generally do it. Standing at a shade over 6’1” (185cm) and weighing in around 14 stone (89kg) of muscle and sinew she is not one to be trifled with).

So I wheeled the Road King out of the garage and puttered down to the park to see if there were any other hardy souls prepared to stare down the storm.

Surely enough, there was John ‘The Squatter’, who had ridden in from his station in the wilds of Canyonleigh. I pulled up next to him to find him with a face as dark as the skies and a brow wrinkled in great dudgeon. He did look very sharp with his new haircut though.

And then I noticed the knife. And, to my horror I saw what he was doing with the knife. ‘Effing helmet’, he muttered as he stabbed his wicked blade into the lining and carved out a chunk. ‘Ever since I got me haircut this helmet hurts me ears like buggery’.

While John carved chunks out of the lining in his helmet we discussed the cold, wet riding conditions and were just about to call it a day when ‘Mad Dog’ Duncan C screamed in on his menacing black Suzuki, complete with new carbon fibre fairing.

‘God, it’s good to be out on the bike, I’ve just finished 100 days straight and made a sqillion bucks and I can’t wait to go for a ride. And I don’t care of it pisses down and I haven’t even got any wet weather gear so take that!’ he yelled (without waiting for any punctuation marks). ‘And I don’t care if I get wet ‘cos I’ve got heated hand grips and they are f*cking awesome.’

John and I nodded in agreement, heated hand grips are f*cking awesome, proof even that there is a benign God who loves motorcyclists.

So, despite the ominous weather and Duncan’s lack of wet weather gear we headed south, down the motorway to Marulan, left towards Bungonia, riding sedately and to the conditions. It didn’t rain, the skies cleared, the sun came out and I thought ‘sucked in you soft lazy bastards hiding in your sheds!’ And the clouds closed in, a wind sprung up, the temperature dropped and I sighed in piteous despair. We pressed on, turned right towards Goulburn and Squatter and Duncan let it rip, disappearing into the distance like the Millennium Falcon at warp speed. Eventually I caught them heading into Goulburn, after they’d stopped for a smoke or three and we puttered sedately into Goulburn for a coffee at the Tatts.

‘That new fairing is brilliant, bike doesn’t shake at all at 240…’ announced Duncan sipping his coffee and beaming from ear to ear.

We drank our coffees and it was up the old highway, past Breadalbane and on to Grabben Gullen for Schnitzels. Next Crookwell, Laggan and Taralga with Duncan and John having a bike swap and almost needing a nappy change when we came upon the biggest pot hole that any man had ever seen. (Fair dinkum, it was so big there was an old lady in a Smart car driving around the bottom looking for the way out). I caught them in Taralga. A quick stop, John and Duncan swapped bikes back, both making the obvious comments about what fine steeds and excellent taste the other rider had and we headed to Goulburn and thence home. Still cold and windy, but with the exception of a lite sprinkle of rain, dry.

We travelled very sedately back up the motorway, giving me time to reflect on some of life’s big issues. Issues like why does Duncan ride so slow on the motorway but so damn fast off it? How can a new haircut drive a man so crazy that he carves up the lining in his helmet? And finally, does ‘Doc’ Callaghan call me ‘The Rock’ because I have been accepted as a true hardman, or, is it just because Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and I share the same hair style? Maybe I will never know but they are worthy questions to ponder as one rides the long, lonely stretch of motorway between Goulburn and home.

A bloody good ride, it wasn’t the best of riding weather, but windy country roads, a good schnitzel and some really nice blokes to ride with is hard to beat, any weather.

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