Blog: December 9. Bring your hat to Longest Day.

I’ve ridden the Dominator (or as Nick Dole at Teknik calls it, ‘The Detonator’).

Graham Whipp – of Whipp’s Alloy Products – and I loaded up one of Marty Hardcore’s maps and set out to see how we’d go. We went shithouse in the GPS-mapping department, but ended up riding the bottom half of the Old Kempsey-Armidale Road, and it was really frigging nice. The scenery was as green as I’ve ever seen it, the bike was great, Whippie was on his new Husky Terra and the coffee at Bellbrook was really bloody good.

They now have fuel at the Bellbrook store, by the way. A new bowser installation is good news for us all. Of course, thanks to my spoofy new Acerbis tank, I was able to look at the bowser and go, “Yeah. Whatever.” There have been times where I’ve rolled into Bellbrook doubtful of being able to make it 20km more to Willwarrin. But not this time. No sir.

Not only that, the new suspension has made a big improvement to the Honda. It’s the result I was looking for, with the bike tracking much straighter over choppy ground, and in general giving the rider (moi) a much better feel for what’s going on.

So now I’m busting for Longest Day, and it looks like we’ll have a good crew. Maybe half-a-dozen have sent e-mails saying they’ll be there, and I’ll bet we get a few unexpected starters, and maybe even a few more will put their hands up before we go. Let’s hope so. I have my fingers crossed the new pannier racks will be here before the ride. My ears are still burning with the sniggering and unkind remarks at my E-bay specials on the last One-day Challenge.

In fond memory of last year’s Longest Day, I reckon everyone should bring a hat. Gav had his elf hat last year, and I thought it was hilarious.

The Elf Hat. Gav gets to choose the 2013 Longest Day Hat Champ.

The Elf Hat. Gav gets to choose the 2013 Longest Day Hat Champ.

I still don’t know why he had that hat, but it cracked me up, and he never once so much as cracked a smile or made any reference to it. So this year, I reckon let’s all bring a hat. We keep our hats hidden away until we get to the turnaround point, and then, at the appropriate moment, we whack ’em on. Gav can choose the 2013 Hat Champ, and I’ll bring some kind of prize.

There’s your challenge.

For the next two weeks I’ll be so flat out with work I won’t have time to scratch myself. In some ways it’ll be great, because I’ll ride the BMW R 1200 GS, the KLR650, and one of Vince Strang’s DR-Zs. The bad news is that means I’ll have to write all those bike tests over the so-called ‘holiday’. Hmph. Some things don’t change. What’s the point of having a full-time job if you have to work on holidays? Huh? What?

The only other news I have for this week is that Craig Murcott took my bucket racer for a small adjustment on the last job he did. As far as I can see he’s done a heap more manufacture and got the bike looking like a serious bit of gear. I can’t wait to race it now!

Finally, at the risk of being boring with some probably irrelevant comment, I’m not thrilled with the new MA rules concerning kill-switch lanyards on race bikes. The theory is fine, but I’m just about fed up with ever-tightening regulation and heavy-handed administration

. All I want to do is ride my frigging bikes.

All the more reason to stick with dualsporting. A registered bike and a road licence and I’m good to go.


PS: I just had a thought! If we all bought an instrument as well, WE COULD FORM A HAT BAND! Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha…hahahahahahahaha! I’m friggin’ hiilarious. Di you all see what I did there? A “hat band”? Because we’d all…

Never mind. TF

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