Another weekend’s done and I’ve not been riding.
I had a few opportunities, but things didn’t quite settle in my favour.
Up until about Wednesday I was committed to be in two places at the same time for the whole weekend, and I had a third option for the taking. If I could figure out a way to be in two places at once, why not three?
The first was a riding school at Dargle, north-west of Sydney.
This would’ve been a great weekend. Stephen Gall was instructing, and Dargle holds great memories for me. Everything from my first real knee injury in about 1994 through so many schools, photo shoots, Thumper Nats rounds, Hawkesbury Club days, endurocrosses…my first-ever podium at an organised event (again, a Hawkesbury club day. I forget what class…Slappers Who Can’t Ride Class, probably). Lots of great memories. And Steve Gall is a great instructor and a nice bloke. Not only that, but the school was the first of his new ‘adventure’ schools. It would’ve been great.
But while I had my hand up for that one, the APC Rally was still in full swing, and the pics I shot last week were way below standard, so I thought I might jump on the office KLR and chase some of those APC Rally guys as they came through the Northern Rivers and New England areas. There are a few Dargle schools coming up and there’s only the one APC Rally, so work obviously gets priority. I phoned up and regretfully bailled on the Dargle school.
That meant I was only due to be in one place for the weekend – dashing up and down between Woodenbong and Wauchope.
But then, the contributor who’s covering the APC Rally for work phoned to check in. I asked him to send me a few of his images to have a look at, and they’re great. So I relaxed and decided I didn’t need to go belting up and down Carnham Road with a camera.
That left me with the third option: Chris Laan’s three-day ride out to Narrabri.
I was hot for this ride right from the start. Chris had some long days planned, and I like long days. Unfortunately, Chris had pushed the ride out to three days and was leaving Friday morning. I had to work, but he’d promised to sleep in Saturday at Uralla while the group waited for Karen and Dave Ramsay. There was a real opportunity for me to jump on the bike early on Saturday morning and flange on up to Uralla to meet up with Chris’ group. (Just to be sociable, I went to see them off at the Wimpy on Friday morning before work, but in an unheard of breech of etiquette, the bastards were actually early. I know! Whoever heard of such a thing!)
Anyhoo, another very minor consideration was that I didn’t have my own bike. Craig Murcott has the Dominator to do some cosmetic repairs. I’m pretty sure there’s no problem with me riding the office bike, but what if I did some damage while I was out on a personal ride, not a work ride? That didn’t actually worry me too much. I only thought of that later. No, the clincher was that I’d been away the last few weekends, and there’s a race meeting next weekend at Tamworth that I’m really keen to get to. I have an entry in, but my bike – the little KH100 bucket racer – needed some work, and the only chance I’d really have to get to the bike shop and spend time in the shed was this weekend.
So I stayed home and worked on the bikes.
Marty H phoned on Saturday night and left a message inviting me on a ride on Sunday, which made a fourth option, but by that stage I was committed. There was also a heap work needed doing around home: washing cars, mowing, a few general maintenance things and so forth.
So that was that. No riding.
The bucket’s ready, I think. It’s hard to know with a bike like that one. The road-race people are SO fussy at scrutineering compared to the dirt-bike guys. They have all kinds of pernickety little rules and regulations about safety wiring, split pins, catchment bottles, open and closed airboxes and all kinds of things the dirt bike guys never even heard of. On top of the MOMS (Manual Of Motor Sport) regulations, there’s a stack of specific regs so the bikes can be allowed on go-kart tracks. That was mostly the fabrication Craig Murcott did a couple of weeks ago, fitting nylon sliders, ‘bar ends, chain deflectors and all those bits and pieces.
On top of all that, I realised yesterday the bike is 40 years old! It’s a 1974 model!
In any case, I thought I had it all sorted and ready. I’d ridden up and down my closed, private-property section of bitumen next to my house, and it seemed okay. I threw it up on the stand and did a pretend scrutineering check on it. I grabbed the back wheel and gave it a shake to check the wheel and swingarm bearings, and holy wobblebottom, Batman! It felt as if the wheel was being held by two fried bananas! Those swingarm bushes were ROOTED. Almost non-existent.
So here it is Sunday evening and the bucket is ready (I think), the lawns are mowed, the cars are washed, the KLR has its airfilter and chain done, and…I can’t remember what else. Except the weekend’s gone and it’s back to work tomorrow.
Hopefully Chris, Karen or Dave might have a couple of pics and a few words for us on how their ride went.
See how we go.
Only four weeks to the poker run!