The scrapheap guys are probably still out doing their thing, and as usual they’re a sensational bunch. Organiser Perry Gilsenan looks younger than ever and seems to be happier and smilier than ever, and along with help from Dave Ramsay, Col Meacham and a bunch of others it was a brilliant morning. I won’t give any detail here, because Marty H led us up to Nymboida and he’s sent in a good ride report. I’ll let him tell the story.
Apart from the Scrapheap ride yesterday (Saturday), I went to Townsville last weekend to visit family. By the time I returned on Wednesday there were so many e-mails and phone messages I didn’t catch my breath until this morning. I didn’t even make it to Dorrigo to catch up with the Scrapheap guys as they rode through on Friday. If I’d done that I wouldn’t have been able to get away Saturday.
But there it is.
I took work’s KLR up to Nymboida, and it’s coming along nicely. I feel as though a little of the joy has been taken away from the bike because I’m now tuning it with a specific purpose. I need more horsepower and less weight, and that meant a different pipe. The Barrett is a good pipe, and the motor is definitely more responsive and works a little harder, but it’s also louder. Droning along the highway back from Nymboida with the exhaust growling away reminded me how it used to just purr along so smoothly and quietly. And when Marty H started up his DR650 with the stock pipe I thought with envy at how quiet and smooth it was.
Still, it was way soft and doughy with the standard pipe. That’s the way it is. We can’t have everything.
I loaded the KLR a little for the Nymboida run to see how it’ll feel with the swag and some tools on board. I must’ve been asked 50 times, “Are you staying overnight?” It was fun to keep a straight face and reply, “Nope. Just until lunch”. I don’t know what people thought of that, and I guess it weird on my part, but it was fun anyway. I had a litre of oil in one of the panniers, and when the bike fell off the stand it burst the bottle. Talk about oil from bumhole to breakfast time! Geez. That pannier will never be the same again.
Dave Ramsay led a loop that included a HUMUNGOUS lunch at Copmanhurst, and to top off a fun morning the Copmanhurst pub had a jug and the makings for instant coffee. $2.50 paid at the bar meant a bloke could make his own, and along with Dave’s ANZAC bikkies it was the culinary delight of a day.
I also used the Scrapheap ride to try and sort out a new camera. After probably 15 years with Canon I’ve decided to change back to Nikon. It was a nightmare. I knew the Canons inside and out, and I have a selection of lenses and accessories. I can quickly flick the menu to whatever I need and I can easily eye in tough conditions and set up the camera gear to suit practically by instinct. Now I have one body, one main lens and one spare. I had little or no time to work out what I needed from the flash as riders came puttering along the tracks and the light was varying from blazing sunshine to overcast gloom in patches of sometimes 30 seconds or so.
So that made the morning hard work.
My favourite part of the day was when Dave left me to close a gate. I wanted to use the opportunity to work out what the FUDGE was going on with the camera, but Dave warned me: “I can see what those cows are thinking. They want to go through this gate. You’ll have to keep chasing them away.”
Dave knows cattle, and sure enough, the dopey, lop-eared bovines formed little possies and charged the gate every couple of minutes or so. They came from all different angles and capered about the place mooing and kicking their hind legs up and carrying on. Stupid cows. Every time I tried to look down at the camera menu the silly buggers would come up stamping and snorting, and the more I chased them away the more fun they seemed to think it was.
Here’s the ringleader. Look in her eyes…
I’m really hoping the Dominator will be back soon. I figured while I was away so much it’d be a good time for Dan Vaughan to do some minor work on it. When he removed the carby the inlet manifold split and a new one had to be backordered. For anyone who’s never been subject to the terror of the backorder, it’s when a part is out of stock in Australia and has to come from overseas. Hopefully the part comes from Japan. That’ll usually mean a wait of a few weeks. Dog help anyone who has to wait for parts from Europe, especially Italy. A few months can be be nothing if the Italians are in one of their moods.
Before I forget, it looks like I’m snookered for the Snowy Ride. I haven’t completely given up hope yet, but it doesn’t look good. I’ve had something come up on the Friday night, so unless something changes, I’ll miss that ride. It would’ve been a little awkward with work, but I would really like to have gone.
No stress. That’s the way things go sometimes.
I’ve been away so much the last few weeks I’m way, way behind with work. This week I hope to be head down and arse up at my desk frantically trying to catch up.
I’ll get Marty’s report to follow this one.