I’ve been stuck at my desk all week, frantically trying to get things done for work before everyone shuts down for Christmas, and this weekend I’ve been at a family wedding.
Longest Day is now only weeks away, and it looks like Mick Crutch will be joining us. That makes me smile. Mick is about as good as a riding partner can be. He’s fast, calm, and 100 per cent reliable. We’ve done a few Longest Days together, and some of my best memories involve Mick. It was Mick I pulled up next to on the best distance I’ve ever done. We sat on a dune and saw the sun about 50mm above the horizon. My fuel light was on and we were about 50km west of Cameron Corner. We looked at each other, and without saying a word agreed our Longest Day was done for that year.
It was Mick Crutch who towed me 100km through the shitty desert dust the year my bike destroyed its motor west of Bourke on Longest Day 7.
And it was Crutchy who ignored all the road closed signs to push us west the wet year we finally had to concede defeat when we found the road disappearing under a veritable lake.
So we have some history on this ride, and I feel great that he’ll be there this year, but it feels even better to know that this year Mick will bring his son – with his new P plates for his first look at the event. It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce a new generation. He’ll be in the company of a couple of seasoned veterans (me and Mick), a very capable bike tech in Crag Murcott, and we’ve all agreed the pace will be ‘sightseeing’.
I have great memories of other blokes too, like Boris Everson and Dan Vaughan, the current record-holders in the Longest Day charge, and Ozzo, who charted the original route. But it seems Mick and I have teamed up for what’s been for some pivotal moments for me.
I’m looking forward to it, you can bet.
I’m even thinking I should make the absolute most of the ride and take the Dominator. I get a real surge of pleasure of marking big moments on that bike. I’m not patting myself on the back, but I started Longest Day in 2004, and I feel pretty good that we’re riding it for the tenth year. That’s pretty cool for me to think about.
There’s a couple of great stories from Meg and Marty if you have a look at the front page, so even though I’ve let the side down this week, a couple of more reliable members of the team have saved the day.
More next week.