First up I had to go to Melbourne for work. That’s normally painless enough, but like a complete tosser I set the alarm on my phone for 5.30pm instead of 5.30am. I slept in and missed the flight.
I managed to get the next flight (the Qantas girl at Coffs airport was unbelievably helpful), made it to Melbourne in time to get the job done, then turn around and make the flight back…except Qantas cancelled the connecting flight out of Sydney.
So that was an expensive, teeth-grinding, long-winded episode.
I also returned work’s Triumph XRx during the week, and although I didn’t ride it much, I was very sorry to see it go. I didn’t ride it much because I didn’t own it. If I don’t own it I don’t think it’s reasonable I should charge about the place on it for my own pleasure. So as much as I enjoyed it, it spent a great deal of time in the shed. And as much as I didn’t ride it much, I really loved that bike on the road. Plus I had a great time on it with some great people on some fun rides. It was good on dirt roads as well, but it was really exceptional on the bitumen.
But all good things must come to an end and the Triumph has been returned. The Dominator is still at Dan Vaughan’s awaiting a flange gasket, so it’s been quiet week as far as riding goes.
This coming week work fires up again and I expect I’ll travel to somewhere to ride and shoot the SWM RS 650 R and a new DR650.
I know Nige Locke is keen to get a close look at the SWM, and I’m keen to get his thoughts on the bike, but there’s a been a little wriggling around at the importer – now represented by ex-Trail Rider Magazine editor Stephen Tuff, a top bloke – and the situation has changed a little. Originally the bike was coming to me in Coffs, but now it looks like I’ll have to bolt down and meet Tuffy somewhere on the other side of Sydney. On the way I’ll pick up a current model DR650, and next week I have to run the camera over one of the new camo-coloured KLR650s.
So I should have plenty to tell over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Ramdog Dave and Karen are back from Thailand. Dave actually sent an e-mail I received just after I posted last week’s blog. Here’s what he had to say…
‘Home safe after an awesome couple of weeks in Northern Thailand.
‘SS on special assignment enjoyed leading us down some adventurous trails and we both enjoyed punting the light little 250s around some very gnarly tracks. Loved the interaction with the people we met, from the markets in Mae Sai to the remote Hill Tribe folk above Phrao. We mostly lived off great street food and stayed in good, clean accommodation for $16/$20 double.
‘This ride was only a recce, can’t wait to go again for longer and with some of the great contacts we’ve made, further into the unknown.
Dave & Karen’
The ‘SS’ Dave refers to is, of course, Secret Squirrel, who’s now an International Rodent Of Mystery.
It sounds as though Dave and Karen had a great time, although I feel as though those two will pretty much always have a great time. Good on them for making it happen.
Marty’s chasing another big lead for the DualSport Australia discs, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed for him this week. I’ll let you know what happens when I know something.