It’s early Sunday morning as I write this, because I got up early to watch the MotoGP, only to find it was a repeat of the Argentinian MotoGP. The Texas event is televised tomorrow morning.
What a dick!
Meanwhile, Marty has sent over these VSM posters. I haven’t spoken to him to find out what he wanted done with them, but the ride is only a couple weeks away, and I can’t go far wrong posting them here.
Meanwhile, I’ve been in Melbourne schmoozing up to some great people and companies. I stopped in at Andy Strapz and he set me up a pair of Earmold earplugs. I don’t wear earplugs all that often, but whenever I have a long road ride I like them. The wind noise gets to be really annoying after a while, and with the ride back being something like 1700km I thought I’d give the Earmolds a try.
Andy mixed up some kind of two-part goop, put it in a big syringe, and then squirted it into my earholes. I had to sit without speaking while it set, then he plucked it out, polished it with a Dremel, coated it in some kind of sealant, and they were good to go. They’re a bit fiddly at first, but holy silence, Batman! They really work.
I also dropped in on Triumph and managed a sneak peak at an unreleased 1050 triple road bike that looked a total weapon. BMW turned on a fairly sensational cappucino – NOT a latte – and I had a look around the amazing headquarters.
After all that I jumped on the bike and let the GPS take me out through some of Melbourne’s outlying areas like Eltham and Whittlesea before spitting me out onto the poxy Hume Highway at a place called Wandong.
From there I tooled along until dark and started looking a for a place to stop. Every frigging motel seemed to be booked out. It was getting cold and late when I finally dribbled into Mittagong to see all the ‘No Vacancy’ signs everywhere. Then, just as I was resigning myself to riding through the night and getting home in the early hours, a funny-looking place caught my eye behind a bakery. I went up to the reception door, but it was looked and it looked closed. Strangely, there were a heap of room keys in an open tray beside the door. A sign said, “We’re a bit different. No need to check out. Just leave your key in the tray and we’ll see you next time’.
I was cold, and I admit it occurred to me to just grab a key and see if I could sort it out with the owner in the morning. There was a phone number on the door, and it wasn’t all that late – by riding-through-the-night standards – so I phoned. A cheerful voice answered and said it was ‘No Worries Will’, and how could he help? I explained I was looking for a room. The voice said, “No worries! Grab the key for Room 3, make yourself comfortable, and I’ll find you when I come in later.”
Which I did. Hot shower, electric blanket and a couple of hot coffees later I was asleep. No sign of No Worries Will.
The next morning I was up early as usual on a road trip, and wanted to get going. The sign on the reception door said it would open at 11.00am. I went over there, and it didn’t look like there was any sign of life. I wasn’t about to lose several hours, so I chucked the key in the tray with the others and rode off.
I stopped for fuel at Warnervale on the northern side of Sydney and phoned the motel number. No Worries Will was glad to hear from me, took a credit-card number, cheerfully hoped I’d had a good night and he’d see me again, and that was that.
I don’t know what’s the most bizarre facet of that experience. He hoped to see me again, but he didn’t actually see me in the first place? That the keys are in an open tray and available to anyone who wandered by? That it happened at all?
Whatever. It made for a very comfortable night for me, so I was rapt, and I’ll be happy to stay at the Melrose Motel in Mittagong any time.
It was a nice room, by the way. Clean and fairly modern with TV, coffee, shops nearby and generally everything a traveller could want.
So here I am, set for another week at my desk…and a MotoGP tomorrow morning!