Blog: February 6. A gypsy’s warning

It’s a warm Sunday arvo and I’ve had an e-mail from Dave ‘Ramdog’ Ramsay and I think it’s an important reminder.

Here’s what Dave had to say…

“Just a little warning for the punters out there silly enough like me to carry stuff in pockets. Yes the DR bucked me off, my first proper crash for many years – not counting hitting trees or stalling in creeks etc. Cracked ribs, not properly broken fortunately.

Heads up to those, like me, who haven’t had good stack for years. It can happen, and if you’re carrying stuff, like fat wallets full of coins etc in pockets, depending on how you get speared into the ground, these items can contribute to your injuries. I was wearing good gear, but my wallet was the pressure point where the ribs let go.

Cheers, Dave”

Most people who’ve been riding a while will have a story or two like Dave’s, and it’s easy to forget how much damage can be done, especially if there hasn’t been a serious spill for a while. Remember to not carry potentially dangerous items like pocket knives, tools, or any kind of sharp objects on your person. There’s no 100-per-cent guarantee to avoid injury, but hard, sharp objects on your person are upping the chances of increasing the severity of injuries, as Dave pointed out.

Ribs are nasty. I’ve had a few incidents of varying severity, and it’s a frigging painful and niggling injury. There’s little enough can be done to help recovery or relive pain. The doctors basically shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh well,” push a packet of Panadol into your pocket, tell you to avoid coughing, sneezing, laughing or taking deep breaths, and then go and help someone who didn’t hurt themselves on a motorcycle. Recovery can be very slow because there’s so little blood flow through the very slender bones, and it hurts like a bastard.

At least Dave didn’t puncture a lung. Here’s hoping his recovery is fast. He’s a tough bastard, so I expect where I like to have physiotherapists help me sit up and have at least two paramedics with me in the ambulance, he’ll go to using both hands to hoist fence posts on his shoulder for a while instead of hoiking up one in each hand.

Rest up, Bloke. It’s the only way.

Meanwhile, I’ve been out on the Ducati with one of my favourite photogrpahers, Wilko.

I mentioned this was coming up, and Meg (Lees) was kind enough to say she’d like to see some of the images. Technically I don’t own the images, and I’m very careful about intellectual property, but I’m sure neither Wilko nor work will mind me showing a couple here, especially as these two aren’t likely to appear anywhere else. Wilko doesn’t shoot any bad pics, but the others in the set mean these ones probably aren’t going to get a run. The intro pic is one, and this one…

It never ceases to amaze how Wilko makes me look competent.

That’s a 270kg, 160 horsepower bike, and I admit I was having a good time. But on a good day I’m about 20hp worth of rider (270kg might not be too far in the future the way I’m gaining weight lately). But Wilko makes it look like I was roosting around, carving up and generally making the most of the bike. I was probably stuck in first, packing death, and wondering how get thing back on the ground as fast as possible.

I dropped it twice during the shoot. The first was when I missed my footing in the Macca’s carpark and I just couldn’t hold the bike up. I’m too out-of-shape. The second was in the sand, trying to spin the bike around for another run past the camera. I called out for ‘a little help’, and all I got in return was a lot of giggling and a big loud, “Nope!” from Wilko and Ryan (helping with lights). I had to heave that big girl up on my own!


It’s always fun riding for pics with Wilko, and this occasion was no different. I had a ball. I think the bike is sensational, and I’m truly lucky to be able to enjoy it. It’s a bike that’s way beyond my talent and budget, and a photographic excellence way, way beyond anything I deserve.

I rode home with a huge grin…which became a little strained when I found myself lost in Yuragir National Park.

But think about it…on a Ducati, in Yuragir National Park. How bad can it be? The longer the ride lasts, the better.

It was 38 degrees, and to prove what a top bloke he is, Wilko kept handing over cold Gatorades from the ice box in the back of his ute.

Also this week I had a chat to Dakar competitor Rod Faggotter. He’s a top bloke with a stereotypical Aussie sense of humour and it was a great pleasure to see the strength of character in a rider who can make the commitment to compete in Dakar for the third time, DNF, and still be able to make a joke and smile about the experience.

So I had a good week.

This coming week looks good, too. At last I’m heading down to Melbourne to pick up my KLR. I haven’t seen the bike since last year, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll grab the bike, come back via Bright and the Adventure Film Festival, and then sprint for home.

I hope the old girl is up to the job.

I hope the old bloke – me – is too!




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  • Secret squirrel on February 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm said:

    Well it must have been a good week for you tom. I drove past today at mid day. 35 degrees and you were pushing the victa around still smiling from ear to ear. Either that or heat stroke was starting to set in

  • Dave Ramsay on February 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm said:

    Thanks Tom, summed that warning up nicely, & crook ribs aren’t great, been 2 hands to 1 post for a couple of years now though. Danny’s shots are brilliant but you were lucky to get much traction with that stuffed rear, having way too much fun 😎

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