It’s Sunday arvo and it’s been a tad warm today. Very windy, too.
I’ve been in Melbourne all week for work, and while I find ‘meetings’ tedious and boring, it’s always a pleasure to meet and listen to people who know their subject really well. Fortunately, a few of the meetings went that way.
That was Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday it was all motorcycle meetings. I met the guys from Mojo Motorcycles. Actually it was one guy. The Top Dog. So that was pretty cool. Mojo imports Sherco and SWM, so I had bear the heat while he thumbed through my review of the SWM Superdual. He seemed happy enough though, and was a nice bloke.
After Mojo I was at Monza Imports.
Monza’s a big player in Australian motorcycle accessories and have treated me really well over several decades. It’s always a little surprising to me to go into these places and see all the ‘new’ faces. All the people I used to talk to 20 years ago are now executives or high-level management. On this occasion I didn’t get to see anyone I knew at Monza, but it was still a great visit. Company cultures tend to mean if the guys I spoke to 20 years ago were great people, the staff of today are great people too.
From Monza it was over to Triumph, and there are few companies I enjoy dealing with more than Triumph. That place is like one big family, and I’m always welcomed like a best mate who’s staying overnight. Coffees are made especially, yarns and laughs are exchanged and all the memories are fantastic. Tech god Cliff Stovall stuck his head in and we chatted about the new salt-lake racer he’s building while we waited for things to start, past kangaroo incidents were discussed in depth and some plans made for the future.
It was awesome.
Finally I had some time at Suzuki, another company with huge, happy memories for me.
Once again the staff has changed over the years, but it’s been a progression, so people I’ve been speaking to for years are still there. Lewis Croft is one of the happiest and most energetic blokes ever, and always seems to make everything the most fun it can be.
Matt Reilly was busy with the new American import tuning a supercross bike, but it was still great to sit there with Lewis and – a new face for me – Alison and be invited to the Suzuki Corporate suite for the Australian Superbike final round at Phillip Island in a few weeks. As always, Lewis got all excited with what a great idea it was and how we’d all ride down together on Suzukis he’d provide.
So, although I found it a draining three days, it was fantastic to be reminded how lucky I am to have all these fantastic people involved in my work.
I did arrive home fairly drained, and I’d been daydreaming all week about getting on my Montesa this weekend. Dan Vaughan had repaired the clutch and been squirting around the backyard on it on Monday arvo and it felt fantastic. Every time a I had a few minutes to spare during the week I’d been watching highlights videos from the Italian TrailGP, so I was peeing my pants.
But this morning I went over to the shed and, in a flash, changed my mind. I rolled out the Dominator and went for a very leisurely road ride.
It was glorious. I think I made the right decision. That bike is a bit special for me, and I feel that when I ride it. So, on a warm and windy day, I enjoyed that comfortable feeling of sweeping long the winding bitumen through Brierfield and up Dorrigo mountain and back. It was a superb way to unwind a little after a stressful week.
This week I get to blast around on the new Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled.
It’s tough, but someone has to do it.
I’m thinking I’ll try and head up to the Scrapheap Rally at Tingha. I’ll try and keep a straight face as I roll in on the Ducati and say it’s my Scrapheap bike.
Today’s pic is from about 2011 and was my first real ride on the Dominator with Boris Everson and his off-sider Luke. We trailled around a bit to end up at Ulmarra pub and it was a fantastic couple of days. We had to cope with bushfires and bike problems and all the usual stuff that goes with taking old bikes like these out on a serious ride.