Blog: June 17. Still got the wog

After a week of Butter Menthols, bags and bags of snotty tissues, and coughing like single-cylinder diesel I still feel like crap.

I thought I felt better today (Sunday). I had to go to Woolgoolga, and it was such a nice day I thought I’d enjoy myself. I fell in a heap something terrible when I got back. I think I’ll have to start a support group for sufferers of Man Flu. We can get T-shirts made up and go on sensational rides telling everyone we’re raising awareness of MF. Companies will give us free stuff and we’ll be heroes as we do the rides normal people can only dream about. Our employers will gives us time off because it’s ‘for a good cause’.

Of course we’ll be spending thousands of dollars and will probably only rise a few hundred, but we’ll have had  a good time, and, in theory at least, a lot of people will know about MF. That doesn’t help sufferers, but we can’t do EVERYTHING, can we? We’ll have done the heavy lifting on getting free stuff and going riding. If we were able to actually DO something about MF we’d be brainy scientists an’ that. And of course we could stay home and donate the thousands spent on awareness to a recognised research facility, but that’d just be a tiny drop in the MF ocean of snot. At least this way someone gets some tangible benefit (Us. More specifically, me).

See how sick I am? I can’t control these cynical thoughts.

While I was in Woolgoolga three blokes showed up on bikes, and the lead rider was on a particularly flashy XS650.

In the same instant I thought, “Gav Gill has one of those…’ I realised it was, of course, Gav Gill.

Old XS650s always throw me back to one of my very first bikes, a particularly ratty XS650. It was the first of the electric-start models, and I must’ve been 19 or 20 when when I rode it off the edge of the road which runs up to what is now Sealy Lookout during a spirited run down the hill in the rain. There’s houses and barriers and all sorts up there now, but in 1979 or maybe 1980 it was just bush and bananas…luck for me. I was fortunate enough to slide for a considerable distance down the road, but the bike went straight over the edge.

I credit my lack of injury to my ex-navy jacket, $20 helmet and jeans.

My riding skills clearly haven’t improved much since then.

I didn’t get a chance to meet the other two riders, but I think one bike was a beautifully presented GSX1100, and the other a DT400. It had the cryptic message ‘NEVER MIND THE BOONDOCKS’ painted on the tank, and there’s a very dim, dark, tickle in the back of my brain that Gav had mentioned something to me about a mate who’d picked up a DT400. The bike was curious enough and I wondered if that was what it could be.

It was fantastic to hear a two-stroke snarling away on such a glorious day, that’s for sure. My nose ran extra hard in appreciation and I coughed an especially racking salute as they left.

Speaking of XS650s, I’ve been riding been mine a bit lately, trying to sort a new GPS unit. The blinker switch has been kind of gummy and difficult for ages, and I’ve too lazy to do anything about it. Sometimes those mechanical switches clear themselves with a bit of use, but this had been going on for quite a while, so I finally cracked it open on Saturday morning. A large number of insect eggs came cascading out, and I was left with this…


That explained a lot.

That’s river silt from the floods in 2009 when the bike spent a couple of days under water. I guess the insects found it good material for nesting.

I cleaned it up, put it back together and it’s as good as gold. That bike is incredible. It just does not ever give any trouble. It’s not like I look after it.

That’d be why I’ve kept it 20 years and have no intention of replacing it, I guess.

I have a couple of rides coming up. MF or no MF, I’ve signed on for what RideADV has advertised as its ‘Insanely Cold Ride’ next weekend. I see lots of pics of snow around Lithgow and Orange today, so it looks as though it’ll be chilly. I’ll take the KLR and my germs and see how I go.

After that I’m riding Motorrad Garage’s Africa Twin for a couple of days, and that should be really nice.

Anyone who wants to join my MF Awareness Campaign should let me know. I’ll get the tax-free status sorted, start taking donations and we can go on a six-seek ride through the West Indies. I bet hardly ANYONE there has ever even heard of MF. We’ll raise awareness to billy-o there.


One Comment

  1. Been dodging MF for a few weeks with most friends I know having caught it. Keeping to myself in the museum of 2 stroke smoke (my shed). The Boondock machine belongs to George Lusted & is a 1974 DT250, ported to MX specs with a bigger carb & modified chamber to push out the smoke.Warwick Howe was riding a Suzuki GS750 (Smiko) Looks just like the bigger version. We get our dirt bikes out in a few weeks, PE175, Bultaco,s & of course one of my Yamahas.

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