Actually I haven’t been ‘way’ out west. I went for a lap out to Roma in Queensland. It’s probably on the edge of civilised world, but it’s not a long way out.
Anyway, I was intending to ride out with Grafton’s Mac Eggins. We’d ridden to last year’s rally at Tottenham, the geographic centre of NSW, and had a ball, so we were all set to repeat the experience. Unfortunately, something came up for me and I had to be back on the coast on Sunday. Not to ruin a good thing, I rode along with Mac as far as Roma, just to keep him company and enjoy some time on the bike, then sent him on his way on Saturday morning while I made my way back to the work that awaited me.
It was a great couple of days. We derbied along there, not really certain of our navigation, but not under real stress about things either, and, after 900km or so, lobbed into Roma at just the right time. It was about a quarter-to-kangaroo-o’clock. We had a little committee meeting, took a vote (there was only the two of us) and decided to settle in to a motel and goof off for the night.
Which we did.
The next morning I climbed on the KLR and headed east for a trouble-free run home. Mac headed west to break a chain about 30km from Stonehenge. Fortunately, Mac carries just about every spare known to modern man, and he was able to fit one of the two spare joining links in his 18kg toolkit and complete the journey. The weirdest thing was, he sent me a text saying he’d broken a chair.
My reaction was to read it, ask, “WTF?” and keep riding. I didn’t work out ‘chain’ until much later…after a shower, a coffee, and perhaps even a little nap. By that stage Mac had dealt with it and was snug in the blue-ribbon surrounds of the Stonehenge Hotel (probably).
So today I’ve been unpacking and sorting out bits and pieces. I propped the bike up on the stand to give it a wash, and there’s a funny thing: we rode about 1800km over two days, and the bike really wasn’t dirty.
Road riding’s funny like that. You can take a dirt bike out for a 30-minute training moto and spend a week trying to get it clean. You can ride for several thousand kilometres over a couple of days on the road and all you have to show for it is bug splatter and a half-empty tube of Preparation H.
I’m at my desk this week and hoping to catch up with Pottsy at some stage. He has a few interesting bits and pieces of gear I’m keen to hear about.