My ride to Perth was uneventful except that the fuel gauge in Rachael’s car decided to act strangely. Once down to three quarters it suddenly began dropping very quickly, as if fuel was leaking out. No sign of it leaking though. As it approached empty we stopped at a garage and filled her up. She took only a few litres. No leak, just a faulty gauge. I bought ice-creams all round. The first I have had for such a long time.
The road was packed with travellers heading off for the long weekend. Garages and roadhouses were struggling to cope with the constant deluge of customers. They must have been having one of the best days ever.
I concluded that riding back this way might not be too much fun, with all the campervans, boats and idiots on the road. So after a cuppa at the Young’s house, at about 2.30 I set off for home with my GPS having been instructed to take me through Brookton.
I encountered scarcely any traffic at all. A police car sat behind me for a while until the occupants realised I was not going to speed for them, and accelerated past. I had a chat with them later at Brookton, where I gassed up at the BP station and bought a home-made pie which turned out to be quite a nice one. They were quite friendly. Of course they knew a lot about me, having looked up my registration. In WA every registered vehicle is associated with a drivers licence and/or vice versa. I had just recently been reading how all new police cars will be fitted with half a dozen cameras, some of which will be scanning every registration plate, checking it in the database, and alerting the cops of any car registered to someone who has lost their licence, or has other outstanding issues. I think that is great. Get them off the road.
I saw them again a little later when I came upon them having pulled over some hapless van driver. They must have had a very dull day, because there really was very little traffic.
The problem with the less travelled road is that it’s longer. It got dark as I approached Narrogin. The moon rose before me, slightly to my left as the sun set behind my right shoulder. Of course I had the tinted visor on the lid, and the clear visor was still in the saddle bags which are still in the boot of the car, which was in Katanning. Up goes the visor and on go my glasses, which kept the insects, but not the breeze out of my eyes. So it was with watery eyes I completed the journey in darkness.
Nonetheless, I like riding in the dark. I don’t see why others don’t. Of course I was quite aware I was riding down kangaroo alley, at the most likely time to run afoul of the beasts, but I felt very confident that if I maintained a sensible speed and remained vigilant with the lights on full beam, that I would avoid any ‘roo silly enough to venture out. As it happens, I clobbered two bunnies in fairly quick succession. They appeared from nowhere, and were under the bike before I had time to register their presence. So I guessed that even though they are larger, a kangaroo could take me unawares after all. I slowed down even more. I still love riding at night. But it was well after 7.30 by the time I arrived at home. At least I had the good sense to take warm clothes, even if I did forget the clear visor.