The Long and Winding Road

I may have mentioned in passing that Western Australia is very big.

The longest ride in a day I have done here is the trip from Dongara to Katanning, about 700km in a long days ride of nine and three quarter hours.  That took a half longer than the longest ride in a single day that I have ever done, which was in New Zealand,  from my parents’ house in Whangarei,  to my flat in Karori, Wellington, in 1977.

I was riding a 380 Suzuki GTS.  A three cylinder, 6 gear 2 stroke with a lot of torque and a top speed around 160kph.  The speed limit on the open road is 100kph.  Almost a third of the distance covered was not open road and would have been 50, 70 or 80.  Nonetheless I did the 820Km , supposedly 11 hour trip in nine hours fifteen minutes.  It was winter, and the desert road was snow and ice.   I rode it slowly with my feet down until I was clear.  That was at least 40 km or more.  It is this that makes the overall time taken on the trip so remarkable, and I admit, proves how very foolhardy I was.  I made every possible mistake on that ride, except actually crashing.

I was underdressed and therefore cold.  I was actually suffering hypothermia when I arrived home.  I did not wear protective clothing except a helmet.  I rode too fast.  I did not take breaks,  except at Waiouru after the icy stretch, where I stopped for coffee and to thaw my hands. The gloves I wore were ordinary leather driving gloves.  I broke a finger near Matamata when a truck threw up a stone which struck my middle finger on my right hand.  The accelerator hand.  Bruised and swollen, I was in agony for a while, until I reached the desert road in fact, but numb thereafter.   It was a week later that I actually learned I had broken the finger.

Why do I mention this?  because I am planning a long ride to rival the one we completed earlier this year, and I am trying to bear in mind the wisdom contained in the aphorisms posted by my fellow rider and blogger that I reposted.   I shall never ride that way again.

This ride is not going to be a hurried race around a circuit and home again, but an enjoyable and leisurely look at the country on and from a motorcycle.  To that end it may pay to be just a tad less ambitious in the overall scope of the trip, given the time frame that is open to us.

Can anyone tell me why I definitely SHOULD include Port Hedland as a destination?

Take two? :


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About Alan

Alone in a sea of spinifex.
This entry was posted in Autobiography, Family, Handy Hints, History, Hobbies, Life, don't talk to me about life!, Lifestyle, Motorcycling, Nature, Travel, Wldlife. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Long and Winding Road

  1. If anyone rides they will eventually have bad days, trips and experiences. We learn from them and the ones who don’t learn… quit. You obviously have learned a lot…

    Like

  2. Alan says:

    I loved that bike fiercely. It was my first “real” bike. Up to then I rode 150s and 250s. The reason I was in a hurry was of course a woman. But that was long ago and far away…

    Like

  3. Observations of a Perpetual Motorcyclist says:

    Very impressed that this experience didn’t turn you off motorcycling forever.

    Like

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