Friday was an RDO and I started with a bit of a blue because I was supposed to go to the medical lab for tests, which involved me not having eaten or drunk anything since the night before. Halfway through my morning coffee I realised my error. Ah well. Later. Carl came for his usual morning coffee, then went to work.
I packed up my bike and headed to the Caltex station to top up just a few minutes after the agreed meeting time of ten thirty. Roy arrived just as I did and shot off first to the ATM. he returned and we rode around the corner to the Library, where he dropped the house keys off to Sue. He kissed her farewell and we were off to Pinjarra via Williams and Quindanning. I love that Pinjarra Williams Road, though I am told not to ride it in the ‘roo hours. The pub at Quindanning is a fascinating old place where Phil and I had stopped to eat on my way to Perth after the Rocky Gully ride.
Blood Sweat and Tears
At Pinjarra we spent the day with Dave, AKA Mohawk (because he once had one) whom I had met on the Rocky Gully run. We were working on Roy’s bike. The idea originally was to put a lowering kit in. This involved removing the shocks, replacing the piston arms and putting it all back together. But as William Shakespeare never said, but Rabbie Burns did; The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglae.
While pushing the Harley onto a bike ramp, my foot slipped on a loose piece of timber on the floor and I went Rrrrs over kite. I was desperate to be sure the bike did not fall too, as I knew there would be tears if it was dented or bent so I was trying to support it as I fell. I needn’t have bothered, Roy was holding it firmly. However I twisted and fell backwards, hitting my head on a steel stand, splitting the scalp. The claret gushed as it does from a scalp wound in one who is taking a daily aspirin.
Dave examined it gravely. “Does he need stitches?” asked Roy.
“Lets put it this way”, said Dave, “If it was just a little bigger, I’d fek it”. From this I gathered I was going to be all right.
The boys started on the job while I sat and watched, a rag held against my scalp.
It was a scorching hot day. 38 to 40 degrees. Inside Dave’s shed, despite the fans, it was sweltering. It quickly became apparent that the replacement parts were going to need some specialist tools and machining so the decision was soon made to put things back as they were, and send the whole thing off to be done by one of Roy’s mates. Three of the four bolts went back with no problem but the fourth would not go. Hours passed as they struggled with it. I think I may have dozed a little. My head stopped throbbing as we all drank bottle after bottle of cold water. The air heated even further and sweat poured from everyone as copiously as the bad language when it began to look as if the right hand shock was not going to go back on, which meant that Roy would not be able to go on the ride.
Roy says it was the salty sweat in his eyes that caused the tears. I assured him he would be riding to windy Harbour. I had been watching carefully and it seemed to me I had been in this predicament before, I am always trying to fix old broken parts with even older unbroken but worn replacement components. I have seen bolts stripped of the first turn of thread many times. I have devised a few strategies to get one more use out of them. I had an idea. It is an old trick but it just might work. If one can only get the bolt a tenth of a millimetre further into the nut, the thread just might engage. I made a suggestion. Roy dismissed it as impossible, but I asked to try. Dave picked up on the idea and found what was needed. A little pressure at the same time as I swing on the ratchet spanner, and Bob’s your Uncle. The bolt went home. Sorted. “I am a feckin genius” I said, rightly proud of myself, and pleased that at last I was able to contribute.
I could tell Roy was really grateful. “Why didn’t you suggest that a few hours ago you c^^t!” he said cheerfully.
That is “Thanks” in biker talk. One day I just might write a thesis on the use of profanity as an expression of brotherly love. Biker is, like Chinese, a tonal language. The same sounding single-syllable word can be a deadly insult or a term of endearment depending on the tone of the speaker and the mutual knowledge of the relationship between him and the recipient of the apparent insult.
Dave was not coming on this ride, His good lady has been unwell, so he was staying home. Before we left he gave Roy a bottle of his “Home Brew”, a home distilled 57% alcohol, Bourbon – style whiskey as a birthday present. The next day was Roy’s birthday. Then Dave showed me into his den where he keeps his memorabilia, mementoes and models. An astonishing collection. Not many get to see it I am told. I was honoured.
We rode a few blocks over to the home of Jasper, the rider with whom we were staying that night. A bunch of others were waiting. We were introduced. We dumped off our swags and bags and rode to the local pub for a meal and a beer, or in my case a pint of lemon lime and bitters. The fish and prawns I ordered was superb. The others expressed satisfaction with their steaks and chicken parmigiana and whatever. Good Pub. Thence to the bottle-store and back to Jasper’s. Yarning, drinking, and getting to know each other. Many of us have similar stories. I had bought few bottles a Strongbow cider. I drank one of them as well as lots of water, and later tried a little of Roy’s birthday present Bourbon, which he opened a few minutes into his birth day. It was remarkably good: smooth and strong. One by one the guys drifted off to their swags, then I did too. I don’t know if it was the home brew, but that was the best night’s sleep I have had for months. I slept through the night unbroken and awoke at 7 am bright eyed and bushy tailed.
To be continued.
All Photos here
The entire weekend route here: