The guys gathered again on Friday night for s barbecue and a swag night at Sue and Roy’s but I stayed home that night having been a bit poorly on Friday. Something I ate on Wednesday night. Free food can be a trap if you don’t know how it has been handled and stored in the weather we are having at present. The salad wraps that were left over from one of Juaini’s meetings were delicious, and everyone took some home. I don’t know if anyone else got a dud. I hope not.
I was determined to do the ride today however. I felt fairly fit and kept my corn flakes and stewed fruit down. I would not be able to swag it at Rocky Gully tonight, though, so for me it was a day ride only. This is because we had a timely power cut on Wednesday night. Timely because it taught me I can no longer sleep without the ResMed blowing up my nostrils. I need to look into a battery pack or a travel version. Also I am not too good at getting up from the ground with only one arm, though I’m sure could cope if I had a good sleep.
I arrived at Roy and Sue’s this morning at eight, after breakfast, feeling sure the group would not yet have set off. I was right of course, because although all the swags were packed and the riders sober, there was the usual to-do over fixing a Harley, before everyone could leave. Deja Vu. Flash back to last year’s Rocky Gully Run and to the Windy Harbour Ride, too.
I made a couple of comments in this vein and suggested maybe a Yammy would give them less trouble. I was told “You better not end up on the side of the road today, because we’ll just fuckin’ ride on”. Fair enough. I knew they wouldn’t. For a rough-looking bunch of Harley Riders they are all bloody good sorts. Since many of them are old friends from way back, it is a privilege to be accepted into their circle. I am still conscious of the fact that Mohawk had actually shown me into his collection room when I was at his home last year.
Finally under way, first stop Kojonup. There, Roy announced he needed a hex key. No one had one. Except me. “Metric do?”
I pulled a set out of my saddlebag and could not resist another gibe. “Funny that the only bike here that doesn’t actually need tools is the only one carrying any. But I like to be prepared, because of who I ride with…”
“You’ll get yours…”
It is great riding with a bunch of riders who look out for each other. We sort of split into two groups, those who like to GO, and those who like to poddle along. My bike will equal the performance of any of them except perhaps Roy’s 2.4 litre monster (but I will pass him while he is fixing it, anyway). No drama. I just like that I don’t have to struggle to keep up, because a bunch of them are happy to cruise at 100, and even slow down more on the back roads. Not all of them are older than I am, either.
We took my favourite back road to Rocky Gully. The others in my pod hadn’t ridden it before, so I led. It turned out quicker than the highway, and we arrived before anyone else. We staked out the best camping spots and were in the pub, eating a steak sandwich and drinking (in my case lemon lime and bitters), well before the others arrived.
I was sorry I was not staying. There was going to be a lot of bulldust tonight.
The pub was booked out weeks ago, or I would have booked a room there and plugged in, because a night with a bunch of drunken bikers is a lot of fun for a staid old fellow like me. Also the same band was going to be there who played last year.
So I bid farewell to the others and rode home. I let the GPS guide me until I saw a sign pointing at Kojonup down a road named Shamrock Road. My old Irish Grandma said I should follow it, so I did. Another favourite back road found! I was the only one travelling in either direction for the entire 50km length of Shamrock Road.
The weather was blazing hot. 36 officially here but I rode through patches that were well into the forties. I was drenched inside my jacket. As soon as I got back to Katanning I refueled the Silver Lady ready for our next outing and headed straight home for the cold shower.
I have used up most of my data allowance already this month, due to uploading a load of photos to the Motorcycles Across Australia Blog. I shall upload the pics I took today on the MAA blog tonight after midnight EST to use my off-peak allowance.