Friday, June 25, 2010

Falls Road

Yesterday was one of those delicious days when you spend the morning sleeping, and the afternoon riding. Hence it was a short ride, but I explored a road which will be central to some of the unsealed farm and national park roads which I will throw myself into once the SR500 is on the road.

I took these photos on Falls Road, just south of Strath Creek. I had come by King Lake and Flowerdale, and would return to Flowerdale, then race through the seven kilometers of sweepers down the mountain into Whittlesea.

The first half of this year was so trying and stressful. And now, it seems, things have turned around. I will soon have the SR back on the road, having found the odd one or two hundred dollars spare from every pay cheque. I love my job, which is low in pay but high in meaningfulness, and in between work I ride. I look forward to sharing these rides with you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For the Love of Bendigo

My chain goes clack at the moment because it is old. I cannot afford to replace it and get the SR on the road. So I tunelled through bush roads, with the bumps and the clacks, and when I broke through it was Sutton Grange.

Sheep found their way down the slopes while over fences dogs barked, marking farms. But as I rode on only silence entered my ear - or it might have been, the clack and the engine's hum subduing those sounds like fog.

In Bendigo, stumbling down paths through the pine, I happened on details that insist: the bat-smell and their shriek. The silhouettes and lamps of a Jack the Ripper.

The dead are buried within us. New eyes see what they saw, live in the houses they built, and bear their mark. In Bendigo I can still smell their gold.

Their other purposes.

Their mulch and mood.

Days later Fee and I rode home in the sunshine. You can travel in place but not in time. At least not in the same way. And yet as our bodies moved away from the regional city, our minds travelled to future times when we will live in that place.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Day

I took to the Yarra and Dandenong Ranges last Saturday. Apparently I missed the rain by minutes when I rode east, but it was to catch up with me.

I wanted a simple ride, so chose familiar roads out to Yarra Glen, with a loop up Chum Creek Rd and down Myers Creek Rd, to lunch at Healesville.

These roads are winding, twisting, with great ferns among the gums. Then I made south along the route from Launching Place to Gembrook. I wandered about the town reading about the history of its uses - timber milling, summer getaway, and home to a small community. There was once a great park of exotic animals, nosing about in the bracken and dwelling in the bottom of black pools, to be dredged up if you dared at the end of a hook and line when the weather was cool. Hot weather brought fire and ended the life of the creatures and their place.

The weather was cool this day. I rode home in the dark in terrible visibility, drenched in the water that collected in heavy puddles from where it was bucketed onto me by passing cars. But the daylight hours of rain were a joy to me on my solid motorcycle, riding at speed amidst forests, sweet grass, and small farms.