Friday, September 24, 2010

From Rainbow after dusk

All night my headlight dazzles the leaves. And kangaroos too, who climb out of the sleep of farmtown edges, under the same moonlight where bronze Anzacs doze; “at ease between the wars”. That light's a dreamscape where paddocks, restless with mice, frame moonstruck silos practising stillness.

To thunder across the country like a daredevil bikeboy of the '50s: tyre marks of country dust, in low gear shifting skyward up a hill. The tail-light glows. Just. Strung out on those hills, like the many others alive only at nightfall, to span a continent. Or part thereof. Nameless, but placed, the night I rode for Ouyen on no petrol.


This is red earth country. It looks empty and open, but is crowded with ghosts. Those figures are hidden away in the folds of it, invisibly here, and there, letting me know I am watched, tracked. At day I Iook up into the blaze of sunlight and know I am not the only one. They go on like I do, and my having been here makes a ghost of me too, a moment in time that will always have been. A moment toward which I have always been making. Spring dusk sweepers on the road to Ouyen.

Inspired by a David Malouf poem

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Dought has Broken?

The road today between Wallan and Romsey was a dance of massive sweepers. I hit them at top speed, banking the SR over like a Spitfire diving into action, firing a percussive blast from the exhaust.

And so on the Burke and Wills Track I joined my SR to a series of past photos of the Hornet, and GR650, at the sight of Australia's first home-built aeroplane flight.

I didn't have a map and did not plan where I was going - I meant to turn east below Lake Eppalock, but found myself instead on those wonderful lakeside roads. Sandy edges broke into sparse forest; this place always evoke summer.

At the Lake Eppalock kiosk I stopped for lunch, then decided to look at the lake. Last time I was here in May there was very little water. Below is a photo, quite a distance into the old lake bed, looking down into the final crater.

But today when I rounded the turn from the kiosk I was gobsmacked to immediately face water. The lake has gone from almost nothing to 80 per cent! It was almost frightening. Those roads I had ridden, and that ride I promised to do out to an island, are now under water.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spring Riding

I rode with my friend Rosy today, on a route I have done several times recently: to Yea. Initially I wanted to try different roads, but I am suffering insomnia and only had a few hours sleep. When early in the trip I rounded a corner on the center line, to be confronted with oncoming traffic, I saw the wisdom in sticking to a well-known route when fatigued.

I didn not take many photos, but let me tell you the SR was so much fun to ride today. I was awash in sun and wind and speed through the corners, and like a shower they woke me up. And so I did not baby the bike compared to usual, but pushed the revs up higher, sliding my bum back, knees tucked in, leaning down and clinging to the bars in an old-time race-style, taking every tight corner at the speed limit. There is more power up high, but still a low blaring of the exhaust like in those black and white movies of vintage racing.

Here is Rosy at Yea, and below are some photos of us from further along the way.