Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last ride of 2011

I'm taking short rides at the moment due to my sore shoulder (which is improving at a rate of upwards of 5% a day, so I hope to be riding properly sooner rather than later). Fee and I took a 130km ride out to Yarra Glen and beyond in the afternoon summer sun today, stopping by a field to eat service station ice creams.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Alas, I have been waiting and waiting while illness, work and academic endeavours repeatedly held me back from riding; waiting for the time when I could mount my steed and make epic rides. But, alas, when the time came and the hindrances were past...I then injured my shoulder. I was in a lot of pain, and I was scared that the injury might have a more permanent nature as they sometimes do. But 1.5 weeks on and the pain is steadily, if slowly, receding. And so I was able to ride out to King Lake and back today - 120km. And while I was sore the whole time and this was very distracting, I would not call it pain. In a week's time I hope to be ready for a proper ride.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1953 motorcycle holiday through Europe

I just read this wonderful travel story. A fellow has published the photos and story of his father's motorcycle holiday through Europe in 1953. It's well worth reading.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Euroa via my favourite roads

For years a string of empty roads have been my sanctuary. If you draw a line from Yea to Seymour to Euroa then Merton, and back to Yea, you draw the boundaries of a space wherein few people go. A patchwork of forests and paddocks, tall granite hills and low-cut creeks. With its old church, stone formations, its empty air blowing through craggy pines, this place has entered my soul, and riding through it gives me peace. I take my time, through the sweeping lanes with their constant lashings of gravel and fallen limbs. There's never anybody behind or in front; just the road, myself, and sweet solitude.

Yesterday I could have gone in any direction but I chose my sanctuary. I travelled via King Lake to Yea, from where I made to Highlands and on to these roads. Exiting them at Longwood I rode the Hume to Euroa for tea, then re-entered the magic near Creighton's Creek. When finally I returned to Yea, I rode the Melba Highway to Yarra Glen and home via Kangaroo Ground.

But let us stay with these quiet roads.

I feel invigorated by the purr of my big twin. The W650 is a Rolls Royce. Usually one begins to notice faults as the miles are added to a new bike, but the more time that goes by, the more enamoured and admiring I become of this machine. The W650's engine is superb, wonderfully suited to this area. When I feel like thumping away I ride at low rpm and the engine has so much vibrating character. On these sunlit roads the bountiful torque allows me to sit in one gear - usually second or third - and merely roll the throttle on and off.

While resting in quiet moments, I chanced to meet the odd friend.

I also sought to call up the magic of this place so that it might enter my self and my machine.

But such techniques were unnecessary. By simply being in this place, lovingly, and spreading my body over its spaces, I had absorbed something precious. Without giving it names I contemplated it as the day ended.