Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marvellous Maldon in March. On a Motorcycle.

Mine eyes have seen the glory.  Of sunshine through bleached, post-summer grass.  Of blue skies on an endless Sunday.  Sweeping hundreds of kilometeres on a vintage-style motorcycle.  Weaving, wandering, meandering. 

After hours of this I sat in Maldon drinking coffee and eating a pastry.  I watched 1920s cars struggle past.  There was a glorious vibrancy in the air, and it felt so good to be alive.

Yes, I felt so fortunate to be alive.  To be an Australian in the 21st century, with freedoms and pleasures which few have tasted and which the world has barely afforded.  Riding my motorcycle through an endless summer in central Victoria.

On and on, riding, drinking coffee, musing.  Awash in the changing colours. 

That was the last Sunday in March, 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Autumn Motorcycle in the Yarra Valley

Em and I went for a brief ride through the Yarra Valley yesterday.  It was the sort of day that includes rain and sunshine, a day emerging from summer into winter.  'Emerging' sounds like an odd word, as though only appropriate when going in the other direction - winter emerging into summer - however that logic hides a value, a claim that summer is positive and winter negative.  This is not the case.  Winter on a motorcycle is wonderful.

It was cold-ish, but when one is rugged up properly and hence warm, then there is nothing so nice as making an easy pace past giant ferns, through an increasingly green landscape.  I look forward to winter out here.  To cold rainy days when there is nobody on the road and a pub lunch awaits, beside an open fire.

The pictures below may seem a little repetitive in their number but I will include them all because I like them so much.  They are a photographic view that I can never achieve on my own (it took Em, sitting behind me, with her iPhone).

Chum Creek Road:

Friends were to be found along the way.

King Lake National Park road.  Fantastic!

Em dropped her phone just after the photo below.  But we retrieved it and no harm was done.

Chum Creek Road was so good that we did it twice.

My enthusiasm grows for more regular motorcycle adventures.  I have been quiet here for the last year, but I plan to get in a big ride at least once a fortnight from now on, and to update this blog more often.  In the meantime, keep an eye out here for my other writing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A ride to Ruffy

My new riding partner Em is still waiting to get her first bike, and so contented herself with taking her first ride into the countryside on the back of mine.  We rode to the Ruffy Store on a glowing Autumn day.

She took quite a number of photos of me.  Because I usually do not have photos of myself, I will add them here.

I am thoroughly looking forward to more riding, even as the season changes for the colder.  I feel such a hunger for it.  I was so physically tired, and yet so emotionally refreshed, after a full day spent out on the motorcycle.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tasmania, Feburary 2014

I spent two weeks in Tasmania last month, motorcycling.  There were no epic rides.  Rather I spent my days doing laps of roads strung out along the ocean, then drinking coffee and reading books, then doing more laps, while staying at my father's home.  It was marvelous.  

I did day sailing, and spent my time looking over Bass Straight's expansiveness:

And spent the first evening camping at Devonport.  The next morning I awoke early and decided to travel to my father's (in Nicholl's Rivulett) via Queenstown.

That was a wet and cold ride, but the scenes were fantastic....

Tasmania is a small place for a motorcycle, and I arrived at my father's late in the afternoon.  From then on I spent my days in the above-described activity:

The view from my father's verandah:

Often I would sit right at the water's edge and read....

Or at a general store, where I appeared to be a novelty (they gave me free coffees, and laughed at the fact that somebody would want to sit there and just drink one coffee after another, over a few hours.  All their customers entered, purchased, and left.)

My God, it is so beautiful down there.  I passed this spot once or twice a day:

I would sit at cafes on house boats:

Before leaving the towns again for the rough shores,

or to dart along a coast road at confident speed as the day began to die.

One day I rode to Southport for a picnic on the beach:

The next I would leave the exotica and spend more time reading and doing laps....

I was invited to give a talk on existential therapy at a counselling college, and so I did one morning, in this wonderful old Hobart building -- what a place to study!

I went for walks in rain forests near Geeveston, where the sun was magical on the bracken and ferns:

And rode up Mount Nelson, to look out over Hobart:

One afternoon my father and I went out in a dingy for a few hours.  The water was so clear.

And the next day I rode to Gordon Damn.  I stopped along the way at what can only be described as a village, to purchase honey from somebody's front yard, made by bees in their backyard.  It smelt of flowers.

In the national park there were also bee hives.  As I sped along, smelling the ferns or eucalyptus, suddenly I would be assaulted by the overpowering scent of honey, exploding like the brilliant sunshine that lighted my way.

This is alpine country.  I felt like I was riding across the top of the world.

And then I entered into a district of lakes and islands.  An inland sea in the alpines.  Complete, in fact, with prehistoric fish.

At last I reached Gordon Damn.  A gargantuan place.  Phenomenal.

After this adventure I spent more days riding the roads about Cygnet.  It is a very different place to what I knew in my teenage years, when the only place to eat served fried food and Big Ms.  This is where I went to get my coffee, and it competed with anything in Melbourne:

 Alas, all good things come to an end.  And so I found myself aboard a boat, staring for hours across Bass Straight.  This time in a storm.  I felt like I was floating through some great unconsciousness

from which, eventually, civilisation - with all its discontents - emerged.