Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The trick to motorcycling in winter weather...

...is, well, to be young.  I hope to be still riding in winter as an old man but let's face it: as one gets older it does get harder.  I used to ride heroically, 52 Sundays of the year for hours upon hours. In winter I could barely think or speak as I bought petrol in Bendigo then rode through an icy night to Melbourne.  I still carry this spirit within but alas, when Em and I set off for a mere 350km round trip to Maldon the very low temperature got the better of us. While lunching on homemade sausage rolls at Mia Mia we decided to pursue comfort instead of distance.  This meant cruising along at 80kph (less chilling) through local, wonderful scenes of paddocks studded with cold granite boulders. Riding on a whim.

Eventually we arrived at an old church in the middle of nowhere.

Notice in the background an old school house:

I would love to know its history.  The area is called Emu Flat, and is relatively west of Tooborac.

We decided to waste time until dinner would be served at a pub we have wanted to visit.  And so in Lancefield we visited an antique market, wandering through a 19th century hotel, room after room filled with the left-overs of past lives.  This prepared us for the past lives we expected at our next destination.

And so we rode to Clarkefield and Australia's most haunted pub, the Coach and Horses Inn.

This is what you want on a cold evening when you alight from your motorcycle:

Along with cheery chaps and happy schnapps:

I didn't take a photo from outside, but here is a sketch of the place:

And here is an interior room. What a place to eat!

I encountered nothing paranormal alas, and the cold chill down my spine when I first entered was melted away by the warmth and atmosphere of the pub itself.

The trick to motorcycling in winter is to love - in all seasons - the unexpected detours. Year after year one of the greatest gifts in my life is the simple act of mounting my beautiful bike and disappearing down the road into a land of whim, discovery and the joyful unforeseen. Afterwards when I drone through the night shivering under a bright moon, I feel like time has stopped, that my motion has something of the eternal under that ageless light: a sense of the world as intimate, spread out, and woven from endless possibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment