I JUST WANT TO RIDE!
Why did this get to be so much work?
I can’t complain, I’m learning a lot, but, being restless by nature, I just want to leave already! All the build-up, expectation and anticipation is playing on my mind, affecting my sleep. I’m picturing scenarios that may never transpire – good and bad. Now, instead of worrying that I’ll be hit by a road-train on some remote stretch of highway, I’m concerned that I won’t raise enough money for MS Australia. Is that strange, or is it just me?
Regardless, I have enlisted the help of a sweet friend of mine, who is currently writing up a press release in media speak, so that I can start to seriously enlist the help and sponsorship of companies and organisations that may have an interest in this venture.
I have a HUGE to-do list after that press release is complete – I feel like a runner, waiting for the starting gun to go off… I’m ready and steady, but it feels as though an eternity will pass before I finally take off and GO!
In the meantime, I’ve decided to focus on preparation – I have enrolled in two courses: bike maintenance and advanced riding. I believe that some sound knowledge about the ins and outs of a motorcycle engine wouldn’t go astray on a trip of this magnitude. In the event of a break-down on the road, I won’t be so lost about what could possibly have gone wrong. Plus, having recently completed the intermediate riding course, I felt the benefits of completing it shortly thereafter. Surely, my skills will improve even more after successfully finishing the higher, advanced level? Both of these courses will, no doubt, make me feel even more confident about the adventure I am about to embark upon.
Gosh, I feel like an athlete in training for the Olympics! If I get remotely close to scoring a bronze medal, I’ll be happy…
I have created a Facebook page for the ride too: http://tinyurl.com/ycerpb4 On this page, fans can ask me questions, make comments, look at my route and donate to a worthy cause. When things get fired up, I will be posting campaign developments in earnest. Fingers crossed this event will be a success.
Now, to other news…
I dropped my bike! I felt like such a dufus… my right leg got trapped underneath the 265kg (give or take) machine and I had to call for the help of a fellow staff member to lift the bike off me just enough to get my leg out. Wow, that hurt like hell! Of course, it landed on my bad leg which has been broken so many times, I’ve lost count. After fifteen orthopaedic procedures in 2001, I was warned by my doctors that if I experienced a similar impact again, my leg could very well be reduced to dust… crumble like chalk, forget about reconstruction.
Of course, being the genius that I am, I have chosen to ignore these negative predictions. I love motorcycling too much to take that seriously.
Now, I didn’t think that my leg was crumbling by having the bike drop on it last week, but I was concerned, from the amount of pain I was experiencing, that I had managed to fracture it, perhaps even break it. “Not now!” I thought. “I have to ride for MS in March! I don’t need to be in plaster!”
First things first… getting my priorities straight, after finishing work that day, I raced to have the bike inspected for damage. I could see that I had crushed my right-hand mirror and my rear brake pedal was so twisted I could no longer reach it with my foot. But, what else did the drop damage that could potentially be dangerous? I had to find out. Who cares about my leg? It’s not like it was falling off or anything.
The guys at Clipstone Yamaha twisted my rear brake pedal back into place, and adjusted my mirror as best they could until I got it replaced. (Can you believe it? The Suzuki dealership I have been going to don’t open on Fridays! What the…?) But, talk about blessings in disguise! I can finally get those matte black pair of mirrors I’ve been coveting for a few months now! Woohoo!
My black pipes got a little scratched, but rather than going through my insurance, I have decided to replace the essential parts on my own and leave the pipes as they are. I have grown fond of the scratches. They add character to my bike, kinda like the character I have, now that my right leg looks like a relief map of the Pyrenees. I’m secretly happy that the bike has little battle scars - it doesn’t look as new and fresh-out-of-the-box as it did. Now, it looks like MY bike. Don’t they say the same thing about pets? That they look like their owners? Or is it the other way around?
Finally, I was positively RAPT when Mad Biker, Brett, put my right indicator light back together with black gaffer tape! Not only was the colour scheme right, but it added to the overall weathered appearance my baby now finally has! The gaffer tape reminded me of my youth, when I used to wear big old Doc Martin 12-ups that had gotten so worn out by my late teens, I was holding them together with black gaffer tape as well. Ahhh… memories!
So, now, my bike and I are truly one. We look alike, we’ve been through some hard knocks, and have both managed to come out the other end still in one piece and ready for the next escapade. The question is: Will she be the one taking me across the Nullarbor in April?