Two wheels (move the soul!)

Monday seems to be a standard ride the Daytona day this summer.

Not that I mind.

This time I headed somewhere different. The road from Canberra to Bateman’s Bay is apparently interesting.

Well it is, but you have to ride for about 45mins down a pretty boring road across the plains to get there. But Clyde Mountain, wow. It’s pretty steep and winding and I don’t think I got to the end before I hit my turnaround time. It was also in the middle of being resealed so I’ll give a month or so and might head that way again. Except for the hours of boring stuff.

The road out to Marulan, though less technical, more interesting. I might do that next Monday. Or tomorrow?IMG_2699

OOOOhhhh Friday morning on the MTB, I was massively happy. There is a turn on a track called See Saw that I fallen on 3 times and skipped at least twice. Rode down it without falling or stopping Friday. I think the whole forrest heard my happy yell.

Got out again this afternoon, trying a newly built trail. A fun ride actually, “Brake Dance” and “Rock and Roll”. Both had some tricky stuff and both were mostly downhill, so good fun. However the uphill bits were harder as the new trail was still pretty soft (not compacted by lotsa tyres).

Disappointment though in the end as I hit “Creek Run” a fun quick blast at the end…. the back started getting really loose and it was obvious I had another flat. Two in three rides.

Spoiled that last hurrah.

Home and I FINALLY washed the Daytona, the Trance (my MTB) and fixed the tyre. Actually pretty happy about getting that stuff done.

Paddy’s River Rd

Wednesday…. you know I’m really loving this summer time at the moment, anyway, early knock off Wednesday so I jumped on the Daytona and headed for the Cotter… again.

Hey, it’s a great road, and its close, about 30mins from home here.

So this time with no thunderstorms looming to the south I followed Paddy’s River Rd, that the Cotter Rd turns off and headed south towards the space tracking station at Tidbinbilla.

I rode up and back (Partly as I didn’t feel like dragging myself all the way through south Canberra) for another afternoon enjoying the Daytona. This road is a lot more open with the southern half a stretch of open sweepers that are a nice change from the technical tight Cotter Rd.

And Australia… dodge a Blue Tongue Lizard down the street and have to change lines mid corner because a snake was crossing.

Can’t tell you what kind, I didn’t stick around to check…

That guy was quick….

And it wasn’t me.

I got an early mark on Monday and with the sun shining I rushed home to change into my leathers.

I headed out to the Cotter again. I spent about an hour practising up and down the road. Enjoying the road and the Daytona.

I did laugh to myself at one point. I was about a third of the way back down when a Ducati rode past the other way. He looked to be going fairly quick.

At the bottom, where Brindabella Rd meets the Cotter I paused to see if heads back this way. I reckon I was stopped for about 30 secs when he pulled up. A quick hello and he was off back to Canberra.

Another fun afternoon.

Daylight Savings (Summertime) rocks.

Enjoying the Daytona again.

I got back from Sydney Monday and with the afternoon off, I decided to head out on the Daytona in order to see how my leg had improved. My wife had been getting me to tag along to her gym sessions and we had been working hard on the knee (and the rest of me) to get rid of the stiffness and start getting back to fully operational.

I geared up and decided that a run out to the Cotter and environs would be a good start. I had only been out that way a couple of times and would be a good test of the leg (and my confidence) without being too far away (and having a high proportion of turns to straights, grin). It is probably the closest good road to the city (only about 20 mins away).

I spent about an two hours out there, riding up and back, enjoying it immensely. I didn’t push too hard as the roads are still very new (and not in the best conditions) straight away. Gradually I increased the pace and was very happy that my knee didn’t have any pain or stiffness throughout. A vast improvement on even the short commute about three weeks before.

Eventually, and with some nasty grey clouds gathering over the hills I headed back towards home.

Got home, very satisfied, very happy and a bit tired. What a great day.

It didn’t help me decide if I should change my bike over or not…. didn’t help with that decision AT ALL.

I love the Daytona, it’s a hoot to ride and so light and quick.

I miss the VFR and traveling about on it.

Though there is no real reason I can’t do that on the Daytona……………….

Post crash – Update 2

Not a lot to post, sorry. I’m still at home in Sydney healing up. Still can’t really move my leg much so sitting at the computer isn’t really appealing.

Frustrated, I want to get back on the bike and even back to work, but I can’t imagine how much more frustrated I would be if I had been more seriously injured.

Haven’t been paid for the bike yet, there are some documents I need to send them, but they are in Canberra at the moment and I haven’t been back.

Anyway I’ll potter about this week and hopefully be back the next one. I’m really keen to put together a vid showing my gear and the crash site etc, but need to get out there again to do that.

Post crash update

Okay so it’s almost a week since I decided to closely inspect the road surface at high speed. I have had a plastic surgeon stitch up my wound. Then I was discharged from Canberra and finally got home to my family on Friday evening.

All seems to be healing well but it will be a while. I’ve had suggestions of anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks before I can even drive let alone swing a leg over the Daytona. So work will be frustrated but not more than me.

I do really want to ride again and there isn’t anything to stop me. Even Mrs Mab is happy for me to keep riding. The only thing that might stop me is me.

The docs have suggested that I may not yet have dealt with the whole event and I expect that’s true. But to what extant I need to deal with anything you never know.

So I might swing that leg over and be too nervous to roll out of the garage. At this time I don’t see that – I can certainly think through some rides and all I feel is the urge to get out there.

I expect I will also mourn my VFR at some point. Sure it’s only a bike to some but it was a big part of me for a long time and many miles. And I am going to miss it.

So all is as well as it can be and I look forward to what the future holds. Thanks again to all the support from here and elsewhere.

End of an Era

That’s what my sister and my mum separately described it when I told them.

Sunday night, marginally later than usual I headed down the highway from Sydney to Canberra on my VFR. After my usual refuel at Marulan and a text to wife I was on my.

As I travelled along the edge of Lake George I was passing a car and about level with its doors when it appeared.

Ten foot tall with red blazing eyes and a t-shirt that read “death to motorcyclists” the kangaroo leapt from in front of the car next to me and landed in front of me. At 110km/h I had enough time to think “fuck this is going to hurt”. Well I probably only thought “f” before I’m tumbling down the freeway.

I didn’t resist the tumbling, trusting my gear to do the job I spent a lot of money for. It did seem a while but was probably a few secs later I stopped sliding.

I could see the wire fence on the edge of the highway only a metre or so away. I was pretty shaken and had no idea if I was hurt but I knew if I could get over to the fence I would be as far away from the traffic as I could get. I didn’t want to survive the roo only to get squashed under a semi.

I lay in the drain next to the wire letting myself take a few deep breaths and see if anything was hurting a lot.

Nothing grabbed my immediate attention so I stood up. Up the road to my left was my bike about three metres away. Past that a couple of people were just getting out of a ute. (They were apparently very relieved to see me stand up)

I walked over to my bike with a heavy heart knowing that my bike had seen its last miles this evening. Lying on its side in a pool of oil with the top box burst open I knew the insurers would deem it uneconomical to repair.

I took my helmet off and sat down. The guys convinced me to lie down and it seemed like a good idea. My Kevlar jeans were ripped open on my right knee and a nasty set of gashes poked through. We decided to call the ambulance.

As we waited the guys found a few of my things. I took stock of myself and even with shredded clothing the only other injury apparent to us was a light graze on my wrist.

But it was cold lying there on the road and I presume the shock and adrenaline as well had me shivering almost constantly (it would be after a couple of hours in Emergency before this would stop) About 30mins later the cops turned up, the the tow truck and then the ambos.

I guess about an hour later we arrived at Canberra Hospital. It became obvious that I had been very lucky and that my gear had done its job. I have some deep serious gouges of skin (you can see muscle and bone in the holes) taken from my knee but that’s it. Nothing broken, nothing internal damaged.

From there it’s been a succession of hospital beds and dressing changes. I am supposed to getting a plastic surgeon to look at my knee tomorrow. It’s going to take some work I think and lots of time to heal.

Some people have gone out and checked out the crash site. They figure the bike slid about 100m. They found the roo, well dead and he wasn’t a small one (about 5 feet tall). They found some of the bike with roo hair stuck in it. Most amazingly they found all of my belongings, even down to a couple of USB sticks and my sunnies.

Thanks to all my family and friends for all their support so far. Thanks to the guys who stopped (many didn’t) and I wish you’d left me your details. Thanks to the ambos and other medical folks. And of course thanks to Dainese (jacket and boots), Draggin (jeans), Alpinestars (gloves) and KBC (helmet) for keeping me so safe.

And rest in peace (or pieces??) to my well loved mighty VFR.j

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Hot or Cold?

It might have been a long weekend, but that just means Monday night – it’s time to return to Canberra for work the next day. Spring has arrived and was giving Sydney a taste of summer with 30C for most of the weekend and Monday was no different. I was starting to get a little concerned about how warm I might be riding back in my touring gear… it’s great in the cold, but can’t beat a vented jacket and jeans when the temperatures really climb.

Mrs Mab’s work resolved the whole issue when they called her in about dinner time. Instead of leaving I found myself organising dinner and baths etc. Departure would be well after dark and probably in the 20C, much more comfortable.

So I eventually got away and it was a very pleasant. Warm… first time in ages it wouldn’t be single digits when I arrived in Canberra. A little windy, that seemed to keep the bugs away (normally there would a lot on a warm night like this).

It was pretty uneventful for about two thirds of the way. Warm, less warm, full moon so kinda bright. Then it started warming up again… in fact around Goulburn it was warmer than when I left home, 2 hours ago…. remember it’s night time.

With the warmth came these great big moths! And then one managed to find itself on the wrong side of the visor, fluttering away.

Not quite an emergency stop, but I whipped open the visor hoping the wind would clear it. It did, but I spent the next twenty minutes with “ghost moths” coming up my helmet (though no more actually did).

And then it rained.

This was a really weird trip back.

But it was nice to be warm for a change :) Sure that feeling won’t last. You know, 20-25 really is the perfect temperature.

Made it home through the warm rain, safe again.