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Published on December 29th, 2014 | by Boris

POST-CHRISTMAS DECOMPRESSION

Even a bag of sub-organic suet needs airing after several days of being force-fed dead animals and the dregs of some vile bourbon barrel.

Double-points be fucked. If our owners imagine for one second they have intimidated me and mine from venturing onto the Queen’s Highways to ride stupid motorcycles, they are very sadly mistaken.

And so, with 11 stupid motorcycles gathered on an overcast morning at the Shrine of the Clown near Windsor, we headed over the mountains to meet up with maybe 15 more worthies and their stupid motorcycles from Bike Me’s burgeoning Northern Horde.

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Young Harry hating his jacket, which was causing him coldness. Big Max behind the VMAX ponders where the next servo might be, and Harry (foreground) communes with Ganesh.

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Let us prey. No, that is not a spelling mistake.

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So much happiness wedged into such a red package.

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Notorious drug-fiend Bly closes the door after the horse has bolted.

An eclectic posse left Sydney and headed over the range, slipping sliding and trying not to die as the Bell’s Line of Road fed us its wet and greasy best.

But dying was off the fucken agenda. I told the new blokes that. I felt they took me seriously. As one of them later said, a little wall-eyed and fey: “This is not like going for a ride to Newtown for fucken gelato.”

Clearly, he had never ridden with any of us, or he wouldn’t have thought that at all. One can turn an inner-city ice-cream run into the stuff of shrieking speed-nightmares if one has a mind too. But since my friends and I normally eschew the rough advances of perfumed men seeking to nuzzle our privates, it is unlikely any of us would be attending an inner-city ice-cream parlour, in this world or the next few.

Not been on a Bike Me! ride?

Just as well. You probably shouldn’t go.

Road Captains are appointed usually at the second-to-last fuel stop. Decisions on where to go next are normally made by yelling and swearing and shrugging and ordering more beer. Corner-marking occurs only if occurs to someone to corner mark or if there isn’t a race going on at the time, in which case all bets are off. Anyone who is not going fast enough for you may be overtaken at any time. You are responsible for your shit. Always. And we usually do some miles.

Today we would be doing some miles. It’s not often the Northern Hordes venture south in such numbers and it was incumbent upon me to attend upon them.

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Stupid motorcycles taking up space.

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Harry examines the Streetfighter.

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A coming together of the Ginger.

We fueled up in Lithgow, advised a bewildered Lebanese criminal in a top-line Mercedes-Benz where he could find the local gaol, and hit the Jenolan Caves Road like the hot vengeance of a scorned whore.

The first bit was dry and gorgeous, but then it got very foggy and only the brave would essay for a podium. I had traction control and a motorcycle whose very brand-name was a byword for handling and confidence and promptly shoved myself in front of my Sikh brother, Harry, who made several attempts to touch me with the snout of Ganesh, as he urged his Aprilia Tuono (identical to mine but several years older) to keep pace.

We arrived at the Duckmaloi Road turnoff, wreathed in mist and madness. Nationally-renowned drug-pig Bly, the remnants of his licence and his feisty Streetfighter was with us, and a few minutes later the rest arrived, damp and smiling.

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This is a great and glorious thing, this.

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Gorillas in the mist.

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More gorillas in the mist.

I advised the new boys that the run from where we were to Oberon was a Grand Prix track, but that caution should be exercised due to the mist. Kangaroos, like gorillas, appear out of the mist at the most inappropriate times.

And then Harry and I decided to race for oilwells.

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The starting grid.

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Ganesh in the mist.

I have no idea how fast we were going and Harry made some noises about “Twofuckenhundred”, but as he is a foreign idolater, I set little store by his reckonings.

The Royal Hotel in Oberon had been the lodging place of the Northern Horde. The owner is known to one of them and thus the hospitality was outstanding.

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I think the publican made them sleep outside.

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You can never get all the bikes in one shot.

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I do love this thing. Deeply.

I bought a cleansing beer, hugged many men in a non-homo way and listened to the communal decision to go to O’Connell pub for food.

I think we were in the O’Connell pub in what seemed like five minutes. On the way, Harry touched me with the snout of Ganesh and sailed past, followed by the Dan Bizlerian of Bike Me!, Maguyver, and his stupid KTM Adventure. I extended myself on the horrible one-lane backroad and reeled them both back in, but it was a close thing.

It was 11am in the morning. We drank beer and considered riding further for food. Most of us felt we had not leeched enough adrenaline into our bones for luncheon just yet.

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O’Connell pub carpark grooming.

There really only was one option. Taralga via Black Springs and the Abercrombie Gorge.

Many of our rides are informed by where something happened. Near Tarana, we have Bly’s Corner, where Bly helpfully removed the front wheel of a four-wheel drive with his leg. The Abercrombie Gorge is where Res threw his beloved Hayabusa into a rock wall because it was better than sailing off into the chasm.

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At the bottom of the gorge.

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“Five times I almost died.”

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Cypher tends to punt that vintage motorcycle along quite well.

I warned the new children to be aware of the Abercrombie Gorge, and when they saw the red sign that said “SLOW THE CUNTING FUCK DOWN!” they were to take it seriously. The run from Black Springs to the gorge is fast-fast and then very suddenly, it’s not. As Res, and countless others before him, discovered.

Petrol was an issue for me (I thought), but more so for young Max, who was riding a VMAX and was convinced he’d be spending a day or two encamped by the side of the road as he awaited salvation.

As far as I was concerned, if I kept the Tuono humming at around 140, I should get to Goulburn. Lindsay, who rides some kind of disgraceful KTM at speeds the beggar belief sailed past me, hotly pursued by Harry and Ganesh, with the Bike Me! Bizlerian on his tyres.

What the fuck, I thought. Cunts with petrol, I thought. Pricks sure can bang, I thought. I nudged the Aprilia to 170 and tried to keep them in sight.

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Finally! Lunch!

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This is Gus’s Ducati…

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It is fucken well sexy.

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Men to do miles with.

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“Less praying, more chewing…”

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“Yep. Steady as a rock.”

 

In very short order we were at the bottom of the gorge, the sun was out, the cicadas were singing and we were pissing into the roadside weeds like bison in rut.

We had lost a few of our number.

The non-Ganesh Harry got lost, probably because his poor Motard doesn’t do more than 120, so Boon took him under his wing and escorted him back to Sydney and probably groomed him a little for all kinds of villainy.

My brother Al remained at the O’Connell pub because he was hungry and had to fly to Melbourne that evening, and No Sheds stayed with him and who knows what kind of steak-eating took place there when we left.

Max was some 20 minutes behind us. The big fellow had to idle his VMAX along and coast down the hills staring at his reserve light and doubtlessly wondering why he had even bothered to get up that Sunday morning.

Red-Eye and Bizlerian had massive petrol tanks and would possible have sold him some petrol in exchange for sexual favours and vast sums of money, but Max is no man’s fool. He continued, and somehow made it the final 25 klicks into Taralga, where I told him that if he went and charmed the gift-shop lady, she might sell him a little petrol to get him to Goulburn.

The rest of us ate steak, drank beer and laughed.

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Have I told you how good this thing is?

After lunch the normal meeting of the minds ensued as some insisted they were going to Crookwell, and others were going to Goulburn and others wanted to ride back to Oberon because the road was so enticing.

There’s only so much of that screeching and indecision a man can stand, so I went to Goulburn with a few bikes on my heels. As it turned out, the blokes going to Crookwell ended up going to Goulburn anyway, so we awkwardly had to say goodbye to them all over again, and now all that hugging was starting to look a little too Nightclub-on-Oxford-Street.

I was planning to have a beer at Sutton Forest with Brother Biffa and Red Mist, but missed the turn-off, found Harry, Ganesh and Red Mist in a servo, felt enough was enough and speared home along the freeway, nursing a sore throat and suddenly aching limbs.

Oh well. Bastard flu is a small price to pay for such a glorious day.

Thank you all for being beaut.

Hail Motorcycles!

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About the Author

is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.



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