We launched from QIMR Berghofer straight back to West End to say goodbye to our number one fan: Mum – if we ever get weak on the updating front you can bet Mum will be in touch requesting we pull our fingers out. We also collected Dad to make sure we had someone give us sh^t for one more week. Having Dad along was brilliant – he is high spirited, hardy and good fun to ground and be grounded by. How he rode without sunnies until Cloncurry has us beat. West of Barcaldine is like riding on a hot plate – open your visor and you get your face melted by the hot air sitting above the bitumen.
The truth of it is we haven’t done any noteworthy riding in 18 months – just been buried in work saving big. Needless to say 500km on the first afternoon was a shock to the bum. This ride to Darwin was about more than just checking the bikes in with the shipping mob – this was our setup check. A few little things came to light but none more so than bloody comms. Anyone who has tried riding in a group over a long period of time will appreciate that comms with sound to your lids is important. Well our comms are jinxed… whether a UHF battery, dicky lead connections, sound interference… always something on one of the bikes. We can now remove covers, shroud, seat and fuel tank with our eyes closed in under 60 seconds.
The highlight was catching up with relatives in Central Queensland. Dad grew up around Comet and Mum near Capella. There are still family from both sides around – all of them salt of the earth. It’s kind of a relief to know that it’s not just us that are mad as cut snakes – it must be a blood thing. If I had to describe little Walter for example, I would make a new word – uncontainable. He doesn’t see boundaries – he just sees up. Good luck with him at 18. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to have to keep up with our cousins.