Getting back on the bike
I’d forgotten how much fun motorcycling is. Yeah ok, my ass-cheeks are hanging off me, and my nerves are shot to pieces but hey, that’s motorcycling in Australia for you – there’s nothing like hurtling along and thinking, ‘is that a wallaby? Don’t skip into the . . . fuck fuck fuck fuck!’ Then there’s the burnt trees now in full verdant flurry, a reminder of the horrific fires last year. But the down-sides are paltry in comparison to the benefits: a pretty coastline, long winding bends, feeling the cool morning air rushing through the jacket, dappled sunlight dancing through trees casting long shadows across the road. It’s blissful. As I was Miss-Daisy-ing up the Pacific Coast, within 48 hours of leaving Melbourne I felt like I’d been gone a week. I think it says something about me that when planning a weekend trip four-hours away down the coast, I still have that mentality to think, ‘well I’m going all that way, if I just continue for another . . . I don’t know, two days . . . ’
And thus, a motorcycle adventure was born!! Yup, not only leaving Melbourne (wow!). Not only heading out of the state of Victoria (omg!) but into the city of Sydney (shut that door/close that border!!). In the end, it was a lovely eight-day trip, working from Sydney for a few days, and catching up with dear friends in Canberra and the twin cities of Albury/Wodonga too, covering a neat little 2,000km loop. And now come the purchases! It was my first big trip on the motorcycle I bought last June and I have to immediately fix the lack of cruise control. I’ve never had this on a bike before, but my throttle wrist was buggered. I’m unsure yet what I can do about my broken arse . . . I already have a sizeable soft-gel seat. Wondering if I can get some kind of travelling blancmange I can rest my buttocks in. Perhaps just gently dip my arse into a bucket of Savlon as I ride.
Apart from the wildlife, including - and I shit you not – an eight-foot gargantuan snake crossing the road, the coast has received a battering in the last few weeks, with once-in-fifty-years type flooding. Fortunately, I was very well prepared for adversity (albeit extremely mild adversity), having just finished Extreme Ownership! The authors, gravel-voiced Navy Seals, use their confronting experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to relay life lessons. They are undoubtedly the real-deal, but being part of the US Forces it’s dripping with Hollywood; they didn’t use force, they used deadly, unfathomable force; they didn’t have a tank as back-up, they had a 120mm M256A1 smoothbore gun of the Abrams death machine at their disposal. You get the gist. To summarise, and very much in alignment with one of the key tenets from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuc&, make less excuses, take responsibility. Could I have taken that snake on with my bare hands? Probably. Would I have lived? Unlikely, unless it wasted all its energy biting my blancmange butt.
Feeling I needed even more grit, I started and then finished Grit, a book very much in the line of Malcom Gladwell, in which Dr Angela Duckworth investigating the power and passion of perseverance i.e. why some people have grit and some don’t, and what it takes to be an elite athlete, leader, expert etc. I’m now 109% grit. You can use me on roads for winter. My buoyancy will now be tested with the dystopian, uplifting New York Times Best Seller They Both Die at the End. Will carefully check the plot for motorcycles, wallabies and snakes.
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