I wanted to make sure that this bike would be tried and tested, as well as having had its first / 1,000 km service completed before I left Melbourne. And, since the sand in my Melbourne hourglass was getting smaller and smaller, basically meant that I only had 24hrs left to clock up 1,000kms before the KMT shop or any bike shop would shut, and I would have to wait around for a couple of days to get the logbook serviced done. I have never been patient…
So. What to do? I called up my photographer and chauffeur friend to ask him for the 1,000km a day route that he has been known to do. Instead of sending me the GPX file for the GPS, he told me he’d lead me. Didn’t take long to talk him into it… what am I saying…. He talked himself into doing it! Lol
All plans were put in place and I went to bed, knowing the next day would be a whopper of a day!
This day started quite early and in much “nippiness” in the air. So much so the layering system I had going wasn’t doing its normal job, so I had to crack out the hot water bottle again! Great little invention that. I actually woke up before the alarm clock, too excited to be able to bed-in the new Lawnmower’s engine without the weight of my full luggage and panniers. Riding without that weight on, feels just as naughty and free as skinny dipping!
The route was to cross Melbourne city, hightail it towards Geelong, and then off to the Great Ocean Road and surrounds for some fun in the hills. I struggled to keep my excitement below red(lining) levels on the poor bike, while also being humbled that I was being able to ride my own behind such suave and elegant BMW beast. The sheer size difference between the bikes was stark so much so that it made my Lawnmower look like a toy next to it! He certainly had fun at one stop by jumping bikes and giving the Lawnmower a red hot go 🙂
This day I let myself be lead through some rich and varied scenery, not really knowing where I was. A general idea was all that I needed at this stage. It was also a great feeling to be sitting on bike again and getting to imprint a new bum groove in the gel seat and find the comfiest position on the handlebars as a matter or muscle memory.
Throughout the day there was rain on and off, and at the coast, the winds picked up bringing more and more rains, so we tended to stay inland mostly. Through the back of the lush forests of the Ottoways with only popping out to the coast intermittently.
I was thankful for having such a skilled rider to lead me as it would have taken me too long to try and work out a route that would encompass 1,000kms and still make it home just on dark. All I had to do, was follow. We mainly only stopped for fuel, feed and toilet stops as this was a ride with a purpose rather than for it to be a too much of a social ride. I think it suited my companion very well as he isn’t an extrovert or overly chatty. So putting down the nose and riding long distances was just the thing.
However, he did like to play with his camera and of course it made an appearance or two. I even managed to snap him while he snapped me! Mutual snapping.
I love to see differing people’s views, and this photo of his, shows exactly how much a differing angle can do.
By the halfway mark I was already starting to get a little tired but there were still many more kilometres to go, as well as me having to make it back home to pack up. The rest of the arvo was a bit of a blur, and didn’t really want it to end as I knew we’d be going back into Melbs city around peak hour.
In the late afternoon, we stopped for the last stop for fuel, were we said our finally goodbyes and well-wishes. I don’t know if this was the last time that I would see this photographer, so got a bit teary. Most thankful for his brief appearance in my life, the extended hand he stretched to me and the wonderful experiences I got. So back into my base, to clean up the bike, and complete packing up my life.
By the time that I got back, we had ridden 970kms. I was buggered but I had to push through to complete all that I needed to do. Although not quite the 1,000kms I was aiming for, the bike will clock it up riding to the dealership.
For tomorrow first thing I would be going to drop off the Lawnmower for the 1st service, while I completed and tied all loose ends I had to in this city. It may not have ever been a place that I would have chosen to live in, but I am so very glad I got to, albeit for a cold and short time.