Ride Leader Lucky – Oct 2020

Boris had a plan. It was a good plan too. Rocky said he wanted to go to Mudgee to see the motorcycle museum there so invitations were sent out. Four rooms only at The Winning Post Motel right in the centre of town. Lucky had scored a room and Moey was a close second.

“Gentlemen” said Boris. “Gentlemen, I have organised luxury apartment rooms but there will be no riff-raff.” That pretty much wiped out any other Nige’s for a late call-up so it was agreed a compliment of four was just about right. “Yep, sounds good Boris” said Lucky. “Moey and I will fix you up for the rooms when we get there right Moey?”

“Tally-Ho” replied Moey which made no sense to any of us.

On the morning of the ride we were supposed to meet at Jerrys at 10.30 but Moey had problems from the start. “Meister, I’ve got problems with my water and Rex has new brakes and carby bits which need gentle care away from the wet roads of Kulnura” He said calling from his home in Wyee and the last remaining fixed land-line in Australia.

“Prostate?”

“No Lucky, my pipes not pushing through what it should and I need to scour the area for weaknesses and maybe a patch….” by which stage Lucky had forgotten why Moey called anyway but nodded politely even though Moey couldn’t see him at the other end of the line. “I might not get to Jerrys on time so I’ll meet you all at Denman.”

“OK Unky Momo, bring me a present.” He didn’t.

“Don’t forget you owe me money for those T shirts we bought in Bathurst Lucky. We had a gentleman’s agreement.”

“Got it here for you and will pay you at Denman” He did. Promptly.

It was pouring rain at Jerrys and Lucky had been waiting just a short while when Boris and Rocky rode in. Two other riders were there and one of them was carrying on like a pork chop about how great Trump had been for America and wasn’t it a shame that he was losing the elections.

“Really” pointed out Boris, bristling at the crazy republican, “Do you think he was good for America and its people?” which startled the redneck wannabe whose understanding of American politics seemed limited to what Fox News told him so he went away muttering something about him doing more for black America and stopping Covid in its tracks etc ” An American hero” we heard as he disappeared in a cloud of Versys smoke.

As those two departed Lucky nominated himself designated ride-leader “I’m in charge in Nige’s absence.” and off they went. Rocky was on his new GS1250 after trading in his old RR1000 after it hit a rock and dented its front rim. And that is how he got his name. Simple logic from the Niges once again. It rained heavily out through Wollombi but began to ease off around Broke where we fuelled up.

Boris not attempting to push Rocky over at Broke servo.

Redboy undaunted by torrential downpour.

“Come on boys, Moey’s waiting at Denman!!” Called ride-leader Lucky as they headed off at a decent pace that saw blue skies begin to emerge as they skirted around the back of Jerries Plains and on to the Royal Hotel at Denman. As predicted, Moey had arrived only moments earlier. “Here’s that money I owe you Unky Momo” said Lucky bowing graciously and handing over a crisp twenty.

“Just as well Lucky. I’d hate to have to chase you for it.”

“No no Unky Momo, a Gentleman’s Agreement is bindering”

“Binding Lucky”

At this point an ashen faced Boris made a startling announcement. “Chaps, you wont believe this but my dungarees appear to have filled with water!!”

“Blimey!!” exclaimed Rocky. “Problems with the down-unders then old mate?”

“No no of course not Rocky. Dont be absurd old boy. All’s well in that department I assure you. It’s these blasted plastic pants. They leak like the Titanic’s portholes! I’ll be sluicing around in these for the rest of the trip I suppose. Blasted nuisance but there you are.” and, with that stoicism and pants as full as a Catholic school, he waded towards the front bar.

Lunch at Denman was the usual carnage with a beer and then it was off to Bylong. “Go ride-leader Lucky.”  “You’re the best ride-leader Lucky” Lucky thought he heard them all say as he steered them on. They didn’t say that. Mind you, about fifty metres from the Bylong servo Ol’ Sir Fallapart went roaring and farting past ride-leader Lucky. “That rude behaviour will not be tolerated!” said Lucky more to himself than anyone else but he gave Moey a bit of a scowl when he thought Moey wasn’t looking.

Arriving at Bylong for wees and coffee, Moey then suggested they ride a new section of road that ran directly from Bylong to Mudgee called Wollar Rd. “So long as I remain ride-leader.” said Lucky. It was very good and saved about twenty minutes which would have given them all more time to listen to Lucky’s very interesting conversations when they got there. That didn’t happen. At around 4.30 they pulled into the Winning post and went off to their rooms to shower and whatnot, leaving Lucky without an audience, then met down at the bar a bit later.

“Right lads, we’re off to Kelly’s Pub for libations.” Said Boris, now sporting a clean and dry bottom. Rocky cheered heartily and we were off. We had a few but nothing silly and then headed back to the motel restaurant for some pretty decent meals topped off with a delightful Pinot Noir.

And then the conversation took an interesting turn. Moey and Lucky recalled that, at the Knickerbocker Hotel on the last ride, there had been an incident. Nige and Lucky had been having a fairly animated discussion on words that describe sounds. Onomatopoeia. After giving several examples, splash, grind, gulp, swallow etc. and other equally unsavoury examples, Nige made his first mistake. “Dip”. Lucky roared with laughter knowing he had his friend at checkmate. But Nige was unshakeable.

“Dip is a good example of onomatopoeia and you know it Lucky!”

“No it’s not Nige and dipping your chin when you say it doesn’t make it Onomatopoeic!.”

“I’m not dipping my chin.” said Nige dipping his chin.

“You just did it again!”

“Did not!”

“Did so!”

And so the argument continued to the cheers of drunken onlookers who had by now formed a throng around the two literary dimwits. Heated discussions among the crowd led to fists being thrown and revellers tumbling out onto the footpaths. Many screamed incoherent curses of denials whilst others frantically dipped their chins in a macabre dance of maniacal zeal.

“Oh yeah I remember that” said Moey ” Did Nige ever concede?” he asked giggling over his Campari and soda.

“He found some list from some lunatic who had the word dip as an example of onomatopoeia and texted it to me a few days later.” Lucky laughed, uncontrollably, squirting Shirley Temple out of his nose. “But I ignored him.” Both agreed Bathurst was a hoot and that was that.

 

“A bloody good red that” said a solemn Boris and Rocky cheered again. Rocky was having a good time.

“Righto gentlemen, a wonderful story and I have fond recollections of that ride but now shall we adjourn to the bar for whisky and cigars?” Boris had all the right moves. There was more cheering from Rocky plus American Honeys all round. The foursome was asked politely to leave at 10.

The rooms were very spacious and all slept soundly. Any snoring was muffled by the thick double-bricked walls separating the rooms. “Even Nige couldn’t get a bad room here.” Said Lucky happily next morning. “Yes he could.” replied Moey and we all smiled quietly at the thought of that.

That’s Lucky’s king size bed waaaay over there. Could have parked Moey’s van next to the coffee table.

Breakfast was the usual buffet style that you get at good Hotels and it was deeeeelicious and well priced. From here we set off to the Museum at Stein’s Winery. It was pretty good and had about twenty vintage bikes lined up. Boris and Rocky were very happy to see bikes older than they were I suppose and a few, Like the AJS and Vincent, were “Particularly pleasing” to both of them.

Any more than four in here would have been socially irresponsible. There was no line at the door waiting though.

After this we headed for home. “More fabulous leading ride-leader Lucky” Lucky would have liked to have heard but didn’t. “You seemed to get faster as we got nearer home. Like some demented pony at a riding school” Boris said later and laughed at his own simile. Rocky cheered some more. “Well said old chap” and then guffawed at Lucky who, confused about what Boris had said, turned to Moey. “They think I did a great job as ride-leader didn’t they Moey?”

“We all thought the same thing Lucky.” which satisfied Lucky to some degree.

They then headed back along the same stretch of road and had a quick stop at Bylong. From there they headed around the back of Denman and through the farms so Rocky could enjoy about 400 metres of dirt road on his Beemer which handled it all “in a very unfussed way” Moey’s Ol’ Sir Fallapart rattled along without too much going on or falling off so he was happy enough too. A quick stop at Broke and back to Jerrys for hugs. All in all it was a good ride. Muffled cheers from Rocky’s helmet as he rode off for home. “Huzzahh!!!”

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A Gentleman’s Agreement in Bathurst October 2020

“Seven, seriously? Seven?”

“Yes Nige” replied Lucky “And we’re all leaving together” That was a nice change.

And, with that, between them Lucky and Nige set to organise another overnighter to Bathurst. Nige booked on-line whilst Lucky, who saw technology as about as trustworthy as a Donald Trump Covid exam, “He’s a dirty fibber!! Pardon my French!”, decided to book over the phone. After many days of chasing up rooms and booking doubles that were cancelled as new singles became available, the Knickerbocker again agreed to accept the Niges for another night.

Seven rooms sorted.

With that all settled and Moey dropping in on an old mate’s 80th on the morning of departure, we were all ready to go. Nige, Lucky, Boris, Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man), Barnaby, Moey, and Dave. Out to Broke where Nige told Lucky he had not raced off at silly speeds just because Lucky chose to ride towards the back of the pack and was not there to challenge nor lead him astray. Did I mention he remains alcohol free and within a healthy weight range (73kg wringing wet) which means he could be blown off the Beemer pretty easily at speed, especially with Arthur Ritus in both wrists, so he couldn’t really hang on anymore anyway.

Broke looked exactly the same as it always did.

See. Exactly the same.

Then things went horribly wrong. Nige, generally pretty reliable took a wrong turn. “OH MY GOD, HE’S HEADING TOWARDS BULGA!!” we all shouted collectively.

“That man will be the death of us all” Sighed Moey

“I’ll have to snot him when we get to Denman” said Barnaby with street-cred cool.

” Let’s string him up by his gonads!!!” roared a hard-man with an ironic name.

” Gadzooks, this will never do.” said Boris.

“Has anybody seen my hanky?” asked Lucky with some concern.

Anyway we arrived at Bulga and Nige was half unsaddled before he realised his error. “Haha youse” He started ” I know exactly what I’m doing and decided to come this way for a change. Now foller me!!” A quick surreptitious look at his Garmin and a press of a few buttons and we were away. Lucky didn’t find his hanky.

Onto Denman. Barnaby was “Toungin’ for the spicy chicken burger!” at the pub so, hoping to gain some of Barnaby’s street cred, Lucky ordered the same. Barnaby attacked his like a Mongolian horde on a Chinese monastery and then complained it lacked enough spicy sauce and other acid-based condiments. Lucky, on the other hand, deconstructed his first then nibbled away, sweating blood, till it was done. “Yeth I agree” “Very thad thpices” and went off to dunk his head in a small bucket of crushed ice. Meanwhile Nige’s GSA had all but shed it’s rear hugger and that had to be dealt with. Moey, I assume, had the Beemer strung upside down whilst he warmed up his angle grinder, I assume, to remove it. The rest of us, meanwhile, did wees and whatnot and generally got ourselves sorted.

Off we went again and the weather was perfect despite predictions of rain. Fuelling up at Broke then on through Rylstone, Sofala and the other usual spots. Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man) was very happy with his newish Bandit and grew in confidence as the trip continued “Outta my way girly men” and “I’m wearing an airbag and am invincible!!” Nobody argued with Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man) about this or anything else for the rest of the trip. As we approached Bathurst the intercom-talk turned to Mt Paranoia. “We’ll all go there as usual” stated Nige.

“What do you want to do Fairy Dust which I know is not your real name and just an Ironic badge you wear for humour?” Lucky asked

“We’ve been to Mt Paranoia Lucky and don’t need to go again” This split the group into two. Nige and Moey and Barnaby to the mountain and Lucky, Boris and Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man) to the pub.

Leaving Broke. Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man) looking for his special loop to connect airbag. Technical.

 

So we arrived at the

 

and commenced to drink beer. Well, after we had cleaned up and organised ourselves anyway. So about half an hour after we had arrived and phoned wives (Not Nige) we commenced to drink beer (Not Nige). After some shouts and whatnot we thought food. Now Boris had never heard of nachos so he was keen to give it a go as it sounded “Splendid” Both Lucky and Fairy Dust (Ironic since he is totally a hard man) ordered the same. They were big meals and we couldn’t finish them. Lucky spilled his down his shirt and pants but caught the bowl before it hit the ground so salvaged most of it.

“Where has this been hiding all my life?”

Boris gave the nachos a thumbs up but, when asked what he thought of Tim Tams. He admitted to never having heard of them. So something for him to try next trip. At 9 Boris went sleepy byes. At 9.05 Lucky went too. Nige was cranky about this but lacked the fire he used to have when he was drinking so we ignored that but promised to meet him next morning for an early walk.

Next morning at 7, Nige, Boris, and Lucky left for a leisurely 40 min stroll around Bathurst and then on to a local cafe for some pretty putrid coffee then back to the pub for our usual king sized breakfast. Eva forgot to cook Lucky’s breakfast so made him an even bigger one to make up. Lucky. Then Scotty the pub’s owner took a few of us upstairs to buy some cheap pub T shirts. One of them was all about ordering our first schooner after Covid at the Knickerbocker. These were a good price at $20 but we had to pay cash for some reason. Lucky was a little troubled because “We didn’t really order our first beer at the Knickerbocker after Covid did we?” “Let it go Lucky” said Barnaby who understood better than anyone how these things worked. Anyway, Moey paid the hundred for everybody and most paid him except Lucky. “I promise to pay you the lobster Moey. A gentleman’s agreement!!” Moey accepted Lucky as a man of his word but the rest promised to keep watching closely to see he does. “Don’t think you’ll scam Moey out of that debt Lucky or there’s going to be a problem.” This is a very hard school. Lucky avoided eye-contact with everyone for the remainder of the trip.

After the walk. The coffee quickly wiped those smiles of our faces.

Boris did not join us for the return journey. Much to Nige’s displeasure, which we all ignored, he opted to take a more direct route home along Bell’s line then on to The Toaster. He said afterwards it was a pretty cold trip but enjoyable anyway. The rest of us headed back the reverse route with no issues. A quick gathering at Jerrys for Nige, Lucky, and Barnaby from memory, whilst the others headed straight home. Lucky still hasn’t paid Moey yet so sleeps poorly with a sock full of pennies under his pillow just in case.

 

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A Cold One in Bathurst – July 2020

All the fairy-floss boys were still tucked up cosy and warm in their flannel night shirts when the Nige’s met at Tuggerah maccas for the two night ride to Bathurst and beyond. Boris, Nige, Lucky, and Moey hugged it out as usual over skinny caps and chai lattes or whatever. Nige, now alcohol free since before the last ride welcomed us warmly to the table.

“Yes no. Hello”

“Hi Nige”We all said and then spoke of mundane matters. Numbers were down a little because Barnaby was off dealing with family matters and DD was saving souls somewhere in the hinterlands we assumed but never asked him at any point.

Lucky led out happily and he and Nige and Boris all chatted about how great Moey was. We had intercoms and he didn’t leaving him joyfully isolated from the other three.

“A fine fellow wouldn’t you say Nige?” Asked Boris.

“Yes no I couldn’t agree more” he replied. “And doesn’t he ride a splendid line”

“You sure are more relaxed and lucid since you stopped drinking Nige” Lucky commented

“Yes no thank you Philip”

Anyway, the conversation continued along these lines as we headed north then west under brilliant blue skies and had our usual early lunch in Denman. The usual stuff although Boris may have had something pretty strange and exotic beyond our understanding. Fish I think. After that he and the red meat boys (not Nige as he was self-regulating his intake of food as well) saddled up and soon found ourselves in Bylong for wees and such.

“Look at me. I own the store!!”

Nige pointed out a new advertising sign  on the Bylong store. Lucky of course was thrilled as he thought it was a legally  binding contract listing him as the new proprietor. “Woohoo boys, the sandwiches are on me” Moey, of course was about to set him straight when Nige interceded. “Yes no look Lucky. The law is quite clear here….” and he went on to explain the ins and outs of constitutional law in great detail but Lucky had already been distracted by other things. “Ooooh look, that flower has red circles on it” and so Nige removed his half rimmed reading glasses, wiped them carefully with a small chamois he kept for just that purpose, ahemmed quietly, and let the matter drop.

Next stop was, of course, Mt Paranoia or whatever for yet another look across the largely unchanged Bathurst landscape. This time there was something different about it. There seemed to be a big steel walkway in the way. Ignoring the “Stay Off” signs, and Nige’s protests, we climbed across and stood on it, gazing out northwards. “Now this is much better” said Moey. “A good six feet closer to the same stuff we look at every other time we come here.”

Boris and Lucky enjoying the views. Probably should have looked behind them though.

Should really turn around at some point. It was probably nice out there.

Onto the Knickerbocker for many beers although not as many as usual because Nige was still on the Sugar-Free Cokes as his shrinking waistline and healthier heart and lungs demanded. Somewhere through the evening it was decided by Boris that Boris would not be returning to the Knickerbocker next night and, since we were heading down to Goulburn next day, he may as well return to The Toaster and his good wife while the rest of us (two) would turn around and head back to Bathurst. DD was coming up tomorrow anyway and he could take Boris’ room and fix him up for it later under some gentleman’s agreement. So that worked out magnificently for all concerned. Nige then lost his life savings on Keno as usual but still went to bed with hope in his heart for next time. So that was nice.

“Yes no this is it boys. I’ll never be poor again”

Next morning was very very cold. Nige and Lucky were up early and went for a walk and found hot coffee. We breakfasted with Svetlana or Eve or Ava (I can never remember her name but I think she comes from the Baltic states) as usual and all got the usual big fry up of various non-domesticated animals, despite what we asked for. “I just wanted a light fruit smoothy’ said Lucky. “I was hoping for a low-fat yoghurt” said Boris except he pronounced it “Yogget” and we snickered a bit at that. “Yes no get this rubbish away from my body which is a temple” said Nige “A desecrated temple old son” giggled Moey and then the rest of us until Nige shot an angry glare our way which reminded us of past rides and so we all shut up then. “Thanking you!!” He said. Moey turned quietly to Boris and whispered “He was a lot more jolly when he was fat”

“Yes no, unacceptable”

After breakfast Moey headed back to Wyee and we three headed south to Goulburn via Abercrombie Rd. It was still very cold but we had warm gear and heated grips. Lucky’s mighty Explorer had heated seats “My bottoms hot” so we were pretty ok. The ride down through the pine forest is great of course with long winding asphalt and nice curves here and there and we were there in a few hours. “Splendid ride chaps” Said Boris enthusiastically. “I’d ride that with you again even if you were Eton men!!” Which meant nothing to us but we took it as a compliment anyway. “Gee thanks Boris” Lucky said. “Yes no yes no yens ye…nuh” Nige said trailing off all confused.

Iced over but ready to go.

Nige and Boris down by the mighty Abercrombie River. Not far to go.

Into Goulburn for lunch and, remembering the size of breakfast, lunch at The Paragon was insurmountable. Even a light wrap came with a serve of chips that would fill an American. Embarrassed, we left most of it to the crows and, bidding Boris a fond farewell we headed back to Bathurst.

Little did we know what waited inside.

So Nige and Lucky returned just in time to meet DD who by now was settled comfortably with a nice beer in front of him. A few more drinks with a light dinner (None for Lucky, he was already bursting at the seems) and sleepy time. Again next morning Nige and Lucky went out walking and coffeeing. We found some interesting objects d’art and wondered at the sick minds that came up with them.

“This is where his testicles would be Lucky except for the weirdo who carved this monstrosity and forgot to put them on”

And so with all this behind us, Nige Lucky and DD headed home out through Sofala, Rylstone, Bylong, Denman etc. The weather remained perfect although dark clouds were gathering on the coast. Lucky made it home dry.

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Sobriety in Gunnedah – June 2020

It all seemed innocent enough

 

They had just reopened lots of places after the first wave of Covid and everyone was keen to get back on the bikes even though the lockdown rules were all confused and we were always allowed to ride according to Gladys because it was considered exercise. So trussed up in everything we always wore anyway and without a trace of our infected skin exposed, we all met at Maccas (even though we thought about the Milk Factory) for a repeat trip to Gunnedah. Nige had already told Lucky he would not be drinking on this trip but more about that later.

“Yeah nuh sit down you lot, I won’t arx youse again!! Oh I beg your pardon let me say that again. Yes No welcome gentlemen: Philip, David, Brian, Shannon”

“Hi Nige” said Lucky

“Get me a beer” Said Barnaby exuding street cred.

“Elocution lessons Nige?” giggled Moey

“Burn in hell sinners” Said an exuberant DD ” Let me lay healing hands upon you Barnaby before it’s too late” And with that Barnaby’s lower backpain remained his lower backpain. Undeterred DD smiled benevolently after removing his grip from Barnaby’s shoulders and ducked out quietly to wash his hands for the required twenty seconds with hot soapy water.

“What’s DD doing Unky Momo?” asked Lucky. ” is this because he is a cardinal at the Captains Table?”

Smiling patiently, Moey explained. “Its called the Fathers Table Lucky. Captains Table is a cracker biscuit and he’s not a cardinal, they’re Catholics”

“Oh I see” replied Lucky not understanding at all.

Now, as usual, we all headed North West to Broke where we agreed that Nige and Lucky would not get en-suited rooms. It was all very democratic to a very limited degree. Happily, Nige was given a special upgrade and ended up with palatial accomodation. Lucky slept in a small single bed and hardly complained at all. Even now he remains happy just to be part of the team. From here it was out through Jerrys Plains to Merriwa then on to Willow Tree and landing in Gunnedah around 4.30.

“So we’re agreed Nige. I get the en-suite and Jesus will save your sorry soul”

The pub had good cold beers and, as mentioned earlier, everyone was having a lovely time. For some reason, despite Nige not touching a drop, Lucky and Barnaby set a cracking pace revealing aspects of their private lives best kept secret as the beers and then Bourbons flowed well into the evening. ” You know I’m not missing beer at all” explained Nige as he popped another Sugar Free Coke. “You could perhaps constrain your behaviour a little Philip. Look how your bawdy language has left poor Shannon quite pale” Which was totally lost on poor Lucky who was later invited to leave “With your rowdy friend” by the manager. A few “Tut tuts” from Nige and Lucky and Barnaby went wandering upstairs where Moey and DD had gone some hours earlier.

 

Earlier that evening. Before the unacceptable behaviour of Lucky and Barnaby.

“Jackpot at last and no one is more deserving than me”

Anyway, everyone had a reasonable sleep and were ready to head out next morning for breakfast and hoping the temperature might rise above Zero. Bacon on everything for everyone except Lucky who couldn’t stomach anything too heavy. Granola was it and a nice juice. The usual sympathy ” I warned you last night Philip about the evils of alcohol” from Nige and “Repent your heathen soul Lucky” from somewhere else.

“This is not helping at all”

Happily the weather did warm up to about 7. Out through Tamba Springs where speed limits seem advisory rather than mandatory  and into Merriwa for a nice pie for lunch. From here we dodged the predicted rain all the way to Jerry’s where, despite his promises not to, DD peeled off for a comfort stop. Nige and Lucky, very concerned for his wellbeing, turned around to look for him and found him safe and sound so that was nice.

Nobody picked up or left any unwanted virus’ and we all agreed that the new self imposed prohibition of Nige didn’t change him that much after all. It poured rain on Nige all the way home from Jerry’s to Bateau Bay. Lucky pulled into his garage at Central Mangrove just as the first drops began to fall.

 

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Niges Bring Culture Back to the Outback. Feb 2020

It was around the time of the Australian Superbikes and we had been talking and talking about riding back down to Phillip Island. After everyone agreed to do it a number of problems arose and so we settled on a four day adventure around some rural NSW towns to see if we could breathe some life back into them. So Maccas Thursday morning the 27th we all gathered.

“Right, roll call men” said Nige

“We’re all here” said Moey.”No further discussion required”

“Shall we bow our heads in prayer for a safe journey” DD piped in.

“NOOOOOO!!” said no-one and everyone at the same time.

“I don’t need no church stuff ’cause I’m on the Ninga, the bestest and safest motorcycle evah!!” Barnaby shouted with confidence.

 

So after Barnaby went hooting and hollering past Nige and Lucky out through Paynes Crossing and then fell off no one was more more surprised than us.

“Did Boris do this?” we all asked remembering how he had already taken down two of the other Kawasakis on the last trip and this would have completed the set.

“No I ruddy well did not” Boris replied indignantly. “I was right back there trying to poke a stick between DD’s rear spokes, and was nowhere near this disaster.”

“Hardly a scratch boys. Um might go home tomorrow but.”

So a bit of tape and a bit of throwing stuff away and we all continued on our way, Boris still grumbling about the injustices of  false accusations and whatnot. There may have been there odd “Well I never” and “How dare you!!” in there somewhere too.

Now, remember how important it is to all fill up at the same time right? And you know how some members of the gang, no names mentioned, ignore this rule? Well Moey decided he didn’t need to fill up wherever and was confident he could make it to Gunnedah on Old Sir Fallapart with “No issues whatsoever.” So twenty K’s short he spluttered to a stop. “Mmmmm, that’s odd” he said. “Whose going into town to pick up fuel and return it to me so I can complete my journey? Good friend Nige will it be you?” He asked expectantly.

“Yeah nuh” Said Nige from the side of his helmet as he tore off towards town “There’s beers to be had” A final one finger salute was the last we saw of him through the dust.

“DD old mate, old buddy, you’re a man of the cloth, surely you woulds’t give me comfort and succour in my time of need?”

“Look mate, God’s blessings on you and all that but I have important business in town vis a vis accomodation and beer to take care of” And he was off.

“Boris?”

“Sorry old boy but I’m not sure I’m the man for this job. I believe those Japanese machines run on some kind of rice blend which I’m not familiar with so…..toodloo.”

And that left Lucky who thought everyone was just stopping for a quiet chat about using proper manners in town and had gotten completely off Redboy and, not noticing everyone had gone, was scrabbling around in the dirt looking for his keys.

“Lucky”

“Found em! Yes Moey?” he said looking up and noticing the absence of his friends. “Where’d everyone go?”

“Never mind that, I’ve got a very important job that I only trust you with.”

“Oh, what is it Unky Momo?”

“Go get me one litre of 91octane fuel and bring it back here. Barnaby and I shall await your return”

“Oh boy I’m a good helperer” said Lucky “Was I your first choice Unky Momo?”

“Of course you were, Lucky, now skedaddle”

Anyway, we all arrived eventually and found Nige and DD and Boris in the bar up to their seventh beers. The night was uneventful and everyone slept except for Nige who somehow missed out on a room with ensuite.

 

Next morning, true to his word, Barnaby headed home early with his broken Ninja having already ordered the broken bits off Ebay the previous evening. That left four of us. Off we went and stopped in Barraba for lunch which was ok if you like that sort of thing, eating, which we did.

Lucky checking we are on the right route ” I think Barraba should be our next stop”

Continuing on our way towards Coonamble we stopped in the Mount Kaputar National park to check out some pretty amazing stone formations. Recent floods had greened up large areas of the landscape and the elevated roads were interspersed with causeways often running with shallow floodwaters. Nige was out front on one of theses roads when he dipped down into a causeway at the same time as a four wheel drive coming from the other direction was doing the same. It was the only other car we saw that morning but it put up a mighty wave of spray that nearly sent Nige to heaven. We laughed and laughed at this near death experience. Three out of four of us found it hilarious anyway.

Nice

Just reading about the rocks.

After a bit we headed off. it was pretty hot actually. Outside of Pilliga we found the hot springs which were nice in a warm water kind of way. Boris was keen to dive in but we were running short of time so…

“I say lads I’ve packed my speedos and am ready to swim.”

So that didn’t happen but it gave us time to land in Coonamble at what looked like the dirtiest, dingiest pub we’d ever seen. It had a funny kind of lean on it too.

“Yeah I’m outta here” Lucky protested before he took a cautious look inside. “There’s beer in here and a pie-warmer” so that settled that. Now inside was much nicer and there was the usual bunch of local curiosities. The raffle took place on a slightly sloping floor and the caller had the strangest, highest falsetto voice ever heard by any of us ever. His baggy grey tracksuit pants were topped by a yellow-grey polo shirt tucked in to his duds. Every time he called a number it flattened the beer and made the TV change stations. Frightening. DD would have been sure he was possessed by the devil had he been there and would have braced himself for an exorcism had he been there but, happily, Squeally Joe turned out to be pretty normal except for that voice. Moey won the meat raffle but was absent at the time so Nige claimed it instead. He reluctantly agreed to contribute it back to the local charity but the guy who accepted it took off pretty quickly and we all figured he was having a mixed grill for dinner.

Would not be out of place in The Vienna Boys Choir. Notice head all but gone from glass.

Winning

And losing

After a relatively quiet night with only a few drinks we all headed off to sleep. All rooms were equally ordinary but serviceable and Nige was happy he didn’t have to sleep in the Otto-Bin accomodation he usually landed.

 

We got up reasonably early and decided we should have breakfast in the bustling hubbub of Gulargambone. It boasted a booming population of five hundred people but they must have all still been in bed when we got there and stayed there till we left because every shop was closed or bordered up at 10am. Nobody walked the streets. Very odd. We found one place open where we had a choice of an egg and bacon roll or an egg and bacon roll. We all chose an egg and bacon roll and then got the hell out of there with its corrugated iron galah sculptures and whatnot best forgotten.

Looks good from outside but is really the old town hall with a cleared bit for limited breakfast options.

Weaving our way down through Armatree and on to Bathurst for a night at the Victoria pub. Another pleasant evening and we might have seen half a race of Superbikes but it wasn’t much. Rooms were ok if a bit run down and, wouldn’t you know, Nige’s room was worst of all. Checking out the dodgy door locks of his room, he spent the night huddled against the far wall with a lit candle and bag of toiletries for protection. There was also a rowdy bunch of Lebanese boys and girls, here for some music festival on the mountain, caterwauling throughout the night that just topped off a perfect evening. Lucky slept like a baby.

Hi tech security.

The Victoria. Not the Knickerbocker by any means.

Next morning, eyes hanging out of his head, Nige and the remainder of the gang were ready to go. Nige and Moey headed back home whilst Boris and Lucky headed to Muswellbrook for one last drink. Dinner was in a middle eastern restaurant (maybe it was Greek) and the food was good. Town was very quiet. Boris headed north next morning to catch up with his wife and his mother in law whilst Lucky headed towards Singleton for breakfast and then head home through Broke and Wollombi. Sadly, in his excitement, Lucky forgot to clip his bag to the bike and somewhere short of Singleton the whole lot fell off leaving Lucky penniless and starving. He had just enough fuel to get home. Lucky. That night a bloke sent Carole a message on facebook that he’d found the bag where it had bounced off the road into bushland. Bit lucky there. He lived only an hour north of Lucky’s place. Lucky eh!. Lucky got his bag back with everything still in it. How lucky was that! When asked how he explained all this he said, “I’m just Lucky” and all the Nige’s celebrated heartily.

Anyway everyone got home safely albeit in different directions and different times. Apparently Barnaby got the bits for his Ninja and its looking pretty good. So good news all round. We didn’t bring any real culture to the outback as it turned out but we gave it a go so good on us for that.

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“Plenty of room ……….. car coming!”

“Right, uhmmm Good morning  fellow Niges” said Nige as a hush fell over the exuberant group gathered to listen. “Now because there’s so many heaya today for the annual Bathurst Motogp ride, Im going to call the roll. I will say your name and you will reply with “Heaya”” “Is that cleaya?” “YES NIGE” we all heartily agreed.

“Right, Moey”

“Whatever”. Nige flinched at this disrespect.

“DD”

“Blessings on us all”

“Hmm, Barnaby”

“Yip” (That was Moey because Barnaby was running late and Nige hadn’t noticed)

“Lucky………Lucky……..LAAAAREFFENKEEE!!”

“I wanna go first”

“Shutup Lucky……Boris”

“Present”

“Me… Heaya. Right all accounted for.”

It was, of course, the 2019 Phillip Island Motogp and the hearts of all Australians were riding on the back of one Jack Miller, an unkempt potty mouthed Queenslander who had had some encouraging finishes throughout this season but was determined and promised on his mothers grave that he would win. Or something like that.

So we left at the usual 10am and out through Wollombi to Broke for fuel. New chum, Boris, had had a recent hip replacement so he rode very sensibly. Boris is from England just like Lucky but actually sounds English whereas Lucky kinda doesn’t. Boris does ride a Tiger though so they did have that in common. Everybody else rode their usual and Moey was particularly pleased with how well Old Sir Fallapart was going. “Look at her boys. Like she’s just come off the factory floor! So shiny! So sleek! I especially love her left hand mirror and screen don’t you?” That’s dramatic irony right there. More on that later. Meanwhile DD couldn’t believe how even more deeply in love he was falling with his Versys. “Yep she’s a dead set ripper fellas. I will love and protect her from all harm forever.” Oh yeah!! Mull that over for a bit. “Remember the last time we came to Bathurst boys and everything went went wrong with Redboy” added Lucky. “Well this time things will be different. I got a good feeling about this one for sure” Moey and DD and Lucky. Idiots.

So anyhoo we headed out to Denman in a howling wind but the torrential storm made us forget all about that. We arrived at the pub a bit bedraggled but not too bad and very hungry. Nige avoided the Chicken/Nitroglycerin combo burger that played havoc with his nethers last trip and had a nice something else instead. It came on a wooden board and had bread on it.

A lovely lunch. All 4 would soon be embroiled in shenanigans.

Right, so off we went again and landed in Rylstone for milk and cookies and fuel. From there up and onto Mt Panorama where Boris couldn’t believe we were allowed to ride. “Oh yes Boris my boy, we ride here even when the races are on” Grinned Moey but Boris just gave him a condescending smile developed over hundreds of years enduring antipodeans. “Australians! Quite silly really. Still, one endures what one must endure.” Which was completely lost on the rest of us who only speak a broken kind of babble that most of the time we barely understand ourselves. “What’s a one” asked a very confused Lucky. “Shhhh Lucky. Try not to think too hard” answered Unky Momo.

You’re quite a nice bunch when I can understand you.

Beers at the Knickerbocker, when we eventually found it….again, was up to our usual standard with Boris handling many lagers with dogged determination. Later he announced, “I’ll sort Brexit out next lads, you just watch me” and we all believed him too. Meanwhile shout after shout after shout took us near to closing time. Lucky, full of good ideas ordered Bourbon and Cokes all round and this carried on shout after shout after shout too. The last thing he remembered was that they ran out of Jack Daniels and we had to drink something else with coke. It might have been Bundy but it disappeared before he could recall what happened to it. Anyway, with support and encouragement from the manager, we left the bar and headed off to bed. Next morning we were all bursting to know how Nige’s room was this time. Now, as agreed, he got the best room. It was the lavish number 210 that sits quietly facing a side street with a nice big bed and plenty of room. Lovely bucolic scenes adorned the walls and a 60inch big screen TV featuring Kayo nestled comfortably in the corner. “Didn’t sleep a wink. Was way too noisy and the shower didn’t feel right either. It was too hot but too cold at the same time, plus the fridge rattled like a skeleton, the moonlight came straight through the blinds, nobody picked my clothes up off the floor and I think I’m getting my periods!! Plus there was an errant Bundy and Coke bottle on the floor that I vaguely recall being given to me ” At this point, and speaking on behalf of the gang, Lucky asked the obvious question, “Now Nige, every trip you complain about your room. Is there any chance at all that perhaps you might be a bit of a hard marker?” Surprisingly, Nige remained calm apart from that tell-tale twitch of his eye, paused and replied, “No” and that was that.

Next morning we headed south to Burraga along good roads where speed signs were more or less advisory. “Geez ol’ Redboy feels a bit squirrely through the bends” Mentioned Lucky but nobody paid him any notice as there was powdered coffee and out of date chocolate biscuits to be had. It was pretty hot at this stage so Neither Lucky nor Boris felt up to the hot drinks. “I’ll get us something far nicer” said Boris and came back with two apples for 10 cents each. He tipped the lady shop owner 80 cents on top of that and, given the fairly post-apocalyptic state of the place, was more money than the poor woman had seen for a long time. “I remember me old ma used to talk of gold coins sir but never thought the day would come when I’d see the likes of it.” and she grinned a toothless smile and sent us on our way.

Humble benefactors.

“My head’s still swollen from last nights bevvies but the rest of me feels about right.” “Somebody bang this thing down willya?”

Now, and this was the funny bit, we headed back to Bathurst. Moey swapped bikes with Boris to give Boris’ repairing hip an easier ride than the very tall Tiger which, to this point, Boris had to climb onto like Stan Laurel trying to mount Oprah Winfrey. Off they went with still nobody listening to Lucky’s concerns about his strange handling issues. We all stopped at Rockley. Moey in front, Nige behind him, Lucky next, then Boris on Old Sir Fallapart and next to him was DD. Barnaby was around somewhere thinking about beer. All of a sudden there was a cry of despair as the gravel slipped out from under Boris’ left and still healing leg. He fell sideways onto DD’s Versys knocking it over as well and both were left wriggling out from under two sad looking motorcycles. Moey lifted Old Sir Fallapart up in a flash to find superficial damage to, that’s right, the left hand mirror and screen. “What are the odds boys? My two favourite parts broken.” meanwhile DD was inspecting his damage. “Not too bad fellas, a broken front fender, blinker and fairing panel.” All easily fixed. By this stage Nige was roaring with laughter and taking “pitchers for the report”. OSF wouldn’t start. It simply refused. DD leapt into action. “LORD” he said ” Do something” and wouldn’t you know it, Old Sir Fallapart fired up. “I did that” announced DD proudly. Off we went.

Not entirely aerodynamic at this point. “Me mirror, me beautiful mirror. Oh the humanity.” We say that a lot.

Race time approached as we sat at the Knickerbocker. “Somebody bring me a scoop..err schooner thanking you” said Nige. Nobody did. Barnaby meanwhile wandered over to the computer betting thing and put an absurd bet having Markey and Cal first and second. Nige tipped Marky and Maverick. As the race continued and the beers flowed, it was Marky and Maverick all the way. Then, on the final corner, Maverick fell down. Nige imploded. Barnaby hooted with joy as Cal took second. He’d won a lazy $800 plus. Jack Miller joined them on the podium and hooped and hollered like he’d won the thing. “Shave the goatee off hippy!” yelled Barnaby at the screen. Full on street cred right there!!

“Thanks for your donation Barnaby but this race belongs to me.” Brilliant.

Ok so then we went looking for dinner. The Irish pub put on a meal you couldn’t climb over but the boys did not think much of the Guiness which Barnaby described as something that cats leave in a litter box. He shouted everyone dinner with part of his winnings so we all voted him new President. The vote was 5 for and 1 against but Nige said his vote counted for 6 so that was that. Boris and Lucky hung around to see a fairly dull game of Union and the Springboks beat Wales.

“Im strangling on this muck but it’s still half full.” That scoundrel Nige kept topping him up from his glass. We laughed.

“I love this beer. Its delicious”

 

Next morning we all had our usual big breakfast thanks to Svetlana whose real name turned out to be Ava. After all these years. Anyway off we went. “I have to get fuel fellas.” That was DD. This threw mass confusion amongst the ranks as riders took off in all directions because nobody really knew who was going where. Eventually we ran into each other outside Bathurst and headed towards Rylstone. All was going well enough until we came to the T intersection of the Castlereagh Highway when DD, possibly still angered by OSF falling onto him yesterday, and overweighed by a full tank, callously rammed Moey from behind sending him out onto the highway and into the path of some hefty looking semi trailers. No harm done as Moey stayed to the side of the road and managed to stay on the bike. His neck did snap back on impact and both Lucky and Nige roared with laughter. “Fight, fight, fight” they yelled hoping for some good old street justice when Moey pulled over and removed his helmet. That was not to be. DD was quite repentant when faced with the towering rage of Moey about to rain hellfire down on him. “Oh no Moey” he wailed. “So sorry brother. I have wronged thee most violently and call humbly for your forgiveness. I will pay for this sin in the next life. For truly the bible doth say “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me.” “I think that’s from Leviticus” By this stage DD was pretty much incoherent with grief but they hugged it out anyway and all was well. And on we went.

About twenty Ks down the road we were stopped at one of those temporary red lights while roadworks were being carried out. “Hey Lucky, watch me bang into the back of Moey’s bike.” “Yeah do it Nige that’ll be a hoot.” And so paddling his way up behind Moey who was sitting stationary and listening to The Best of Dame Joan Sutherland or whatever Nige gave him a good old bump. Moey stayed on again but,ironically, Lucky nearly fell off from laughing so hard. “Woohoo Nige do it again do it again” He squeeled with glee but Nige said that Moey had suffered enough.  He’s good like that.

Then, “Something not right here” said a hapless Lucky as Redboy still felt very loose and worsening in the front end. At Rylstone he checked the front tyre and steering bearings. All good there. Swaying and meandering his way through bends, Lucky began to doubt his own abilities when Unky Momo pulled him over out past Denman. “There’s your problem Lucky old son.” He said with avuncular concern.”Your rear tyre looks to have very little air left in it.” Luckily Moey had spare gas cylinders on board and the tyre was pumped up enough to get to Broke and then on to Jerry’s where replacing a split valve sorted that problem out. “Goes like a bought one” said Lucky and simply avoided looking at the semi-melted edges of his Pilot Road 5.

Moey sorting out Lucky’s problems….again.

Back to Jerry’s. A good weekend with lots of interesting things. Nige the only one who had no issues with his rides. Even Barnaby, riding Nige’s old Ninja, had some issues with cavitation in the fuel tank whatever that means.

Oh Right. The heading of this report. Well what happened was Lucky, leading, was sending messages to Nige about oncoming traffic via their Senas. After many, many overtaking manoeuvres, Lucky may or may not have mixed up a call about whether or not the road ahead was clear and leaving Nige slightly exposed at one stage. Sorry Geoffrey. Giggle.

 

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Bathurst? Never Heard of it.

After nobody turned out for the Gunnedah trip last time we thought the numbers had to get better when Nige suggested another ride to somewhere we had never been before. Bathurst. Excited you ask? Yes we were.

This time there was five of us and, after the usual scrambling to see who could go out first, Nige took the lead position out from Maccas and onto Yarramalong Rd. Up Bumble Hill as usual and out past Wollombi to our first stop at Broke. “My mirrors come loose Moey” said Lucky miserably “I’d better go home”. “No, No young Meister let old Uncky Momo have a quick look at it” said Moey pushing Lucky aside and immediately took to removing the front engine mounts off Redboy. After a few minutes with the seat, tank, engine, handlebars, and back wheel spread out nicely on the grass amongst miscellaneous screws, bolts, and other oddments, Uncky Momo was ready to proceed. Scratching his head Moey took a closer look at the mirror itself. “Ahh just a bit graunchy old son” he said and with a quick twist of the spanner the mirror was fixed and a few minutes later Redboy was back in service. “Right then old fella-me-lad any other problems?” “No, no all good thanks Uncky Momo” Lucky hurriedly replied. “I’ll go in front now and scare up the local wallabies” And he did.

Out in front and setting a decent pace, Lucky spotted a few wallabies left and right of the road. Startled they ran across the road behind him and clipped DD’s semi-new Versys before scampering off. DD was pretty non-plussed “See there boys. The Lord protected me from evil” “Yeah Nuh DD if that was true, how come he hit you and not the other heathens ahead and behind you?” Nige asked sensitively. “Well Nige. The Lord works in mysterious ways” Replied DD tapping his nose and winking. “That does make sense Nige” Lucky interjected. “What’s a Lord” queried Barnaby and DD positively lit up as a possible new convert raised his head. “We’ll talk about this later Barnaby. Oh yes we will”

Still about a billion dollars to replace if you can get it in the right colour

So off we go again and this time we pulled in at Denman pub for some lunch. Nige barged up to the counter and asked for “Something that would kill a normal man” He was given some kind of southern fried double sized chicken and bacon and koala burger and proceeded to hammer his way through it with the help of a decent sized beer. “Did youse get a scooper of beer as well?” he asked. Barnaby guffawed in manly laughter at this faux pas and we didn’t see what happened next because the rest of us scampered outside to check on Lucky’s mirror.

“Watch me destroy this in no time!!”

Anyway, we came back in as Barnaby was still collecting himself having explained pub-talk and we, as usual, avoided eye-contact with Nige for a while. That burger wasn’t finished with Nige just yet.

Lucky, normally very sensible, but who had been bullied by Nige all the way to Denman in the first place lost his cool for a bit. Let me tell you about that. Pulling away in front of the other clear thinking riders who were speeding, certainly, but not crazy-spend-time-in-prison-with-a-new-boyfriend-called-Bubba pace, Lucky had been setting a pretty decent speed, as usual, with Nige, also as usual, behind and encouraging him. “Go faster Lucky, go faster you big girl” Now considering the terrain and the narrow road and the inherent dangers of errant wallabies etc Lucky, again as usual,  buckled and went even faster. All the way in to Denman.  “Yeesssss” howled an elated Nige “That’s more like it”!! Now, with this in mind and as we turned onto Bylong Valley Way, Nige again berated Lucky about his “slow” riding. At this Lucky took off. “Ghaaaaaaaaaa Faaaaaark yuooooooo” he said and immediately apologised “Sorry Nige” into the intercom. By now Barnaby was wheel standing the Ninja to catch up. After a bit they slowed and allowed the others to catch up and at this point Nige rolled past blasting his BMW horn to full affect. bleeeeeep. Sad. Lucky hit his Yolo Bad Boy air-horn proudly in reply. phtttttt. sadder. He pressed it again and nothing happened “That can’t be good” He thought to himself and then noticed his GPS was hanging at a funny angle “Geez that can’t be good”

Stopping in Rylstone Moey came over to see what could be done. “What’s happened Lucky” he asked kindly. “All good Moey” he nervously replied as Moey unfurled his every-tool-in-the-world tool belt. “Right, lets have a look at her. So once the tank, engine and all associated and non-associated parts were once again sitting in a haphazard line on the bitumen he began checking why the GPS was hanging funny. “There’s your problem Meister, the bottom brackets fallen of the GPS mounting arm” “The what now?” asked a puzzled Lucky but by this time Moey had tightened the top mount and zip-tied (who carries them!) the bottom mount solidly to the frame. “Good to go old son. Graunch free!”

“And here sir, is the last bit”

Up and down and round and round we made it in to Sofala. “ERRRPP” Geez that burger might have been a bit spicier than I first thought” Said Nige not for the first time since leaving Denman and not for the last time. In between nagging poor Lucky about not slowing down just because stray people on the side of the road kept doing the slow down warning signal as we approached Bathurst “ERRRRP. That was just telling you there’s a school bus somewhere around here Lucky. Go faster. As it was he was right and an old yellowy bus did eventually pass us in the other direction. “See Meister. I’m always right. And another thing ERRRRP. By the way your tailight and brake light aren’t working.”

No brakes, no lights. All gone to graunch!

So we stopped on top of the mountain and all figured it was the horn blasting that blew a light fuse. It was. So it got replaced and all was well. Meanwhile Barnaby was off checking the new camping site for the Bathurst 1000 and he was pleased.

We thought DD had converted him at first then realised he was just happy with his campsite.

So off to the pub. The usual bluster about what room for Nige. Same result. Worst ever. “When we come for the GP I’m having your room Moey. That’s final” “Yeah mate of course you will” said Moey howling with laughter. “I’ll pray for you Nigel my boy” said DD. “Or you could just give me your room David” “No that won’t be happening Nigel, just the prayer I’m afraid.”

Everybody had beers. Lucky had the worst pizza in the history of bad pizzas for dinner. Real schooners this time with Barnaby put in charge of the ordering. A few ports all round with poor DD slumping under the weight of that bill as it was his shout. “Looks like the family will be eating canned spaghetti again boys” No real offers of comfort though. “Yeah very sad” said Moey. “A real tragedy” added Barnaby. “Get me another David if you please” said Nige.

Off to bed and everyone except Nige had a wonderful sleep. Breakfast in the morning with our usual cook Svetlana or whatever who doesn’t have dogs anymore so our serving were a bit smaller. “A glorious adventure once again lads” said DD as we turned our heads east. “How’s your tummy Nige” he added but Nige quietly belched and said no more.

Don’t expect my room real soon Nigel.

Final goodbyes at Jerrys for those who turned up. Not Moey who was off on a date with the bride and didn’t want to keep the young lady waiting. A gentleman.

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Street Cred in Gunnedah

“Whaddya mean Baranaby’s not coming Nige?” a near hysterical Lucky squeeled, “He’s our best street cred, our only street cred. How’re we gonna order those big beers we always get if he’s not there???”

“Yeah nuh, rest assured Lucky” and, turning to Moey, “Don’t worry Numnuts, I’ll do the ordering” replied Nige, pumping himself up to his full still-under-six-foot-chest-out-tummy-in grandiosity. This seemed to calm Lucky down but he remained unconvinced despite Nige’s guarantees and settled back into his luke warm Maccas babycino. “Well I hope you’re right Nige ‘cos I like beer a lot.” Yeah nuh, not as much as me but.” “I know, I know” conceded Lucky.

It was the middle of winter and numbers were down. Moey, Lucky, and Nige were it. “Why isn’t Barnaby coming anyway?” asked Lucky. “Dunno Meister. It’s cold and he probably couldn’t fit his fluffy slippers into his make-up case or something.” Yep, Nige was in full flight but, again, it seemed to satisfy Lucky. “Oh yeah, that makes sense. It is cold”

At this point Moey, who had been listening to this exchange with only minor interest (having heard them many times before), shuffled off for another half-decaf-skim-milk-soy-dusted-caramalised-butterscotch-latte in a ladies slipper. “I dont care if people stare he said, they’re delicious and I love them.” “I’ll finish this and we can go” Ten minutes and ninety six sips and “Ah Lovelys” later we headed out towards Gunnedah.

It was pretty cold heading through Wollombi and a quick stop at Broke so Lucky and Moey could top up and Nige could retell us the advantages of his BMW’s fuel tank. “Its bigger’n the Hindenberg boys and goes just as good.” “What’s that smug look about Brian? Why’re you giggling Lucky?” But Lucky and Moey kept the joke between themselves. “Oh the humanity!!” whispered Moey and both snickered all the way back to the bikes. “Idiots” mumbled Nige.

The rain stayed away and we rode on to Denman pub for a bit of lunch which was okay in a not-a-pie kind of way. From there it was on to Willow Tree for a quick beer and a stretch. Back on and we were off to what Nige had said would be a dirt track up and over the hills before the last stretch into Gunnedah. “Wouldn’t it be great if they seal that section” Lucky said and when we got closer we could see all the heavy machinery in the middle of doing just that. The strong smell of fresh tar was quite enticing as we slipped and wobbled our way for about ten ks over it till we were back on decent bitumen.

And so we arrived in Gunnedah around 4 in the afternoon and immediately went looking for The Gunnedah Hotel.

“For f%#*s sake it’s around here somewhere Moey” “I smell beer and I’ve got my drinking pants on”

And so after turning around and whooping with delight, Nige led us in. “Now remember Lucky, I’ll do the ordering.” ” Three large scoopers please madame wiff froff on the top.” “You city boys are yers?” the well-worn serving lass asked after a quick up and down of each of us. “Did yers bring rain with ya” whilst deciphered Nige’s order. “Hereya love” placing three schooners on the bar. “See told ya we didn’t need Barnaby” announced Nige proudly.

We took turns in ordering scoopers for the rest of the evening and this made us very weary so we each retired to our newly renovated rooms. Nige demanded the best room as usual and received the same respect from the staff as at every other hotel we had stayed at ever in the history of us staying in pubs.

Lucky’s usual palatial room. Classic Greek-style spa bathroom through that door. Moey’s was even bigger and more Greeky.

Nige’s room.

Next morning the sun was shining but it was even colder. At 8 it was 1 degree but by 10 it was 7. Perfect. Lucky had heated grips and seats and was toasty warm. He gently nudged the starter button and the Tiger responded with a gentle mew and settled into a contented purr. Moey pushed his starter button and Old Sir Fallapart erupted into life with a pleasing crackle and quickly relaxed into a menacing growl. Nige beat the cowering GSA over the tank and windshield with a bucket he’d found “Out back” and it started too.

We filled up, not Nige, and headed south-east towards home. Now out the back of somewhere and at go-to-gaol speeds Old Sir Fallapart took a stone through the radiator and began spewing steam and boiling water. Off with the tank and it was a hearty all-the-best-Brian-I’ll-tell-Anna-you-love-her farewell from Nige who continued on homewards leaving Moey and Lucky languishing by the side of the road.

“Yeah look Moey, Its been fun and all but I got KAYO waiting at home.”

Hard to believe it could all end like this.

AND THEN HE WAS BACK!!!!!. “Ya wouldn’t believe it Brian but there’s a small town ahead and they had pepper and water for sale. I thought youse two could have that for dinner while youse wait for a miracle” “Nige!!” said Moey. “You glorious man, you are the miracle!! I can use that pepper to seal up the hole in the radiator and the water can top it up!!” “Yeah nuh” said Nige “You’d need a much grainier blend of pepper to seal this” “Nuh yeah, this is perfect” said Moey “Watch this” And it did. With a bit of fiddle-faddling along the various fuel and food stops along the way, Old Sir Fallapart stayed together all the way back to Jerrys.

So coffee and such and manly hugs at Jerrys ended the adventure. Nige was still insisting that the fine ground pepper will never seal up the hole and Moey insisting that it already had, pointing to the dry ground now under the ZRX.

“No it hasn’t” said Nige after an uncomfortable pause.

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Missing Persons

‘So what time will Sideways be getting here fellas?” Asked Lucky, forgetting all about Sideway’s nasty crash a month or so earlier. ” Well now Lucky, Uncie Bob fell down remember? and he lives on a farm now because the naughty doctors said his insides are still a bit too sore to ride motorcycles anymore.” Said Moey as gently as he could. You see Sideways had, on an earlier ride, decided to buy Lucky’s Bandit and was figuring out how best to organise a deal when, in mid corner, he didn’t, and went boots up into the scrub at Kulnura. Nevertheless, Nige, Barnaby, Lucky, Moey, and DD gathered once again at Maccas for the annual MotoGP weekend in Bathurst. Lucky couldn’t help but notice that every time someone said Sideways, DD made a little sign of the cross. Sideways was fine but DD wanted to make sure.

Gawd bless Sideways. He was…is…a ripper.

Anyway off we went and found our way travelling over familiar territory out through Bylong and Rylstone and eventually into Bathurst. Now the Knickerbocker was for some strange reason all booked out so Nige threatened the good people at The George Hotel to find luxury accomodation for five and for him to get the best room. His impeccable manners didn’t get him the best room. Lucky got the best room with separate lounge area and a lovely bureau where he could write his memoirs if only he could remember them. And we laughed and we laughed as Nige squeezed himself into the janitors broom closet. But he didn’t hardly complain at all because he was getting used to this ” Inappropriate Treatment of the President ”

Parking was okay behind vandalised roller doors but Lucky nearly dropped his new Tiger against the wall after having a full schooner of some super expensive beer. ” Help me Nige, help me” he wailed as he found himself stuck between bike and brick wall. “Yeah hang on Meister, I’m just trying to remember which room I had again. Didn’t we agree to swap?” But this logic was all too much for poor Lucky who now, horribly confused by Nige’s obvious trickery, still not obvious to Lucky, stared ahead and simply waited to die. ” Oh for Fuck’s sake” said Nige and pulled the Tiger off the wall.

“Thanks Nige, where’s Sideways? ”

“Oh for fuck’s sake” repeated Nige as DD, still inside the pub, blessed himself again without really knowing why.

 

Not good enough. That’s Nige’s room in the middle.

Speaking of motorcycles. Barnaby brought his R1 along and it’s very, very nice. Red and white and fast. “Its pretty bloody uncomfortable but.” he pointed out. “I’ll drink some beers and see if that fixes me up.” It did. Barnaby is a real man who can fix things made out of metal and we like him because he gives us the street cred we never had.

” Even Sideways never made us feel like real men. ” said Moey. ” David, enough with that christian voodoo willya” He added and DD stopped mid-blessing. “You’re upsetting L..U..C..K..Y”

“I can spell you know, Moey” Replied Lucky. “I teach Up School!!”

” I think you mean High School Lucky” “Oh yeah High School. I knew it was something like that”.

Street cred

Lovely

On Sunday morning the boys rode out to Burraga. Everybody had a lovely time and drank the usual putrid instant coffee out of foam cups. Happily Moey’s Old Fallapart made it there and back with no dramas. “Graunch free!” he happily stated. Meanwhile, Lucky headed out to Orange to meet up with his old mate Dave and his coffee was freshly brewed with a zesty citrus tart and fresh cream at the local cafe. Ohhhh Lucky!

Worst coffee ever boys!! Wonder how Lucky’s going?

Anyway, we all gathered back at The George for the race. Nige’s usual happy demeanour vanished when all bets were placed for the top five. “Markee’s mine and, as per our yearly arrangement, youse can’t bet on him”

“Oh absolutely”

“Right you are!!”

” God bless that glorious man”

” Whose Markee?”

Markee fell off again and that meant Lucky won the prize…again… like last year. “We hate you Lucky” They said. “Burn in hell you devil-spawn” Bit harsh there DD, Lucky thought to himself.

“Any chance I might get to keep my money this year” asked Lucky who remembered how his winnings from last year, in his absence, was shared equally among the gang by way of a generous bar tab.

“Nah we’re drinking it all and I’ll look after it” said…well, no-one in particular but you know who. “Yep, that sounds about right” a sad and dejected Lucky replied.

Having spent all Lucky’s winnings, the real men led by Barnaby swaggered boldly to the usual pizza place. Not everybody swaggered, some of us kinda shuffled uncertainly behind trying to stay out of trouble. As usual, the orders got all buggered up and Lucky got the wrong topping. I think it was an old sand shoe but he gave it a go anyway. Everybody over-ordered and were figuring what bin to put them in when DD spotted Bathurst’s fattest derro enter the shop. “I’ll see if he wants them” he said. “Listen brother, God bless you and all that, would you like some free left-over pizzas with bits of spit and sand shoe on them?” To our surprise old 30 stone Derrick the Derro, with a cheerio and a thumbs up, hooked in to them while he waited for his own order. We spotted him a bit later chugging past the pub like a 1963 Massey-Ferguson tractor with a toothless grin and a hearty wave. “What the hell was that hanging out the side of his mouth?” Barnaby asked. “Oh wait, I think it’s a shoelace” he said, answering his own question. We drank more beer and went to bed.

At The George you get a complimentary breakfast of cereal and toast and such and it was ok but we missed the old Polish lady from the knickerbocker with her huge breakfasts that nobody has ever finished…ever.

“C’mon boys. Real men don’t use saucers. They’re for pansies.” Street cred!

So we went home. We got to Jerrys without incident. ” I think Sideways would have really enjoyed that ride, bless him” said Dave making an extra big sign of the cross and daring anyone to stop him. “Sideways? is he here?” a very excited Lucky said looking in all directions at once. “No Lucky. Still at the farm” Moey said. A little less calmly this time. We were all a bit tired and cranky I suppose.

Jerrys. No splitters this time.

 

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Bill & Todd’s Excellent Adventure Take 2

Scrounger and Nige met at the usual haunt and we had old man coffee and old man raisin toast and then we talked about where we were actually going and how to get there and then we went and looked at our bikes and then Nige politely commented on how old and shitty Scrounger’s GS was compared to his beaut new(ish) one and then we got on the bikes and headed off at a leisurely pace with Scrounger leading the way out via the usual route to Broke and around our not so new or secret back track where Nige stood up to alleviate bum pressure and suddenly after a quick smack under the chin his snazzy glasses disappeared into the ether because Scrounger who was right behind didn’t even see them come off and then we kept going until we arrived at Denman where we headed directly to the hotel for some liquid refreshments because did I mention it was hot and then we had some good food to eat and them we got back on our bikes and rode the Golden Highway to Merriwa where Scrounger needed to refuel but after coming back from a slash Nige said to Scrounger that he hoped that puddle of fluid on the ground had not come out of his ageing GS so Scrounger quickly moved the bike to escape the evidence but unfortunately the puddle of oil magically reappeared under Scrounger’s GS now renamed Exxon Valdez and was flowing faster than the Darling River and then we worked out it was escaping around the oil level viewing window but we could not see the top of the oil so figured it must still have plenty and a bit spare in there and headed off on the back road to Willow Tree past where a previous Nige MC trip had ended with the president having an altercation with a drunken whip that caused a very nasty cut to his forehead and after some lovely roads and some unlovely roadworks we arrived at Willow Tree and then we went to the pub because did I mention it was hot and we had another beer while Exxon waited outside purging itself of even more oil but we still could not see the top of the oil and so we figured it still had some and a bit spare and then we headed off towards Quirindi but didn’t so went to Gunnedah and found ourselves at the Gunnedah Hotel and then we parked Exxon and the GSA in the carpark and waited for the oil level to drop enough for it to stop leaking out the little window but after 1 minute that was boring and then we went in and drank beer and then we went up to check out our rooms but one was better that the other and so I said to Scrounger he could just pick a key out of my hand and bugger me he picked the best room although he would argue this the next morning because the room was so big that the piddly air conditioner was unable to keep poor little Scrounger cool enough for him to properly concentrate on rubbing one out but after the first few beers we felt like explorers and so we headed off to discover how many other establishments in Gunnedah sold the nectar called Great Northern and this became somewhat of a quest for the remaining journey but when we visited the Gunnedah RSL a staff member had the audacity to tell Nige to remove his presidential hat and then Nige queried the reasoning behind this inane rule but the little girlie was prepared with a response that did not satisfy the eternal question about hats in clubs but not pubs or shops or service stations or butchers or doctors or everywhere else so Nige gave a small friendly salute just using the minimum of two digits as we departed the club in search of other places where a hat could still be worn and beer purchased and then we went back to the Gunnedah Hotel where we enjoyed healthy vegan steak and pizza covered in all sorts of even healthier stuff and then we drank some more nectar after Scrounger was disgusted with the poor selection of overpriced la-di-da wines and then we went to our rooms and did whatever private and secret things people do when they go to their rooms like Sideways always used to do before he became a non-riding member as a result of his meeting with the bush near Jerry’s and then we had some sleepy time until the heat exchanger outside my window kicked in for the night shift and Scrounger’s little air conditioner that thought it could couldn’t and then eventually it was morning and Scrounger thought that a visit to the Golden Arch’s across the road was the way to make up for lost sleep and fill our poor little starved bellies but that was until they gave us what big burgers who have babies make and we were disgusted and Nige left most of his behind and even his coffee that was anything but lava java and then we went and checked on the oil slick out the back of the pub where Exxon had spent the night dribbling and then we decided that something had to be done and so we went up the road to the motorbike/pushbike shop that every town should have and Scrounger regaled the owner with tales of heroic riding on oil slicked tyres and footpegs before deciding that he was useless and headed further afield to the AutoPro while Nige had spotted an eBike in the motorbike/pushbike shop that every town should have and shared stories of speed and endurance with the owner and there was just a little bit too much thigh fondling before Nige joined Scrounger at the AutoPro so that he could annoy the blokes behind the counter and make friends wherever he travels and they had sold Scrounger on the Dynasteel and degreaser solution and he scabbed a rag because he was too tight to buy some and decided that more oil was an even sillier option and then we rode our trusty steeds to Mudgee and stayed in a lovely hotel and then had a drink or two and a bacon and egg roll for breaky and then we packed up and then we rode home.

It was good.

The End

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