Only Four? Bathurst April 21

“Nuh, I’m not going and neither is Brian!!”

“Yeah but Nige!” whined Lucky, “That only leaves four of us for the ride.”

“Yeah! nuh! wrong!. The ride is cancelled! There will be no ride. I repeat…. no ride!!”

So four of us met at Jerry’s on the first week of the school holidays for the ride. Fairy Dust now called Dusty because the other name was totally unsuitable for a hard core man, Lucky, Boris and Rocky. It was raining heavily that day but lightened up till we got to Broke. Then it thundered down upon us. We waited twenty minute or so then Ride Leader Lucky or RL as he became affectionately known (Not out loud by anyone) led out to Denman. Given the conditions the ride was still quick enough and interesting. Dusty and Lucky chatted away happily right up to the Royal Hotel in Denman for lunch.

On arrival Boris had to admit that his wet weather gear was much better at holding the water on the inside than actually stopping it from getting there. His BMW Costalot boots were also filled to the brim. Rocky was in similar conditions plus his BMW Priceyas bag was now a travelling aquarium. “This happened last time as I recall” he noted. “Might pen a letter of complaint to Herr Lostthewar or whoever and register a stern complaint from her majesty’s servant” He hasn’t done that yet.

Lunch was good with Boris inhaling his usual rare steak and Lucky doing the same. The other two ate healthy like, you know, Salmon or mung beans or something. I don’t recall.

Dusty enjoying being dry like Lucky but not like Boris and Rocky.

Leaving Denman, disaster!!! Wait, that should be in upper case to highlight what a disaster this was…DISASTER!!!!!. A small drop of water had somehow found it’s way between the microphone hole and cover of Lucky’s intercom which meant Dusty could not hear Lucky’s witty commentary or extracts from his novel-in-progress Phil Witton’s Collective Thoughts on Everything. Lucky could hear Dusty of course and had two hours of him describing every corner. “Right knee out, push down on bar, gentle pressure on tank, easy, easy, Oh well done sirrah!!” every corner plus coughs and sneezes and grunt and groans over the bumpy bits.” Of course it never occurred to Lucky to just switch over to music and, besides, it became quite soothing after a while. Every now and then Dusty would make a suggestion or observation which Lucky could reply with a hand signal so that was ok. We rode in and out of heavy rain and then we were in Bathurst. RL Lucky found The Knickerbocker first go and was totally proud of his accomplishment. “That’s why they call me RL said Lucky to nobody listening.

Dinner was at the Irish pub and Lucky shouted hoping they would all order soup. They didn’t. Dusty had a Beef and Burgundy Pie which he said could captain the “Mighty Eels” and told everyone that that is all they’re allowed to order next visit. No arguments from us.

Boris and Rocky at lunch. Both managed to top this up with a decent sized dinner as well.

Breakfast was good. Still no Eva who has retired and not died of anything at all as we were led to believe. The cook actually made some pretty decent poached eggs so we hailed him a hero.

The ride home was much nicer with clear skies most of the way to the coast. Some trouble from a black Hyundai SUV out near Sofala which was driving erratically and tailgating Boris. RL wisely pulled the group over to let this idiot go but then he just stayed a hundred metres ahead of us anyway so we didn’t really get the point of his fussing about. Usual coffees at Jerrys and off we all went. On a happy note, Boris’ new red Triumph Tiger 900 went like a bought one.

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Put That in the Report Lucky. January 2021

Lucky woke early to the sound of rain and gurgling downpipes.

“Gee I hope Nige is ok and doesn’t yell at us all about the the weather” were his initial thoughts but these were soon forgotten when he remembered he’d voted himself in as ride leader with no opposition at all. Proud as punch he headed out to Jerrys to wait for the others: Nige, Moey, Boris, and David to arrive. Coffee and whatnot as usual and the service was excellent.

Nige saving Lucky’s order until Paris brings it to him. He’s good like that.


By the time everyone had arrived the skies had pretty much cleared and they stayed that way for the next three days of our trip to Bathurst and south to Goulburn.

The ride up to Bathurst was the usual except an exhuberant Nige kept seeing and thinking of “interesting” things to say and see.

“Put that in the ride report Lucky. That’s unforgettable” But both he and Lucky had forgotten whatever it was despite there being hundreds of them. The only upset was when Boris suggested we have coffees after lunch at the pub in Denman. We all glanced alarmingly at the angry man but, apart from a few grumbles under his breath and blaming the whole “debacle’ on Lucky’s ineffective ride leading, “You should overrule that Coffee suggestion because it will delay our departure “For F#@Ks sake, seriously?” he remained relatively passive. The coffee was splendid and tasted just a bit tastier after that.

Arriving in Bathurst at a decent hour, thanks to Lucky’s quality leading, we all sat for the millionth time in the bar at the Knickerbocker.

“Excellent ride leading as usual Lucky” said Boris with very little prompting.

“I’ve never felt safer or more elated old boy” There was more like that but people just stopped listening.

Now this was going to be the last time that Moey brought Young Rex, his cloned ZRX1200 of Old Rex (Old Sir Fallapart), and he was quietly emotional about that but remained stoic throughout the three days.

Rooms were allocated and showers taken then a quiet dinner in the bistro. Nobody misbehaved which was unusual and Nige lost money on the Keno which was not. Nevertheless a number of beers and a few Gallianos and off to bed.

An early getup saw Boris Nige, and Lucky out for a walk before coffees and meeting up with Moey and David for breakfast. Sadly Eva had been replaced as she has become very ill and is not expected to return as our breakfast host. The new lady whose name we did not ask cooked a great breakfast though and we swore we wouldn’t need any more that day. As if.

We headed south down Abercrombie Rd and only briefly briefly stopped in Taralga to stretch a bit.

Young Rex now lives up Tamworth way we hear.

There was little to no cars on the road and we made swift progress into Goulburn. Instead of eating at the Paradigm or whatever cafe, we went round the corner to a small cafe recommended by Boris who had eaten there with Mrs Boris a number of times earlier. We were given a private room where our voices wouldn’t carry to the more genteel diners and the food was every bit as good as Boris had said. Most of us had a pie or sausage roll but they were made on premises we think and were pretty happy with that.

Separated from the herd.

We came home via Crookwell this time at the recommendation of Nige who was supported by a couple of old boilers at the cafe. We didn’t expect much so were pleasantly surprised at how good this new road was. Apart from when Lucky rode past a well hidden sign to turn right which meant circling back about 50metres, the ride was fast and smooth and we were back in Bathurst by 5. There was more beer for most and Sugar Free Coke for Nige and dinner was, for the most part, delightful. Moey and Boris ate healthy whilst David, Lucky, and Nige had the chicken wings. Two of them had BBQ sauce which was delicious whilst Nige opted for the spicy alternative. We all clearly remembered Nige’s losing battle with indigestion that time at Denman with a spicy chicken burger so we were keen to see how he handled this stuff. Not well.

“Swap me some of yours, youse two” he repeatedly demanded between tears.

“No chance Hotty Hotface!!” squealed Lucky. “I wanna see blisters”

“This is what hell will be like for you and all other sinners if you don’t repent” added David with a slight smirk that nobody missed.

“Oh DD, why have you forsaken me.” pleaded Nige. Well maybe he didn’t say tha but that would have been funny and Lucky could have “put that in the report” if he had.


Nige struggling whilst Boris shows limited concern bordering on good humoured guffawing.

Sooo anyway after dinner we decided to go find ice cream like real 99% ers. We all ordered standard waffle cones but Nige (of course) decided on the apple pie and ice cream combo. So he stood, pushed aside by the friendly counter-staff and waited, and waited, and waited, eventually getting it about 15 minutes later. By the time he joined us we had finished so launched ourselves, especially Lucky, at his dessert. It was good, real good.

Behind that happy exterior lay a broken man. He was so grateful when we helped him eat that.

Off to bed and up early for yet another walk and coffees. Neither David nor Moey were waiting for us at the alternate breakfast time of 8 which was unusual. There was some confusion as neither of them remembered the clearly stated new time and thought 8.30 was it. David had wandered down anyway by about quarter past and Moey followed him after an urgent phone call a few minutes later. All was well and we enjoyed another big breakfast like the day before and just as good.

Boris had been talking about riding to Hill End and home via Bells Line but Moey offered to organise the next ride out that way anyway and threw in Mudgee as a sweetener. So he headed out Bells line and went straight home. Meanwhile, and remembering today was double demerits, Lucky led out at speeds that would probably not draw much attention from the gentlemen but had to be oft reminded to steady up from his good friend Nige. Moey headed off a bit earlier because his rear tyre was looking very ordinary so that left three. David peeled off at Broke so that left two back at Jerrys. David then turned up a little while later at Jerrys. It was good.




Rocky knew a man – Gunnedah December 2020

Now that’s a title for a story that could go anywhere. But it doesn’t take any nasty turns really. After our last ride to Mudgee we were all talking about where we could go next.

“Haven’t been to Gunnedah for a long time” Suggested Lucky

” It was about a month ago old son” pointed out Moey.

” I know a man in Gunnedah who will give us a deal on rooms at the Gunnedah Hotel. Heard of it?” Rocky asked

“Yeah Nuh, like we practically live there” piped in Nige with a sense of hopeful urgency. “Do the deal Rocky!”

“Splendid idea chaps. Count me in” Boris said. “Time to thrash the 800 before I trade it in for the 900”

And so it was decided. Rocky booked and paid for the rooms and we all gave him cash as part of the unspoken gentleman’s agreement clause so important to club traditions. Despite one case of Covid reported somewhere well south of Sydney and weather looking iffy, Rocky, Boris, Nige, Moey, and Lucky packed their plastics and agreed to meet at Jerry’s for departure. This, of course, was not without some protestations from one angry club member.

“Youse lot seem to forget that I’m the President of this motorcycle club and I decide where we leave from. The weather looks ordinary and Lucky, you always ride down and meet me at Maccas and that should continue. It’s a tradition dammit!! Don’t traditions mean anything to you? Huh, huh, huh???”

“Well not as much as you might think Nige.” replied Lucky with uncharacteristic cheek. He turned and quietly whispered something to Moey.

” It’s like something you always do old son” whispered Moey back to lucky.

“Thought so, but words can be tricky.” Moey gave Lucky a little paternal pat on the head.

Anyway, as agreed, we gathered at Jerry’s and headed west through Wollombi and round the back of Jerrys Plains to Denman for lunch. Nige led out and didn’t turn on his intercom because he was still a bit miffed about his traditions. Lucky listened to his own tunes and Boris and he chatted amiably from time to time about weather conditions and roads and such. It was nice.

Nige still miffed.

Denman was Denman. Good food. Lucky had a very nice King Prawn Fettucine and Boris shouted us all Lemon Lime and Bitters. Rocky was showing off his new suspenders, Moey was watching Nige closely and looking for any opportunity to wind him up a bit more, and Boris was watching the whole show with a dignified aloofness. Pretty typical. Then we were off again.

With Nige leading out again and watching for clouds, “You promised me no rain Lucky but all my apps say it will.”, we made good time to Merriwa and then on through to Willow Tree for fuel. Not Nige of course but he waited patiently. “Hurry up youse before it starts raining. My apps are never wrong.” It didn’t rain.

Willow Tree servo. It was a warm 34 but look at the clouds breaking up. Nige pointing his rude finger at anyone caring to pay attention. That was nobody.

With full tanks but emptying bellies, Nige led us on to Quirindi for coffee and cake. The little Asian women in the shop took a liking to Lucky’s Tiger because “It’s a velly nice red” but this frightened and embarrassed Lucky so no more was said about that. Now at this point Nige had been banging on about an alternative route that would take us “a more circuitous route and be more interesting for youse” There was some enthusiasm from a few but we were unsure about whether the road was sealed so we asked a local cowboy about it.

“Whall now pahdnah” he began “Y’all might want to avoid that particilar stretch on account o’ the grain wagons and the tumblin’ tumble weeds, you know, sorta driftin’ along” Confused by that and his face all full of pie we decided to trust him and his little dawgie and stick to the regular route.

Nige called him The Quirindi Cowboy. He really liked that pie.

As it happens he was right and we still made pretty good time out to Gunnedah. A quick shower and allocation of rooms. Lucky got the littlest room 111 and Nige the biggest 110 but Lucky slept the best whilst Nige, despite an actual corridor to his palatial en-suite, got no sleep once again. “Too noisy, too hot, and I think somebody must have put a pea under my mattress because I was very uncomfortable” We all sighed and felt terrible for him except Moey who might have called him a whining little princess but also might not have.

Two minutes later – zzzzzz. “I slept like a baby. Even wet the bed.”

That night we ate in the Italian Restaurant attached to the pub. Food was very good and Moey graciously paid the tab. Pizzas and Osso Buccos and other assorted meals as well as a couple of bottles of merlot followed by gelato. From here back to the lounge where, as usual, nobody had ever heard of port. “Galiano it is lads” cheered Rocky and called first round. Somebody went second and somebody went third and so on. It was very civilised. Around 11 we all toddled off to bed where four slept well. Giggles.

Galianos all round. Nige sticking to his Sugar Free Cokes

Early start next morning when all but Moey, who had had the deepest sleep of all, went for a walk around town and then met up with Moey at the “Jack and Jill” cafe for breakfast. Service was always fast and courteous but this morning things went awry. The delightful young waitress came out to tell us ( after a while anyway ) that the cook had to “Go out” so breakfast might be delayed 10 mins or so. 40 mins later, starving, Boris decided he would handle this and with a bunch of “I says” and “I do beg your pardons” as well as a bunch of other educated phrases we had never heard before, breakfast arrived. All were very pleased except for one angry man who described his scrambled eggs as “Slop” Moey had found an old dummy out on the road and presented it to that angry man, “Here you are old son, see how far you can spit that” We all laughed loudly and Rocky cheered of course.

“Mmmmm, I shall have the “Jack and Jill Special please miss” Says Lucky.

“Try the scrambled eggs Nige. They sound delicious.”

After this debacle we headed back to our rooms to pack and meet downstairs. Lucky locked his helmet in his room and had to hunt down cleaning staff to get back in but other than that all went relatively well. There was some confusion about which motorcycle Moey had brought this time.

“Is it Old Sir Fallapart or New Sir Fallapart” asked Lucky

“Or is it The new Old Sir Fallapart with shorty muffler or the old New Sir Fallapart with gold wheels and didlybobs?” asked Nige.

“It’s a splendid machine either way” Boris added.

“Huzzah for New Old Sir Fallapart and Old Sir New Fallapart” Rocky cheered.

“Its Rex” said Moey

“Nuh. Too confusing” said Lucky to nods of agreement all round.

That’s OSF or NSF or Rex in the middle not falling apart.

Now talk about confusing, when you leave the Gunnedah Hotel you have to hand in your key to a special metal box on the wall near the exit. Nobody is sure what kind of people stay here but some must really struggle with instructions.

It was no Fort Knox. Moey helped Lucky of course.

And then we were off for home. We did stop and look at a few of the Silo Trail participants and they were pretty good in an arty kind of way.

In Gunnedah

In Merriwa.

The trip home was cold and windy but the roads were up to the usual good standing. We went though Tambar Springs and on to Coolah where we turned to the winding, hilly roads that eventually brought us back to the Golden Highway and on to Merriwa for lunch. Pies. From here it was the usual quick bursts of overtaking trucks and cars until we reached the turnoff to the Putty Road. Nige and Moey stayed on the Highway and headed north to the Hunter expressway where they soon lost touch with each other anyway. Rocky was supposed to go with them but inexplicably turned towards an industrial estate and the last we saw of him was the back of his lovely BMW heading towards some giant smoke stacks. He may still be there on some assembly line turning out brass spigots. Hope not. Meanwhile, Boris and Lucky chose the more sensible Putty Rd to Broke to Kulnura and coffee and warm welcomes from Amanda and Jerry. A quick manly cuddle, nothing suss, and we too parted ways as Boris headed south to the new North Connex and home.

It didn’t rain on anyone at any time.

You’re welcome.


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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.


“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.



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.


“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.


“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.


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.


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!” October 2019

“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.


“Blessings on us all”

“Hmm, Barnaby”

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


“I wanna go first”

“Shutup Lucky……Boris”


“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.



Bathurst? Never Heard of it. – August 2019

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.