BUNBURY/PERTH – ‘Aaarghhhh! Stand still’ (April Fools Day)
It’s amazing the connections you make when travelling solo with very little fear and a positive attitude. Having said that, ‘very little fear’ does not ignore the fact the need for diligence and tuning in to the possibilities of hazards and dangers that lurk on the outer, with my shark/predator radar on auto pilot at all times.
I am very quickly learning that the biking community is an extremely large organisation with welcoming arms as big as the Black hole itself. As word is getting out I am inundated with people from all over the country, biking enthusiasts both in and out of clubs offering support, bike writers ringing at 6 in the morning from eastern states wanting a story, and motorbike shops ringing wanting to promote the tour and get in on the action; it’s all fantastic but at times can be slightly overwhelming.
One very keen biking enthusiast Finn who sadly had to sell his old ‘Indian 741 Military Scout’ a couple of years ago due to a marriage break up, has opened up his home and welcomed both myself and Ella to stay for a couple of nights while he continues to promote the ride throughout Bunbury and surrounds, as well as offering to give Ella the ‘once over’ before heading to Perth; as is true to say, who would know the purr of an engine better than her previous owner.
‘Yes, that is correct’, Ella once belonged to Finn and Finn couldn’t be more thrilled to have stayed in contact with me throughout Ella’s ‘rebuild’ (claiming at one point he wanted to buy Ella back hahahaha! ‘Buckley’s of that Finn’). Finn, very proudly, has also been diligently promoting my amazing journey throughout Bunbury and surrounds. He had organised trailers, signs, sent out posters, fed and watered me (Osso Bucco, beer and port hahaha!) for the next three days, not allowing me to pay for anything
To date, the basic maintenance has been conducted by myself with both Craig and Finn guiding and overseeing my work. A very loose, very worn generator chain needed tightening in order to get me to Perth in time, which had me on my back Saturday night covered in grease for a couple of hours – the start to a new love of ‘tinkering’ in the once known ‘bloke shed, now to be the ‘Unisex shed’. I now understand the therapeutic qualities that men feel from being out in their sheds, tinkering away with whatever their passion is. It is a very peaceful calming experience, one which I know I am going to really enjoy while travelling around maintaining the upkeep of my little chariot.
Prior to getting to Bunbury Ella started to sound a wee bit unwell, running rich and burning quite a lot of oil. Finn decided after being unable to sort the issue that this was a job for the ‘Guru’ – Murray Morrell, only hours away in Perth. We decided that Ella was up for the Bunbury leg, but not performing at her peak. Taking it easy on the ol’ girl was necessary in order for her to get to Perth without any hiccups.
The morning of the leg we had a small but special turnout of people, as I found out later there was several other bike runs on that morning – to be expected as our glorious autumn weather shone at a moderate 26 degrees - perfect for a day of bike riding. There were several riders that showed up just to view the bikes and chat. One couple in particular were planning their own trip around Australia on a motorbike, and were curious as to how and what I had packed. Another, a friend of Finn’s called ‘Stitches’ arrived delivering my ‘Belstaff jacket’ after he had embroidered and stitched on her first badges/patches (A big thanks Finn for that wonderful donation). One particular patch pertinent to Mz Ella and her spirited energy, boldly stated ‘Old bikes don’t leak oil, they just mark their territory’ – haha! Love it, that is soooo her.
My eyes light up and I couldn’t be more happier when next minute Craig and his mate Bazz rocked up. Craig who the night before, said he couldn’t make it due to a bad swelling of the knee, poor bugger, (the end result of playing with Ella in the shed for two hours, giving me a crash course in basic mechanics). Craig being the true biker he is, with a dickie knee obviously causing him a lot of pain, still rode with me all the way to Murray’s who it turns out is an old mate of Craig’s from way back.
A very special stop off lunch was had by the four of us at the lovely ‘Pines’ restaurant overlooking the Mandurah estuary, then onto Leeming/Perth for a welcomed surprise which was in store for Murray and Lorraine when both Finn, Craig and I turned up together, making a great opportunity for rekindling old mateships (Murray not only was a good mate of Craig’s but he also reconditioned Ella’s motor 27 years ago for Finn).
It has been a very special and memorable part of this journey with a big thanks to Finn for and all his efforts and kind generosity, and his little 18 year old deaf terrier dog ‘Missy’, who travels everywhere with him. A fantastic day was had by all, a great end to the Bunbury/Perth leg until Murray finally investigated the excessive burning of the oil… ‘aaarrrrgghh more money’.
*One final note. I met an amazing young man 'Liam' while in Fremantle. I approached Liam as he was standing around with his mates and a group of other people all of which turned up on thier 'postie' bikes'.
Liam is starting his journey 'AROUND THE WORLD' on his little postie bike. Liam planned to leave on the 10th April and we had discussed about meeting up along the coast of W.A. at some point. You can follow Liam 's journey through his blogs on