A Random little town on #thelongwayhome! #day10 of our #motogp #misadventures

Its 9:13PM in a little town called Rutherglen in Victoria. Yesterday was the GP Race, and it was a damn good one! We had spent the weekend with access to the #Aprilia Garage courtesy of Aprilia Italy because of a few strings I pulled. We watched as the front 7 riders play musical chairs with the positioning nearly every lap. Miller, Zarco, Rossi, Marquez and others took turns leading the race for a lap here and there, but the final results were (1) Marquez, (2) Rossi and (3) Finales.   Being a big Aprilia fan, I was rooting for Aleix but he crashed out of the race, and walked off understandably pissed off.  There is so much more to say about Saturday and Sunday, but there are lots of posts on our Facebook page about what we got up to 🙂 Check that stuff out, while we take the time to do write up about that amazing experience!

As for right now, Hugo has departed the world of the conscious with yet another smart ass comment about something or another, and is once again snoring like some guttural thing that Dr. Seuss may have dreamed up, and mumbling in Portuguese about god knows what. It’s a nice change. At least he isn’t randomly saying ‘fuck you, Ron!’ while he sleeps. I think he may actually have a mild case of Tourettes.

We’ve checked into a little motel called Poachers Paradise. It’s beautiful wine country but it’s Monday so the town is quiet. Some cold schooners of beer and Chinese food from the Pub across the street has satisfied us for the night.

We got here after almost 7 hours of seat time. Mine was spent on the #TuonoV4 riding through fast flowing sections and tight twisty roads spanning the Yarra Valley and Yarra Mountain Ranges, The King Valley, Wangaratta, past Mt Buffalo National Park, and more. We traversed landscape that must have been conjured by the Motorcycle Gods. AND!!, we were blessed with amazing blue skies, and pristine winding roads most of the way after we got out of the moody Melbourne weather.  It was definitely soul food for me!  LOL and I did it on 3.5 hours of sleep. :S  Fuckin Hardcore.. Or at least thats what I tell myself…. we all have our delusions 😉

Anyway, the Motorcycle Gods must have offered us this day in apology for the insane day that was Thursday when we went over Mt. Hotham which is 1800 meters above sea level, in sub 10deg weather with fog and rain. This day was truly glorious! During our travels we came across a lot of riders on bikes heading back home. Some of them riding at a brisk pace, some meandering along. We hunted down and passed the slow ones, and kept pace with the quicker ones. We had a good play with one particular pack of bikes including 2 Tuono Factories, a BMW S1000RR, a Ducati Diavel and a Kawasaki Ninja.  At one point I went flying past an police cruiser sitting in the bushes as i passed a slower bike!  I know!  Things were puckering and I was watching my mirrors to see the red and blues chasing me down but all I got was a finger wag by the occupier of the car!  Hahah Awesome!   We also ran into an Aprilia Rider Forum member Nick Cardillo on his Tuono V4  along our way.

Our lunch stop reminded me of my travels in Europe.  We hit a grocery store, bought some cold cuts, bread, chips, some mustard and this really nice butter which happened to be in a sealed can that I had to open with my hunting knife.  Hugo of course found this amusing and in true smart ass fashion produced a quip or 2 about it.    We sat at a picnic table, ate, chatted, laughed and then packed up and left to carve some more roads.

We also had some funny moments, like Ben’s piss breaks on the side of roads 5kms out of various towns with perfectly good working toilets.   I need to remind myself to speak to Ben about being an opportunity pisser.  Pee when everyone stops even if you don’t think you have to.   It avoids having to speed to the front of the pack, wave everyone down to stop and then running off behind a tree while everyone shakes their heads.

Life on the road affects everyone in different ways, both physically and mentally. I’ve done a minimum of 4 hours of riding on 9 out of the 10 days we’ve been on the road. The only day I didn’t get on the bike and smash out some serious mileage was yesterday when we were at the MotoGP in Phillip Island (we took a 645AM bus that took us to the track in 2 hours). Needless to say my body is a bit tired, and my joints are reminding me of old rugby and skiing injuries I collected in my 20’s. Dangerous Dan is also feeling some aches and pains. We’ve also been a bit more quiet, but coffee and some good pain meds sorted us for most of the day.  I have found riding in the morning a bit painful but by midday things are flowing nicely and carving the roads becomes fast and joyful.  Guess its part of getting old. 🙂

This trip has been amazing and full of some awesome experiences but after an extended time on the road, some can start to show some curious ticks. The old saying goes, if you want to get to know someone, travel with them for some time. I’m starting to worry about the Orange Puta’s mental health and his various obsessions, like his penchant for trying to wind everyone up around him. Perhaps he forgot his lithium tablets, or maybe its a KTM rider thing.  LOL who the hell knows.

I’m also starting to think he’s got a school boy crush on me, since he seems to be keenly watching me and cataloguing everything I say and do and then trying to make a joke out of it, all while insisting on wearing his pants below his ass like some gangster rapper and bending over regularly to show me (as well as Ben and Dan) his woolly ass crack. I don’t quite know what to make of it. Dangerous Dan and Ben are starting to raise eyebrows as well. Now, I should put it out there that I don’t take offence at body hair, but if you wanna keep a hairy ass, please keep it under wraps for the sake of all others! LOL We’ve also named Hugo Little Chorizo (Poquito Chorizito in Spanish) as an homage to his Portuguese background and rapper style pants past his unshorn ass.

Based on this crush worry, I’ve surveyed the room to ensure he hasn’t hidden any bottles of chloroform around and am reticent to accept drinks he offers to buy.  Last thing I want to do is wake up feeling sore in strange places!

Fuck! I’ve got to spend another few days in motel rooms with this guy!? Well at least he can ride well and his humour, though strange and somewhat obsessive, is entertaining. But seriously dude! PULL UP YOUR FUCKING PANTS!!

LOL anyhow, my day started as a cold overcast morning in St. Kilda, Melbourne at 0600, after I got 3.5 hours of sleep. Why you ask? Since it was time to leave the apartment we rented for 3 nights, I had to get myself reorganized. We had gotten back into to the hotel at about 930PM. Hugo and Amara (his wife.. yes he’s married) went straight into their room, and weren’t seen again till morning.

I on the other hand decided to sort a few things before the morning departure. I always find it better to get all my kit sorted, accounted for and waiting by the door, the night before, because I can admittedly be a bit dull and groggy in first thing in the morning and then shit gets forgotten, or misplaced.

I was running out of clean clothes, so laundry had to be done. Ben did Dan and I a solid and had gotten us change and soap from the local late night grocer and we took over the laundry room of the hotel complex to refresh our threads for the ride back home. 2 washers and 2 dryers meant we had to take turns. That took a couple of hours, and then I rearranged my clothes and other kit in the #Kriega Bags. I also built a few #spotify playlists and stored the music on the phone so that I could hear tunes in areas with no cell signal. I hadn’t spoken to my wife for a couple of days so a call to Canada was made while the laundry was being done (yep she’s there right now, and it’s a 14 hour time difference), and speak to her for a bit.

Next thing I knew it was 0300 and I was to be up at 0630 and today happened. So yeah! I’m really fucking tired and need some sleep so I can hit that REM cycle, repair myself and do it all again tomorrow!! The Tuono Awaits! Yeeehaaaaa!

Another amazing day on the road! But man I’m bloody tired, and tomorrow is another early rise for 6 more hours of wondrous roads over the Great Alpine Way, as we make our way into New South Wales.  So with that said, I must now sleep!

Nighty Night Addicts!
Ronno

 

 

Extended Helmet Therapy

It’s 11:42PM, in Maitland NSW. Hugo is snoring like a freight train in the bed next to mine. Where the fuck are my ear plugs? Oh! wait.. I have a bottle 8% Ginger Joe’s Ginger Beer.  That’ll satisfy the thirst and make me not care about the human chainsaw, and help me to forget about my sore muscles 🙂   Drinking it on my own because Dan and Ben are in the next room with the lights off.  Me? I can’t sleep so, peck away at this keyboard by LCD light I shall!

Anyway..   18 minutes until day 2 of our trip from Brisbane/Gold Coast QLD to Phillip Island for the 2017 MotoGP comes to a close. Day 3 starts tomorrow, when we wake up early (not as early as Hugo.  Some of us are human and need more sleep that isn’t snore filled)   We just had an epic day of riding and covered 450 some odd k’s, including heading down Thunderbolts way (part of the Australia’s New England High Country.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolts_Way).  Of course, we obeyed the speed limit at all times, Officer Rod Updeinenarsch!   How could you suggest otherwise!  You and your brethren can give us all the dirty looks you like as we roll past.  Really I know you are just jealous, even if you don’t understand it, or admit it to yourselves.  No revenue for you! Not this time! sorry 🙁

This 15 day trip has been brewing in the brain for at least 2 years.  Yep, I’ve got the nomads blood in me! Sitting still for an extended length of time, really gets me antsy!   I bet my ancestors were on horseback, hoofs thundering through the hills in search of the next adventure.  Maybe that is just what I tell myself so that I can justify my addiction to motorcycles.   Either way, the desire is there, and if I don’t give in, I become a very cranky and irritable bastard!   Just ask my wife!

I do get away for 2 day escapes here and there to keep my insanity in check, but I’ve been feeling the call to throw a bunch of things into a bag, climb onto my bike and disappear into the hills on an extended trip;  rolling into small towns, eating in places we’ll probably never visit again, and sleeping in a different bed every night; spending time winding the throttle of our bikes until the RPMs howl while hearing the exhaust note echo through the hills as we scream down the road (yes yes, at the speed limit, Officer Rod).

So finally this year, the motorcycle gods heard my silent calls and blessed me with the time to fuck off into the great wide open, and as it happens they also blessed my above mentioned nomadic compañeros with the same.  Originally it was 6 of us that wanted to go along, but 2 were robbed of the glory.  So in the end 4 of us carefully planned our escape across 3 Australian states and one territory, in search of winding roads, petrol stations with 98 Octane and motorcycle racing glory that is the MotoGP.   We left Saturday morning!

Ahh finally some time to get centred; to find some peace and tranquility! My bike, my helmet and my thoughts!

Some of you inherently get that, but others? You scratch your heads and ask: ‘how the fuck does anyone find relaxation and mindfulness by wrapping ones legs around a motor and 2 wheels while barrelling down the hill at adrenalin fuelled breakneck speed, with only leathers and a helmet, skirting certain death and infamy as an organ donor?’   Surely thats just some crazy shit, that can be diagnosed using the DSM manual and cured with medication right?

Nope! It’s true it can ACTUALLY reduce stress and make you happier in the long run.   Don’t believe me? OK.. let me drop some science on you non-believers!  According to the Ryuta Kawashima Laboratory of the Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University.”Incorporating motorcycle riding into daily life improves various cognitive functions (particularly prefrontal cortex functions) and has positive effects on mental and emotional health such as stress reduction.”

Wait.. What? They make you smarter!?  But but but it’s so dangerous!  You could die!  Ok…. sure, that is true. It’s dangerous!  But so is walking across a busy street, smoking a cigarette, posting extremist political shit on Facebook, eating too much crap at your local cheap Chinese buffet or visiting McDonalds more than 3x a year!

Yep, improved cognitive function!  AND!!!… get this.  It can bring you tranquility and allow for some self exploration!  Now this isn’t a novel idea.  It’s been around for quite a while now.  Seriously! Ever heard of the book by Persig (RIP) called ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’?   Yes?  Did you read it? If no to either of those questions then, shame on you!  Download it here! and relieve yourself of your risk averse misconceptions!  You’ll thank me!     If you don’t then WTF are you doing here reading this blog anyway? We are way to different, and anything I say will just sound like gibberish to you.  Stop wasting your time and go crochet sometime would ya!?  Don’t forget to pick up a big mac on the way home ok?

So.. Those that are still here……..    Science!…. Motorcycles might kill you, but riding them has been proven to make you smarter!  They will make you happy! They will help you to better deal with stress, because yes life is stressful, that shit isn’t going to change!  Not in our day and age!  But think about it for a second.  If you are happy and able to cope with stress better, then maybe you will be a nicer person to those around you!? hmmm? hmmm? See!  a bit of altruism there!  Anyway, google that stuff!  Check out that cool rabbit hole! I’m not preaching anymore! If you are already converted, then go get on your bike, or buy one, borrow one!  Hell get on a scooter! FFS! Go Zen out!

As for me, I know this to be true…  riding clears my head, I can have the shittiest week ever! Go from one royal fuck around to the next but if I get on my bike and go for a ride, helmet on face, wind rushing past, my mind gets quiet!  I’m in whats called the here and now! It’s momentary zen!  My blood pressure actually goes down!  Yeah… I’m in my 40’s and have to think about that shit!   No doc is writing this guy a scrip for statins! Hell no!

Fuck!  Lucky me!  13 more days of this, and a world class motorcycle race parked right in the middle 🙂 Fuck yeah!

Anyway, its late!  Ginger Joe has worked his magic, my battery is at 4%, and Hugo stopped snoring.. I better get some sleep before he starts again!  Got another awesome day of riding! More mountain ranges, the thrum of my V4 Aprilia, while I quick shift through the gears, flying past amazing scenery, having good laughs and good times, and collecting stories to tell later!  Gotta savour that shit! 🙂

Until next time!  Keep your throttle hand strong and stay upright!

Ronno.