Here's some pics from the trip in some random order.
There is a special kind of butterfly that flutters in my stomach the morning I leave for a BikeMe run. This butterfly is big, restless and noisy. It’s no ordinary butterfly. Just as a BikeMe run is no ordinary motorcycle trip. There is a hint of madness, a sense of impending Armageddon, a suspense hanging heavy and low like mists over a rainforest valley. You never quite know how your day is going to pan out on a BikeMe run. There’s no set route, there is a starting point and a destination. And you make it up as you go along. You don’t know how many people are going to turn up. You may be alone or there may be 50 people. There’s no hand holding for the slow or the infirm, the herd travels at the pace of the fastest, not the slowest. As you head out of your home in the early dawn, in your heart you know that something spectacular is going to happen on this run. You just don’t know where, when, how and with whom. But you don’t want to miss it when it happens.
I started the trip with Daz and that set the tone for the weekend. Daz is one of those really fucken hardcore people you read about on the internet, except he's real. Nothing fazes this man. He will ride a thousand miles with you in the middle of the night just because you asked him to. He will ride the pants clean off the fastest bikes on the planet. But he also has the ability to sweet talk the sternest, cuntiest cop out of giving him a ticket for exceeding the speed limit by 200KMPH. And as you lie in a gutter, stupefied by alcohol, he will quietly clean the puddle of puke around and on you. And he will do all of this with an unassuming smile, in a matter of fact kinda way like he’s making tea. They say anything can be improved by adding more Daz. I concur. Daz and I destroyed some roads this weekend – Snowy Mountains Highway, Cabramurra Road, Granya Gap, Murray Valley Highway, Elliott Way. We chased each other all over the high country at the limits of our abilities, never more than a few feet from each other’s back wheel.
On Granya Gap, in the shadows of a setting sun. Daz is leading me by 5 feet at manic pace and we’re both leaned on the edge of our tyres around a blind left hander when a rabbit runs out 5 feet from his front wheel. We both hold our nerve and our lines, with not the slightest hesitation we plow straight on and he misses it by inches. A lesser rider would’ve panicked, stood the bike up or grabbed the front brake, likely ending in disaster for one or both riders. It takes a lot of confidence and trust to ride with someone at those speeds, so close and for so long. But I’d do it any day with Daz.
I met the world famous racing commentator and incorrigible womaniser, Boon. He had promised to autograph my chest if I beat him on the Granya Gap so I took along a special brown marker that colour matches my nipples so he can use my left one for one of the O’s in his name. With a carrot like that dangling in front of me, it should come as no surprise that I ended up beating him on the Granya Gap.
Talking of beating, I finally met Dougall this weekend. Or Mr. Systema. Systema is a Russian Martial Art invented and used by the spetsnaz for hand to hand combat. Dougall is an expert practitioner and teacher of this most interesting fighting technique. Actually, it’s more than just a fighting technique as Dougall explained and demonstrated to a few of us. To say my mind was blown as he brought people (including myself) to their knees with a slow motion movement and then made the pain disappear leaving a feeling of mildly euphoric well-being, is like saying there is some possibility of a bear shitting in the woods.
Of course I was stoked to ride, drink and break meat with my brother Boris once again. Boris rides strong and hard regardless of which motorcycle he’s riding. On various occasions, I’ve followed him at very high speeds through all sorts of twisties on an Indian Chief, a V4 Tuono, a ZX14 and a Triumph Rocket3. He always rides the same. Strong and hard. He doesn’t care that he’s on a 400KG cruiser and there’s a Panigale behind him. He will try to beat that Panigale till the last breath in his body. Is Racing, of course. On the early stages of the Snowy Mountains Hwy this time, there was Boris on the Rocket3, Scott on the Panigale and me on the Tuono. I followed Scott for a bit then went past and sat behind Boris for a while. I like to follow people closely but this time I couldn’t. Because the mega fucken torque of the Rocket was uprooting gravel from inside the road. Yes, Gravel locked and held in place by solidified tar was being rudely ripped out and hurled from the back tyre of that monster bike! And the sparks! Every tight corner Boris was leaning the bloody thing so far over I’m surprised he had any foot pegs left at all after the weekend.
Dan, the creative genius behind the ground breaking BikeMe videos is a man with long femurs and vulnerable feet. He’s hardcore in his own way doing some big, high speed Ks on a KTM 690 Adventure with dual sport tyres, waving like a sock in the wind. But apparently he doesn’t like being crash tackled by a stealthy darkie, all but invisible in the dark night. Who knew?
I was fizzed beyond repair to meet the southern clan and those mad fuckers from Team SCR. So much laughter, so few fucks given, such high speeds.
So…TumbaRumba did not disappoint. I met mates, old ones and new. Rode roads, old ones and new. Discovered myself, the old one and new. For events like these are an education and a regeneration as much as they are a celebration. And it all starts and ends with Motorcycles.
Here's some pics from the trip in some random order.