The Pillion and I haven’t been out on the bike together in months because of the damage from that knock over on February 17 I told you about a few weeks ago.
Yes, Bluey is still ride-able, solo, but the pillion peg on the off side was damaged in the fall and along with the hairline crack in the pillion peg hanger, it has made it unsafe to have anyone on the back.
Happily, I’m told all the parts will be in by the time you read this and Bluey will be as good as new in no time.
So, as there has been absolutely no weekend riding for both of us (riding to work doesn’t count), I thought I’d talk about our plans for a trip away early next year.
But first some background.
When The Pillion and I got hitched, we never got a chance to do the honeymoon thing. We said our vows and the next day we were in an 8 ton pan-tech with all of our worldly possessions heading north to Brisbane.
I’d already established myself in Brisbane as I came up 3 months earlier. I was gainfully employed and had rented a suitably cosy humpy* for my bride and I to set up shop in. So the transition was fairly seamless.
Time flew by. Pretty soon we’d built a home of our own, started a family and had no time (or money) for lavish holidays. As a result, we never did get to go on our honeymoon. When we did manage to get away, it was usually a long weekend here or week away there and usually spent with the ‘lations.
Fast forward to the present day.
About 18 months ago The Pillion and I felt our kids were grow’d up and ‘sponsible enough to look after themselves for a night or two without us leading them around by the nose. It was our time to trust and their time to stand alone. Just to be clear, going away for a short time was going to be as much a test for us as it was for them.
Over the next few months The Pillion and I managed to get away a few times for a weekend or two and last November we disappeared down to Sydney on the bike for a little over a week while the G20 was on in Brisbane: No one died, the house was still standing and the police didn’t arrest us for child endangerment when we got home.
A few weeks after we got back from Sydney we were discussing where we would go for our next adventure when we were asked if we’d be interested in a trip down south in early 2016. I knew I had a fair amount of holidays accumulated and our youngest would be out of school by then, in fact all of the kids would (or should) be young adults and working by then, so we took up the offer.
Since December we’ve been moving towards our goal. We’ve replaced the soft panniers with hard cases, we re-evaluated our camping option and realised, that for one reason or another, it probably isn’t the best thing for us. Pulling a trailer behind the bike is also not high on my list of things that I simply must do. Which leaves us with the choice of hard bed accommodation in hotels or hard bed accommodation in B&B’s. A little more expensive, sure, but probably the better option for us in the long run.
We’ve already booked accommodation for part of our trip because word is, it’s going to become harder to get as 2016 draws nearer. We’ve also booked passage for ourselves and Bluey.
Wonder if I’ll need a passport?
The last part of our trip we are playing by ear. If we find somewhere nice we’ll stop for the night: We have nothing planned other than stopping in and visiting friends or family along the way. Most of whom we haven’t seen in yonks.. or are yet to meet.
Over the coming months we we’ll re-trim Bluey’s seat so we can ride longer without too much discomfort. I mean, it’s fine for a weekend away and up to 600 km (375 miles) at a stretch, but we are going to be on the bike every day for 7 weeks. I’m guessing we’ll cover around 8,000 to 10,000km (5,000 to 6,200 miles) all up.
Before we head off I’ll also need a new chain and sprockets, probably tyres; although I can do this along the way if need be. Bluey will be up for a major service towards the end of this year too. Minor servicing I can do on the road (every 6000km – 3,700 miles), but I won’t have access to the tools or facilities to do buckets and shims. There’s probably more that needs to be done as well, and we’ll deal with that as we think of it.
So where are we going?
Not tellin’… yet.
Instead, I’ll leave you with some stock photos I found on the interwebs of some of the places we hope to visit. We’ve been to a couple of these places before, maybe 20 or 30 years ago, most we’ve only ever seen in pictures though.
Understandably, we’ve started counting the days.
- Humpy: Or gunyah is a small, temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines, with a standing tree usually used as the main support.
- ‘Lations: Aussie slang for relations.
- Yonks: A very long time