There’s this feeling I’ve become familiar with when it comes to motorcycling. It’s not a good one. It occurs soon after I arrive at a regrouping point and grows more and more distinct as the time goes by without my mates arriving. It’s happened twice in Tassie before – and I’ll never forget the time I had a similar wait for my friend Whacky when heading out of Maindample many years ago. All occasions – crap results.
That feeling occurred today… soon after I took the silly photo on the right. I’d just had a ripper ride along the Reece Dam Road which is one of my very favourites; guaranteed to put a smile on my face. I figured the normal players in my faster group would be a little way behind because Lindsay and Paul had swapped bikes (always a bit slower) – but as time went by and I’d had the chance to take photos like this…
… I realised something had gone wrong. That feeling was coming through loud and clear.
I jumped back on and headed back. After 30k I was still going so I knew something had happened. Sure enough, Alan had over-cooked a corner and headed into the bush. Luckily, Al only had minor injuries and it was fairly superficial damage to the bike but enough to bring Al’s trip to a disappointing end.
The previous night, whilst still sitting in the queue for the boat, the other Al’s battery had gone flat so his day in Devonport started sitting outside the motorbike shop waiting for someone to turn up.
We all hoped Al’s crashed would bring an end to such incidents. Not a real flash start for the Als.
Apart from these little mishaps, day 1 was a ripper. The weather was perfect for motorcycling – bar for a tiny bit of drizzle in the last 60 kay – but even that was pleasant as we traversed the west side of the beautiful Lake Plimsoil in the dusk. Our earlier visit to Cradle Mountain had provided us with the fun these roads were designed for (surely they weren’t designed just to get from point to point… surely they were designed by a motorcyclist?). We had arrived in the biggest fun park on earth and we were determined to make the most of it.
We discovered a number of other things on day 1:
- who’s fast, who’s slow, who’s cautious and who’s a bit crazy
- Al’s maintenance is a bit average
- Al’s cornering skills need some work
- Dev is going to be the slowest one to get his helmet and gloves on at every fuel and rest break (every motorcycle bunch has one of these)
- our corner marking needs some work (so that Ray and Sharon don’t have to do extra kays every day)
- Tasmanian roads are still bloody unbelievable
– and oh yeah… one more thing I nearly forgot. Yamaha FZ1’s don’t run on deisel (I knew I had that nick-name for a reason!).
As you can see from this photo, you can understand why I made the mistake of putting this new cleaner diesel in my high performance Japapnese motorcycle… can’t you? I mean – it’s not really that clear.
I’m able to provide a full explanation to anyone who may enquire. Until then, feel free to hang as much shit on me as you like. I really do deserve it.
When I realised I was pouring the wrong fluid into my precious bike – which I still intended to ride fairly hard over the next four days – I was quick to react and with Pat’s help, I managed to get the feeder hose off before any of the dirty stuff got through to the carbs. I spent the next hour draining, flushing, draining, flushing until I was sure I had the tank ready for fuel again. Despite my thoroughness, I still managed to smell a bit of burning diesel as I headed up the Reece Dam Road from Zeehan.
So Al, Al and Rich successfully provide the stories for the day. Good one fellas!
Roads ridden and/or places visited: The main street of Devonport! (yes… really) – Forth – Lake Palooma – Sheffield – Cradle Mountain/Dove Lake (me, Paul, Al) – Zeehan – the automatic petrol/diesel station – Reece Dam – a tricky right-hander (Al) – Tullah – Anthony Main Road – Zeehan (again… except for Ray and Sharon!) – Strahan.
Post Script – Our helper, Neil, who recovered Alan and his bike from Reece Dam discovered a sticker on Al’s bike boasting, “I survived the Snowy ride.” The next day Al woke to discover a new sticker emblazoned across his windscreen, “Didn’t survive Tassie ride 2012.” – Ok Al… we’ll shut up now.