I went for a ride yesterday just for the hell of it. I got up pretty late, standard Saturday morning, and Terry asked what I was doing today. I wasn't sure, I didn't feel like spending all day doing housework so I decided to go for a ride. 'Where to ... ?' asked Terry. I wasn't sure, it was one of those days when you had nothing pressing you had to do and nothing you really wanted to do, so I said I thought I might check out the ride to Yeoval. I've been going to do that ride since I bought the bike 10 months ago and still haven't done it! The next response from Terry was one that I hadn't thought about ...'On your own ... ?' Hmm I haven't really done a ride on my own 'cept round town, it used to make me feel sick with nerves just thinking about those country highways and byways without Terry along for moral support. Today it didn't worry me, seems like now's the time to do it!! And one last comment to boost my budding confidence 'Just don't drop it ...' Ugh thanks for that ... 'I have my phone just in case .. you may have to pick up a pack of smokes for me if it gets that bad though'
Time for a side note here ... I don't smoke anymore. Well I'm trying to quit again anyways. I officially quit 41 days ago, though I cant honestly say I haven't had a smoke in 41 days cause there have been moments when I've cheated a little bit. But I can say it's been about 2 weeks since my last slip up and for the first time I really don't feel like a smoke. So I think I'm winning the battle here, we'll see eh.
So I went and unlocked the bike and Terry opened the gate and took her out the front for me while I went and geared up. All ready to go with nowhere to be ... I was dying to get out there and ride and for once the fact that I didn't really have a destination in mind didn't daunt me. I looked at a clock for the first time that day just as I was getting on the bike and realised that Yeoval wasn't such a great idea. It was getting late, oh well just get going and we'll see where I end up.
So I rode, I went through town and traffic. I had a lot of stops and starts, and rode down along the river and thought about stopping and seeing if there was anything worth taking pics of. Meh I was just getting in the zone, I thought briefly then of going out of town a bit further and decided against it just because of the time (and I wonder if that jibe of Terry's bout not dropping the bike was playing a bit on my mind). It was going good, I was just riding and not thinking of anything but my riding, I don't think I've really done that in a while. It meant I was noticing the things I do. I thought I was doing really good with my stops but I did notice that I've reverted to putting both feet down when I stop again, I concentrated really hard on not doing that and managed it maybe twice. I had to stop suddenly at one set of lights when the car in front of me decided to hit the brakes at one stage, that went well and I feel pretty comfortable with my emergency stops. Round abouts are pretty much as good as they will ever get, I don't think I'll ever like turning right on them, but going straight through them I love. I actually thought I was going to scape a peg or something while going straight through one the other day, but damn it was fun and I've never felt so comfortable leaning that far before. And I really thought about counter steering yesterday, yes I think I do it and have since I was a wee tike learning to ride my pushbike. It's interesting to find that out but when I think about it I think that's when I start mucking up corners, I think I'll just let my reflexes take this one on and try to keep an eye on it every now and then to see that I haven't picked up bad habits.
I ended up on a road that would take me out to the local Bunnings store so decided to head out there and have a look at pots in their garden centre. I've never been in their garden centre cause I'm not really a garden person. I love plants and nature and stuff but I shouldn't be put in charge of looking after plants, I can kill them with a look (poor things). So I bought Terry a lemon tree the other day, I've wanted one for a while and I saw some on special so I bought it for Terry to grow for me. We have decided to grow it in a pot, so we are going to need a big one, found just the thing at Bunnings, unfortunately it wasn't going to fit in the saddlebags so I'll go back today and get it with the car. I also had a good look around at what plants they have. They have a great selection of native Australian plants with low water needs. That's just the stuff we want, Terry has been working on his native garden for a couple of years now, he's getting there, we just never mention the south African bushes in the front garden ....
Well I took off from there, and hey I did a U-Turn to get out of the parking space, and did it pretty well considering I was being watched by a Bunnings guy sitting in his car opposite me. I hate an audience when I'm doing tricky things. Terry has been making me do U-Turns though, even when I say to him 'you lead the way, just don't make me do a U-Turn', he finds one .. or two. I am getting the hang of them though, and I think the control of brake and clutch thingy while moving slowly has finally clicked, I feel much more in control at low speeds.
I didn't want to go home just yet so I headed out of town, I got on the highway and was doing 100km/h which felt pretty damn good. It was hot here yesterday and the new jacket really needs some speed to get the vents to feel like they are venting, while doing town speeds I was a little puddle in a black and white jacket, it wasn't until I hit 100km/h that I finally started to cool down. The boots however felt great. There are no vents in them, and while I was wandering around Bunnings my feet felt like they were about to explode but on the bike they feel fine ... I didn't leave any soggy footprints when I got home and wandered around in just my socks either.
I debated where to go, I could head up the road to Wongarbon, but I had a horrible feeling that when I got there U-Turns were going to be a necessity, while I feel comfortable doing them I'm not going to make myself do it. I figured it was just so nice to be out riding, doing what I want, that I wasn't going to do something I didn't want. So I headed down a road that I'd accidentally taken once before that has some nice little corners and an S as well. It's a suburban street with a 60km speed limit, so I dont feel any pressure to go around them too fast and it's great practise for me, and they are fun!! That street ends up on the road that takes me home so I just went that way. Terry told me last night that the bendy street does continue on across the other side of the major road and ends up on a highway, so I think I'll have to check that out next time.
I was a great ride. Even though I didn't head out of town as I was planning, I still got a good enough ride to feel satisfied. I haven't done that in a long time, I did it a few times when I was just learning but since Terry got his bike I've just felt better with him along. At first it was that I love riding with him, but I think it's turned into a kind of security blanket for me. I tend to take more notice of my riding when I'm alone I have discovered, I think I need to take more notice when I'm with Terry so I'll work on that. I'm glad I did this little ride out, and I'm planning to do more, when Terry tells me he's working all weekend instead of staying at home and doing housework I'm gonna just jump on the bike and take off!!
Oh yeah the other thing I do when I feel like I cant go for a ride. Look at stuff online, Blogs, forums, bike accessory shops .... I shopped last week as a reward for quitting smoking. I worked out how much money I have saved and spent a bit of it on myself. Well on Roxy really. New presents to be put on!! I got new mirrors to replace the one that got scratched when I dropped her and new grips that match the footpegs I put on. I also got a pretty number plate frame. That's a bit dodgey, it's hard to find one that's the right size to fit my number plate and bike, things don't line up properly there and the holes in the number plate had to be made just to fit it on the Shadow. There's going to be a bit of adjustment needed with it and I wouldn't be surprised if I have to get someone to do some welding and stuff. It's all very exciting, so watch this space for the upcoming adventure .....
Oh how things have changed since I started this blog, in a few short months I've become addicted to it and I have developed a habit. I cant put up a post without photos, I tried and I just couldn't hit the publish button. So I checked out my phone for some pics and came up with ...
|7:30am outside my workplace in Dubbo this winter on one of the coldest days in history. The ice was thick on the ground but I didn't get a pic of that unfortunately.|
|Food porn from my phone!!|
|Last weekend we went for a ride to one of the local pubs to try out their new bistro. It was great and we'll definitely return to the Westside Pub for lunch again.|