Saturday, 21 December 2013

Have a Great Christmas

It seems to me that the months leading up to Christmas I just seem to get too busy and too tired to ride or even think about riding. I am noticing a trend in my blogging that shows me writing much less in those couple of months. Not just from being busy and tired either .. it's at least 40°C here today!

With that in mind I'd like to take the opportunity while I have not too much on my plate today to wish all my blogging mates everywhere a special Christmas and hope the new year brings you all many more wonderful adventures :)

What ever you are doing over the holidays whether it's spending time with your family, getting out on a new adventure or just kicking back and relaxing ... I hope you have a great time doing it!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

From The Pen Of The White Shadow

Hi! My name is Roxette but my friends call me Roxy. I am a Honda Shadow who happens to have a very sexy white color scheme .. hence the name of this Blog. Yes I am the namesake of The White Shadow Diary. As such I thought it was about time I had my say here.

Now I dont want to sound like I'm whining but I have noticed that the White Shadow has taken a bit of a back seat in Brenda's life lately. Both the bike and the blog. I know she's been a bit busy of late, her work has been hectic with her taking on a new role as a trainer and now they have all this new staff, yes she gets home after work and just flops onto the lounge and immediately falls into a trance in front of the TV. Not to mention the fact that her computer recently started to give up on her, she did get a new one (that's what I'm playing with now .. fun!) but she has hardly turned it on, there's only one folder of photos on it so far .. she's really been slacking!

Brenda and Terry had a wedding that had to be attended last month, I thought for sure they would be taking us, but no .. the black shadow and I were left at home, quietly crying ourselves to sleep in the dark for two days. We both got very dusty! They went all the way to Canberra without us and their pathetic excuse, neither one of us could fit the present on our back racks ... I reckon they shoulda just bought the present down there.

So having raided Brenda's one folder of photos on this new pc I found this ...

That's the lovely couple, Terry's son and new daughter in law. Looks like it was a fun wedding doesn't it. I was feeling very left out when I saw that picture .. then I spotted this!!

There was a scooter there!! And I wasn't even invited and I'm a grown up .. sigh. It looks like the bride actually rode up to the end of the aisle on that scooter ... oh what fun!

I have mentioned to Brenda that the next time she knows a bride that wants to go to her wedding on a bike, I would be a great choice .. I'm all class!

Both of our riders have been promising to take us out for a weekend jaunt for weeks you know. And it still hasn't happened! I don't mind spending time with the black shadow (I wish Terry would give him a name though, the black shadow is such a mouthful) he's good enough company, but he is quiet a lot of the time .. the best fun we have is on the roads, zipping along looking at the scenery with the wind blowing through our chrome. Oh I miss that!

But no, our riders have been too busy or too tired, last weekend they promised us a nice long ride while Terry went to sort out some work stuff. I heard them talking about it, "we'll take the bikes, blow the cobwebs outta them" I heard Terry say that. Nope Friday night their shed blew down in an almighty wind. I heard the bang and it kinda scared me, I thought our house was blowing down and we would be crushed. It was OK, it was only the lawnmowers home. That small catastrophe put a damper on our ride plans though, our riders were busy cleaning up the mess all day Saturday then catching up on Saturdays stuff on Sunday. Yet again us poor bikes were left sitting forlornly in the driveway whimpering softly in loneliness.

Oh it's not all bad, don't get me wrong. Brenda does take good care of us. She noticed that we were both getting very dusty one afternoon last week and got out the hose and bucket and gave us a nice bath. And she does ride me to work when she can .. actually I think it's just when she thinks she can do without her morning coffee, a lot of the time I hear her taking off early in the car with the words "I need my coffee!" on her lips. But at least a couple of days a week I get out with her for the short journey to her work, then I sit outside her work all day and get lots of admiring looks from passersby. I don't mind that :)

We are having fun on our short rides, Brenda's really coming along nicely with her skills lately. It makes it all the more enjoyable that it's the only time we really get together lately, when it does happen, even if it's a short ride it's just so much fun. I've tried to talk her into keeping on going past work a couple of times but Brenda wont do it .. sheesh I don't reckon work would miss her for just one day.

This weekend we are going for a ride! They cant get out of it, they are meeting other riders from SRA and they organised this ride ... they are the leaders so that means no getting out of it guys!! Yay!! So hopefully Brenda will take the camera, I know she is planning to take the GoPro cause I saw her charging it last night, then she will have to post the story. I can make do with the precious time we spend together riding to work for the rest of this week, cause I know that we are getting out onto the highways in just a few short days. I cant wait!!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

100 Posts .. A Reflection

As I posted up the video in the previous post I noticed that it was my 100th post. That gave me thoughts about how far I've come since I started both riding and blogging about my riding. I went back and read my very first post. I decided to do a bit of a reflection of both the blog, the riding and the bike, it's all changed .. a lot!!

The blog has changed, I'm doing much bigger posts now with big glossy photos. I guess that's a reflection on the new fascination I have with taking photos and trying new things like video and the GoPro. I also think it's because I don't really have as much to write about my riding, everything just seems to be going so nicely, so I pad it out with lots of pics.

The White Shadow at Newcastle Harbour

But then I had a lot more the write about back then I think. Reading my first four posts about learning to ride .. sheesh just getting the courage to ride .. was fascinating for me. You can check them out HERE if you're interested. I loved the first post about our trip to Newcastle, remembering how weird it all felt to be riding into the wind, I never thought I would get used to that or be able to go faster than 80km/h.

I feel like I have come a long way with my riding but still remember some parts very vividly, I still get butterflies every time I have to do a U-Turn and I did mention how hard I was finding them in a lot of posts. But some of the things I had actually forgotten about .. my problems getting used to braking, I'd forgotten how for the first couple of weeks I was actually braking so hard that I was riding the tank. Then there's the way in one post I would be all excited that I'd got the hang of something then a couple of posts later I am lamenting that I will never get the hang of it and that I think I'm doing it all wrong (I'm thinking particularly about braking and keeping one foot up while stopped here). Now I don't think about those things .. now I just wanna find more exciting things to do.

Another post that I loved but really am disappointed that I didn't put more pics in was the one about my ride to Gulgong   

The White Shadow in Feburary 2012 in the main street of Gulgong.

It was an exciting ride and it shows in the way I wrote about it, the thing that still sticks in my mind is the smells .. good and bad, I still love riding past a freshly baled stack of hay or a wet forest. I'd forgotten about how much every little bump in the road used to affect me though.

It wasn't really that long ago that I was worrying about not being able to park or back the bike comfortably cause I couldn't touch the ground properly. Now while I'm still careful on gravel, I don't stress like I used to, and parking is just happening naturally all of a sudden. I find that pretty amazing actually.

I have done a lot of posts about prettying up my baby, I even did a post where I officially named her .. Roxy. Those posts are interesting too, not just to show how the bike has changed and evolved but how I learnt more about her and what makes her tick. I still have a long way to go there!

Roxy as she looks now, on the road to Broken Hill
 Then there are the rides where we met some like minded wonderful people and shared the adventure with them for a while. The first one was the adventure to Queensland where the Shadow Riders Australia (SRA) took us under their wings and showed us around for a day.

Morning tea with some of the Queenslanders.
And that was so exciting on so many levels, there were so many firsts on that trip that I can't list them but by far the best first was getting to meet all those wonderful people.

There were other rides with groups and every time I remember the dread that I would do something embarrassing in front of all those people, I never did until the last big meet up when the SRA came to Dubbo for their first annual meet. Yep I dropped poor Roxy right in front of the leader of the group, who leaped to help me almost before I realised what was happening .. such a sweet man, as they all were.

And fun too!! Check out the posts HERE if you're interested.

Of course there are a lot of other posts that I love and reading back through them has been absorbing for me, so many that I could point out that it would take another 100 posts .. so I wont go on. It's all there to look at any time I want to.

That's what it's all about isn't it? It's why I wanted to do the blog thing to start with. It's a record of the journey that is my bike riding adventure. From the very shaky start to the awesome plans for the future. It's fun!! So now 100 posts in and I'm still going strong, my love for riding hasn't waned (like most things I take up often do). I'm still blogging, though yep have to admit I do have times when I just don't get to it as much as other times, but I still love it! It has been a great adventure so far, I have learnt so much, and there's still a lot more to learn and experience .. I can't wait!!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Broken Hill Ride Video

Well here's the edited version of my video of our trip to Broken Hill. I've changed the music to some from you Tube, it's a classical piece which isn't quite as funky as the music I'd originally chosen but I think it suits it anyway.

I originally used three songs, if your interested in listening to some good music then check them out, they were Chasing Pavements by Adele, Cameo Lover by Kimbra and Mr Blue Sky by Lilly Allen. That Lilly Allen song was the one causing issues but it's a great version of the song so if you can find it .. listen to it .. I guarantee you'll like i!

Enjoy the vid :D

Friday, 27 September 2013

Silverton on a Good Day

As you can probably guess, we decided to go back to Silverton for our ride that day. Menindee was also on our original list but because of things that happened, not least of of which was just pure laziness and relaxation time, we gave that one a miss. It's a 200km round trip to Menindee and we only had half a day left in Broken Hill. Silverton it was then!

The road to Silverton is much more interesting than anything that we'd ridden so far, there are a lot of dips along here, some of them are actual causeways, but a lot of them just seemed to be just natural waterways .. it's so flat out here that the water just goes anywhere when they get enough rain, so the road just had to follow the lay of the land. Some of those dips were even fun .. a lot of them were very rough and you kinda had to try to pick the best line through them without shaking your bike to pieces. And at least there were bends in this road.

We rode straight through Silverton when we got there, we wanted to go check out the Mundi Mundi plains on a sunny day ..

The view as we topped the last rise, the patch of dirt on the right is the lookout.
I have to apologise for the spots on these photos, as I said before I forgot all about the bugs that had hit us on the trip out and they stayed there for the duration.

We parked the bikes on the dirt car parking spot .. with all the large stones that you had to dodge I was pretty proud of myself for how I managed that. I was once told that a big trip on the bike can be the equivalent of 6 months riding practise, and this trip felt like that to me, I was doing things that only a couple of weeks ago would have freaked me out so much that I would have gotten off the bike and made Terry do it for me, not only did I have no choice a lot of the time, I also felt a lot more confident about doing things that I have found difficult in the past, like backing the bike in tough spots and riding on gravel. The driveway into the shed at the cottage was a huge challenge, but after the rain it meant that if I got it wrong both me and Roxy would be going for a swim .. so I did it!

Anyway back to the story at hand .. the lookout..

I cant decide which photos I like the most, so I'm gonna post them all.

Terry, hanging onto his bike just in case it gets any ideas into it's head to take off into the wild yonder.

The hills we'd just come over.

Terry took some photos too.

Couple of nice shots from him.

Then he got hold of my camera to take a panoramic shot.

Awe inspiring.

Then it was a quick ride back to town. Surprisingly we were both getting a bit hot by now, it was only about 23°C but in all the gear and out where there was no protection from the sun we were starting to feel thirsty.

So we parked the bikes then went on a mission to find refreshment.

We found the Silverton Pub, but I don't like going into strange pubs sometimes, and it was spilling out all sorts of people so I made us walk on. Unfortunately we missed something there, apparently it's full of Mad Max memorabilia .. like the VW out the front, that I've been told is from one of the films.

I really just wanted a coffee, and we'd been told the best coffee was up the top of the hill. We had to walk past the original churches to get to it.

Then we finally walked past the local art ...

and onto the cool veranda, where this sign was hanging .. an oldie but a goodie.

By the time we got inside even I was hot enough to forgo the hot coffee and opted for a cool drink instead, but I've had a hankering for a scone for the last couple of months and when I saw this on the menu I had to have one ..

It was the most delicious scone I've had in ages .. if not ever!

Now we were feeling fitter to go exploring .. there was a closer inspection of the Catholic Church that was the first church in Silverton.

Then we got to the bottom of the street and looked back ..

We came out next to the old Goal and it's now a museum .. oh we had to have a poke around in there. Old museums are often very fascinating to me and this one didn't disappoint us.

That's some sort of mining thingy out the front there. Inside it was cool and there were a lot of rooms full of history ..

This was the only room that was as it originally was .. that ball and chain looked serious.

There were a few courtyards that I imagine were exercise yards .. I don't know if the porcelain was always there though.

There were all kinds of interesting things tucked in corners too, I found this in one, I'm not sure exactly what it was but it seems to be something that would be worn in a mine.

Looks drastic to me, and speaking of drastic, I found the hairdressers ..

No kidding you use that on your hair .. it was for straightening Afro's originally, then it started to get used to curl hair as well ... it plugs in .. that just scared me!!

A list of the first fleet, Terry's family name is on there but we found out that it wasn't one of his relatives, his were on the second fleet. There's all sorts of interesting things listed on there.

There were a lot of the original buildings still being used here too ..

And others that haven't been used for a long time ... had to bring the bikes along for a photo shoot now.

And to pay me back for taking a pic of him taking a pic, Terry tried to catch me out.

We went into the little shop we'd parked in front of too, it sells the most amazing glass things, everything from earrings to large platters. Terry bought a napkin holder, I wasn't sure that it would make it home but the man wrapped it well and it is now safe on Terry's desk holding letters.

Then we went back to the cottage .. I have a video that I made up of the whole trip, it's a bit long but it shows a bit of the ride back from Silverton so I won't elaborate.

This is a pretty novice attempt at a video but I learnt heaps making it (it's why I took so long to post up about this trip) so I apologise again for the faults but hope you enjoy it anyway :)

And that was our trip to Broken Hill, it was fun and relaxing. We didn't get to see everything I'd planned for us to see but that's OK, now we have an excuse to go back. Which we will do sometime.

When I looked at the bikes the day after we got home they were covered in bugs, they both needed a good wash, and while I was washing I found that I'd lost a bolt in the new light bar. I had to replace that and while I was at it I replaced some bolts holding on my highway bar that I'd been meaning to replace for ages, they were rusting. The only thing left to do now is to polish up the chrome and get a proper replacement mirror for Terry's bike. It will come ... but before that I think that this weekend might just have perfect weather for riding :D

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Getting a bit of history.

The third and last day dawned bright and sunshiny .. yay!! To top it all off, my arm was almost normal again .. t'was like magic. So we headed towards the main street to take the car back .. and got lost .. I mean there's only one main street right .. eventually we found the place and took the car back. Then we grabbed some yummy pancakes for breakfast. Then wandered around the streets looking at some of the old buildings. We found that there are a lot of historical buildings in Broken Hill and the nice thing is that most of them are restored, looked after and used.

A lot of them are old pubs, there used to be something silly like 30 pubs in the main street (or so I've heard) a lot of them are still there but they are now used for a different purpose.

Some are still pubs though.

I love art deco anything really .. and this just caught my eye.

Then there were the just awesome buildings .. they really took their time to put in those special little touches back then .. even in a mining town in the middle of the desert.

Court was on that day so I really couldn't get a photo of the court house, there were a few people milling around who I didn't think would like it if I was pointing a camera at them .. but it was an amazing building as court houses often are.

We'd noticed a sign the day before about a show that we decided was just too good to miss, so we headed towards the civic centre. On the way I was chuffed to notice that I wasn't the only person who had trouble parking a bike in nose to curb angle parking spots ..

And the show at the civic centre?

A vintage bike show!! All of the bikes here were from Broken Hill except only about 4 or 5.

I found a lot of bikes that took my fancy.

As I often see Tiger pics from a Troubadour blogger this one had to have a pic taken. There were a lot of Triumphs.

As well as other classics.

British bikes do attract me, and with a sidecar ... wow

Terry got talking with one of the organisers .. so I dumped the camera bag with him and took more pics ...

Cruiser Love ..

What about the scooters I hear you scream .. they were there.

And of course I did like looking at the slightly newer Honda's ..

Army bikes..

It was bike heaven.

But my favourite was ..

It's a Honda 125 racing something or another .. right I read the sign and photographed it so I'd remember but the photo didn't work and I don't remember all the details. All I remember is that I loved it and wanted to take it home with me.

So with a healed arm and a heart full of bikes ... the need to ride came on strong. We rushed home and got the bikes out of the shed .. but that's a story for another day .. I'll tell you all about our ride and where we ended up in the next post :)