Roy rang Friday morning to tell me there would be a bike run on Saturday. A charity fundraiser called 2 Wheels to Wagin. Leaving from Perth.
Leaving Pete’s Harley Services at 11am sharp. First stop for lunch will be the Ship and Dock Inn, Then the Dwellingup Hotel, Next will be the Ye Olde Quindanning Inne, Last roll of the dice will be at the Highbury Tavern before finishing at the The Wagin Woolorama Showgrounds.
Roy said we would leave his place around 11, and ride out to join his mates, and the ride, at Quindanning.
This morning I rose early, started the laundry, had a quick whip round the house, phoned Dad for a chat, gave the Silver Lady a quick polish, hung out the washing. I packed a few bottles of ice water and a can of Coke Zero in an eski which I strapped to the bike. I then rode down to the servo to fill the tank, and headed to Roy’s place, arriving bang on eleven.
Greg, a friend of Roy’s I had not met before was there. We sat and talked for a while. Roy had just received a phone call from the others who said they were at Dwellingup. Greg rode off on his beautiful blue softtail to refuel and Roy pulled his Harley out of the garage. He then commenced to repair it. The bolt holding the oil tank had vibrated out. We got a new one in and tightened it. Then he adjusted the chain tension.
“You know you are going into my blog again Roy” I said
“Repairing instead of riding”
Greg returned and we rode to collect his son who would be riding pillion with him. Roy told me his nickname was “Thrush”.
“You know why?”
“Because he is an irritating c*nt”
Our first stop was Williams, where we had a soft drink and a sausage. Roy received another phone call. The others were on their way.
“Yeah. ” I heard Roy say. “I am with a couple of guys you haven’t met, and Alan. Yep. the mad c*nt with the chickens. Yep.”
This led to Roy telling the others the story of the Erics, and other tales of the Windy Harbour ride. It was after that they started calling me “Chickin”. I guess I am OK with that. It beats “Thrush”.
We rode on to Quindanning, arriving to find about a hundred bikes already parked outside, and more arriving every minute. In the end I guess there were at least three hundred; mostly Harleys but with a good leavening of other marques. Ducati, Kawasaki, Triumph, MotoGuzzi, BMW, and several other V-Stars. The biggest gathering of bikes I had ever been with, and I suddenly realised I had not packed a camera. People chatted and drank. I nursed a lemon lime and bitters until it was time to move on. The throbbing crackling sound of hundreds of exhausts filled the air. Everyone seemed to be of the opinion that loud pipes save lives. I am of the opinion that loud jackets do too. My fluorescent green hi viz armoured jacket is certainly loud amongst all the black.
A lot of bikers look like members of ZZ Top. I am not sure I want to be quite that individual.
Soon we were back on the road to Williams from whence we had just come.
It is a nice road between Quindanning and Williams. Pleasant curves, good seal. It is interesting to ride in such a large group. This was the biggest bunch I have ridden with, and I am not entirely sure I like it. It is well enough with everyone riding properly spaced and at a sensible speed, but quite disturbing when faster riders come bearing down and overtake at breakneck speeds. The noise was deafening. I found myself following a couple on a Fat Boy. The girl pillion was bare armed although her companion was properly jacketed. I wondered why a man would let his lady take such a risk, not only of sunburn, but of severe lacerations should anything untoward happen. I wondered if I was the only one carrying a first aid kit as well as tools.
At Williams bikes filled the service station yard as scores of riders refueled. Seeing others taking pictures with their phones reminded me my phone had that capability. I took a few shots too. After a short break and stretch of the legs, it was on to Highbury for yet another Pub stop, though I just sat on my bike and chatted with a few people. Then to Wagin. That is where the fun was going to be tonight. But for us from Katanning, this was to be a day trip only. No partying through the night and sleeping in swags this time. As the others settled in to do some serious drinking, we rode on, stopping one last time at the Woodanilling Tavern for a beer (or LL&B in my case) before riding the last leg on the backroads between Woody and home. It was dark by now, and Greg found he had no low beam. He could not just ride on with his high beam, so we regrouped, me taking the lead, Greg following with just parking lights on, and Roy as rearguard. No Skippies, no police, no problems. We all made it home safely.