So this Easter weekend, having postponed a bigger adventure trip overseas until I can save a bit more cash, I decided to make the best of things down home and venture out on a few local mini-adventures on the bike. On a whim, I got up on an overcast Easter morning and headed off down the coast towards the beautiful Otway Forest…
Trouble is, being spontaneous can have its downsides. First up, I didn’t check the weather forecast – which under normal circumstances isn’t so bad, but on this particular day I was barely an hour into the trip when exceptionally gusty winds and hailstones forced me to stop by the side of the road. Sitting in the saddle with no shelter, while the elements gave me a solid drenching, I looked to the heavens cursing my lack of foresight.
As the rain eased, I started off once more but it was turning into the mini-adventure from hell when, rounding a hairpin bend dead slow, unable to see properly through my visor for the rain, I felt the back wheel slip and yup…down I went. It wasn’t a big off but already deflated by the weather, I struggled to get the bike upright, skidding and sliding in some surface mud that seemed to have appeared from nowhere underneath my wheels.
Back on the road, I battled the elements for another couple of hours, following the windy coast road through bend after bend, until – joy of joys – I saw a coffee place at the side of the road and parked up for a vat of hot java and a cake. Warmed and with renewed gusto for my journey, I jumped on the bike, pressed the starter button and – nothing. Really, nothing. Oh shit. Bugger. They say things come in threes – this was the third thing.
But as always on the road, someone appeared out of nowhere to save the day. A guy on a gleaming Ducati spotted my problem (or more accurately, heard me swearing at the bike!) and came over to assist. I’ve no idea what the problem was – I was too sodden with rain to care at that point – but he got me going again and in a flourish of shiny red metal was gone!
Hours later, after a day battling the elements on two wheels, I arrived back home just as the sun started to shine brilliantly over the bay. Of course. Rain-saturated, muddy and over it, I settled on my sofa with a large glass of wine. An episode of Long Way Round (the one with all the mud and shit in Mongolia) was enough to get my day back in perspective. You win some, you lose some, eh?!