The stint from Scarborough to Margaret River was the shortest day of the Around Australia Ride at 290kms. But despite leaving Scarborough at 9:00am I didn’t pull into Margaret River until 5:30pm that night. So what did I get up to on this shortest of days?
Well getting out of Perth certainly took a while. Not because I got lost, but because I just went exploring. I had the voice in my head (GPS) telling me where I needed to go but I wanted to stay off the freeway and explore some of the coastal suburbs. Every once in a while I had to yank the cord on the GPS as it tried to get me back on course when I wasn’t done exploring. I loved seeing the different buildings and architecture as I rode through the streets. I stumbled across Fremantle Gaol at one point but didn’t stop for a tour as I felt I didn’t have the time.
My Road Star turns 100,000kms old
It was while I moving to the south of Perth that the mighty Yamaha Road Star, that I bought new in 1999, turned 100,000kms. 100k, it’s a bit of an achievement a lot of riders don’t see on a single bike. And for me what better way to celebrate it during this, my 20th year of motorcycling and while riding around Australia. Over the last two decades, and by the end of this trip, my Road Star and I will have seen every Australian state and with the exception of Darwin have been to every capital city. It’s been a long road for us together and with a bit of luck there will be a goodly amount of kilometres to go.
Cape Bouvard Winery
Later, near Lake Clifton, I discovered the Cape Bouvard winery where I made the first of what would be numerous purchases of red before the next couple of days were over. I also ran into Wes, Buttsy, Fridge and, uhh, Michael and we visited some Thrombolites. Thrombolites are “living rocks” that have been built by micro-organisms. Unfortunately the wind on the lake meant I couldn’t take a clear photo but think of super large toadstools, that you could sit on, growing under the water and you might get the picture.
Male Bag Riders
After the Thrombolites we went in search of lunch and on the way passed some Male Bag Riders. You read that correctly, a bunch of guys riding postie bikes along the highway. The Male Bag Ride started today on the 23rd and they are going from Perth to Adelaide raising money for prostate cancer research. You can read more about them at the Male Bag Ride website. Oh and if the three riders I took the photo of could forgive me for almost killing us all as the postie bikes could only do 80kmh and next thing I knew there was a huge truck in my mirrors. Sorry about that, fellas.
So what next? After lunch we went off in search of the Busselton Jetty which is the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. Reaching around 1.8km out to the ocean we were disappointed to find the jetty closed to pedestrian access for some pretty extensive repair and upgrade works. While we were there we also saw some photos being taken of a newly married couple on the beach – such a lovely setting it was too.
The day was getting a bit long in the tooth, but Wes and the boys were quite keen to get to Cape Naturaliste that was not too much further up the road. After much consulting of maps and tapping at GPS screens we finally got underway and then technology promptly told Wes to turn in the wrong direction (yeah, technology’s fault…). 10kms down the road he realised the error of his (technology’s”) ways and started to turn around. For me the sun was getting lower on the horizon and I was very much wanting to get on the Caves Road to Margaret River which is purported to be quite a decent bit of tarmac, so I waved the lads goodbye and went on my own way to Yalingup.
Come hither, yon twisted road,
for I would take measure of thee.
A new kind of scenery
Finally, after some 10,000kms I get some decent twisties! Such a fantastic way to end the day wth 50kms of twisty, winding roads. The surface was in good condition and the wineries to the left and right were mere flashes in my vision as I sped by. With a sense of joy I let the Roadie have its head. I had to be wary though, being wine country I had more then a couple of oncoming cars – no doubt at the end of their own winery tours – drift into my lane as I barrelled along. A flash of my lights, a toot of my horn and an uprising of my finger is what they got in reciprocation. But it didn’t phase me and I thrust and parried against my new find, taking the road head on. I dipped the Road Star into each curving bend, powering out of each apex, only letting off the throttle when a crest approached before opening it up again over the other side. The Roadie was in full voice on this stretch of road and took no quarter. When I pulled into the motel at Margaret River the adrenalin was pumping for quite a while later. What a great day.