Monday, July 27, 2020

The End is here

It's been some time since I've updated the blog and the world is a very different place than it was just 4 months ago since my last post and pre Covid drama. A lot can happen in 4 months so I thought I'd give a update. This also happens to coincide with being my 400th post in 9 years.

Just after my last ride in March (which you can see here) we went into some pretty heavy lock down restrictions due to the virus. The only people allowed out were essential workers and those that can't work from home or if you needed to go to the supermarket for essential supplies. 

Working from home does have some advantages

I'm pretty lucky with my job in that regard these days as most of my work is behind the keyboard since I gave up being on the tools and went into building automation some 12 years ago.


I don't need to be in the office to do my work as it can be done anywhere really but I still had to attend 1 day per  fortnight. The sleep in's and not having to commute were a blessing in disguise. 

Heading into work on those days and jumping on the M4 motorway was like out of one of those zombie apocalypse movies where the freeways are empty. It took 15 minutes door to door, where I'd normally spend 30 minutes commuting.

I did have to travel into the city at the start of May in the middle of the lockdown and to say the place was a ghost town would be a understatement. I took a quick short walk down in the Rocks after I finished just to see what I could see.

Looking down towards Circular Quay

Looking North towards the Bridge

Normally on a saturday these streets above have a market setup selling food and clothes with hundreds of people walking about. Eerily quiet today, it's so strange to see our biggest city like this.

International Passenger Terminal

Opera House empty of tourists

It wasn't all beer and skittles staying at home wait, yes it was all beer and skittles and chips and biscuits and crackers and whiskey and wine and cheese ah well you get the picture. So the lockdown wasn't real good for me being cooped up like that, I tend to get bored easily which leeds apparently to eating and drink to excess which gave me a sucker punch to the waistline. Damn.

Just when I was thinking that 2020 couldn't get much worse, in may news from home that mum was not well. As soon as lock down restrictions lifted I was there that night for the weekend before returning to Sydney. She wasn't well. You've probably read my brothers blog about this so I'm not going to say more about it here. Less than two weeks later she passed away. I was lucky to make it there in time before she left us. Thanks Dave, I would have missed seeing her if it wasn't for your call.

So this year has been quite shit, and I've pretty much lost motivation to do anything of late. I haven't been much interested in riding the bike or been interested in photography, I've stopped drinking large amounts of alcohol but still have no motivation to do anything.

That's not to say I haven't been out for a ride. In mid June I got out for a short ride with Geoff and Stu just around some local Sydney roads to Picton one saturday arvo which was good.

Bikes at Picton

Then we got a ride in with the normal crew to Rylstone in central NSW for an overnight trip at the end of July. It was great to catch up with everyone again and to actually get out and about. I think I needed this for a bit of a sanity check.

Breakfast @ Grey Gums Cafe

The old R1 was a bit hard to ride in the twistys with the carby problem at the moment. I have some Carby manifolds on order and it will be in for a carby clean shortly.

You're probably wondering why I'm riding the old R1 and not the new one. Well that's a good question.

You see in January this year I finally decided that this was the end of the road for my 5 year plan. It would be 5 years old in June and it currently has 38000 km's on it. It's gonna be hard to sell it with this many k's on it let alone putting more than 40k on it.

So I spent more than a day on cleaning and polishing the bike from head to toe, and then a few more hours here and there keeping it gleaming. I must admit it never looked better except the day I bought it. Yep it was up for sale. There was no way I was going to ride it out into the countryside and spend another day cleaning it so it sat home in the garage.

End of the 5 year plan

Finally about 2 weeks ago I sold it to a young guy who probably won't be hurting after every days ride. Yep it was a sad day for me personally to see the bike go but it is necessary to move on and choose something a bit more comfortable. I'm not getting any younger and Jules was right, as you get older your needs change. I was 42 when I first got it, now over 47 it's no longer bearable on multi day trips.

Some great memories riding this bike.

So where to from here? 

To be honest I have no idea what to choose next. I have only had a brief look before I lost some interest. You see every bike I've owned has been a sportsbike or dirt bike, so I am currently in uncharted waters. No longer even considering a sportsbike but either something like a naked or sports touring, can't be too heavy (GS1200 I'm looking at you). This is where I need a few suggestions from you guys and girls. What do think would make a comfortable touring/sports touring bike? Throw em at me.