As a motorcycle rider I am sure you are familiar with “Golden Days”.
These are the days when for some inexplicable reason, and often totally out of the blue, everything in The Universe conspires to create that perfect riding experience. This experience is different for all riders, as we all love motorcycles for different reasons, but if you ride long enough, you will eventually get your own Golden Day.
I am obviously twice blessed because last weekend I got two in a row, but that is only fair, because I ride a lot, a real lot, so the law of averages holds that I should get more Golden Days than riders who only ride on the weekend.
Many of the elements that went in to my Golden Days are universal; A well loved motorcycle that I have owned and ridden for many years, one that I have covered over 80,000 kms on and formed a solid bond with. I would love to be able to say that Aries was also at the absolute peak of mechanical and physical form, but that would be patently wrong. At this moment in time Aries is running on pretty well knackered tyres, new ones on order, is absolutely filthy, because I never get an opportunity to wash it, and could probably do with some new front wheel bearings. But none of that stops us from having fun in the sun; The weather is of course another huge factor in a Golden Day, and early Autumn in the NSW Southern Highlands is possibly my favourite time of year for riding. Days are predominantly bright and sunny, temperatures are warm but not too hot, and wind is generally light and breezy, exactly what I had for the weekend; Traffic is always a big factor whenever you ride, not only the quantity, but the quality of the other traffic. My Golden Days involved light traffic, but I am very pleased to report that the other drivers out there on the road were doing what they should have been doing, driving their vehicles, and doing an excellent job of it for the most part. There was the occasional corner cutter, but you need to plan for them and buffer accordingly, but otherwise I was quite happy to be sharing the road with my fellow motorists; The route is an all important element in the Golden Day, and mine was an absolute cracker. From Robertson where I live, to Bomaderry where I was working is 54 kms of the best riding that you will ever find, provided of course you like windy, mountainous, traffic-light free country roads, which I certainly do.
Now hang on just a minute, if this wonderful riding road is traffic-light free, what is the story behind the picture at the top? Roadworks! Surely roadworks can’t be part of a Golden Day, or can they? There are times when roadworks will do nothing but tarnish an otherwise Golden Day, but there are also times when roadworks, in the right spot, will make a Golden Day shine even brighter.
The roadworks I encountered on the Saturday were on the Southern side of Kangaroo Valley town, so I had ridden down into the valley from Robertson and each car that I encountered was reached just as a safe overtaking opportunity presented itself, oh Golden Day. When I first saw the roadworks sign I must admit to a moment of disappointment, but it didn’t last long. When I came over the crest and saw the traffic stopped at the lights, I also saw a lovely opportunity. Rather than being at the back of a line of cars waiting at roadworks, I was now at the front of a line of traffic. How did this happen? Well, lets just say it is part of the magic of a Golden Day, and wink at each other knowingly! My position, and the location of the roadworks also meant that the road ahead, up and over Cambewarra Mountain would be traffic free going in my direction. Oh Golden Day. It was one of those commutes that I didn’t want to end.
On the Sunday it was like a carbon copy, until I reached the roadworks. As I came over the crest this time I was met by the sight of a police car, tilt tray, and ambulance, and a slightly redesigned Triumph Speed Triple looking rather forlorn on the side of the road. Not a Golden Day for that rider, but it only appeared to be a fairly minor off, so I hope the rider was uninjured apart from pride.
Lined up at the roadworks this time were nine motorcycles, sports bikes, motards, cruisers and tourers, with me and Aries at the back of the group. Most were one-up, but a couple of the bikes also carried pillions. As the light went green there was a glorious cacophony of motorcycle engines as we headed for the mountain. Before the top of the mountain we were at the front of the pack, this had nothing to do with skill or ego, but everything to do with local knowledge. Knowing the road, where the overtaking opportunities are, and how long they are were all cards I had up my sleeve. Once there it was clear riding all the way to the training range.
So there you go, that’s how I spent my weekend. How was yours? What makes a Golden Day for you? Would love to hear from you, post a comment here, leave us a message on the OPM Facebook page, or send me an email with your riding story and I’ll share it with our other readers.
Ride safe, and bask in the glow of Golden Days.
Photo courtesy of http://www.southburnett.com.au
The Perpetual Motorcyclist
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