In the beginning

In the beginning, I had a red motorcycle.  It was plastic, with a silver painted headlight and engine.  I can’t remember if it was leg or pedal-powered, but in my five year old mind it was the best, the genesis of my riding career.  From the verandahs of the family home to the touring roads of the future, motorcycles have been in my blood.

There is something empowering about motorcycles.  It’s not so much the sound of the engine, or the appearance, but more the way your arms stretch out and your legs sit just so.  The lack of metal enclosures and the wide open spaces engender not only empowerment, but freedom and escape.

The graduation to larger bikes came swiftly, and for me there were no lessons or L plates or watchful instructors.  My brother told me that there’s the brake and throttle and there’s the clutch and those down there are the gears, and you just let the clutch out slowly and pull the throttle towards you.  Soon got the hang of it, but I had no idea how to turn the confounded thing off at the end of a ride.  Stalling it worked, until I learned about “neutral” and “switching it off”.  In western Queensland, we honed our motorcycling skills chasing sheep through thick scrub and roadless paddocks.  It was an idyllic childhood, but that’s another story.

It was in adulthood, and two bikes later, that the touring began.  There’s a fading picture of my first long road trip – Sydney to Roma, Queensland, which I will attempt to upload despite miniscule technological know-how.

It worked.

I suppose the seeds of this trip were sown years ago and in another lifetime, when I flew over the Canadian Rockies.  They seemed to go on forever, and I remember thinking how cool it would be to ride a motorcycle through there some day.  Then, more recently, I read this forum and became increasingly inspired by stories of people who rode from the US to Canada and Alaska.  It just so happened I was due for mega holidays, so got a second job and over the following two years researched, worked two jobs and, for once, saved some money.

The bike of choice is one popularly ridden by people doing these kinds of trips, which I purchased in August 2009.  Here it is:

We’re not getting to my 3 Oceans Tour any faster, but I needed to set the scene.  I have a problem with blogs, because you don’t get a beginning, middle and an end in one go, like normal stories.  Also, they’re in reverse chronological order, which kind of twists the hemispheres of my brain around.  So, whilst this is not a genre with which I’m familiar, so many people have nagged about doing a blog that I finally folded under the pressure.  It might not be perfect, and alas the words are not flowing like they usually seem to, but here it is, if you’re interested.

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14 Responses to In the beginning

  1. Denise M says:

    Way to go girl. This is my first time reading a “blog”, so in the world of inexperience blogging, I figure are already at an expert level compared to me. We’ll be waiting for you here in Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA. Keep ‘er ‘tween the ditches girl and pack some spare wadding for your soon to arrive saddle sores. See you in a few months!
    TTFN.

    • Janette says:

      G’day Denise! Good to hear from you. I will try very hard to keep it between the ditches AND away from the deer/bears/moose/other traffic. See you in Freddie eh?

  2. Margaret Johns says:

    Good to see you got there ok and that you have not lost your sense of humour. Have you started your trip and where have you been. It was great to see you and your family, I did catch the train home and I was bursting at the stems to go to the toilet. Not much has happened at work, just the same old same old. I will speak to you to soon.

    • Janette says:

      Thanks for your comments Marg. It was great to catch up with you in Brissie and have a couple of drinks and a natter. Now get back to work.

  3. Sally Grant says:

    Proud of you Scotty – you’re doing it!! Travel safe and keep the blogs happening.
    PS have you got that identifying Tattoo yet??

  4. Paula Giles says:

    Sitting here at Germside thinking I should cancel your leave – you seem to be having to much fun. Great to hear from you, keep in touch and ride safe
    Paula

  5. Robynne Hall says:

    So nice to hear that you have finally started your “adventure”. It seemed a long time coming!!
    how sad that you are missing out on the politics here, my dear. You and I would be having some lovley chats.
    Make sure that you do not get sick of sending us updates.
    ANOTHER female, Jessica Watson, has nearly finished HER journey and should be back on Australian shores this week end.
    This will be a “chance of a life time for you and I’m sure that Ewan and Charlie would be envious!!!!
    Keep in touch. MISS HALL

  6. Lucy says:

    Hey!! Hope you’re having fun (anything would be more fun that being here slaving away for the common good of the people of Queensland! Pfft!)

    Stay safe and don’t take any wooden pennies from those Canucks!! (They’re a weird mob ey?)

    Love

    Lucy

  7. Mary Brough says:

    Wow – way to go girl – you’re doing your dream. Of course, I’m well behind with the news and just happened to mention to Paula, who was whinging abt a ministerial, why weren’t you responding to the corro and found out you’re on your bike having the best time, albeit a few scary bits.
    I expect to hear all when you return. Take care Mary

  8. Pingback: To Ride the World « Blog Archive « Photography Asunder

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