It sounded like a good idea at the time, to be part of a group of women who wanted to smash a world record!
In fact it was the world record for the most women motor cycle riders meeting at a female bike event.
I hadn’t ridden a motorbike for about 20 years and Macleay Island Real Estate agent and friend, Terri Barclay, had a spare one, a Yamaha 650 V-star, after upgrading to a Triumph 875 Speedmaster.
It was the weekend of my birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it.
The goal for the first day was to get to Narrabri, 620km away. By 10am we had only gone 120km. We had to get our act together. My hands were cramping, my butt hurt and I was loving every minute of it.
The sun was very low in the sky about an hour from Narrabri. Terri slowed right down because of the increasing wild life activity and just as well. She suddenly braked just missing a rock wallaby and a small pig!
I swerved to miss colliding with her and discovered a herd of sheep had decided the road was a good place to stand around and bleat.
We arrived in Narrabri after dark and stayed at a very friendly hotel with rather dubious accommodation. I had learnt a lot that day.
Firstly, to respect my ‘princess bottom’ and treat it well. Secondly, to allow a greater distance between me and Terri when riding on the country roads and; thirdly, my brakes work exceptionally well (not to mention my accelerator).
We finished our day at the bar with a couple of bar tenders and some old guy singing me Happy Birthday. I think Terri’s loud outbursts of “Happy Birthday” whenever she bought me a beer had something to do with it.
The 9th of April meant being in Dubbo before 1pm to register at the Showgrounds. We arrived by midday and there were bikes and women everywhere. Many had decorated their helmets and/or bikes and the atmosphere was electric.
We received applause and cheers from the Dubbo locals as we rode the 30km route. We were numbers 952 and 953 out of 1002 women. There were thunderous cheers that day when we broke two world records!
That night Terri danced and partied, whilst I went to bed to rest my aching butt and soothe the exhaust pipe burn I had scored that day.
The 10th of April was all about getting to Tenterfield, 640km away. We had discovered that my butt only had an 80km limit and then it absolutely had to be off the motorbike.
At Armidale we filled up with fuel and got out some warmer clothing. A friendly police officer informed us it was raining further north; we thanked him profusely and dressed accordingly. I’m very glad I already have a husband because I definitely wouldn’t have got one dressed like that. However, I was warm and dry.
We hit the rain along with the thunder and the lightning 20 minutes after we left Armidale. When we were quite numb, we pulled into the Red Lion Tavern. They had no rooms available but they did have a hot cup of tea, I was happy.
The 10 minute ride to Glen Innes from the Tavern was a challenge. Terri’s goggles kept fogging up, my visa was fogged up and there were no street lights until we entered the township. It was slow and freezing but we made it.
The next day meant a fun ride home through National Parks and windy roads. Terri told me to go ahead so I could ride at my own speed and enjoy the corners; but after 20 years of not riding my confidence was not what it used to be and I pulled over after a short while, shaken and eager to follow Terri’s lead.
We went down Lions Road, Cougal, through Border Range National Park. It was beautiful. We stopped to rest my butt at Rathdowny Pub and then headed home.
It was nice to get away for a weekend but is it wonderful to come home to our beautiful Bay Islands and our families.
• A warming drink on their bike trek!