|HOG Magazine Autumn 2012 - #10|
Did you ever hear the yarn about a Texan who was bragging loudly in an outback Western Australian Pub?
‘My Ranch is so big, I can get on my horse at sunrise, ride all day, and still be on my own property when the Sun sets’, he says, to which the laconic Aussie Stockman perched at the Bar replies: ‘Yeah – I had a lazy horse like that once too.’
That’s what riding a motorcycle in the Golden West reminded me of: getting on a bike at dawn, riding all day, and still being a thousand kilometres from your destination at dusk.
This Big Ride was truly ‘big’, but what looked like a few hour jaunt on a map turned out to be well over 1500km in the saddle. Thankfully we had the capable new 2012 Heritage Softail Classic to do it on.
|Bill Davidson and BD|
The convoy mounted up outside the Burswood Hotel for the first leg of the journey and headed south.
We rode in tight formation while the TV crews did their work, filming Bill and the other celebs from the accompanying vehicles. Then, not far out of the City we deviated inland to Route 20, Armadale and the South Western Highway.
The weather was starting to cloud over slightly by the time we made our first coffee stop and re-group at Pinjarra: from here, a series of ‘ups’ rolled past us as we travelled on. These ‘ups’ were a collective of uniquely named Hamlets like Coolup, Wagerup, Cookernup, Wokalup and Burekup, punctuated now and again by towns called Harvey and Waterloo.
The roads were mostly straight-ahead, the countryside fertile and green as we made our way back towards the southwest coast and the Bussel Highway, where we began to run into more ‘ups’: Carbunup, Metricup, Cowaramup – and North Jindong.
By the time I stopped being mildly amused at the local nomenclature and enjoying the heritage on the rolling plains, the convoy had arrived at our destination at Margaret River.
We checked in at Darby Park Apartments, just off the main street in town, washed up and headed out to the Xanadu Winery Rally Site. After getting the low-down on the Rally facilities I headed back to town and settled in for the night, awaiting the co-pilot’s arrival from Sydney and pawing over the maps in preparation for part two of the Big Ride and the run towards Albany.
|The Softail on the Albany Foreshore|
|Albany Wind Farm|
|At the Winery near Margaret River|