There are times in life when we just need to tell ourselves ‘f$%k it, lets do it’. This story started 12 prior when I first rode my XSR700 out of the dealership.
I had developed an increasing interest in trading suburban rides for cruising the endless sights in the country with the just the essentials.
You know, hitting the open road with a swag strapped to the back of your bike and setting up camp wherever your motorcycle takes you.
The thing is, a full 365 days passed and I still hadn’t been on a single trip that I craved, desired and daydreamed about. I let insecurities get the better of me and made more excuses than you could think of each time an opportunity arose.
At first I ‘always’ needed a particular piece of gear before I could even think about a sleeping under the stars with my motorcycles by my side, but once I got over that aspect, all of the unknowns that come with experiencing such an experience crept into mind and ultimately made me continually put it off.
That changed one Wednesday afternoon. Sitting at my desk looking out at the clear skies between the ongoing winter rain fall we just endured, I told myself ‘stuff it, I’m doing this’, and spontaneously decided I’d be packing my bike for a weekend of solitude in Western Australia’s southwest region.
It was like a click of a button, and I instantly immersed myself in setting out a rough guide of what the weekend would offer. Nervousness turned to excitement in the following days, and the thought of ‘must-have’ gimmicks escaped me completely.
Saturday morning couldn’t come around quick enough, and before I knew it, I was clocking kilometres on the first leg of the journey, passing through historic towns while witnessing the lusciously green scenery that’s only on show at this time of year.
I’m somewhat tense for the first 150 kilometres, and perhaps a little uncomfortable, but in an unusual instant I find myself relaxed and in a state of flow. It’s reminiscent of that feeling you get as a racer when you’re in the ‘zone’ – when everything comes at you in slow motion and you’re at complete ease.
I take a turn off the highway and ride into the unknown. The only guidance I’m using is remembering the names of the roads of where I have to turn.
I’m taken for an incredible ride through the hills and valleys of Dardanup and Ferguson Valley, where the windy roads keep you on your toes as the views seemingly settle you.
Not knowing what was next added to the thrill of the journey, and as the hours ticked over, it was time to vacate the countryside playground.
I chose my little piece of real estate upon arriving at Stockton Lake - essentially my hotel room for the night. I roll my swag out and settle down for the evening. As the sun sets, the temperature dramatically drops.
It’s relatively silent, and the only company I have are my thoughts and myself. Battling through the chill, I awaken to a thick blanket of fog – so much so that I can’t event see the water that sits just metres beside me.
The journey back home is bound to be an interesting one, as the heavy fog stays put for the next hour or so. My chosen route turns from bitumen to gravel, which is a welcome surprise.
The next 40 kilometres is spent up on the peg, bringing me back to how I feel on my motocross bike and in complete control.
Lined with trees and winding across the same access road more times than I can remember, it turns back to bitumen before I’m greeted with more of the incredible scenery that I’ve become accustomed to in the past 24 hours.
As I wind up the short yet amazingly fulfilling journey, all I can thank is why didn’t I do this 12 months ago? Why have I made so many excuses to not go when there are so damn many more reasons to actually go?
I rode some of the most amazing roads, froze my ass off and had one hell of a time in the process. This trip has opened my eyes to a completely different facet of motorcycling, and it’s just the beginning. I’ve well and truly caught the motorcycle travel bug now.