I have refused to comment on the current hysteria and will continue to do so. Having said that, we, as a family, are doing our best to ameliorate the effects as much as we can and are pretty much taking on board the advice that the authorities are giving.
However, yesterday was the scheduled Dam Ride by my local classic bike club and, social distancing or not, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of giving Goldie a good run, the first long run since the carbies were done up, etc.
Meeting place was the Albion Park Hotel carpark, just down the road from me and the destination was the Seven Mile Beach picnic grounds. Now, like me, I am sure that you are wondering where the dam is that is near, or at, Seven Mile beach. Plainly there isn’t one. My enquiry concerning this matter met with the following explanation, “Since we have now visited all dams in the vicinity several times over the years, we have now widened the meaning of the word “dam” to include any large body of water.” I guess the Pacific Ocean probably meets that criterion.
Anyway, it became clear that many of my riding friends had also slightly widened the meaning of the term, “social distancing” since over 30 bikes turned up for the ride and, apart from the lack of hand-shaking, we treated the day pretty much as we would. Given that they were mostly people in the “at risk” category, like me, it was clear that they were observing the “be aware but not alarmed” mantra.
Our route took us out through Jamberoo, as expected, but, instead of turning right at Fountaindale Road and heading up Saddlebcak Mountain, we continued on to the turnoff to Jerrara Dam and turned off there. I guessed that this was going to be a mental nod to the ride title, anyway. Now, having worked on Kiama Council for over a year when I was a young man, I pride myself on being pretty familiar with all of its back roads. Boy, was I wrong. The switchback of tiny country lanes that we followed was all new to me and completely mystifying. I’d have been totally lost but for the club’s use of corner markers on group rides. Eventually we turned out onto Saddleback Mountain road, headed west, then left onto the road that I know takes us down past Kiama High School and back onto the highway.
While I am actively searching for a period-correct brake master cylinder for Goldie, it was nice that the modern one that Greg fitted in the mean time certainly does the job well. Knowing that your brakes are going to work WHEN you want them to work inspires confidence, especially when one is still familiarising oneself with all of the other nuances of riding an old, big bike.
From Kiama we headed through the famous Kiama Bends (I am becoming more amazed each time I ride her just how well Goldie handles, even though she is only fitted with cheap tyres.) We took the detour off the highway to explore the old highway road past Foxground and rejoined the highway before leaving it again at the Berry turnoff. From there it was left past the hospital, right onto the flat farming land dotted with hundreds of very well-fed dairy cows and again threading our way through little country lanes, we emerged on Bolong Road just north of Shoalhaven Heads and took the short squirt north to Seven Mile Beach. Sounds a lot but it was only about 65 kms.
Lunch was provided as usual (gold coin donation) and we settled down in the shade and talked bikes, as you do. Usually riders then make their own arrangements going home so I headed straight up the highway, cut left into Kiama so I could get a few shots of Goldie with the ocean in the background..
From there it was home via Jamberoo, as always and another excellent CEMCC ride completed.
On another subject, though related, we are experiencing another “knock-on” effect of the virus scare with most of our nursing home concerts being cancelled/postponed until further notice. Of course, this has to be done to protect the most vulnerable; this is an aspect of social distancing that I am happy to observe.
Racing is at a standstill, of course, but, compared to the overall impact upon many people, this is a minor inconvenience, really. Of course, as motorcyclists, we practice social distancing better than mots every time we ride. We put a helmet on, wear gloves, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others and some of us even wear a balaclava or a mask.
I hope that you’re surviving the drama OK where you are; cheer up, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Oh, and before I go, here’s a joke my son wrote yesterday, hope you like it.
Me: So apparently we’ve got to figure out how far apart Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Diego are.
Dad: What? Why?
Me: Didn’t you read the news? We’re supposed to be practicing Socal Distancing.
Dad: I’m on the virus’ side now.