Day 5 – Homeward Bound, and the Luck of the Irish
My ancestry is fairly mongrellated – a Heinz 57 Variety of English, Scottish, Irish, French and German, but on the Phillip Island weekend I think I had the luck of the Irish. Or perhaps Irish luck.
Let me explain. It was Irish when my gear shifter fell off at Wangaratta. It was the luck of the Irish that it fell off as I was leaving the servo, not on the open road – and that Leon was behind me, instead of me being on my own.
When I got to the Phillip Island House, it was Irish to drop the bike in the driveway, but the luck of the Irish that I didn't snap too much off my clutch lever this time, and that I only bent the recalcitrant gear shifter, for a change, instead of breaking it. The bike was rideable.
So anyway – Monday dawned cloudy and a bit drizzly at the Island, and the lovely Smack got up early to get the bike out of the driveway for me, so as to avoid the possibility of more mishaps. Bless you Smack!
Getting off the Island at 7am was easy – hardly any traffic! I'd studied the map carefully and written directions for myself. All was well. Once I found my way to Healesville I would simply go the way I went a couple of weeks ago – too easy!
And then there was the Irish thing again. Or maybe it was the luck of the Irish...
Remember when the lovely people from Alexandra Motorcycles patched my bike a couple of weeks ago? Well, a few kms from Alexandra I thought it'd be nice to drop by and say hello as I passed through town.
About 500 metres from the shop – clunk – that bloody gear shifter fell off again as I changed down a gear. That it happened at all was Irish. That it happened where it did was the luck of the Irish.
And don't ask me how it happened – I think the lack of a gear shifter got me all confused and bamboozled by the time I nursed the bike the rest of the way to the shop, trying not to let it stall. As I pulled up out the front – Irish – the bike spat me off.
The luck of the Irish – the car behind me didn't run me over – and I didn't tear any ligaments as I leapt (not quite with the grace of a gazelle) off the falling bike, AND – Chris, the mechanic, was out the front. He dashed over and picked up my bike – (violin music please) – what a joyful reunion!
So I had an extended catch-up with my new friends in Alex (thanks heaps guys – love your fab custom work, Chris!) and left the shop sporting a new set of cats-eye blinkers and a reattached gear shifter. Time was getting away from me, and I only stopped for fuel. I really wanted to take the nice roads home, but by the time I reached the Tallangatta turn-off I realised it was going to have to be a Hume Highway ride... and it was such gorgeous riding weather, too. Boo hiss.
I pulled into my driveway at 6.13pm, stiff and sore and tired. Pilgrimage 09 is now officially done and dusted. Phew!