Suzuki DR350, Brisbane, Australia

A Slippery Ride Home

| Australia Australia to Africa

Cooking in my motorcycle gear, sitting outside a petrol station, a sense of dread set in. I couldn’t help, but think that they have had an accident in my aunties car! Being a hot tomato coloured hatchback, how could anyone not see it and drive into it? Sweat dripping down my back, I remove my gloves, helmet, and jacket. Pulling out my mobile phone I dialled Daniele number. Getting his voice mailbox twice, I look down only to discover oil pooling under the engine. As fast as that oil was pooling, the dread grew from my belly.

Looking up I spot the car and they pull in beside me. Leaning through the window, I had to ask… ‘What happened?’
‘Well, Oscar stopped the car to pick up a dead parrot off the motorway and then he buried it on the side of the road. But not before asking me if I wanted to bury the damn thing in my garden!’
‘Do you guys realise, I was standing here worried that you had an accident? I need to get gas and my has a pretty bad oil leak.’
Oscar, parks the car and watches me fill my bike up. Darting off to the adjoining motorcycle shop, Daniele goes on the hunt for heavy-duty inner tubes. Daniele returns and Oscar disappears into a second hand shop. Daniele and I soon find ourselves plonking our bottoms into a matching pair of stained and washed out flowery chairs. Watching Oscar dismantle his newly acquired computer desk and cramming it into the wee hatchback.

‘No more birds!’ I yelled, riding off just before them. The closer I got to Brisbane the stranger the bikes response became. First, it started with an odd floating motion, as if the wheel wasn’t round. Construction workers left their grinding marks on the asphalt, which caused my rear wheel slid side to side following the grated lines with exaggeration. A red light loomed on the horizon, forcing me to using engine breaking from a long way off. Rolled up to the lights I hung off the bike to be able to put my foot down.

Daniele and Oscar pull over on the side of the road, which incidentally coincided with another motorbike shop. I follow suit. Dismounting from my bike, I grumpily mumble ’look guys, if you want to have a look, can you please make it quick. I really need to get this bike home as it’s becoming really dangerous to ride.’
‘That’s why we pulled you over. We could see your rear wheel become incredibly shinny, and we thought we had better tell you.’
With oil painting the gloomy garage even darker, the dread gave way to relief. Even with the issues, I had discovered on the way home, I was happy to finally have the motorcycle I am going to take with me.