A not-so-normal Thursday ride

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(An allegedly true report from Sydney’s mid-week riders)

As a small boy, just after the really Big War, Serial No WWII, I lived a life of poverty in a small hessian lined box under a pear tree in Western Oxfordshire. A ferret lived next door, and I believe he was my uncle. He declared himself to be a socialist and taught me about Lenin, and leadership. I always wanted to be a leader. To have people follow, and to hang on to my every word. I always wanted to travel too, and had a fascination, from afar, with the village of Brewongle which I understood to be a perfect socialist society in the far-away Democratic Socialist Republic of Australia (DSRA), where naked ladies wandered around freely.

Today was an especially beautiful day. I got to exercise leadership, of a kind, and I flashed (as it were) through Brewongle, twice. Brewongle is a special village. As far as I can tell, it has no speed limit and I believe that may be to avoid distraction by naked ladies.

We, us Ulyssians, gathered, as we do, at McGrath’s Hill, in the DSRA. There is nothing peculiar about this, other than the complete absence of a hill. That notwithstanding, we each fought for the high ground on the political and social issues of the day. Paul Margerson won that, with his appointment to NASA as a consultant on climate change and its impact on Antarctica’s ice. We were also joined by some new fellows from Ulysses Hills branch; excellent chaps, all called Peter. Wayne Rees volunteered, silly fellow, to be Tail End Charlie and looked resplendent in his orange day-glo jacket. The jacket perfectly offset the purple and red veins in his nose.


We were on the road that goes from Bowenfels, past Lake Lyell, via Sodwalls; Sodwalls – such a great name – Sydney should be renamed “Sodwalls”, and the issues over real estate price affordability would be resolved in an instant. Who’d live in Sodwalls?

I received an SMS from Bill Van Ooi, apologising for his absence and advising the ride was a UCARF charity day and to collect money. I was able to extort $320 before we took off and it now sits in a brown paper bag. Having spent years in Asia, I know precisely how to deal with brown paper bags containing cash.

The ride began, heading off across the grass farms.  At the start, I noted I was last, a curse that has epitomised my leadership style since those poverty stricken days in Western Oxfordshire, when I lacked a suit and tie. A principle of leadership is the ability to assert oneself. This I did, and the 17 followers fell into line behind me, at least for a little while. We punted up the Bell’s Line of Road, noting the efforts of the provincial government of NSW in the DSRA to destroy any character the road may have. Cut out the bends, eliminate the risks, cut down those big fat trees whose names we do not know and hold up the traffic. We carefully observed the speed limit. What else can one do?

We arrived at Bowenfels for morning tea. I was 11th, at this point. Determined to be more assertive, and to demand respect as a leader, from Bowenfels, I led. I wouldn’t exactly say we were lost, but our direction was a little unclear.

We were on the road that goes from Bowenfels, past Lake Lyell, via Sodwalls; Sodwalls – such a great name – Sydney should be renamed “Sodwalls”, and the issues over real estate price affordability would be resolved in an instant. Who’d live in Sodwalls?

We boogied on through Tarana (pron: Tar – ann – aa), and to Brewongle. I love this road. It’s beautiful, laden with whoops and dips and broken down single lane bridges in the middle of tight corners garnished with sand traps. It’s narrow, and birds by the flock of excellent and varied colours swoop and cawk in front of you, nearly bringing you undone. It bumps and it bends and dear Auntie Daphne in her EH Holden station wagon presents an even greater risk than the ancient Albert Smithers in his old De Soto five tonner with eleven ton of sheep, as he occupies, at once because he is travelling slowly, an entire bridge, bend and escape route. Daphne and Albert are the only traffic. The scenery is lovely, old paddocks occupied by the solitary Angus bull. Green, undulating hills peppered with sheep, the wonderful smell of the eucalypts alongside the road. Cow herds, sheep herds and the herds of naked ladies at Brewongle.

And then, off course through Bathurst for the feature of the day: Ash’s Speedway Museum. Some people were still following me, which proved to be a significant mistake on their part. We made the wrong turning on Bradwardine Road, and my GPS, which has never liked me anyway, further misled me. The 14 of us milled on this expansive road. We circled in several different directions. TEC Wayne led for a while, but in completely the wrong direction. Residents came out and looked in horror, ordering their children indoors not because we seemed particularly fearsome, but because the milling was obviously not a good example and blood may soon be spilt. The local police of the DSRA sent up a helicopter, but it got into a spin whilst trying to determine which direction we were going and was soon lost.

The whole 21 of us made it to the museum, and Ash smiled as he contemplated the idiocy of the ride leader. This is a good museum. Rod May, who in his spare time works for the Russian security agency, the FSB, filmed the adventure on behalf of Donald Trump, who wants to join Ulysses soon because he’s getting sick of his current job. People don’t play fair. Donald will join Ulysses, as long as he can be President. Rod has told him of the forthcoming AGM, so expect a fun time with the tweets from the AGM this year and a more populist approach. Follow the link below to Rod’s YouTube to get a furtive gander at Ash’s museum, and admire the Hagen JAPS and all that, and the colours. Then go there and take a proper look:


Following the museum, we dashed up to Mount Panorama. I followed someone, and someone followed me and 18 made it as we milled about and eventually settled atop the great vista of the Western Slopes and Plains, under the purview of the DSRA Police. As usual, we talked politics and also discussed the sad scandal of the Financial Statements of Ulysses, as published in the latest Riding On. We ate delicate sandwiches prepared by our wives, who had heard that we citizens of the DSRA weren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables. On this basis, lunch was soon over, and small birds feasted upon a fine diet of disposed of healthy foods.

The DSRA Police watched carefully, as we felons swooped down Mt Panorama. There had to be a victim, so Dave (“OK, throw ME under the bus then”) was handed over as a sacrifice, given a beating and fined for riding down the hill slightly faster than required. Never, in the affairs of mankind, have there been so many Police about. Policing must be the main occupation of Bathurst, Lithgow and environs. Today, police were everywhere and I’m sure that any citizen of a country other than the DSRA would be convinced we are a police state.

The return journey was excellent, until the Windsor Road, along which every light was red and the traffic malign. Matters got even worse as we reached the Lane Cove Tunnel, which was locked down in a traffic jam for miles. This is no place for a motorcycle without its own air-conditioning. Where are the Police of the DSRA when you need them – we should have been given personal escorts in view of the money Dave (“OK, throw ME under the bus then”) had to hand over!

Stephen Davies #4771.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

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