“Where are we going?”
“I’m thinking Merriwa.”
“You allowed back there?”
“Sure. The unpleasantness happened a long time ago. I’m sure everyone involved is dead by now.”
“Yes, but I was only a peripheral participant.”
“We going on the BMW?”
“Good. I like the BMW.”
And so we went. It was a lovely, mild day. Clouds scudded across the sky, and their shadows wandered silently across the now-green hills off the New England Highway – which I couldn’t wait to get off, wretched pig of a road that it is.
My beloved wife discovered the M Carbon is quite a tall bike for pillions to access.
“It’s like getting on a giant horse,” she observed. “But it’s very comfortable. Does it not have panniers and a top-box?”
“You can get panniers for it, and I’m sure a top-box can be affixed to it, and then I can place my manhood inside it.”
We began the journey.
She hit me in the back of the head a few kilometres up the road.
“Stop pointing at the KFC signs, fool. As if that’s gonna happen for you.”
She hit me again as we came out of Muswellbrook.
“Yeah, like you need to stop at the cheese factory. Don’t even slow down. Ride on.”
We paused for coffee at Scone, and I asked her what she thought.
“The suspension is amazing. What a difference that makes to me. And don’t even ask about KFC again, OK? It’s not on the menu for you ever.”
I turned off and we made for Merriwa. I had not ridden this road. Or if I had, I had no memory of it. It’s pretty good. And shortly after the sensational rock walls just outside of Scone, I opened the taps a touch. Like, she had to know how this Beemer went in comparison to the V-Strom last week. It was a scientific thing.
The suspension was amazing. Usually, I can feel her tensing her thighs when the road gets rougher and I don’t back off. This time, she just sat there.
We were in Merriwa relatively soon.
“You hungry?” I asked.
“Why were you doing 200? Do you have any idea how terrifying that is?”
“I wasn’t doing 200 and yes, I do.”
We adjourned to the pub. They gave my wife a whole bottle of wine. It was a very small bottle and its contents fit entirely into her glass. Then we went and sat outside in the beer “garden” and admired the entirely non-garden-like ambience. I’m thinking the beery road-crew chugging schooners and flicking durries at each other was not helping.
“First the Murder Gully and now this. Strike Two. I’m not even counting the cheese factory.”
“I can fix this.”
“So fix it.”
“Can you do another 80 kays?”
“I can do another 800. And we should be wherever you’re taking me in ten minutes if you keep riding like an madman.”
It actually took a little longer to get to Willow Tree, but the road from Merriwa to there is amazing. There are a few roadworks, but it’s smoother and faster and incredibly scenic, and the M Carbon simply sang and danced and she didn’t hit me, not even once.
“Oh very good,” she said as I pulled to stop. “Graze is lovely.”
She was referring to the amazing steak restaurant attached to the Willow Tree Pub. And it is lovely.
“How fast were we going back there?”
“Before or after the cows?”
She gave me on of those looks wives give their husbands when they know they’re lying like cows in a paddock before the rain comes.
Her verdict on the M Carbon?
“It’s so quick. You only went slow at the cheese factory and when the cows came onto the road. I like BMWs. It makes me feel like a quality person, even when I’m with you and you’re being terrible. I actually like the colour. It doesn’t clash with anything. It’s pretty cool, you know. I give it seven out of 10.”
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