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Old 18-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #1
Still young and stupid
stewy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Rowville, VIC
Posts: 578
Default Dargo Ride report

Well I thought it was about time we put our new (secondhand) ktm 690 smr through it's paces on the weekend. So Sunday we loaded up the bikes on the trailer and drove out to Briagolong where we unloaded and gear up ready for the ride to Dargo.

Both bikes packed and loaded and fueled we roll out about 2. Great few hours blasting through the rolling twisting road into Dargo. Reach the pub and a well desevred beer is in order. With that done a few more photo's were taken and time to saddle up again and make the return leg back.

All in all one of the most amazing rides I think I have ever been on and have waited almost 6 years to share a ride with my wife again. (well she wasn't my wife last time we rode together but you get the gist.)

Anyway not really a pic heavy ride as you could probably tell I wasn't keen to let her out of my sight on her first twistie ride.

So only got a few action pics from her practicing riding in an industrial park near home in the week leading up to the Sunday ride.

Here is Lenna report for those of you that aren't on fb this was her thoughts that night
"So today I felt the least paralysed I have felt in nearly 6 years. Ahhh, what a day :-)

Words cannot express... But I will try... Soon.
I need a little time to gather my thoughts and choose my words." and after a little time to think things over

As most of you know, I’ve had the bike on the road and set up for my requirements for about 2 weeks... Yes I am well aware that it has three wheels and you may have read in other posts that I still refer to it not as a trike but a bike, because you don’t ride it like you would a trike, it handles like a bike because it leans over just like a bike does.

A few days ago I posted up a picture of myself riding down a road we found out the back of an industrial estate. It’s currently a 1.5km no thru road so it’s nice and quiet there and it has a few sweeping turns, a round-a-bout and a couple of slightly tighter turns. I rode there a handful of times last week, in the evenings until it started to get dark (which happens way to early – daylight savings should start on the first day of Spring :p).

We decided I would be ok to try the open road, away from busy traffic and intersections, so yesterday we drove out with the bikes on the trailer, to Briagolong. We parked the car at the back of the little servo in town, unloaded the bikes and geared up. Adam helped me onto my bike then dismantled my wheelchair and loaded it on the rack that Brian made for us so that I could pillion on Adams bike for last year’s cup weekend trip (thanks again, Brian!)...

So off we went... Stopping and starting is the trickiest part of riding for me now, so it was nice to be able to ride more than a few kilometres and really get into the swing of things. Once we were on the Dargo road I had 50km of beautiful winding road ahead of me, through some stunning countryside... I was feeling well balanced and comfortable on the bike, I was becoming more relaxed and my confidence was slowly growing. After a while I didn’t need to concentrate so intensely on the controls, they were starting to feel natural and I guess it all started to come back then.

I was just riding, cruising along and absorbing it all. I’d forgotten how much more “in touch” you are with the environment you ride through compared with sitting in a car, how you come across a patch of road where the eucalyptus smells stronger or different than usual, or the smell of somebody’s campfire by the creek off to the side of the road, or the yucky smell of road kill. I’ve never seen so many poor dead wombats!

I noticed how the road looked, getting more blurred as it rushes towards you, it’s a perspective you just don’t get from a car. There were times where I was absorbed in all of this and simply in the SENSATION of riding that I had forgotten about everything else – any worries or cares were well and truly out the window and for the first time in nearly 6 years, absolutely nothing was wrong (it’s making my eyes a little bit soggy just thinking about that feeling as I type this now – it’s not often you feel like everything is right in the world (if ever)). I felt so... unconfined, if that makes sense? It was a strange thing to have to remind myself every now and then, that I am paralysed.

We pulled in at the Dargo Hotel for a celebratory beer and I finally got to debrief and reflect on everything that had just happened. My eyes may have got a little soggy through that conversation ;-)
Outside the pub we chatted with a couple of other riders that were fascinated by the mechanical marvel that is my bike. It’s a small world, the biking one – one (or both) of those guys posted photo’s of it on facebook, apparently it was one of your friends Chris?

This machine does attract a lot of attention, it is strange sight to see a trike leaning over around corners. We have had people on their bikes follow Adam, weaving his way into the industrial estates until he stops where I would practice. They just have to see it up close and have a good look, ask questions etc.

We headed back the same way and I felt like I had to get used to it all over again, but after a few km’s it was starting to flow once more. We’d had no traffic on our way to Dargo, but on the way back I caught up to a few cars. I followed the first one for quite a while, happy with the pace he was setting but eventually he pulled over to let us pass (probably thought he was holding us up) but I found I did have a little more and we gradually pulled away from him. I was amazed – I’d been worrying that I would be the one holding up the cars, I thought I was travelling at learner pace – and I mean fresh learner pace!

I got back to Briagolong with 160km under my belt, a grin like a Cheshire cat under my helmet and a head and heart full of all sorts of emotions and it’s all thanks to you, Adam/Stewy Stewy.
What you have done for me is... is beyond words. What the hell can I say? Next I'm going to thank a few other people that were involved in helping this come together and I have a rough idea of what I might say, but for you I'm finding it much more difficult to find the right words to describe how I feel. Maybe I'll come back to you.

A big thank you goes out to:

Andy - for making the mounts for the mud guards and welding them – it was a very tricky job and they turned out better than expected considering what we gave you to work with - and the bike wouldn’t have passed Vic Roads without those.

Dave - for his help with the electronics. I got to witness you at work this time around, and Dave you’re a far bigger geek than I had previously realised (hehehe).

And of course, Ian and Lyn (stewy’s parents)- You guys have been an amazing support for us, and this project. Thank you for letting us clog up your garage with this bike and for putting up with all the parts and tools lying around while it was being worked on (and it still is!).
Lyn, Thank you for bringing us hot chocolates on those freezing cold nights and for feeding us when we were there late so I wouldn’t have to cook dinner when we got home.
Ian I think you, with your wealth of mechanical knowledge, were an invaluable support for Adam through this. You were always there for him to bounce ideas off you, to help nut out problems, or physically help out whenever it was needed.

Ok here goes. Adam, you are incredible. You are brilliant. I can’t thank you enough for your sleepless nights and your tireless efforts in making this happen for me, you have given me a little taste of a freedom far beyond what I expected to find. Even if that one ride had to be my last, I'm still happier for it. I wish I could find the words to express what this means to me, what you mean to me, but I can't seem to do you justice!

Maybe the Cheshire cat grin tells you enough."

Some names have been edited from the fb version as not sure if everyone wants there name plastered over the net. (can't seem to change the colour after copying it in from word, so could a mod adjust that for me. thanks)

Cheers Adam

Last edited by stewy; 18-09-2012 at 01:29 PM. Reason: fixed the last pic
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Old 18-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dargo Ride report

Fantastic ride report, may there be many more!
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Old 18-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
RIP Marco # 58
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Location: SE suburbs, Vic
Posts: 313
Default Re: Dargo Ride report

absolutely brilliant Stewy and Lenna

I hadn't seen the bike pic before, looks like a great job was done..

Thanks for posting..

03 Honda CT110 black / 04 Honda CBR1000RR
01 Suzuki GSXR-1000 black / 08 Suzuki GSXR-1000 Black and Gold (RIP 24/12/2010)
07 Suzuki DR650 blue
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Old 18-09-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dargo Ride report

Fantastic this is great news. I'm glad to see such s positive attitude and terrific result. Congratulations to both of you.
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Old 18-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dargo Ride report

For once I'm almost speechless, there's just not enough words available ..........

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