Last time we spoke I talked about not giving up after an off, you can catch up on it here if you haven’t read it yet, this will make more sense if you do. Conversely there was this one time when I did give it away. For a few years. Hangs head in shame.
So I’d like to share another short story with you about losing your nerve.
Ilooked slightly up and over my right shoulder as both wheels slid on a freshly dumped patch of oil, and found myself staring at the underside of a b-double tray. By a quick panic-stricken assessment I discovered I was fairly and squarely in-between the front and rear axles of said b-double going around the outside corner.
I was admittedly, doing the wrong thing over-taking on the inside, but I was on the old SA freeway, a few corners up from Devils’ Elbow, a great stretch of 45kms corners climbing up from the city into the hills. I wasn’t racing the truck, he was just going slower than I was, and he was in the outside lane. And where did that fucking oil come from? Don’t the guv’mint get paid to clean that shit up?
‘This is not my time, not my time’ I told myself and by some combination of sheer ass, guts and pure luck I got on the gas with everything I could muster and managed to find traction and meet it with power before going too far under that 80 tonnes of certain steely death. I cleared the trailer and straightened up out the corner, it lasted maybe one or two seconds. It was the last left hander before a short sweeping right that lead you to the petrol stations atop ‘Eagle on the Hill‘ where I pulled over, shaking violently.
A dude filling petrol came stopped and came over as I pulled my lid off gasping for air, ‘are you alright man?’ he enquired, ‘pffxxttthxxxllggglfffuuuuuu’ I gasped.
‘You are whiter than a ghost!’ he poked, as I turned my head and watched the b-double head on up the hill. I collapsed in a pathetic puddle of wombles piss and thought, that was really close.
‘I almost went under his back wheels just then’ I said, pointing at the truck sailing off into the distance completely unaware of what just happened. Time to sell the GSX-R I told myself.
And that was how I lost my nerve. I had faced certain death on two wheels and I was done being a daily biker riding in peak hour traffic for a while. I turned in a yellow-bellied jellyfish and lost my spine. My testicles shrank to the size of half sucked tictacs and I sold the bike within about two weeks and bought a cage.
I know, I know. It’s pathetic, but it’s true.
Accidents can happen to any of us at any time and that time went beyond spooking me; I was playing in a cool band, had so much going for me and when I weighed it all up I thought ‘fuck this’. I’d rather live. I must have been about 26-7. I was shaken to the core and found something new I had not really experienced on two wheels before – FEAR for my LIFE.
So I chased speed in cars as much I could afford at least, it takes a lot more money to go really fast in cars than it does on two wheels, and got around in a proud variety of crazed Datsun 1600s (they go really fast and handle brilliantly) with turbochargers and dragway splats. LOL.
Then I moved to Melbourne for a change of scene and it took a few years to find the motorcycle itch again, but one day another corporate merger brought in fresh meat to the call centre and I met one of my (now) best mates, and the itch got me again.
But that’s another story and not as straight forward as you might think. You’ll have to come back another time for that one.
Until then fearless fiends, stay upright.
Pale Faced Spineless Jellyfish aka Dan.