Friday, January 7, 2022

‘Tis The Season

 

Well here we are again at the back end of another year and bursting into a new year ahead. I wish I could say 2021 was a great year….but I can’t of course. 

It was another emotional and economic roller coaster for both myself and everyone in my industry. The constant chopping and changing of regulations by the various state government bureaucrats was sooo frustrating. I seriously have to wonder whether they live in or interact with people who “get things done” in the real world?!!😳 Making unworkable rules seems to be their forte’ so I guess not.

So many of their mandates were simply unworkable and they aren’t learning from their mistakes. The absolute shit show of contradictory and unachievable testing requirements that have been introduced in the last week of 2021 are testament to their dogged determination to adhere to the best Pythonesque insanity. If only it were a comedy.

Plenty of people are looking forward to 2022 being a better year. 


Fair enough. 


However I am not being sucked into that trap again! I am expecting 2022 to be a shit show, just not quite the same kind as last year. Yes, a new and improved shit show!

 Now that we are all pretty well vaccinated the actual deaths from Covid are ridiculously low (apologies to those who may have died of Covid in the last few weeks) and we (read the MEDIA) need to stop banging on about case numbers. They are going to scare the politicians into some knee jerk reactions which will no doubt play havoc with hundreds of thousands of Aussie’s lives again - to no real advantage.

Anyway, enough of the bad, let’s get on with the good because there has actually been some good.

Will and I got to shoot down to central New South Wales to visit my Dad the week before Xmas, who we hadn’t seen since May. He hasn’t been getting out much so we dragged him around a bit. The first stop being the local rifle range where most of the shooters are blokes he worked with/alongside over the last 60 years.


Will had a shot in the local comp and didn’t do too bad, but not quite as well as he did last May.


We took a few bikes along as well. I got out for a couple of rides and there was still plenty of water around from the November floods.


It is handy with Will having his licence now as he could drive out to meet me so he could ride too.


There was a bit of mud around but it just added to the fun! I really need to get myself a dirt bike so I can join him, so he can ride a more capable bike and so that he doesn’t kill the little TTR.


More early rides around town highlighted the best bits of country life.






Getting home from Dad’s I picked up the Tuono from the suspension shop on Xmas eve (my Xmas present!) I had it set up for my weight as well as a shock rebuild/respring. Joe from Ride Dynamics seems to know his stuff. He replaced some bushes in the fork legs as well, with them being a bit worn after 46 000km of use. This would explain the slight pulsating feeling from the front end of the bike under brakes. I thought it was the brake rotors but after the short ride home from the shop it may well have been the fork bushes.


The shock bump stop was also split so that was replaced as well.


I haven’t had a chance to take it for a decent ride yet but I know it WILL be better. 
The best thing anyone can do with a new (yes, even a NEW new bike) is to get the suspension set up for their weight and riding style. The price wasn’t too bad either - much less than originally quoted.


Hopefully it will stop raining soon so I can go for a ride to test it out. 😉



Looking further back into 2021 and the good that springs to mind are several camping trips away on my Africa Twin. The big twin hits the spot for me in that I get the same buzz from exploring roads less travelled that I get when I load up the mountain bike and head off the beaten track.


But I can cover so much more ground. Initially I thought I might just bring it home and sell it because I got it for such a great price but after living with it for a while and with how well set up it is with ALL of the accessories I could ever need, it is a keeper. Yep, the big twin has certainly grown on me.




Steve roped me into the Great Cycle Challenge again in 2021. I wasn’t planning on doing it but he was keen and we gave each other some moral support. We got the distance done and raised about $2500 between us for kids cancer research.


It actually gave me a bit of a kick up the arse to get pedalling more as 2021 to that point had been a pretty uninspiring on the bicycle. That said I still pedalled 154 days of the year with about 4400km covered.


 It just felt like I didn’t achieve anything. My only attempt at a challenge was the BVRT E2E x 2 and I bailed out on that, cutting about 38km off the 322km distance due to lack of motivation.

The 2021 stats from Strava.


Work picked up a bit but was still sporadic and by going to work we were subjected to all of the different state’s takes on quarrantine (see my opening rant 🤬) so there was NO joy to be had from a job that I normally love doing. Everyone I flew with seemed to be of the same mindset. Just tolerating the bullshit and hoping the dollars would appear in the bank account. Word is that several international carriers are seeing pilots quit in droves - with no jobs to go to - because they are quarantining for months on end. Something has got to give!


Anyway, I hope everyone has a better year in 2022. 
I’d love to say that it will be better but I highly doubt it. I am pretty much just going to bunker down, ride my push bikes around the local area, do the odd moto ride and try not to spend any money unnecessarily.


Roll on 2022……DO YOUR WORST !!