Nearly Broke it in Broken Hill

As was my practice, up at sunrise, about 5am I think. I wasn’t sure whether I’d crossed into South Australia yet. I figured they had day-light-saving on but there was half an hour difference between New South Wales and South Australia. Broken Hill was technically still in New South Wales but the cell phone was half an hour out.Parked up motorbike So what, I thought, I have no appointment to keep, in fact I never took my diary with me. It was only the cell-phone that tied me to New Zealand. Didn’t bother with breakfast as I’d grab a coffee on the way somewhere. Bit more relaxed today as I only had 500kms to travel. Today I intended to take more photos than the last two days and I put my camera in my jacket pocket. First trip was going to be up to the restaurant on top of a hill made out of mine tailings. As mentioned before, nothing grows on tailings. Another good site for a Mad Max Movie, dark foreboding rock as it was. The entrance wasn’t that far down Crystal Street and around into Carbon Street. Whoops, there was a barrier up. I Jumped on the brakes and came to a halt and looked around for a gap that a bike might fit through. Couldn’t spot a thing, not even a ramp that I could use to do an “Evil Knievel” jump over the fence with. I sat on my bike for a minute or two and tossed up whether to hop off, climb the fence and walk up to the top to get the photos I was after.

The sign on the gate said it was “Private Property – Keep Out – Will Be Prosecuted” etc. etc. “So what” I said to myself, that’s never stopped me, well not at six in the morning anyway. No, I came to the conclusion, too far to walk in riding boots and I wasn’t sure about leaving the bike there anyway. Better do a U-turn and head off. The road was only one lane wide and dark orangey powdery dirt both sides. Here I dropped the bike for the first time.Being a reasonably big bike I needed quite an arc to turn on. I gently let the clutch out and manoeuvred over to the left and into the dirt. So far so good. Back around to the right and onto the tarmac.  So far so good. Unfortunately I’d let a little too much clutch out and hit the dirt on the other side, front wheel went sideways a fraction, wacked my right foot hard on the ground and gave it a good heave. Up she came, but when I put the left foot down to steady up it went into where a puddle once was. That two inch indentation was just enough to put me out of balance.Gateway The weight of the bike came on; the old harrier knee began to quiver, then the whole leg. “Looks like off we go here matey” I said. I quickly glanced over to see what I was going to land on. Looked okay and dived off, poof, into the dust. That must have looked good. I wish I’d caught it on camera. The orange dust came up in a cloud, didn’t taste too good either. No real damage done. The left mirror popped off, which after picking the bike up I popped back on. The left pannier was damaged with a few dents out of what was a perfectly shiny plastic finish. I’m glad I had the carbon-fibre cylinder protectors fitted as the left one chewed up the dirt a bit. Still, all good as gold. Great start to the day. I celebrated the incident by texting my mate Dave back in Wellington to let him know I had “come off”. I thought it would sound impressive and had it in mind to embellish the incident a bit. Yeah, what a hero – I’ve “come off”. My first motorbike “off”. That must now provide me with some sort of right-of-passage into the Biker-Braggers Hall of Fame I thought. My mate Dave text back and asked if I was ok etc. I tried my best to over dramatise the incident but finally had to let him know that I was basically stopped when I did it. I seriously couldn’t get away with some long story about crashing out at 150ks into a cattle-beast with three-foot horns on its head, breaking both of them.