Gotta Scoot

A foray into the world of the 2-wheeled amateur

More on riding through Bali

After only a few days here I couldn’t resist the urge to document one of the many great rides through this magical island. This day tour took me from the funky little town of Ubud north through the central mountains and down into the valley at the foot of Gunung Batur. Hope you enjoy!

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March 25, 2008 Posted by | Bali, General Riding, Indonesia, overseas, unusual experiences | 2 Comments

The Dangers of Perfectionism

As any blogger knows, it’s hard work maintaining a blog. Harder still though, is the sense of failure that comes when we continually put off making a post because we feel it’s not good enough. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of such a wonderful community of bloggers and readers whose comments have been inspiring and encouraging. After having posted regularly for quite some time last year though, I can’t believe how my own sense of perfectionism has stopped me from putting fingers to keyboard and sharing some of my wonderful experiences.

Perfectionism can be a dangerous thing! Thanks to the support of all my readers, I’ve decided that sometimes it’s more important to get the idea out than letting it languish inside your head. So here goes…

March 19, 2008 Posted by | unusual experiences | Leave a comment

19 August 2007 Double lives

How often have you led a double life? For many of us, the teenage years provided the fertile soil in which our tendencies to say one thing and do the other grew like a field of wildflowers. Just think about the number of times you said, “Sure mum… I promise I’ll be home by 11… no, I’m only going to the movies to see ‘Driving Miss Daisy’!” 

For some of us, this rigorous adolescent training comes in mighty handy. Especially when one’s mother has maintained a hard-line stance summed up with the simple words “you’ll ride a motorcycle over my dead body!” 

One day my girlfriend’s mother comes to visit – a once a year occurrence that always has us changing water in fish tanks, scouring ovens, scrubbing toilets and squeegee-ing windows until all is squeaky-clean and in record timing. This occasion is the first visit since the purchase of the scooter back in April. And so it is that I begin depositing my ideas into the local Bank of White Lies:

“Oh that thing? We’re minding it for a friend…”

“Yeah – that next-door neighbor is a real hoon! wakes us up with that engine roaring at 2am every morning!”

“Who on EARTH has parked this scooter in my driveway?! I will speak to council about this first thing Monday morning!” 

Of course we’re rather lucky here folks – we live in a block of eight units, so it’s unlikely she’ll assume that the scooter is ours. That is, unless she spots our gear. 

“Why don’t we just take our helmets, jackets and gloves and shove them in a laundry basket with towels on top?” Felicity asked.

“Because your mother would lift the towels up and find them,” I patiently reply. 

“What about in the cupboard?”

“Your mother would open the cupboard door and find them.”

“The toilet?”

“Your mother would open the lid and…”

You see, the mother of which we speak is the meticulous type. She likes to inspect and suggest, and is generally none too pleased if we don’t placate with the usual ‘oh – what a great idea! wish I’d thought of that!’ She also likes to poke around. 

Needless to say, I load up the car with everything from our riding gear to my collection of Australian Scooter Magazine, my scooter manual, extra sets of keys and a nice-looking Vespa key ring that Felicity bought me from Europe. I drive the car well out of sight. I cover all in the back seat with a blanket and hope that the cops don’t think I’m harboring a corpse. At least nothing incriminating will be found… at least, not this time.

That morning, we open the door and launch a barrage of smiles as we show mother-dearest around the house. She turns to face me squarely. 

“That scooter downstairs…” she begins.

“Yes?” I hesitate. 

“I saw it in a catalogue the other day. Nice torque… fair bit of power… should ride pretty well on the motorway. What do you think?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t know, Sandy! Never ridden one myself,” I stammer, all the while smiling nervously. 

“Good… because If you ever do, you can forget about marrying my daughter.”

“Lets have some tea, shall we?”    

 

 

August 19, 2007 Posted by | General Riding, unusual experiences | 2 Comments

11 May 2007 Ode to the smell…

Relishing each riding experience and in search of new ways to describe my new life as a scooterist, I discovered on a ride to work this morning what makes the thrill of the road so unmistakably unique for us two-wheelers. Thus, I dedicate this post to the one thing that we know far better than anyone else on the road and so rarely often celebrate: the humble smell.

…the earthy smell of recently disturbed grass clippings as you buzz past council workers riding lawnmowers with engines that clatter in harmony with your 150ccs…

…the smell of freshly fallen rain on the glistening road, masking the petrol fumes of a bustling inner-city street…

…the smell of warm bread as you overtake the delivery truck at 6am – when you’ve skipped breakfast and are starting to feel a bit peckish…

…the smell of roadworks – sparks flying, concrete being pummeled by jackhammers, sewerage churned up and workers having smokos…

…the smell of riding home at night…

…the smell of careless sea breeze on a summer’s day, sweating like nothing else in your rider’s jacket…

…the smell of the country, when the fumes are gone and the open air opens your nose to the memories of pine trees, eucalypts, lavender and wildflowers…

…the smell of recent roadkill, where blood, feathers, fur, metal and tires have clashed in a moment of fear, absent-mindedness and crushed bones, spattering reds, browns, yellows and greys onto a dirt road…

…the smell of crushed leaves in autumn…

…the smell of something sweet in the air but you just can’t figure out what it is…

Have I missed anything? You be the judge!

(thanks to the flickr.com community for these borrowed photos…)

May 12, 2007 Posted by | General Riding, unusual experiences | 12 Comments