Published on May 12th, 2014 | by Al


Most of the way there, I knew where I was.

I’d taken a Wednesday off in lieu of overtime, and headed south from Sydney. The Royal National Park isn’t overflowing with bicyclists and Stapo on weekdays, and I got through it pretty quickly.

I got up Macquarie Pass pretty quickly too, so I took the turnoff to Kangaroo Valley. The traffic was light and the road winding, and I got to Nowra in what seemed like record time. I figured I would cut across the mountains and join the Hume for the trip home.

I debated with myself whether to stop at Nerriga for lunch, but decided I would skip lunch and keep going. Half an hour later I found myself on a dirt road that was looking increasingly unfamiliar, and the trip meter indicated I had between forty and sixty kilometres before the tank ran dry.

Then I came across a small hamlet consisting of a pub and a phone booth.

I walked in and leaned on the bar. A woman appeared from the rear and asked if she could help me.

I told her a schooner of Carlton Draught would help me, and she set about pouring one.

I asked her where the nearest place was where I could buy fuel, and she told me to keep going and turn left at the T intersection and I would find fuel within twenty kilometres.

I thanked her, and paid for the beer. It was a hot day. I raised the glass, and drank half of it.

She said they don’t get many motorcycles on this road, especially on weekdays. She asked where I was going.

“Just for a ride”, I said, and sipped my beer. “I have the day off, so I thought I would go for a ride.”

She asked if I always go for a ride on my days off.

“Pretty much”, I said. “I have a stressful job. It keeps me sane.” I took another swallow of the beer.

“You mean”, she asked, “that you go insane if you don’t go for a ride?”

This was getting tiring. I swallowed the last of the beer. “I chose my words poorly”, I told her. “I should have said ‘it helps me keep my sang froid ’.”

“Yer what?”

“My sang froid ”, I repeated. “My equanimity. My cool.”

“French?” she asked.

I reached for my helmet.

“Sorry, I have to be going”, I told her. “Civil of you to offer, though.”


About the Author

Al does a bit of everything, and likes hanging around with Boris, because there are generally motorcycles and whiskey, and because hilarity generally ensues. He wastes his spare time not moderating the BIKE ME! forums, where he posts occasionally and is regarded as unfair, unbalanced and unmedicated. Shows how much THEY know.

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