Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Al


Back two gears at the 60km/h sign heading into Bell eastbound early in Spring. There’s often a copper hiding in the truck-weighing station. And there he is – side of the road – BEFORE the truck-weighing station.

Glance at the speedo – 65. OK. It’s a bit optimistic, and the radar faces forward, of course; and I’m not there yet. I trickle past at 55 indicated, feeling virtuous.

BANG! Something has hit my helmet. I see my shadow out of the corner of my eye. There’s a large bird hovering over my head. BANG!

Screw this. I crouch, twist the grip, the bike gathers speed. Shit. I’m still in the radar field.

I twist my head and check out the Highway Patrol car in the mirror. He hasn’t moved. Maybe he’s wet himself. Maybe he’s gone to sleep. Maybe he’s having a donut induced type 2 diabetes attack. All of which are okay by me.

Australian Magpies. I love ’em. Their scientific name is something tibicen, which is Latin for flautist. They have a fabulous song. They are muscular, and walk tall, and their black and white plumage has the elegance of a dinner jacket. Their juveniles hang around in groups, and swagger, and look like something out of West Side Story; as if they should be smoking cigarettes and propositioning passing women.

They have a reputation for attacking humans that come too close to their nests. I’ve read about it, but never experienced it before. Apparently one of them killed a kid decades ago by driving a tetanus-infected beak into his skull.

But I learned a valuable lesson that day. When they swoop, they have their undercarriage down – I could see the shadow of his legs. I reckon it would be a simple matter to grab him by the legs with the clutch hand, and smash his skull into the VFR’s single sided swingarm.

It’s all very well to have a fabulous song, but that’s no reason to carry on like a mujahedin.


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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