08.09.2011 30 °C
Both Tess & I came back home to Australia to no jobs, Tess's work went broke & mine still had no work so time to move on. Didn't take too long until we were both re employed with better jobs, less hours, less stress & more money so there's proof that every cloud has a silver lining.
After waiting several weeks we finally got the email to say our beloved bike, Honda CBR 1100xx Super Blackbird "The Bird", had arrived in Brisbane & had made it through the tough Aussie customs & was ready to pick up, AWSOME!!! We had missed the Bird heaps so I was looking forward to the 2 day ride from Brisbane back home to Townsville. Just to put the vast Aussie distances into perspective the distance from Brisbane to Townsville is roughly the same as going from London to Rome. I took the red eye flight out of Townsville at 5:30am, 2 hours to Brisbane, short taxi ride & a long wait to finally get my hands back on the Bird then on the road out of Brisbane by around 11am. Not long out of Brisbane I realized how bloody stupid the Australian speed limits are. I had gotten very used to travelling at the 130kph limit overseas, (unlimited in Germany) then I had to ride on perfectly good roads, single lane marked as no overtaking at a brain numbing 90kph.
Time for my soap box.
Lowering the speed limits does not reduce the amount of accidents but increases them. Most travels in Australia means crossing vast distances that at 130kph gets you to your destination quicker reducing fatigue & keeps you more alert as things are coming at you at a greater pace. At 90kph you get very board so people start to get distracted, start playing with their iPod & crash into the nearest tree. Wake up Australia, increase the speed limits in line with the rest of the world, introduce more driver training & I bet your road toll will go down.
End of soap box.
Not far into my trip near Gympie I rode up behind a slow line of traffic on a steep uphill when an overtaking lane came up. The vehicle directly in front was a 4wd towing a large trailer so I positioned myself in full view of his mirror with my indicator on making my intentions very clear that I was going to overtake. The wanker crossed into the overtaking lane, no indicator & near took me out, welcome back to crap Aussie driving. Eventually the wanker got past the line of traffic then refused to merge back into the left lane despite me flashing my lights to gain his attention. I cracked the shits, knocked the bird down a couple of gears then passed on the inside lane on the back wheel displaying my opinion on his lack of driving skills by displaying the middle finger. Not far down the road I was caught up by slow traffic again when this wanker in the 4wd came up behind me then put the red & blue flashing lights on, it was the friggn police. They booked me for doing 139kph (perfectly legal in the UK & Europe), fined me $500, lost 6 demerit points then threatened to take my license & impound my bike. I'm going to have to fight this one in court as they can't book me on guessing my speed without a radar, wankers!
Anyway I made it to the half way point in Rockhampton to spend the night then caught up with a few mates from Karate at a round of the Queensland mixed styles tournament. Next leg of the trip home I got booked again, 127kph, $350 & 4 demerit points. This time it was a patrol car with a radar but he didn't use it properly by using it on a bend in heavy traffic & only a split second look at me instead of the required 2 seconds so it's probably going to be 2 trips to court or I'm putting nearly $1000 in the police revenue raising fund & handing my license over for the next 3 months.
I finally made it back home safe & sound, now time to call a good lawyer. The Bird is going to get a major make over for doing such an awesome job & life will get back to normal until next time. We are already planning our next trip to southern Europe along the Mediterranean coast in 2 years time so stay tuned.
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Ross & Tess