Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Following yesterday's pleasant (and forbidden) discovery of Busselton I decided to press on in the same vein, stopping en-route at more of the summery bayside attractions that make up the south-west coast, the same ones, incidentally, that had been recommended as a 'must miss'. While Mandurah had its wasteland feel, its small township and waterfront pathways made for a very pleasant meander. The flies were ever present though and so the need to keep on the move was as much a reflex as it was a decision. I walked for some time along the waterfront taking in the sights and sounds, or at least as long as it took me to chug down two small buckets of lime-flavoured slush, just the leg stretch and refreshment I needed.
Which brings us loosely up to date, or at least as far as the original plan goes, for it was my arrival in Fremantle (just 15 kilometres short of Perth) where things took an ugly turn and this whole two-wheeled mission went tits-up. I'd pulled in at the Little Creatures brewery for a final leg-stretch and a cheeky midi of Pale. The sun was blazing down and the place was heaving with tanned and jovial punters, all packed in tightly to the outdoor wooden seating. From where I was perched I could clearly see my bike directly opposite - perfect for shifting from under the nose of the local traffic warden at a moments notice. I was sorted. And it was while I was sitting there, savouring the pale and minding my own business that I saw the bright silvery glint on my rear tyre. I looked away for a moment then tried again. Closer. It winked at me. I took a deep breath, necked the pale and walked over slowly, as my heart lowered itself down into my arse. It was a screw, phillips head, embedded deep into the rear tyre. I rubbed my thumb over it, stood up and put my weight through it. Flat as a pancake. Game over. Aaaaarse!
That was around 6pm. It's now almost midnight as I sit here in a cushy motel room out in the Perth suburbs. The tow truck has just left. It's taken from 6pm (when I first called the RACV) till now to actually get a result from the roadside assistance. I knew, even before I called, I'd be having a nightmare. Some people, with things like this, get a result in one short simple call. Some people don't. I'm one of those that don't. No ranting and raving about it, I just don't. I 've come to accept it over the years. So we went through it - four hours of telephone tennis: membership checking, address confirmation, exact location, membership entitlements (considering I'm 'out of state and everything'), bike make and model, how long have I owned it? Any modifications? Where am I living now? What's my inside leg measurement? Favourite colour? All bullshit. The upshot is, apparently, they've done me a huge 'favour' that normally wouldn't be possible. Normally I'd only be allowed one tow, but as they have to tow me to some sort of safety - preferrably home - and can't get the bike fixed at the same time (because it's after 5pm) they can only tow me to an appointed motel. The problem, apparently, is that the system doesn't really cater for people like me, I mean people that don't know where they're going to be staying tonight, or next week. So they've done me a favour and brought me here, to Applecross. It seems that this will satisfy any criteria that the 'system' sets out and will mean that in the morning I'll have to claim 'again', suffering another few hours of questioning and system-checking before finally catching a tow to the nearest tyre fitter.
I'll suffer the imbecillic robots at the end of the telephone, but what really shits me is that I was so close to getting there. Just 15 more kilometres to go. How stupid. I've just crossed the continent, through the most appalling weather, over the back-breaking desert, dodged roos, camels and dinosaur bones and I get 15k's short of my destination and wind up with a phillips head through my rubber. In Fremantle, just a sniff away from Perth. Arse. There's nothing else to say..
Kilometres eaten: 5585