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Redmond | Columns | Gassit Garage

Call it what you like; editorialising, romancing, journalling, fictionalising or just outright bullshitting! Hell knows, they’re easy to love. But today’s ride to work, dear reader, there was no amount of romancin’ that would have me lovin’ that.

The best I can do is look back through this shimmering heat haze to the winter of 1988 when I was riding my mountain bike through the bleak frost to school. I remember swearing to myself that once my wings were dry, I ain’t never goin’ back to pedal-pushin’ struggle-town.

I used to look at my brother’s mate Mitch’s Suzuki Katana 1100 and I’d wish like hell my pushy had an 1100cc donk and not damn pedals.

Them Katanas, they looked like they were from outter space, like somethin’ Darth Vader would ride to Marty Mcfly’s prom. To this day, they’re still my all-time favourite roady … maybe one day, Mallory.

These days, though, my roadbike has 1400cc, so I should just stop bitching  about this damn heat and enjoy the not-pedalling part. The frost cannot find me in this so-called Sunshine State, so that is how I am dealing with the 550km of unbearable North-Queensland-in-February road today.

My bike feels like Australia’s fastest Weber barbecue; I am sitting atop its four-burner and I’m feeling my freckles multiply as well as feeling my freckle sweat. It is 37 degrees and my thick denim jeans are making me leak like the sump gasket on a 1961 MG Midget.

I need a break.

With 500km under my belt, I wheel into the Nebo service station, thanking christ there’s only 50km left to go. All the soft drinks in the fridge look, well, soft and the energy drinks in there look way too Gen-Y for a bloke like me.

F*** it, I head to the taps. I order a frothy one to get me through those last 50km. A schooner and a snort of JD… a shot and a brew. Done deal.

“F***, it is as hot as Thelma Bullpitt eating Jo Loveday’s muffin,” I think out loud as I light the fuse on my bike for the last 50km sprint back. But I’ve got another idea. I kill the four-burner before heading back into the bar.

“A six-pack of New, mate. Takeaway.”

I stuff the half-a-dozen stubbies intomy long-suffering Gearsack on the
rear of my bike before I leave Nebo pub, headed for my village accomodation (this village is not short of an idiot, see).

But, like a four-year-old pair of Clive Palmer’s footy shorts, it finally cries no more and splits at the seams. Its demise makes me sad.

Not just cos of what it represents to me and my cold beer, but because I’ve had it strapped to the back of my roady for eight years.

I’ve even named it. I call it my ‘Stevie’ as a tribute to Stevie Nicks, because no matter how much gear I stuff in it, I can always toot a little more in there.

So 50km later, with my damaged Gearsack and my (now) warm beer, I roll into my accommodation.

But there’s something I need to do. I decide to give Stevie the rock-star send off the old girl deserves.

I fill her full of alcohol and ice (is this life imitating art?) and I gently place her in the bottom of the shower. She looks like a broken Jim Morrison in a bath tub in Paris.

I interfere with the scene momentarily and reach in and grab a stubby and enjoy one last round from her.

Cheers Stevie, break on through…