Again, I'm exhausted. Today, however, it's for a much better reason. The
bike run to the Grand Prix was
seriously good fun. Apologies for all the typos, too - I'm at RMIT waiting to take my lab for the afternoon, and the keyboards here are absolutely bloody awful.
I woke up at about 07:30 and after a quick breakfast headed off to
Cranbourne. I stopped along the way for fuel, so I arrived there with
pretty much a full tank. I met up with a couple of other people at the
servo; their names were Alan (Allan?) and Michael. Both were riding
Triumphs, which is a bit of a change from the Jap-bike crowd. They're both
from country Victoria, and have been touring around the state for the last
couple of weeks.
We arrived at Cranbourne at about 09:30 and were amazed at how many people there were. Thousands and thousands of bikes were already lined up, and thousands of non-bikers were standing around waving and cheering. I'm not quite sure what they were cheering for, but they seemed to be enthusiastic about it, so I wasn't complaining.
Alan, Michael and I went for a bit of a walk around, and ended up heading up to the front of the... err... grid (?) to have a look at all the other toys and things that had arrived before us. There were a couple of Hayabusas, which we noted because we were actually starting in front of them and would be watching for them to scream past us once we got moving. There was a Harley Davidson thingowhatsit three rows in front of me (and directly in front) that had dropped its entire sump onto the road. I really wasn't enthusiastic about hitting an oil slick that large, and by the way most of the people around the poor guy were looking at his bike, neither were they.
At about 09:50, the riders at the front of the pack started warming up their bikes, so we moved back to ours. The thunder of so many big bikes was very cool - I'm sure the entire town of Cranbourne was awake before we left
It was almost comical to see so many people wandering around saying, "I can't find my bike! Where did I leave it?" I'd taken note of some reference points so I managed to find mine OK, but after we moved off there were quite a few bikes acting like rocks in a stream - all the other bikes parted and moved around them, and they were left standing there until the rest of the bikes passed and the remaining riders could find their respective toys.
I really couldn't believe how many people were lining the streets to watch us all go past. There were thousands of them! (Admittedly, there were thousands of us, too, which probably made for interesting viewing.) All the little kids (and many of the bigger kids and their spouses) were waving and cheering, so most of us rode with one hand on the throttle and the other waving to the crowds. It felt a bit silly at first, but everyone was doing it, and the little kids especially seemed to get a kick out of a bunch of evil-looking bikers waving at them
When we arrived at the island, there were thousands more bikes already in the parking paddock. I wasn't going to pay admission today as I had to be back for this lab at RMIT (from where I'm writing this), so I parked my bike and just went for a bit of a walk around. After about half an hour of listening to a bunch of 250cc two-strokes screaming around the track, I decided I'd get moving back - that way, I'd have time to stop at a bakery somewhere and get a croissant or something.
One down-side to the trip back was the wind. It was bloody awful - swinging around all the time and gusting very badly. It was bad enough that I was blown from one side of my lane to the other quite a few times. At least I'm getting used to riding in gusty wind now, and it doesn't worry me as much as it used to. That having been said however, it was still very uncomfortable as I had to keep pressure on the handlebars for most of the 130+km trip back - very, very tiring.
I didn't take any photos today as my camera is in at the office (with no film in it) and Syndia's is almost out of film. Hopefully I'll rectify that tomorrow, and get some decent shots, as Rohan and I are going to ride back down there and watch the race. Should be great fun