By Hendrik Gout
Adelaide is having a storm. Raindrops the size of hailstones, hailstones the size of gallstones. I suited up and went out.
The bike started first pop. I warmed it up for a minute, went out across the swollen creek where my chickens normally scratch around, and then up through Blackwood and into the Hills. From Windy Point, where the city normally lays unfolded, I could see ten thousand lights of a city sleeping, and pockets of dark where rainclouds were playing. Hail hammered my helmet while I rode around Mount Bold. It was warm, it was windy, and it was wet. And delicious.
I suddenly got tired of it, for no reason. I stopped. The rain lashed my helmet, my toes were squishy in the leaky boots, and I felt cold.
I rode back home fast. The kinda fast that takes an edge, that leaves little room for error. Sometimes the bike would drop speed as a rivulet seized the tyres, and sometimes this happened when the bike was leaned over and it would try to stand up a bit, and sometimes it happened when the rain and the black made navigating difficult, but there’s nothing that beats cold more than a hot ride, and when I got back home and opened the door and Simon the Wonderful Cat meow-ed her hellos, I was already counting the corners on roads I hadn’t taken.
I remembered I hadn’t turned off the petrol taps. Back out to the garage in my bare feet, water dripping from the gutters. The bike muddy even in the darkness – you can smell it.
I’d go and have a hot bath now. But I didn’t crawl out of the water two billion years ago to get wet in a bath. I’ve got a Guzzi. And if I need to get wet, it’s a 3a.m. ride for me.
V50 – no need to exaggerate