Australia – Sheila McQueen (issue 4)

“Emu!” shouts Muffy, pointing somewhere behind me. The emu crashes through the undergrowth and, wisely, legs it for the horizon.
…It is my fourth day in Australia and my second day of riding. The Ducati is a temporary fix. “You can borrow my bike,” said my brother, “but I don’t want you putting too many miles on it.” Since my plan is to do a 2,000-mile loop of the bottom left-hand corner of Western Australia, this is something of a deal-breaker. Also, given that my brother appears to be a man who can’t say no to a carbon fibre accessory and I am a woman who is regularly defeated by gravity, I feel that family harmony is most likely to be preserved if I rent someone else’s bike to drop.

But renting is expensive so I’m not due to pick my GS up for another 2 days. Since any bike, even a stroppy Italian one that cuts out if you let the revs drop below 5,000 and makes me feel like a grasshopper on a matchbox, is better than no bike, I fold myself onto it and tuck in behind Muffy’s Valkyrie to meet up with the rest of our ride-out.

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