A big thank you to Randi, the best editor ever. Without her help, this would be awful. So thank you..
A note to anyone wanting to read this.
It is a very personal story and is self indulgent to the max. If you don’t like motorcycles, or technical stuff, then don’t read… For those brave enough to suffer my self absorbed love of two wheels, there is a story hidden deep within. I hope you can enjoy it.
Oh fuck, it was one of those moments, when you know you are on the edge. I felt the back wheel slide, the tyre chirping in anguish as I laid the power down. No need to panic, I told myself, not on this beast. Exiting the apex, I kicked my little Tesi down a gear, the instant surge of power pushing us wider as she searched for grip. With the tyre catching we surged out of the corner, the front wheel pawing at the sky in jubilation.
It had been a long time since I last rode this stretch of road. The ride from Nelson to Motueka was fun, but this was a whole different level of exhilaration. The Motueka valley road was more than fun, it was awesome. Filled with tight sweeping corners, fast open bends. More importantly, not a lot of police.
In my element I leaned it over further as the increased speed dragged me down. The foot pegs scraped the tarmac, causing little sparks to fly. My boot was singing as the rubber sole burned.
We swept back and forth as the corners backed up on each other. It wasn’t a fast road, it was too tight for that. But oh my god, my heart raced, a huge smile on my face. Okay it wasn’t obvious to anybody else in the outside world, but here inside my helmet, the smile was wide. All my frustrations and worries vaporised.
I arrived at Kohatu in record time. It was only 55 kilometres, but it was 55 kilometres of pure adrenalin filled fun.
Pulling into the old pub, which sits at the junction of the Mot valley road, and the road through from Nelson to Murchison, it was the perfect place to stop. The old pub, which stands alone at the crossroads, was now just a coffee house. I took some time to catch my breath. With my helmet hanging from the handlebars, I took some time to stretch, and look over the bike: check the tyres, anything out of place.
The smile the ride produced just wouldn’t fade. Running my hands over the bike I felt the enormous swell of joy and pride.
This piece of machinery was my pride and joy. My one possession in the world. I worked two solid years in that shitty Iron ore mine in Western Australia to buy it. Now back home in NZ, I needed to find a place to live, a place to start again, rebuild my life. Throwing open the doors to the cafe, I ordered a coffee and sandwich. It was one of those days: blue skies, cloudless, no wind, not even a breath. The days we lived for.
Tesi, well she wasn’t really a Tesi, she was a Vyrus, but who wants to name their loved possession Vyrus? Not me, I stuck with Tesi, it had a ring that I loved.
She wasn’t just your every day Vyrus, either. She was heavily modified to take the new V4 Ducati Panigale motor. There wasn’t another one in the world. Yeah, I sank every dollar I earned from those two shitty years in hell to buy this. Why? I saw a photo in a magazine and instantly fell in love.
Guess I’m like that, impulsive, headstrong and prone to acts of wild abandoned recklessness.
My friend Sandy had offered me a bed at her little pub down in Greymouth, which is where I was headed.
At least I would have a bed until I figured out what the fuck I was going to do.
When I walked out, there was a group of bikers gathered around Tesi. They were in deep lust as they knelt down, gawking at her, taking pictures and whistling in amazement. Yeah, it’s not every day you get to see something like this.
“Morning,” I rasped as I pushed between them. The looks on their faces, priceless. I lifted my helmet off the bars and pulled it on.
“This yours?” The big tall hairy guy asked. He saw but didn’t believe, so he glanced around looking for somebody else, obviously thinking I was the pillion.
“Sure is.” I snapped back, my smile still tugging at my lips.
“Hell of a fucking machine,” one of the others quipped.
“Sure is.” I replied
“Do you want us to ride with you, little girl?”
“Na, you wouldn’t be able to keep up.” I snorted as I hit the key and the sweet cackle of the V4 burst into life. Oh god, I never failed to tremble at the sound of those pipes. The Akrapovic exhaust pumping out a deep purposeful snarl as I folded up the side stand and headed out of the car park. As I edged out onto the main road, I gave the throttle a quick jab, easing back a little on the bars and the front wheel rose easily. I held her up as I worked through the gears all the way onto the bridge. The smile was back as the music rang loud in my ears. The ride to Murchison was not as nice as the Mot valley Road but it was exhilarating enough. The traffic was a little thicker; I passed car after car as we swept through the open corners. bahis siteleri My joy was short lived as I pulled up behind a line of traffic being held up by a semi with a load of logs. She was obviously straining as we neared Glen Hope. There was just enough oncoming traffic to make the overtake dangerous. I didn’t want to get stuck behind him, the Glen Hope saddle was one of my favourite bits of road in the whole country. A clear patch of traffic appeared and I nailed it, the exhausts snorting their disapproval as the front wheel again waved perilously at the sky. I barrelled past the cars, a motorcycle and the semi at breakneck speed.
I noticed the bike as I sped by, A Yamaha R1. Strangely, he decided to loiter behind the truck, maybe a learner.
With a handful of front brake I dived into the first corner of the saddle, exited the left-hander with foot pegs scraping, the exhaust howling. It was a quick right, then left as the corners tightened. Again my joy was extinguished as a car being driven by daisy pulled me to what felt like a standstill. There were three more corners before the overtaking lane. I sensed, rather than saw, the R1 pull up behind me.
His front wheel appearing in my peripheral vision.
With the overtaking lane appearing, I snapped the throttle hard and Tesi screamed as we accelerated wildly past the little old Granny in her Honda Civic.
The R1 was right on my tail and he tried to stick with me as we swept up over the brow and down the other side. The road opened a little on the southern side and my new friend on the R1 tried to stick with me, but I wasn’t making it easy. On roads like this, Tesi is in her element and I rode her that way.
Did I mention I hate to lose? I pushed harder than I needed to, late on the brakes and fast on the throttle. The R1 slowly but surely disappeared in my mirrors. A smile stretched my cheek muscles as I enjoyed the adrenalin of kicking his arse.
I didn’t slow down until I pulled into Murchison. Poor Tesi, I had thrashed her to within an inch of her life. I pulled into the petrol station to fuel up. Even with the thrashing, she still looked amazing. I topped up the tank, had a quick stretch and climbed back on board. As I pulled out onto highway 60, I saw the blue R1 pull into the petrol station behind me. The ride through the Buller Gorge: again, it is a favourite. Lots of first gear corners, very tight and twisty. I nestled down over the tank and we were away again. The sun was still bright, and the day warm. We flew through the gorge, the barking snarling note from the pipes echoing off the rock faces, serenading me. Oh god, heaven should be like this.
Crossing into Inangahua, I decided it was still early and the sun high in the sky. Rather than the faster route through the inland road via Reefton. I turned right and rode through the lower Buller Gorge to Westport. Yeah, it was longer and slower, but enjoying the day, I decided it was worth it.
The beauty of the lower gorge was spectacular, the traffic was light and I was back on it. The bike followed my lead as we blasted out of corners, the motor barking. She was so responsive, it gave me goose bumps. Yeah, I was pushing it, and as always, when you’re on the limits on public roads, there were some scary moments. Tractors doing ten kilometres an hour, which you only discover when you are at full lean coming out of a blind corner, and a quick glance at the speedo shows one hundred and forty kilometers per hour. Sitting up in the saddle, the brake lever crushed on the bars as the big six pot brembos pull us up. Yeah, there were moments, but the fun. I sung, I screamed in joy as we rallied into Westport.
The ride was fun, lots of fun, but Tesi is a sports bike and my bum ached. She wasn’t designed for comfort, she was built for speed.
I fuelled up and had a bite to eat. Sitting on a window stool, I glanced out the window at the huge crowd Tesi drew. She was almost invisible as the throng massed around her. Even inside, I could hear the whistles and admiring comments.
With my tummy full, it was time to get moving. A quick check of the clock on my phone showed 12:05PM. Not wanting to arrive in Greymouth too late, I decided to pull my leathers back on and make a start on the last leg.
As always, there were astonished expressions as I walked towards the bike. I am not tall, standing only one sixty centimetres tall, and with my long faded browny coloured hair flowing, I am not what the admirers were expecting: a female, and a diminutive one at that, is not the rider they expected.
It didn’t stop the flow of questions which rained down on me.
When I pressed start and Tesi fired up, there were stunned expressions. She sounds as good as she looks, and I loved watching the idolising expressions.
With my sore bum nestled back in the seat, I eased South. The Buller River was now in our mirrors. The ride from Westport to Greymouth, what can I say? It’s another wonderful ride, not so much for the corners and road, but for the scenery. canlı bahis siteleri The road follows the coast all the way, and it is something else. I loved it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a wonderful ride, lots of slow sections, with tight switchbacks.
It is; however, the scenery, the bright sunny afternoon sun glistening of the water of the Tasman Sea that makes this ride so pleasurable. Today was all about the ride, and I was in no mood to cruise, not on this bike, she was definitely not a cruiser. At slow speeds, she is downright uncomfortable. The weight on your wrists is extreme; she needs airflow to pummel your chest and take the weight off. The gearshift, although positive, is heavy, so it was a hard twist of the throttle that got us back in the groove. Cars were no sooner in front of us than they were gone in the mirrors. The power on tap was ferocious, and instantaneous. Coming up behind a car doing one hundred kilometres an hour was nothing, a little blip of the throttle and pow, they were gone.
Arriving in Greymouth, I rode down to the little pub Sandy owned. My arse needed a rest. As much as I loved that bike, it definitely wasn’t a cruiser. While the lamp posts are going by at two hundred kilometres an hour, you don’t notice, but once stepping off the bike, it seeps in. The muscles tighten, throbbing in complaint.
After a stretch, slithering out of the top half of my leathers and tying them around my waist, I wandered inside.
The pub was dark and warm, welcoming. There were only a few customers leaning on the bar, chatting to Sandy. The moment she saw me, she leapt over the bar and ran full tilt into my open arms. “Fuck, Sis, you look great. Look at that tan.”
We embraced as only the best of friends could. The feel of her warm body pressed against me reminded me what a hottie she was.
“Wow, Sandy, you look great. This place is awesome.”
She nodded, and her eyes followed mine as I took everything in. “Yeah, it’s great, and the regulars are fun.” She waved her arms at the punters who all gave us a wave in return. “Come on over, I’ll introduce you.”
After meeting all the regulars, a voice called out from a bloke walking in through the front doors. “Fuck, has anyone seen that bike outside. Jesus, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A couple of interested men walked out with him and they all collected around Tesi, giving her an in-depth going over.
Sandy and I followed them out, and she asked incredulously. “Is that yours?”
I nodded with more than a little pride. “Sure is, Sis. All mine.”
She laughed softly. “Well, you have earned a little respect from this lot. Not an easy task.”
They all walked back in and started asking never-ending questions about the bike.
After they learned all they could from me, they went back to their drinks.
“Is there somewhere safe I can park the bike?”
Sandy grabbed my hand and led me out the back. There was a car park, but at the edge there was a container. “Would it fit in there? It’s lockable. All my old stuff is in there.”
She pulled out a key ring and swung open the doors. There was plenty of room.
With Tesi safely locked away, I carried my small bag of clothes and personal items up the stairs where Sandy showed me to my room.
As I was putting my few belongings in the closet, she asked, “Would you like a job, Sis?”
“Are you offering?”
She nodded. “Yeah, Donna rang in sick, and sounds like she might be out for a couple of days. I can pay you.”
“Like fuck you will. It will pay for my room. Thank you, by the way, for letting me stay.”
“Letting you?” She scowled. “Fuck Stells. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will pay you if you help me out.”
We hugged and she scurried off to get back to the bar before she was robbed blind. When I walked in the crowd had grown a little, there were about thirty, maybe forty, customers. I got stuck in and helped out. I had spent plenty of time behind bars while I was at Uni. Sandy and I actually met in a bar. We both worked our way through Uni, trying to keep the student loans as low as possible.
It had been over five years since we last saw each other. We stayed in touch via email and Facebook. Damn, it was good to be with her again.
It got pretty busy as the calls for meals came in and the kitchen staff started turning them over. The crowd was friendly, more like some weird extended family rather than pub customers. Every single new arrival called out. “Hey Sandy,” on walking in, and she had their favourite drink ready without being asked.
It was a good night. The kitchen staff kept us fed and watered.
When I got a chance we talked. “So you got a boyfriend, or partner?” I asked nosily.
“Nah, not at the mo. Too busy. Fucking Clint screwed me over. Ran off with some skanky slut.”
I gave her a quick hug. “Sorry, Sis. Fucking pricks.”
She gave me a quizzical glare. “Men,” I snarled. “They’re all pricks.”
She laughed. “Yeah, if they didn’t have dicks canlı bahis they’d be fucking useless.” We both laughed.
I could see the sorrow in her face. “Is that why you came down here? To get away from him?”
“Yeah, nah. I did wanna get away, but I wasn’t running or nothing. I hated the prick so bad. He turned all our friends against me. Said I was cold and didn’t enjoy sex, which is why he went elsewhere.”
“Christ, what a dipshit.”
“Yeah, ya know, I loved the bastard, I mean I put everything into it. The bad news is, if he walked through that bloody door, I’d still be interested. Christ, I’m a bloody loser.”
I gave her a hug, “Nah, babe, you’re not a loser. You got away from him.”
She giggled. “I stripped the bank accounts ya know. He was such a prick, I found receipts he’d being buying the skanky bitch jewellery and fancy clothes, so when I left, I took the lot.”
“Good for you. What’d he say?”
She shrugged. “I dunno, I haven’t spoken to him since.”
She gave me an inquisitive glare. “What about you Stells? I thought you went over there for some fucking bloke?”
“Yeah, turns out he was just an arse. There’s something wrong with my quality control function. I seem to attract losers and arseholes.”
“Amen to that, Babe. There’s gotta be a good one out there somewhere. Gotta say, I’m getting sick of looking though.”
As we got back to it, I noticed a guy, a big tall scruffy bloke. He looked like a biker. Sandy gave me a nudge. “That’s Kyle.” She giggled. “The guy you’re gawking at.”
I pushed her back and she laughed. “Slut.”
“Fuck you. I suppose you’ve already been there?”
“Nah, not my cuppa tea, Babe. He’s mad on bikes though, you might like him.”
I went to serve him. “What’ll it be, dude?”
I pulled him a pint as he gave me a long appraising glare. “You’re new. Mate of Sandy’s, aye?”
“Yeah, old friend actually. We went to Uni together.”
“No way, Sandy, Uni? Bullshit.”
I gave him a very harsh stare. “She’s a qualified accountant dipshit,” I snarled defensively.
“Well fuck me. I never knew that.” He stared at me. “What’d you study? It definitely wasn’t bartending.”
He did a doubletake. “Engineer, aye. What sort? Lego?”
“What the fuck you doing behind a bar? Couldn’t cut it?”
With a darkening expression I snarled. “Fuck you, arsehole, bite me.”
I turned and left him standing staring after me. Sandy came over as I served one of the friendlier customers. “Well?” she asked.
“He’s a nasty prick. You can serve him.”
She laughed. “I did tell ya.”
I got caught with him again later. This time, he seemed nicer. “Sorry, I was being a smart arse earlier. I’m Kyle.” He held his hand out across the bar. We shook hands, and I replied. “I’m Stella.”
“So why are you here?” he asked.
“I just got back from Aussie. Needed somewhere to stay and Sandy offered.”
He nodded. “She’s a good sort. We all love her. She came down here and turned this place around. This place was the pits before she took it on. Any friend of hers is a friend of mine.”
I nodded. “Nice to know.”
Later, as I pulled him another pint, I asked. “I heard a rumour you’re into bikes.”
He sniggered sarcastically. “Yeah, you could say that.”
“Do you have one at the mo?”
“Yeah, an R1.”
I nodded, “Nice.”
“Do you know what an R1 is?” he asked pompously.
“Yeah, I know. 998 Four cylinder, transverse mounted. Six speed. Yamaha’s attempt at dethroning the Gixxer crowd.”
He looked stunned. “You into bikes?”
“Yeah, you could say that. What year is your Yammy?”
“2018, although it has been modified. New chip.”
“Power Commander?” I asked, and he smiled. “Yeah, that’s the one.”
“Had it on a dyno?” I asked.
“Yeah, she pulls about one hundred and sixty ponies.”
“Very nice.” I nodded impressed. “So you live local?”
“Yeah, I’m a fisherman. Been up in Takaka visiting family for the last week. Just rode back down today.”
I smiled. “Ah, right.”
“When did you arrive?”
“Today, just got here from Nelson.”
He sipped his beer as he talked about his job, fishing in general. “What was your ride down like? Great day for it.”
“Oh, fuck, it was choice as,” he said brightly.
“Yeah some, got caught a few times, but oh man it was a great ride.”
“You by yourself, or ride with others?”
“Nah, by myself, but I got wasted by some dude on some Italian rocketship. Fuck he was going for it. Had his balls nailed to the wall.”
I sniggered. “Sure it was a bloke?”
“What? Of course it was. Chicks don’t ride like that.”
I shrugged and walked away. He went off to chat with some mates and I got caught up in serving. For some reason my eyes kept going back to him. I caught him several times giving me that look. I’d seen it before, a hungry look.
Sandy busted me a couple of times. “Shit, Sis, go and talk to him. You’re obviously interested.”
“Yeah, nah.” I giggled. “He’s okay looking but I dunno, Sis. There’s something about him.”
As we were kicking people out, he came up and asked. “Whatcha doing tomorrow?”