A road trip with the Great Man. What could possibly go wrong?
I’ve done thousands of kilometres in the company of Spannerman, so I should know better. On this particular occasion we went for an overnight ride.
It was down to a favourite little haunt of mine, called Fish Creek, in Gippsland, Victoria. Not the sexiest of names, I grant you. But a place I’ve grown to love.
It’s near Wilsons Prom, a nice little 150km distance from home and there is a pub there. It has a big fish on the roof, great food and nice beer.
And, the people there are glad to see us, which doesn’t always happen when you travel with my mob. After all, I reckon Spannerman is a great bloke, but my tastes can be a little off.
Anyway, trundled off we did, me on my Daytona Super Three and Spanner on his quite cute, but aging BMW R60. Of course, about half way down, the Beemer starting spitting fuel out of the left bowl, and Spanner was under his bike. Again.
I think I mentioned something to him about ‘shitter’ and ‘why don’t you get a real classic like the Super Three’. There was some exchange along those lines.
He ignored me, as he so often does, and dutifully got the thing going.
Spanner smelt like a Golden Fleece workshop, and if anyone had lit a cigarette he’d have gone off like a stick of gelignite, but, I figured that was his problem. The important thing is the fact that it wasn’t long before we were on our merry way, taking in the magnificently lush pasture land of South Gippsland.
Arriving at The Fishy at around seven o’clock, it was into the bar, a huge meal of local good stuff washed down with a whole bunch of wine. Those trips can make a man mighty thirsty you know.
The evening was rich with the bonhomie that a good country boozer and delightful company brings. A ride, a feed and piss-taking of the highest order.
I can remember being a little browned off once when my cobbers were heading to Fish Creek for a weekend, not unlike the one just spent, and I couldn’t do it because I was scheduled to travel to Munich, up the front of the bird, to ride a new BMW. That’s how much I enjoy The Fishy.
Anyway, after draining most of the local vigneron’s stocks, bed beckoned, and I slept the sleep of the righteous, secure in the knowledge that, following a huge country brekky of local pig and eggery, the delightful Super Three would be there to transport me jauntily back to my abode. Or, so I thought.
It was a cold blooded beast, the Super Three, and I slipped the key into the ignition to give the bike its demanded ten minute warm-up. After all, it’s a thoroughbred, a landmark of Hinckley Triumph innovation.
Engine turning over. What’s that smell? Fuel? Is Spannerman standing behind me? Nope.
Why are my boots wet? Yep, a fuel leak. A big fuel leak. Like the Exxon Valdez style fuel leak.
Spannerman had putted soundly off down the road by this time, Belstaffing his wobbly way home, thank goodness. I can’t help but feel he just might have teased me a touch as I loaded the bike into my brother’s ute, using local good-bloke Sags’ tie downs and ramp.
Yes, I’m almost certain he might have muttered ‘shitter’ under his breath.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.