Chucking a sickie is viewed as a proud Australian tradition, even though blagging a day off work to go and do something fun is hardly the exclusive province of Australians. Hell, ask the Greeks. Their entire economy is built on not giving a shit about work.
I’m of the view that while I used to tell work I was sick, I was actually doing something quite healthy, ie. Riding my motorcycle on largely empty mid-week roads. And it comes highly recommended for its health benefits.
For starters, the Highway Patrol is tired and digesting its weekend feeding frenzy on Mondays and Tuesdays. Sure, it’s still out there (it’s always out there), but it’s not out there in the same gross numbers it sashays about in on the weekend. Resources, people! There are a finite number of Highway Patrol cars and they are best deployed when the environment is target-rich. They have admitted to the quota system ages ago, so always bear that in mind.
You wanna bang the old faithful motorcycle roads? Then do it during the week. Only mad dogs, L-platers and those with yellow custard for brains go riding where the police are thickest on weekends.
Riding on workdays also has the added benefit of showing you familiar places in a different light. That little pub you always stop at with all the bikes out the front on Sunday? On Tuesday it might have a whole bunch of dusty Hi-Luxes there instead.
Never mind you might have just passed a few of them over double-yellows at Warp Five as you relished the cop-free roads and tickled your inner madman. The farmers will probably forgive you and maybe even buy you a beer if you went past them showing some class. Or they might glass you in the neck. You never know. And life should be a rich lottery, right?
One other thing you might notice during the week is there are fewer motorcycle accidents to impede your progress. This is a good thing, I reckon. Nothing pisses on a man’s riding parade like having to go and minister to some yutz who has overcooked a corner.
Personally, I am always most terrified by other riders on weekends. I know they will overshoot bends. I see them do it. One second you’re tucking into a nice 45km/h right-hander, the next second you’re eating some L-plater’s Ninja because he’s panicked mid-corner and stood it up.
Or, if you’re not assisting the wrecked and broken, then you’re having to backtrack because the road is closed. Yes, I understand the helicopter has to land somewhere, but my time is precious. And no, I have no sympathy or empathy for those who crash their bikes because they don’t ride very well. Ride better. Try harder. Don’t crash. Have some damned consideration for other people and upskill yourself.
Alternately, you could do your crashing on a weekday. It would be better for everyone concerned if you smashed into a rock wall on Wednesday. The hospitals are less crowded. You’d be seen to faster. You wouldn’t inconvenience your fellow riders.
But you’re going to do what you’re going to do.
I am not the boss of you, right?
But what I am the boss of is myself.
And I would much rather ride those great roads when I have them all to myself. Like a Boss.
Just the other day, I found myself hammering the Wollombi road on my way to Cessnock. It was about four in the arvo, it was hot, and I stopped at the place with all the sculptures on the left a few klicks before Wollombi. It was open but it was empty. Like really empty. There wasn’t even a person I could buy a drink from. So I took a bottle of cold water from the fridge, swilled it down and then wandered around looking for someone I could give some money to. No-one around at all. Oh well, no biggie. I emptied the bottle, went back inside, put it on the counter and stuck a five-dollar note under it. As I was leaving, a girl came out from somewhere around the back. I told her what I had done and she was amazed at my honesty.
“Want your change?” she asked.
“Nah,” I smiled. “You keep it. Buy yourself something nice.”
She gave me a strange look, then we both cracked up laughing.
It was certainly no big thing at all. But it was a good thing. It was one of those special, memorable social moments motorcycling chucks up now and again.
Would it have chucked up such a moment on a weekend when the roads, cafes and pubs are brimming with bikes and cops? Not at all. In all likelihood a special moment on the weekend is you on your knees while a police officer books you into oblivion and then masturbates over it in his car.
I prefer to chuck a mid-week healthy.
It certainly beats the crap out of becoming fap-fodder for the Highway patrol, don’t you think?
By Boris Mihailovic