We had the privilege of having Keong, a fellow foldie rider (Dahon Vitesse) from Singapore join us for our regular ride to Mandurah. He was in Perth for a visit with his family and gladly accepted the invite to ride overseas for the first time.
Keong was thrilled to use my Speed Pro while I used Chris' missus' MTB, a Marin with a very special AMP fork.
Catching the 607am train was a challenge but we made it and rode to Uncle Ken's home 4km away from the Mandurah Train Station. As usual, Ken was there waiting for us, grinning like a Cheshire cat, all ready to dance.
It so happened that the weather got really warm and it hit 30c at 10am, making it like a typical Aussie outback. Still, there were enough cool breezes to bring some relief. Both Keong and Chris were taken in by the beauty of the coastline and I truly never get tired of doing this ride. We took it easy and Chris was really keeping his camera busy.
I was enjoying a good yarn with Ken on the saddle and noticed that our guests were nowhere to be seen. That got me worried and after 15 mins, Keong showed up with his left knee all banged up and bleeding. He had misjudged one of the downhill hairpins and crashed. Fortunately, Chris brought a first-aid kit and we spent the next 10 mins playing ER.
Despite this, Keong was sporting enough to continue. We rode through some dirt path and I nearly lost it as the front wheel got bogged by the soft sand.
Morning tea came 5km early at Dawesville Cut given the crash. We carried our bikes down steep long stairs to picnic at the lovely jetty.
With the heat rising, so did the number of flies. Not wanting to hang around longer than necessary, we made our way up and headed home. I felt for Keong but he seemed alright. A really tough cookie he is! Schwarnager's famous words, "I have no time to bleed" wouldn't be out of place here.
We had to take more water breaks than usual and rode past a huge brown snake! That got everyone excited. Just before town, my bike somehow lost its chain and it laid on the ground, like a metal snake. I was spinning like the Flintstones for a while before realising what had happened.
It had snapped but once again, Chris the saviour brought along a spare link (he is truly a mobile workshop) and fixed it in no time.
At Ken's house, we were so grateful for cold drinks and warm fellowhip. It happened that Barb, Ken's wife is a retired nurse and when she saw Keong's injuries, she brought out the largest first-aid box ever and started to have fun cleaning and dressing him up.
Ken very generously fixed us a lovely lunch of cold meats, bread and salad which we woofed down hungrily.
While we laughed and joked over lunch, Ken remarked that this ride with the heat and all the adventure and excitement made this a truly outback experience. As we returned home in the cool aircon train in 36c heat, I couldn't agree with him more.
Keong - you are the man!
Photo credits of Pics 1,2,4,10,11,15 & 16 - CW