My name is Ty and I am a couple of days out from taking off on a ride around Australia. This trip has been in the making for 20 years! It came from a promise made to a new school mate when we were 17 years old. As we soon found out, both our "old mans" were bikers and we realised that "Hydro" and I were the only 2 amongst our school peers that owned and rode motorbikes.
We made a promise soon after meeting that " If one of us won Lotto then they had to buy the other, as well as them selves a bike to ride around Australia "
We have reminded each other of this promise each and every time we have caught up during our lives there after, fishing trips, music concerts, birthdays, parties and various other get togethers. These were weeks sometimes years apart but never forgotten.
Well Hydro and I never won Lotto, mind you, it would help if we had made an effort to put in to buy a ticket more often than not!
Then one day nearly 12 months ago I was telling another mate about this old 'secret' promise as we sat on his veranda drinking beers and talking about his new Aprilla Supermotard bike there in front of us. His enthusiasm was agreeable with the thoughts of riding with a long time mate discovering the country, its people and everything in between.
On my return home soon after that very conversation, whilst I was trying to find the keys to get in my front door, I received a text message on my phone. It was Hydro... With a one sentence statement of "We have to do this trip" I had a uneasy moment thinking WTF? Out of instinct, I looked over my shoulder thinking he might have been there, but as I hadn't seen him in 18 months, he didn't know where I was living at that time due to me living/studying in Fremantle W.A., plus he didn't know my other mate who I had just had the conversation!
Once through the front door I replied to the message with "yeah fella, I'll put in for a extra ticket in this weekends draw". This was immediately met with another statement from Hydro that really hit home to me in a way that he couldn't possibly have realised. It was "Na Ty, we have to do this before one of us gets, sick, injured or hitched".
I had been not only studying at that time but also caring for a mate of mine Doug with cancer, taking him to chemo, radiation and all the other treatments. This had given me a different outlook on life, watching someone close, another knock about Aussie lad, being eaten from the inside out by a insidious disease. I had never really appreciated the yellow daffodil or the pink ribbon charities until then... This coupled with a mentor and study partner at our Maritime College falling ill to a mysterious disease and pulling out of the course we were in together ( soon later finishing his career ) Also all my friends at this age of 37, seem to be getting engaged, married, having a kid, some even onto their 2nd or 3rd!
That was it, I made up my mind there and then, I was in! I was doing the trip, I wasn't waiting for a wind fall, a stroke of luck or another reason. I was going...
That weekend I drove around to all the bike stores in Perth gathering information and prices on all the models available for what we wanted to do the trip best with. I sent them to Hydro with a letter explaining the situation I received his message in and my committed status.
Since then Hydro has bought himself a Suzuki DR 650 and I have kitted out a 2011 Yamaha Tenere XT660Z. Below is a shot of my bike on my return to my home in Exmouth in the North West of W.A. From Perth.
As Hydro in currently living/working driving cattle trucks in the Northern Territory I will do this first leg solo to Darwin.
I'll endeavour to keep you posted with our experiences and further photos of our set ups and travels.