middo has kindly agreed to share his story with us all. Many thanks for participating and giving us a very enjoyable story. Q. Aaah middo, have a seat. It is a pleasure to meet you at long last. How have you been? Whats news? I'm pretty good at the moment. Very busy as usual, with family and work, but good. I haven't always been so positive, and had my share of the black dog following me, but it is tamed at the moment. It's a bit of a story, For those that are not very interested, skip ahead. I realise now that through my teenage years and until probably ten years ago I have dealt with mild depression on and off. I was reasonably successful at school, became an engineer, met my wife at Uni, married at 23, had our first child at 24, second at 26 and third at 29. We moved interstate from Victoria to Perth at 31 to retrain as teachers and to escape. Escape what? Escape Melbourne, escape family pressures, escape work, escape our black dogs. But of course the dogs followed us, and while I and my wife love our jobs, we struggled until about 10 years ago when we worked out what was wrong with us. Since then we have been kinder to ourselves. Set smaller goals and celebrated our achievements, rather than set unrealistic goals and beat ourselves up all the time. We have wonderful children who are all in Perth for education now. We travel regularly to see them, and love the time we have with them. Would I move to Perth? It would not be my preference. I don't really like the city, any city. I find them a bit too soul destroying. The impersonality of it all. The irrelevance of my life. A country town lets you feel that you are a least a little important. As a teacher you are part of the community. We have a hobby farm out of town to get some space from the students and parents. My wife has been on local government, we have coached basketball and hockey teams. We have played sport against and with our students. Country living is a little different. Q. You, HeavyNinja and PatB are the flag bearers out in the Wild West. Have you guys actually met up yet? If so, tell us about it. How did it come about? I've met up with PatB once a while ago. The three of us are fairly spread, as WA is a large state. The distance from myself to HeavyNinja is about as far as you can travel in Victoria without leaving the state. The meeting with Pat was for a handover of the chicken. For newer members, we had a rubber chicken travel around a lot of Australia in a relay, passing from netrider to netrider. I collected it from Nickers330 in Melbourne while on holiday, flew home, gave "Stretch" a holiday in Geraldton, and then passed him onto Pat. You can read about it here: The Netrider Great Rubber Chicken Relay Q. Are you aware of any other netrider regulars out this end? Have you always been based in WA? There are a few who come and go. Unfortunately, we don't have a weekly learners session or such like, so the community is very much on-line. Q. Tell us a little about yourself. Same profession as smee and Seany. How long you've been teaching for now? Do you at times feel like you're in the classroom on here lol? I teach maths, so usually no, it is very different here. Most students don't actually want to do maths, but everyone comes on here by choice. There are times when the "inmates" on here need a bit of discipline, but thankfully that isn't my job. As I said earlier, I retrained as a teacher after being an engineer for about 8 years. I found that I didn't really enjoy what I was doing in engineering. I wouldn't give the time to the job that was required to get ahead, as I had a young family and wanted to spend too much time with them. I took a year off when my last one was born, as my wife was earning more than me at the time. I loved it. I renovated the house, taught my middle child where everything was in Bunnings, cleaned up baby bums, all the fun stuff. After a year I went back to engineering, and realised I needed to change. The missus suggested we should think about teaching, and it just sort of clicked for both of us. We packed up, headed West, spent a year in Perth retraining, and got jobs in Geraldton. The rest is history as they say. I've been teaching for 15 years in the same school. My next job will not be for a boss though. We haven't really decided what we will do when the kids no longer need our support, but we will go into our own business. I like brewing, cheese, growing garlic, and coffee. Surely I can think of something in there that will turn a buck or two? Q. Can you explain your forum name for us. Easy. Surname is Middleton, so the nickname is pretty obvious. It is what my year 12 students call me. They get that privilege. Q. You come across as a calm self centered bloke. Have you ever lost your cool on here before?! What are your forum pet hates? I don't really lose my cool on netrider. If I see something stupid, I prefer to use a bit of sarcasm to point it out. If someone gets upset about something, I tend to let them calm down. If someone says something that is, in my opinion, wrong, then I would prefer to use logic to get them to see the error of their ways. Banging the keyboard, using profanities or CAPITALS, doesn't really say anything except that you can't keep your own cool. Q. If we were to visit you at home, what bikes are we going to see in the shed? What bikes do you hope to have by the time we next come around? I currently have my grey DL650 Vstrom, the wife's black DL650 Vstrom, and the Vstar 1100 which is gathering cobwebs in the corner. I was planning on riding both, but it just doesn't happen. We also own a Virago 250, which my son currently rides in Perth. I will probably hold onto that one as the kids learner bike until they all have their licences. I only started riding in 2007, so the virago was my first bike. It was also the first vehicle of any kind I have bought brand new. Next time you come around, I will probably have sold the vstar, and still have the vstroms. I may have a dirt bike for use on the farm, and to get to the beach a bit quicker. Part of me would love a larger more powerful bike, but most of the time the bike is more capable than I am. I am determined to never ride beyond my abilities. So far I haven't had any drops of any kind, and I intend to keep it that way. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy my riding, but I did a few silly things as a younger man in cars, and I don't intend to replicate that on bikes. Q. Mrs middo still rides? Bought her a new lid yet?! Yes, she rides. On the commute to work, we normally ride my bike with her pillioning. But weekends or longer rides she likes to be in charge herself. Buying gear from Geraldton is a bit of an issue for us. There is one bike store in town, which has a bit of stuff, but not much range. Helmets need to be tried on, so we do what we can when in Perth. She currently has an RJays lid that she likes a lot. I have an old RJays one as well, which needs changing about a year ago. I'll get around to it soon. I promise... Q. How many kamikaze roos have you hit or nearly hit? I would imagine there are an abundant amount of roadkill on some of the roads that you travel? You've been on some decent rides and ridden interstate? I haven't hit anything on the bike yet. We have hit a few in the car, including one roo on the driveway. Not everyone can say that! I have had to do a few e-stops for roos, but generally there is enough room at the side of the road to see them bouncing before they are an issue. I had one close shave at night on the coast road coming home from Perth. I didn't see it until it was right beside me, bouncing my way. It passed just behind, but reinforced my dislike of riding after dark on that road. I have some spotties to fit sometime too. It might help a bit. We have ridden across the Nullarbor, as far as Tasmania and back. you can read about it here: Middo's nullarbor adventure That was pretty epic, and we are looking at a round Australia ride as soon as the youngest finishes year 12. I would also like to do a tour of East Timor and ride the outback highway from Leonora to Winton. We have plans for a tour of the US and Canada that takes in every state and province, when funds and time allow, and I would like to do a Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia and a round the world. My very first post on netrider was asking about RTW rides. Q. I see you were overseas in May 2016. What was that all about? Business? Pleasure? Fill us in! We had a week in Beijing, and a few days in Singapore. My youngest daughter plays hockey pretty well. She got herself selected onto a representative team to play in a "Friendship games" tournament in Beijing, as captain. We thought about going on the actual tour, parents could do that, but we didn't want our child to be THAT kid, with parents there all the time. We priced some airfares, accommodation, and went for it. Touring in China was great. We rode the subways in Beijing, caught buses the wrong way, had locals help us out, and found our way to some of her games. We will definitely be back to China in the future. But I wouldn't ride a motorbike over there without really getting my head around the traffic. At first glance, it looks insane, but after a while you start to understand its logic. Downtown traffic is confusing, but it is also fairly polite and it is slow, but moving. Q. Well its been a pleasure having this chat middo. I've got a four-and-a-half hour plane flight back east, and you've got a four-and-a-half-hour bike ride back to Geraldton. Any message you want me to pass on to admin Mouth for you? Keep up the good work. I've enjoyed netrider for a few years now, and have met a great community of people through it. Q. Take care middo, and thanks for the chat. Thank you. Justus.