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The Prince of Darkness

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by mattb, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. I met the Prince of Darkness last night!

    QuarterWit and I spent a great day out cruising the roads north of Yea, testing out my SR500 with the new (used) engine. In the morning, just near Flowerdale, we pulled to a halt on the road as Skippy decided to jump in front of us (the car coming the other way, driving along with no attention to the side of the road, almost collected him!). Then south of Strath Creek at dusk I got on the brakes and waved energetically at QuarterWit, who wondered why I was so anxious to point out the fire over in the paddock until, as we accelerated again, three cows dashed in behind me and in front of him, forcing him to an anxiously quick stop!

    So we took it easy on to Broadford then down the Old Hume Road. Cruising at about 80kph rather than 100. Then, as I came round a corner leading – it was about 7pm and pitch black save for the re-assuring glow of my headlight – all assurances gave out as the headlight did so too, and I was plunged into the said pitch blackness! Suffice to say it was a invigorating experience decelerating in the dark, knowing any moment an unsuspecting other would be coming round the corner behind, hoping I could calculate that spot where the road sided, without going over it into whatever lay beyond in the dark night. It was like a big metaphor for something deep in me which I deperately avoid acknowledging…. ;)

    Anyway, here we are in the heart of darkness.


    Fortuatley I carry a home-assembled tool kit. First came out the wind-up torch. Then the screw driver kit – I reckoned this was a fault of the switches – and a decent knife which has all sorts of uses, in this case wire-cutting. We couldn’t fix the problem, my attempts at which were complicated by my fitting of a capacitor in replacement for a battery, which necessitated starting – rather kick-starting – the bike each time in order to test each attempt and again stare into the dark. So we decided that it would be easier to just pack everything up and make for Wandong. QuarterWit was riding my GR650. It has a bicycle speedo with no light, so like a blind man piggybacking a sighted cripple, he headed things up in the right tyre track, while I hugged him close behind from the left tyre track, and we attempted a speed which was as slowly safe as possible while being fast enough regarding rear-coming traffic.

    Anyway, we got to Wandong and a servo, ate chocolate, I inspected the headlight and its wires, then the wires in the switchblock, then cut the theoretically connecting ones, making ‘lights on’ and ‘low beam’, kicked the bike over, the headlight came on, and with low-beam working and QuartWit leading on high-beam and no speedo, we did our blind-cripple piggyback back to Melbourne.


    I blew the tyre tube two-up on the freeway a couple of weeks back. Now I’m just waiting for number three!
  2. good boy scouts are always prepared :)

    nice, guys-
    you did McGuyver PROUD
  3. That would definitely be a somewhat trouser-staining experience: nice equanimity.
  4. Plus you reminded me that my own speedo globe went out recently. Ah well, the bike's coming up for a service...
  5. Lol I had this happen to me in India. Luckily I was carrying a mini maglite, so I stuck it in my mouth and proceeded cautiously.
  6. You can see heaps further and ride faster if you turn the torch around the other way, ya know

  7. Well I'd say the consensus is that you hold it in your mouth pointed forwards and, when you need to brake, you turn it (and your head) around. :)
  8. Haha :grin:

    I see Maglite have solved the indicating problem, too.

  9. our blind-cripple piggyback

  10. "There are ghost bikes all over these highways!"

    Sounds like you made it back alright, right?

    Reminds me of the time I was riding my CX home late one friday night, long straight stretch of country road, I was fiddling with my gloves & I managed to switch the headlight off! :shock:

    That was bloody scary, my vision very quickly faded to black & it was a second or two before I realised what I had done.

    Thankfully there was no traffic or kangaroos around at that time :LOL:
  11. I have had a similar exprience... pitch black night, riding down the road (not so slowly)... then nothing but black... damn headlight.

    managed to fix it so there was no need for the old torch in the mouth trick :p
  12. My old Kat popped its headlight down one night ... halfway around a corner. Stayed on tho. Lit up the front wheel just fine.