Modern Moto Magazine ISSUE No. 7 March 2018 - Page 20

Life of a Motorcycle Jacket Part 3 of 8 A Near-Death Experience But a er New Zealand, I thought she forgot about me. Months went by, years even. I was stuff ed in a closet — dark, dull, uninspired. The days of wind through my collar and the two of us chasing sunsets seemed to be over. Then, I was brutally awoken from my depressed hiberna on and carried to a familiar place: The airport. Yihhhaaa! We were going on a trip again! This me, the plane fl ew us to Australia. Chantal fell head over heels for a Yamaha XT250 and piled all of her belongings on the back of the li le bike. On the road again once more! Australia was nothing like I’d ever been before. This country was sooo big! And there were all of these strange animals. There were kangaroos and emus, both of which loved jumping out into the road in front of our trusty iron steed. Then, there were the animals we admired from a far, like the dingoes and the camels. But none of them made an impression quite like the wombat. The night before the life-changing incident, we had a beer at a local pub. The men were curious about Chantal’s travels. So, she ra led on and on about how amazing the trip had been so far. As per usual, the audience insisted she’d take care of herself out on the road and ride safely. It’s the same song people sing everywhere we go. Yet, today, they had a good reason to be fearful. “Just an hour ago, a guy crashed his bike only 10 kilometres out of town on the windy, two- lane road,” the bartender explained to us. “He was airli ed to hospital, and it’s completely unclear what happened. There was no collision, no oncoming traffi c, nothing,” con nued the bartender. “He was just going 20 way too fast,” concluded one of the locals. I thought of his poor jacket that must have been ripped to pieces. I hope something like this would never happens to me. The next morning, Chantal sat on her bike without the usual ease. She was worried; I could feel it in the way she closed my zip up all of the way. Her muscles tensed under my shoulder pads as she rode carefully around the corners. Her style today was nothing like her normal fl ow. Was she scared, or merely careful? Then, just as I was dozing off due to this non-excitement, a big grey- black blob appeared in the middle of our lane. The blob was a wombat. These short-legged, meter-long solid blocks of animal were infamous for throwing trucks off of the road when they’d hit one. Aaahhh, help, help, help! Someone do something! We were halfway through a corner, and cars were fast approaching in the opposite direc on. Swerving out of the bend would have us smash straight into these iron machines. Ahhhhh, we’re gonna die! But Chantal did the only thing she could do, she pushed down on the handlebars, leaned the poor protes ng Yamaha into the corner and passed the wombat with inches to spare. Wow, thank heavens we were going so slow today, otherwise we would have been in a bed next to that guy and his jacket who crashed here yesterday. To be con nued in the next issue of Modern Moto ... By: Chantal Simons Author of She'll Be Right! Tales and Thoughts of a Woman's Motorcycle Adventure Down Under available on