DAY 28

Week 4

BRISBANE (Queensland, AUS) to TERRANORA (New South Wales, AUS)

Thursday August 3rd, 2017

TODAYS MILEAGE – 197 miles or 317 kilometres
TRIP MILEAGE – 26,075 miles or 41,964 kilometres

With time zone changes, you essentially lose 2 days coming back to Australian from Europe. With me landing at Brisbane International Airport around 7AM in the morning, which gave me less than 24 hours before I was back at the airport and headed to Beijing (China).

To give y'all a little background, I'd been negotiating with a couple of Harley Davidson dealers on getting a replacement for my 2000 Night Train prior to the trip and while in Spain. It seems that all the planet had aligned, which means that I am now the proud owner of a second hand 2017 CVO Steet Glide with 20 miles (32 kilometres) on the clock.

You might be asking "2nd hand bike with 32k's on it, how's that work if it's not an ex-demo bike??". A couple of weeks ago a guy purchases two Harley's on the Wednesday night at Sunshine Coast Harley-Davidson, takes them home and announces proudly to the wife "Hi honey I'm home - look what we now have". By all accounts she fair flies off the handle, as she has no inkling as to the purchase and announces "Either one of the bikes go or I do!!!" So first thing Thursday morning ol' mate returns the bike to the dealer and must have taken a huge towelling on the what he got for it, based on what I paid for it at the Gold Coast Harley-Davidson, which just so happens to be owned & operated by the same company, some 107 miles (173 kilometres) down the M1 Motorway.

The upshot of it all for me was that upon arrival in Brisbane, I hired a car for $50 for the day, drove straight to the dealer and took my bike out for its first shakedown ride under my ownership. I decided to head down to Byron Bay for lunch beside the Pacific Ocean and to check out the Eastern-most point of mainland Australia.

There is a cautionary tale to this day though. After I returned my bike to the dealer, just before they closed, I got back on the Motorway as I had a 26 mile (42 kilometre) to get to my accommodations for the night. With a combination of exhaustion, jet lag and being extremely tired, I managed to unwillingly partake in a couple of micro-sleeps while in peak-hour traffic on the motorway. I scared the living shit out of myself the first time, so I pulled over for a walk around the car to see if I was OK to go. I got back in traffic and was focused 250% on not having a repeat, only to nod off again at the last set of traffic lights before pulling into my mates place. I gave myself an upper-cut and vowed never to do that again as long as I live.

• BYRON BAY ~ High On The Hawg (New South Wales, AUS)