Suzuki Heaven




My roommate had mentioned he left his motorcycle at his mates place last night so that he wouldn’t have to ride home under the influence of alcohol. New South Wales has fairly strict guidelines for what constitutes a DUI. Here in New South Wales the legal limit is 0.05 whereas in the United States it’s 0.08. While a seemingly small difference of 0.03, it tightens the gap for casual drinkers out on the road.

The Australians very much have a different sense of humor than the Americans. I saw an ad aimed at curbing drunk driving out and about that made me smile. The photo is a little blurry but I enjoyed the humor so it’s worth manually keying in.

Plan A

  • Drink and drive. Face the consequences

Plan B

  • Walk home
  • Run home
  • Do that combined run/walk sort of thing
  • Catch a taxi home
  • Share the taxi with mates
  • Share the taxi was potential new mates
  • Get mate’s mom to drive us home
  • Get girlfriend to drive us home
  • Get girlfriend’s friend to drive us home
  • Order home delivered pizza and get a lift with pizza guy
  • Catch bus
  • Catch train
  • Sleep on mate’s couch
  • Sleep in mate’s spare room
  • Sleep on mate’s a lounge room floor using dodgy cushion for pillow
  • Sleep in cheap motel room
  • Sleep on the floor of room someone else is paying for
  • Go to girlfriend’s place
  • Go to ex-girlfriend’s place
  • Go to future girlfriend’s place
  • Camp
  • Rent on – site caravan
  • Weave hut of reeds, banana tree leaves or palm fronds and sleep in i Be shot out of a cannon in the general direction of home
  • Get towed home on homemade sled by a pack of Huskies
  • Marry a cabbie

So what did all this mean for me? My roommate couldn’t get the bike and the car home at the same time. Since my California motorcycle license is valid here in Australia he asked me if it would be a “burden” to ride the bike home. I said it would be a pretty big inconvenience but I could find a way to handle it. 🙂 Actually, I jumped at the chance. I was in high heaven. I didn’t even care that it was pouring rain.

He rides in SV 650 which is quite similar to the bike I have back home. The SV and the V-Strom share very similar motor configurations. The SV is more sporty while the V-Strom is more oriented to touring. I was a little unsure of the whole left side of the road thing. I’ve been learning to get used to it on the bicycle but I guess it’s one of those things you just have to jump in and do. I was following my roommate so I thought, “How much trouble can I get into?”

I smiled the instant I started the bike. The crack of the starter was familiar. The pulse of the engine beneath me felt like home. It was good to be back in the saddle. As soon as they reached forward to grab the controls the “oh, wow this is aggressive!” feeling came out. My back and arms yelled, “We’ve not done this before!”

I was used to a laid-back riding position. Mind was fully over matter here and I didn’t care. I was riding a bike. 🙂 In some ways it felt like being back in Panama City, Florida again riding a bike for the first time under my parents’ radar. A quick pulse of the throttle and release of the clutch and I was underway to high heaven.

Can we take the long way home? 🙂



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