I need to talk to you
I looked up from yet another greasy burger with the lot - that's the trouble being on the road in Oz, crap roadhouse food is all you can get in the couple of hundred kilometres between decent towns
He was big. Very big, well over 2m tall (that's over six foot for the metrically challenged), heaps of tatts, muscled up, long greying hair. He leaned hard on the table, looking intently into my face
You the nutter on that bike thingy out there?
Where ya goin?
Adelaide; well actually just Renmark this arvo
Where'd ya start from?
Sh*t! Y'know there's a b***y bus youse can use?
He shook his head slowly
I really gotta know, was it you I saw on the Mid-Western Highway a week or so ago?
Probably, I came that way
How long ya been goin then?
Oh, nearly two weeks
Why ya doin it? Ya raising money for charity or something?
Nooo. Why? Ummm. Well it's one of those, ummm, well I was going down to Adelaide to visit my Mum and it just seemed like a good idea at the time to ride to Adelaide
Jeez, you are a nutter. Wanna lift? We can be there in a few hours
Actually, believe it or not I'm enjoying myself out there on the road, so, thanks but no thanks
Thought you'd say that
He was laughing by now
I pushed away the remnants of the burger and stood
Want to have a look at the bike?
We went outside and walked over the trike. Obviously more mechanically minded than I, he asked a heap of questions, many of which I really struggled with. Just how does a planetary drive work?
When I invited him to try a ride, he literally jumped at the chance. After a couple of ginger laps around the servo - petrol (gas) station - he let go and was soon whooping as he zipped in and around the parked rigs and their drivers, at times leaning the trike onto two wheels. He soon gathered a noisy crowd of other drivers and amongst a heap of laughter he seemed a tad reluctant to stop, but when he did so, he laughed again and said: You've showed me yours, I'll show you mine
And so we walked across to his rig. A B-double, that is, a prime mover hauling tandem trailers. Big. Very big. And amazing. Twin cabin, an almost full size bed up back, satellite TV and as for the drivers seat & controls, well they seemed more like something out of a space shuttle than an earthbound vehicle
Wanna have a go at driving this baby?
I declined gracefully, saying that I wanted to get into Renmark and we soon parted company
I was in South Australia now and the verge had completely disappeared. Good road but no verge, it was a bit disconcerting and so a few kilometres down the road just before the turn-off to Adelaide when I heard a big rig behind me, I pulled over to the side of the road and very shortly afterward with a couple of long blasts on the air horn and a wave, my new-found friend flashed past me
By the time I hit Renmark, he'd be half-way to Adelaide