I am a proponent of riding in all conditions, to the conditions.
You never know when you'll get caught out in bad weather or when you'll need to change modes and settle in to get the distance covered.
It's important to learn these skills.
It's better to learn on your own terms.
I knew the Hills would be cold, foggy and somewhat dodgy this morning - great opportunity to put the MT09 through its paces and see how she dances when things aren't quite right.
I head in the general direction of Emerald, the fog is hanging in the distance - the dash reads 8 degrees Celsius.
Heated grips on. 100 percent. Check.
The temperature continues to drop, eventually bottoming out at 4 degrees as I pass over Mount Burnett in a roundabout way to Gembrook. I'm getting on with the bike - beginning to to understand her a little more.......BANG! The rear lets go instantaneously, the bars dip violently - I've just hit some black-ice.
Settle down - settle in. All is well - you 'saved' it.
I continue calmly allowing the adrenaline to subside before pulling over to take a break.
Matte Grey MT on a Matte Grey day
Time to push on. I take a detour to Nar Nar Goon (north) - some small roads out this way which will allow me to come off pace entirely and enjoy the scenery. The fog is persistent, however there are moments of clarity, both in mind and environment.
The Sun desperately peeking through
As I'm backing up to take the photo above I almost literally fall into a Wombat borrow. The little fella is probably keeping warm inside.
Detour over - back on track towards Gembrook.
The fog is lifting somewhat and I'm in good spirits.
Fleeting patches of Sun break through and the MT is behaving herself - more or less.
I am mindful of the kilometres already travelled and the odometer reading. I'm kissing 900kms and my 1,000km service isn't booked for a couple more days.
I point her nose home and look forward to defrosting.
All in all, an educative ride with the new girl.
The suspension still needs some work, possibly even a rebuild.
But at the heart, the motor is sublime and she has good bones - a light chassis, great ergonomics and a willingness to dance.
........Hey Mr. Wombat......anyone Home?