Cool people say things like “I’m not much of a one for joining things.” I used to try that line. I pretended that I aspired to be Rudyard Kipling’s Cat that Walks by Itself, self-sufficient and above wordly things like small talk and The Price Of Cheese. The truth was that I was a peculiar child with limited social skills. Joining in happened to other people.
But now I ride a motorcycle and the best thing about that is all the people it brings me to meet.
I loved my day with the Knights. Everyone I spoke to about it thought it was very funny that the Australians felt the need to organise me a police escort for my first ride in the country. Rolling up the freeway in a column of chrome and rubber, I thanked the gods of random life opportunities and laughed like a crazy woman.
Riding back down from the lookout point, Zeke, Muffy and I parked up and caught up with Mel and the rest of the club. They hadn’t persuaded the Castle Hotel to open up, and were a little further down the main drag on a shady verandah. Over a long black, Mel said a few words of welcome and awarded me a Blue Knights patch – a proper one, not a “Knight’s Lady” which is what the pillion partners wore – and a 99% diamond, and a badge. I don’t have powers of arrest so they are honorary. But I do feel honoured. So many people took a day out of their holidays to ride with me and show me their fine roads. But then I remember that they are bikers, and this is what we do.