A (fair) few years ago now I bought an old Ford Falcon station wagon from the Backpacker Car Market in Kings Cross in Sydney and drove it around around Australia.
As bullet-proof as the old Falcon was, there was no way it would make it up Cape York. So once I got to Cairns I hooked up with Cape York Motorcycle Adventures and did one of their 6-day tours to the very tip of Far North Queensland.
There were nine of us in the group – me and 8 guys from Melbourne. They all worked for Andrew, a property developer, and the trip was a kind of a bonus and team building exercise all in one. We were accompanied by three guys from CYMA – Johnnie, Kurt and Cookie – who took turns to be our guide, mechanic and cook.
As way of introduction we all said our name and the bike we rode back home. Most of the guys had top-of-the-range trail bikes like Yamahas, Kawasakis, and KTMs. Andrew had a BMW. They thought I was joking when I said I rode a Vespa.
‘It’s a PX200,’ I said, defensively. ‘That’s powerful for a Vespa.’
Anyway, we were all assigned a bike and we set off with a deafening roar up the Cape York Peninsula.
Some of it was very dry. Some of it was very wet. We crossed raging rivers and camped beside creeks with signs warning that crocodiles had been sighted nearby.
CYMA say it represents the best of Australian dirtbike adventure and it did.
When we finally reached the tip of Cape York it was eerily still and airless. I felt like I had reached the end of the world.
It also felt like a kind of achievement.
Especially when Cookie slapped me on the back and said ‘You’re not bad for a scooter rider.’