Biannually, I ride with my motorcycling mates to Broken Hill in North Western New South Wales.
‘The Hill’ as it’s affectionally known by most Aussies is a mining town located in one of our arid zones with an average rainfall of 260mm( about 10 and a bit inches).
From my place to ‘The Hill’ is about 2500 klms return or about 3,000 miles however you measure distance these days.
Why do we do the ride you may ask? Well we’ve been doing it for so long now that none of us can recall why we started in the first place. Let’s say its just one of our traditions.
Now it came to pass that one of the blokes copped the ‘Big C’ and went to motor cycle heaven in quite a rush. Before he commenced that final journey he told us that he wanted his ashes scattered at Broken Hill and was particular that the place be ‘The Sculptures’.
The Sculptures may be the subject of a blog some other time.
Anyway, with his ashes safely packed away, off we went to ‘The Hill’ to fulfil our cobber’s wishes.
Oh, I forgot to add, the deceased specified dawn as the time he wanted his ashes scattered to the winds.
Before dawn on the appointed day we rode out of ‘The Hill’ and arrived at The Sculptures just before sun up.
Brother Brian as we call him had volunteered to scatter Bob’s ashes and as he did so each of us farewelled our mate Bob in our own special way.
Then, as the sun rose, we gathered together around Big Al’s bike and each of us related a yarn about Bob.
By the time we had all said our piece, the sun was well and truly over the horizon and it was time for the boys to pose beside one of the sculptures. This gave Brother Brian the opportunity to take a few minutes to make his private farewells with Bob.
As we walked back to our bikes, the sun was shining brightly on this sculpture, lifting our mood after a couple of difficult hours.
So, where does all this relate to ‘connect’?
Firstly, our little group is firmly connected through our passion for motorcycles.
Secondly, we feel connected because we have been riding together for over twenty years.
Thirdly, we feel connected through our traditions, which we all observe, particularly our biannual ride to ‘The Hill’.
Fourthly, with Bob’s passing and the distribution of his ashes, we feel more closely connected than ever before.
Finally, we all respect each others idiosyncrasies, creeds, interests and observance of social mores when we are out on a ride.
I guess this all means we are’ Well Connected’ but not in the traditional social sense.