Had a busy weekend of riding; great fun, but damn I'm knackered from it all.

First off I booked a 'Spyder Experience' a few months ago for South Perth venue, which was then changed to 'south of Perth i.e. Bunbury ?? No probs, I had some friends down that way so left venue as is, but changed time from 10.30am to 11.30am. My brother then made a booking for the same time, so I'd meet up with him there (he was coming in from Mt Barker).

I left Friday morning about 8.15am and headed south via Sth West Hwy to Pinjarra, then the Old Bunbury Rd till it very briefly became new Freeway (not open till Sunday), and then the Old Coast Rd etc all the way to Bunbury - road works, speed zones etc .... geez. There were several bouts of rain along the way, and some strong cross/head winds nearly all the time, so was glad when I finally got to Bunbury. Arrived at venue (Koombana Drive car park) just before 10.30; brother was already there as he arrived Thursday and stayed in motel overnight.

What an unusual machine the Spyder is. First there is no counter steering, instead you pull on right bar to turn right, likewise with left bar and turns - reaction is a bit like go-cart steering, but is power assisted. There's no front brake lever; the whole thing is done by foot brake and ABS with proportional sensor for pillion. There's also Vehicle Stability Control, and Traction Control - yes the back end still busts loose, but only so far before TC kicks in which stops it getting right out of shape. The VSC takes care of handling on sudden changes of direction, and lifting of any wheel, by applying brake to grounded wheels and reducing engine power.

Turning is weird to say the least; you don't need to lean into corners, but you feel you should - when turning right, you feel like you are being 'tipped' off the seat to the left, and vice versa for turning left - this was a bit unsettling, and the one thing I really didn't like about the Spyder. Yeah it's very stable, goes well, sounds good (with sports muffler), has 45 litre storage in boot (up front like an old VW beetle), and is reasonably comfortable to ride/drive, and is well engineered.

Would I buy one; well another ride or 2 would be necessary first to get the cornering sorted, and my needs would have to be different than they are currently ... maybe sometime in the future; but the machine is definitely worth a test ride if only for the experience of something that is neither a bike nor a car.

So after the 'Experience', my brother and I headed of to a friends place about 25kms south of Busselton and stayed overnight; they're on 5 acres amongst other farmland, this time of year very wet, but very picturesque - and it's always good to catch up with friends you haven't seen for about a year Saturday morning we packed our gear and headed back to Busselton for fuel, said our 'seeya laters' and headed our separate ways home; brother was heading back to Mt Barker via Pemberton etc, and afterwards said it was a good ride apart from the downpours, and was glad to be back home in front of a nice hot fire.

Damned if I was going back up the Coast Rd etc; so I turned off at Capel, and headed home via Boyanup, Donnybrook and Collie. Fair bit of rain that way too, but scenery was awesome - all them rolling green hills and twisty roads Back on Sth West Hwy for a while, then turned off at Wokalup for a bumpy rough ride till the road turned to limestone, the only bitumen led back to Yarloop. So back on hwy for a while till I got to Pinjarra where I turned up Patterson Rd and took the back roads till I got to Nicholson Rd, and then Warton Rd home.

Sunday was a regular Ulysses Armadale 'Ride n Decide' - we don't go north of Perth often, so we decided on that option and about 15 of us headed straight up Albany Hwy, Tonkin, Roe and Gt Northern till Bullsbrook. From there we took Chittering Rd and the back 'twisites' through to Bindoon for a morning tea break at the bakery. A few headed home from there, the rest of us took a short ride to GinGin for lunch at the pub.

Weather hadn't been to bad for the morning so far, only a few light showers, but we elected for full wet weather gear on leaving GinGin (a wise decision). We headed back towards Bindoon, and took the Bindoon Dewars Pool Rd towards Toodyay. Some good stretches along there; me and another had gone on ahead of the group to enjoy the twisties and had just buttoned off for a car ahead when a 'revenue vehicle' came around the next bend ... lucky ...

We refuelled at Toodyay and headed home, and it pissed down all the way to Gidgy; I turned of at Stoneville Rd and went home via the Weir Rd. All up I totalled just over 900kms for the 3 days and felt every bit of it. Today I have to take the forks off, pick-up the new bushes from McCullochs and drop them, the new seals and oil off to Marty for dismantle, clean and re-assemble.