Mid North (SA) Overnighter (Update - RIP Paul )
For those who may have followed the sometimes comical exploits of Paul and I over the last few years, (see here if you’ve missed out) this RR offers something a little different. It’s the last bike ride we'll be doing together for some time, perhaps ever, as Paul is now embarking on what will ultimately be the most difficult and important ‘ride’ of his life.
A bit of background…. About five months ago Paul suffered a seizure at work and was initially diagnosed with possible epilepsy. We had already organized for a quick overnight spin up to the mid north (of SA) on the DR’s before his troubles had begun and he was still very keen to go. After all, there were bakeries that needed revisiting
Unfortunately, a few days before we were set to head off Paul got a call from his neurologist to say he wanted to see him rather urgently after a precautionary MRI result had come through. What they found looked like this
Holy Toledo Batman :eek1:eek1:eek1 Even to the untrained eye the cause of Paul’s seizure was now apparent - a golf balled sized tumour behind his eye. As is his way, Paul was more pissed off that our planned trip to the Victorian High Country in January might be in jeopardy rather than the journey that would soon confront him. He was very upbeat about his situation and derived great pleasure in playing a scene from Kindergarten Cop and telling people about his ‘Toomah’
<IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OaTO8_KNcuo" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME>
Try as I might, my suggestion that our couple of days away on the bikes should shelved fell on deaf ears. He was symptom free and on medication to ensure no more seizures, so we loaded up on a calm Thursday morning and headed north.
It had been a while since he’s been on the bike so we started with a meander around some tracks in the Adelaide Hills. Starting with some gentle slopes
Before progressing to some more difficult stuff
Soon I realised the Paul of old was back up and running, as he demonstrated yet another novel way to fall off his stationary bike :rofl:rofl:rofl
Of course now he had something to blame for his characteristic “sleeps” and I had to go easy on giving him too much of a ribbing.
So with the cobwebs blow out we headed off north past the rolling plains of crops
Through some water crossings
Before running along the edge of the famous Barossa Valley
From there we picked up some less frequented tracks
It wasn’t long and Paul was sorting out ‘gates’ that led to some interesting easements
With tracks that weaved through some great countryside
Slowly we meandered our way along the Light River
Where some nice deep pools were found
Unfortunately, like all good things, it soon came to an end when the way forward ended in farming land
So we backed tracked
We were always on the lookout for easements that gave us a trough trip but most ended in disappointment :huh
With the sun starting to get lower in the sky we kept heading north along some nice tracks
Until it was time to set up camp in an out of the way little spot
As this was to be a low key trip we had decided to “dine out” rather than cook in camp so with the campsite waypoint locked into the gps we headed off to the nearest pub, and what a cracker it was :clap:clap
It was a one man show, with the bloke behind the bar being the owner, cook, barman, bottleshop attendant and chief story teller! He put on a great (and cheap) meal and fixed us up with some discount beers to take back to camp.
A nice morning greeted us and we were soon off down some new and inviting tracks
Before my slackness at adjusting my nearly stuffed chain became an issue when a wayward stick caused me to suddenly lost forward momentum :wink:
With the chain back on and tightened we continued on through some steeper terrain
That eventually led us over the range
and onto some more out of the way tracks
After passing a family out on a morning walk
We found a few more easements
that enabled us to work our way back towards home
Through the Flaxman and Eden Valleys
Overall, it was great to get away for a few days and enjoy a few beers, a few stories and some time on the bikes.
I wrote this report late last year but with all that has happened in the last few months never got around to posting it up. After a serious seizure at work, Paul underwent a Craniotomy to remove his tumour a few weeks before Xmas.
The post-surgery diagnosis was dire – an aggressive malignant Grade 4 tumour (Glioblastoma Multiforme) that was beyond treatment.
Paul is now in palliative care. As it turned out, it was is his last ride…
Thanks for the 40 years of memories mate :cry
Update - RIP Paul
After a short but typically courageous battle Paul passed away last week surrounded by his family. His funeral yesterday highlighted a person who loved nothing more than being with his mates.
Taken so young he will be sorely missed.
This was one lie down he just could not get up from..
Many thanks to those who have sent kind words to me since Paul's illness.
I recently lost a mate and feel your pain!:cry
Those memories of time shared will stay with you forever and I'm sure Paul is happy that you and he shared those times together. He was a smart man to take the opportunity to ride with you, I'm glad you posted this report. Reminds people of how precious the time we have on this earth is and how we should make the most of it. Another mate and I have decided to stop the "One day we'll..." plans and actually complete one of our 'dream rides'. Stay strong mate.
Great ride report. Sorry to hear about you friend. Glad you got one last ride together. It looks like it was a beauty.
Very sorry to hear of your mate's condition. It would have been a particularly special ride for the both of you. Thanks for the great pics and RR.
Thanks for sharing your stories. Makes you think about making every moment count.
Thanks for posting, great ride report. Sorry to hear about Paul's condition.
I lost one of my best mates to a very similar situation. We rode a lot together and I will always cherish the memory of our last ride, as you will with your good mate Paul.
Its very depressing reading about people that go before their time, one of my old riding buddies that I went on a hundred rides with died suddenly from a brain aneurism, they are sorely missed. :cry
Great ride. Shed a tear over the bad news at the end. It's hard not to be gutted even though you know there were a lot of good times. The good times don't die, they get better over time. That will help in the future.
And good on both of ya for "giving it a go" as long as possible. When I die or get the news that it's imminent, I hope it's with the good memories of a good ride, fresh in my memory. And I wouldn't pass up the chance to defy the doctors either and get back in the saddle. Or into a mate's Sidecar.:huh
Bugger Bugger bugger
Well that RR brought a tear to my eye. As you know Greg I have been following your rides with interest. I think you should do the Victorian High Country ride when the time feels right.
I just did the APC 4 day rally in NSW with Wal. I used it as a fund raiser for the Anti Cancer Council. My fellow Rotarians all put in $10 to buy a 50 Km. section on the route. If I crashed and burned in their section they won $50. I called it crash and burn lotto. They had little faith in me and with my recent track record, who could blame them. After some real McGuyver like repairs on day 2, I managed to finish the event and raise $400.
Maybe you could do something similar(invite other riders to join you if they can raise money for the ACC) ?
Well done with your ride report Bully, I'm sure Paul loves it :clap
I often joke about why I do so many ride reports.
Basically just in case I can't ride anymore for whatever reason, it will stimulate my memories of the fabulous time had with great mates.
Your report has brought that even closer to home.
May your next ride be as enjoyable as your past Paul :thumb
Thanks for the great report Bully and really sorry to hear about Paul's condition.
Life throws us curveballs every now and then....this is more than that and how we live with this news is a real test of character and emotion.
I'm sure in saying that your mate Paul is in all our thoughts as we ride, as a band of brothers, making memories to last our lifetimes.
Good Luck Paul and just as importantly Good Luck to you as well Bully.
Loved the ride report guys. Its those trips that keep you coming back. Sorry to hear of Pauls sad news. Adventure riding itself is a lot of fun but its the people that you do it with that make the memories. Thoughts go out to Paul, his family and his riding mates and friends.
Great ride report, real sorry to hear the news about Paul.
I am going to miss your future ride reports together.
Looking forward to see what you do next. Keep riding mate.
Excellent ride report as usual ! Thanks ...
Since hearing about Pauls situation I've thought about you guys many times while riding, it shows we have to make the most of life, you just don't know what's around the corner...
Pauls situation influenced my learner-rider brother-in-law to come on a 7 day tour of Tassie with me last week, he had only done 600km before we set off... It was a "make him or break him" trip...
One of the most challenging parts for him was a track I stole from your tour of Tassie ride report, Carnac Road between Paris and Cascade dams up the north-east, I saved the route from your report last year.. I should have checked your report again before taking him through there though, I forgot how grotty it was, I saved it assuming I'd be going through on my own lol...
A couple of minor drops but he survived, I think it was one of the highlights of the trip for him because it was so challenging... He did well :)
I hope Paul is comfortable and his remaining time is as good as it can be... He's in my thoughts..
Great RR Bull and so sorry to hear of Paul's condition. I have just taken my brother on what appears to be his final boys river trip with a similar condition currently at grade 3. I feel for his family and mates and cherish the memories.
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