So like everyone else, we’ve had a strange few years.

Returning from IBR 2019 it took me a couple of months to settle back into ‘real life’ after such a big adventure. It was definitely a huge adjustment coming off the adrenaline high to be back at a desk 5 days a week and everything felt like it was just a bit pointless. At the end of the year Martin got a job starting back in Canberra in 2020 so we packed up the apartment in Sydney and were mid-move when the first lockdown started in Australia.

Life in lockdown 2020
A brief getaway in 2021
The family in 2022

We survived 2020, managed to briefly escape to Brunswick Heads in mid-2021 where we did some planning for the Butt-Lite non-rally rally, and then got locked down again. And of course we missed the IBR. But it feels like life has returned vaguely to normality in the second half of 2022.

In July we made it across the borders to the US (and home again in August!) to pick up the (next) rally bike, a 2015 BMW R1200RT previously owned by the esteemed James Owen! Under previous ownership the bike was a part of the 2017 IBR-winning outfit. I suspect it’s going to be disappointed with the riding performance ‘under new management’ and hope its expectations were appropriately lowered over the course of our ride from Pennsylvania to Minnesota (more of which later)! Of course being a newer model RT the delightfully comfortable seat from the 2007 bike we rode in the 2019 IBR doesn’t fit, so Mick at MJM has refurbished another BMW torture device (aka the pillion seat) for me to make it significantly more comfortable. Other than that, the bike has all the farkles you’d expect of an IBR-winner, minus the long range tank and with additional USB ports installed for pillion phone and headset charging capabilities.

Which brings us to 2023! We’re entered in IBR 2023, which means it’s time for me to get my A into G and pony up for some time on the bike. I’m definitely not ride-fit after 4 years off the bike so there’s a journey ahead for me. That journey will be shared with you, dear reader, over the next 6-7 months!

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