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I was heading south out of Queensland and had paused to spend the coldest part of the night sucking down a bottle of Stones. This was the only way to stop the wind chill factor shakes that was preventing me from having a clean run. The bull dosser that pushed yesterday’s trees into a pile by the road was my best ally against the frozen wind because the fire wasn’t much help; couldn’t get close enough to it. Sleep finally came and it seemed only like a moment before the early morning road gang was waking me up.

On with the full face, kick the beast to life and back at it. It was a full 10 minutes before I let the tacho rise above three grand and only when the Burringbar Range was in my rear mirrors did I lift the right foot to place the segregated gear box into top gear. The touring range of my interstate tank was full and the Grafton fuzz weren’t out of bed yet, so it only seemed like a dawn breaking fart before Coffs was a distant memory. Maxville’s Iron Bridge became Newcastle’s gateway and a milkshake at the Oak wasn’t as attractive as a Hawkesbury oyster, so I pushed on towards Sydney. Just passed the Toukley turn off and wouldn’t ya know it, a creep club was blocking me. As I rounded the big right hander on to Wyong straight, I couldn’t take it anymore, I flicked on the blinker, stuck the nineteen inch Dunlop on the yellow line and before we were half way along the eighteenth fairway I was three cars behind the offending long wide load. A police escort was in front waving the on coming traffic onto the verge, when a Mac Bulldog, carting a full load of bricks, came out of the Wyong township, steered left over the railway bridge and didn’t even attempt to slow down as it turned to negotiate the verge. As it turned out rather unsuccessfully!

Here I was, perched in the middle of the road with nowhere to go and fifty ton of bricks heading straight for me, pushing a jack knifed prime mover. I had less than five seconds to live. I tapped the Mageera leaver in my right hand twice, just enough to see the tail lights of the Falcon beside me, laid into a ninety degree lefthander and gassed it off the bonnet of a Commodore up the Fords arse. As I was leaving the raised surface of the carriage way, I managed a quick look in the direction of the driver of the offending implement, visible to me through his side window, and he was ducking for cover. Boom, the fibreglass cab exploded into a million pieces as the overhanging load from the westward bound freight ripped it open like it was a can of tuna.

Back to the task at hand: I was leaving a perfectly good road surface and taking to the air between it and the wire mesh fence protecting motorists from stray white balls, I just cleared it and landed heavily in the sand bunker. That day in seventy six never left my memory, as I’m sure it didn’t the twenty odd drivers that got side swiped or the shell shocked suicide jock that crawled out of the burning wreck.


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