Down To The UPS
Australian Road Rider|July/August 2018

Grab a couple of modern classic Ducatis and tour one of Australia’s best-kept motorcycling secrets? You flippin’ betcha

Life is full of fascinating twists and turns and the generosity of mates regularly astounds. Combine both and amazing things happen. Reared a Sandgroper, the lure back to old stomping grounds couldn’t be resisted for more than a decade. As my Dad was turning 80, a trip “home” was pretty much mandatory.

Chucking the toys out of the cot, sticking my fingers in my ears when the ugly word work was brought up, flights for two heading west were locked in. Bunking down with friends is always preferable to the same/same of motel boxes. Reconnecting with people who have been close since the eldest of my adult kids was born is grounding and fulfilling. “Of course you’re staying with us! What’s the plan? Need bikes?” Errr, yes, go south to the ups and … really? Bikes? Serious? Sweet, shit yeah!

Starting a motorcycle trip in an airport departure lounge is special enough, but when our hosts rolled a shiny red ‘97 916 and black Monster 900s out of their shed, hooley-dooley, this was going to be a special few days. 

If Perth is the most isolated city in the world, the south-west may be the most isolated part of the first world. And one of the prettiest. This small area sits close to the top of the list of biological diversity, boasting stunning coast and bush. To my mind it’s a bit like mixing the Adelaide Hills with a chunk of Tassie. WA is a place of big open spaces, long straight roads and flat scenery. The Land of the Ups is a small green, twisty haven in a state dominated by harsh, hard country. I’ve always been under the impression that the suffix “up” in the town names of the south-west meant water. With a little research I’ve since learnt that it means “place of”. So, Nannup must be Place of Widowed Retirees.

Speaking of Nannup, it may be the ideal base for an exploration of this part of the country. Every road in and out is a gem, the cafes and pub were good if not remarkable. There are more wineries and boutique brewers than a liver could cope with in a lifetime and the trees are bloody massive.

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