James Squire Rogue Tales stories: Straight lined and flat out
An everyday adventure. Sometimes you need to escape the trappings of the mundane and just go out into the world. No plan. No worry where you’re going. But adventure can require money and planning, we had none. So what do you do? You get your bike, you pick a direction, and you cycle in that direction as far as you can.
When something stops you, you pick another direction and repeat. Where the line leads isn’t up to you. You just let it happen.
The bike is the perfect instrument for this. The bike is freedom on two wheels. Channeling our inner Jack Kerouac’s we set off on the road.
Full of energy, creative and kinetic, we picked our line and off we went. Legs pumping, chains shaking and tyres spinning, we left the roads and the indoors. We were outdoors, and soon enough, the line had led us to green grass. We were wandering rogues, refusing to be bored. We were searching for something spiritual, something life affirming. For answers in the unknown. In other words, we were lost.
We straight lined up paths that faded into grass. Soon we were far away, crossing farmers fields. A sign warned of Trespassing. But this was a sign we only saw in retrospect. We were busy being open road mavericks.
It wasn’t until after a few minutes, weaving through crops that we stopped. Behind us we saw what we took to be rabbits. Rabbits running through the crops. Bounding. But they were getting bigger. We squinted. Bigger still. They were not rabbits. They were dogs. And they were running towards us.
We did the mature thing when unexpectedly trespassing, we ran. Well we cycled. But the ground quickly became impossible to cycle on. So we picked up our bikes and ran. We considered dumping the bikes and climbing a tree. There was one tree and it was pitiful. It looked like it would collapse if we sneezed near it, never mind climb it. So we ran.
The dogs were getting closer. Behind followed a man, presumably the farmer. He carried either a shotgun or a stick. Either were not good for us. Panting, we continued, running flat out.
We eventually found ourselves on a dirt road. In the middle was a murky puddle. It was unavoidable. Getting back on our bikes we cycled through the puddle. Eventually the puddle reached our knees. This was not a puddle.
The puddle became a small lake, and we continued down it. Our journey had turned from Kerouac’s On the Road to Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, our bikes makeshift rafts. We exited into the garden of an elderly couple. They were just as confused as seeing us, as we were of them. We made our apologies and left their garden.
We found ourselves on a long road, cars speeding past us. Out of fear of getting trench foot, off came our wet shoes and socks, hanging them on our handlebars.
We walked in a straight line, but we were not playing the game this time. There was only straight ahead. There was only forwards to go. We walked because the bikes now had punctures. Freedom on two wheels deflated. We knew the feeling.
After a seemingly endless walk we could see familiar sights. But the road was long and it became dark. A police car pulled up besides us, wondering what two barefoot men pushing bikes were up to. We told our story. We showed them identification. We avoided incriminating ourselves by stepping around the word ‘trespassing’. A radio buzzed and the police had to speed off. We were left with a warning. Obviously more pressing things than us two barefoot wanderers.
Eventually we got home. Our impromptu spiritual pilgrimage was over. Did we feel more in tune with nature and wild spontaneity? Did we feel enlightened? We didn’t know. If enlightenment was similar to having soggy socks and wet shoes then yes.
Our journey over. The romantic ideas we had seven hours ago faded. The mundane had been escaped and spontaneity embraced. I don’t think we got what we expected to get. But we did learn one thing about life. Where the line leads isn’t up to you. You just let it happen.
The James Squire Rogue Tales stories< /strong>
James Squire (1754 – 1822) is a hero in Australian folklore, and rightly so: this ex-convict is, after-all, the father of the Australian brewing industry, having been credited with establishing Australia’s first commercial brewery in 1798. His rugged, rougue-ish legend lives on today in the image of the James Squire man, mould-breakers who push boundaries to achieve great things. In this vein, we present the James Squire ‘Rogue Tales’ stories, a series of videos featuring risk takers and the tales behind their success, as seen in this initial video teaser above.