I know what your thinking after last time, you’re questioning why me, ‘safety first Dean’ challenged Nick to a race home from Murphey’s Track after several hours of unsuccessfully searching for a non existent stash of pirate booty, well criminal booty. You were thinking that weren’t you? If not you should have been, after all I’ve told you how safe I am and how I don’t take risks and racing is a risk. Seriously if you didn’t at least question my comment I think I’m failing in my job of story telling.

So why did I suggest to Nick that we race home? Well someone had to buy dinner and I thought it was only fair Nick did.

Okay, I was only kidding of course. It was just a throw away comment of silliness. Seriously, neither Nick or I would race one the bitumen roads, so the chances of us racing on dirt tracks, even relatively good tracks with no one around, were really slim. The chances of us doing it across the bush making our own tracks were even less than slim.

That didn’t mean that if I got back to town ahead, even a car length ahead I wouldn’t try and lay my claim, of course I would. However if Nick was in lead I’d more than likely forget that I made the comment, even if Nick reminded me I’d probably tell him he heard me wrong. It’s the only fair way I believe!

I let Nick lead the first leg of the journey back to Murphey’s track. I was in close pursuit but I couldn’t slip stream unless I want to chew on all his dust and while I hadn’t had anything substantial to eat since breakfast dust just wasn’t going to cut it. The Beast was of the same opinion, she didn’t need to be sucking on Nick’s dust plumes if she didn’t need to be, so I sat back patiently and waited for my chance to make a move.

Nick and I chatted on the radio as we drove, the dirt was rough and lumpy which threw us around a bit in the cabins of our vehicles but we were driving sedately enough to both be aware of our surrounds and drive with being silly. Both of us had our radio mics mounted within easy reach and close enough to our heads that we didn’t need to keep pulling them off a hook and fumbling with them and because we were so close there was no need for constant squelch adjustments.

When we got back to Murhpey’s track because I was on the right of Nick I was able to fly past him. I was finally in lead! Well I came out onto the track about ten metres in front of him, but only because I was on his right and we were headed right. When all my four wheels were back on the track I pulled the Beast up and climbed out of the cabin. Nick pulled up behind me, no doubt to congratulate me on taking the lead.

Before Nick was out of the Police Troopy I had the storage bin on the driver’s side of the Beast open and was pulling out the compressor to air up the tyres that had been lowered for all that sand. The compressor I have is a little more than your average auto store air pump many people carry, it takes up a bit of space too, but I need something reliable and something that wont burn out after ten minutes of running like so many of the “4wd compressors” that people think will save them do. With my extra battery power and the bigger compressor I can pump up four four wheel drive tyres from flat in just under fifteen minutes and the compressor barely strains. Needless to say airing up my four tyres and Nick’s four tyres from partially flat was not going to be a huge drama.

I’d modified the the compressor to run extra long power leads that don’t drop voltage, therefore keep the pump running at maximum current when needed, and an extended air hose so with Nick pulled up right behind the Beast I could reach all four of his tyres easily. While I was pumping his first tyre up I casually asked if he’d prefer it if I winched his four wheel drive onto the back of the Beast and piggy backed him into town to add weight to my story about being stuck on “Nick’s Track”. He mentioned a few very colourful words which I chose not to repeat even though he was joking and we both laughed at them.

There was no point standing around chatting when the tyres had been aired up, we had CB radios for that purpose. You might be wondering why we aired up while we were still on Murphey’s track which was pretty much dirt and dust. Well the main reason was because it was a well compacted dirt and dust and there really wasn’t any parts where we risked getting bogged. The other reason was because we only had about ten minutes of dirt before we got to the bitumen.

By the time we got back to the highway I had built up a fair lead, I was still chatting to Nick on the radio all friendly and keeping it nice, there was no bragging, but I was in lead an staying there. Okay part of the reason for my lead was the dust plumes from the Beast, Nick no more wanted to get caught in mine that I did in his all day so he hung back, but that didn’t change who was leading the race!

On the bitumen the race was a little more even with Nick following about three car lengths behind all the way. As we approached the turn off to my house I was still in lead and going fast, well going at just below the speed limit.

“Are you headed straight home or coming into town?” Nick’s voice filled my cabin from the CB speaker.

“Gotta get fuel after spending all day chasing geese.” My reference was of course to Nick taking me on a wild goose chase.

“Did you find any?”

“No geese just a wild pig stuck in the mud.” Nick wasn’t offended by the pig reference like some coppers might be, especially not when it came from friends and wasn’t used to often.

“You should have saved some of that mud and slapped it on your face. You need all the help you can get.”

Like Nick I wasn’t offended by friendly banter, thankfully!

“At least I wont need help cooking dinner, since I beat you back to town.”

“What are you on about Dean?” I could tell from the laughter in his voice he knew what I was on about but I played along.

“I beat you home. I win. You lost the bet. Your shout for dinner.”

“What bet?” Nick said stealing the line I would have used in his position.

Previous Outback story here.