I am the local Police Officer in a small town called Binnaway, 30 mins south of Coonabarabran, NSW. It’s a nice little country town and it has a wide variety of people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
I’m writing to you in regards to one of my local residents, a chap called Christopher LINEY. Chris and his partner Tracey are well known around town and are very well liked. In the 11 months I’ve been here, I haven’t heard a bad word about them. I didn’t know Chris really well but had spoken to him on several occasions and I very much enjoyed talking with him… it would be hard to not like the guy.
Chris was a tall bearded scruffy bloke with a strong Aussie accent and a heart-warming smile. He was always attired in motorcycle gear, be it riding gear or a ripped motorcycle logo’d shirt, jeans and old bike boots… to me, he seemed to be the classic Aussie joker, a true motorcycle enthusiast, a straight talking, straight shootin’ larrikin.
Tracey his partner is just as straight talkin’, small in stature but big in heart and guts and a true fighter. She won’t gave you $h1t unless you deserve it and but definitely won’t take it….
Her and Chris were near inseparable, and rode their bikes everywhere they needed to go… rail, hail, shine… I would often see them riding back into town putting away 15 km under the speed limit (not because I was there… that’s just how they were… and I think Chris was always being chivalrous towards his lady by riding slower than he wanted to). They would walk past my house on the way back from the pub and see me in the shed and it is just in their nature to be good mannered and couldn’t help but say a jolly hello and how ya’ goin’. Cheerful greetings are not in the brochure when you join the cops, so I always liked seeing them go past.
The only time it was no good talking to Chris (particularly about bikes) is when you where in a rush… there was no short conversation about bikes with Chris. He would offer to fix/service/modify your bike, he would tell you histories of different bikes, tell you about all of his favourites, etc… his passion for bikes oozed outta his skin, and you could tell that very quickly after meeting him.
Chris was tragically killed on his everyday rider (Old DRZ) 2 weeks ago after he hit a feral pig that ran out on him. Tracey was riding behind him and saw this unfold and helped do CPR on him.
Chris and Tracey had just spent the day together, riding from Binnaway to Mudgee and back via Dunedoo and all the scenic back roads, stopping to take photos of the sunset and each other before taking a scenic back road home. What happened next was just a circumstance of bad luck and bad timing. He was an experienced rider and knew the road well…just a tragic accident.
A very hard accident to attend when you know the bloke too.
Now I mentioned that Tracey was a fighter, and it couldn’t be more evident. She has “lost her soul mate” as she describes it and is left with nothing but grief and death. To show the type of person she is… two days after the accident she forced herself back onto her bike and went riding in his honour. It was a tough grind for her and she come back in tears, she tells me… but that garners a hell of a lot of respect in my books.
So, I have been dealing with Tracey regularly as is my role, and she has started making a big photo frame of pictures of her and Chris obviously to preserve his memory and what not. She also told me a bunch of storeys about Chris and his (and their) motorcycling adventures together. Some great storeys, plenty of prangs with Roo’s, sheep, goats, etc. And that got me to thinking… given their passion for riding, I thought it would be nice to see a storey on him and Tracey published in your mag, as they are pretty much the classic type that you guys write about generally and the storeys Tracey has about Chris are really good yarns.
I think it would be a wonderful tribute to Chris, both for Tracey and this town. The local publican (Royal Hotel Binnaway) has set up a GoFundMe page to help Tracey out with funeral expenses, etc, and I dare say fixing up the damage on Chris’s bike… the important stuff, ya know.
I would love to put you in touch with her and I know she would get a real kick out of being able to share Chris with you guys and your readers. And I know Chris would be stoked to have some of his bikes make it to your pages.
Kind regards, Senior Constable L. JAMIESON, Lock Up Keeper, Binnaway Police Station.