Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I've said this before, of course. But with a new Surly Long Haul Trucker touring pushbike arriving tomorrow, I can't afford any more motorised two wheel indulgences. Big acoustic motorbike tours (cf Luka Bloom) loom next year. And besides, I've had enough.
Enough of the fear, the cramped fingers, the wetness and cold, the discomfort. The fear. Terror compounded by the inability to see anything through that useless condensation-prone AGV helmet, the most expensively hopeless I've ever owned.
I've been lucky. No motorbike-related breakages, no serious harm in the, ah, 40-odd years I've been riding the things. If you count that Vespa I had at 14. But last year's epic 3000-mile plus Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland tour saw my first spill (static in a car park). And the sheer awfulness of high-speed motorway dodgems on the M6 would put anyone off.
2011 was the year of four motorbikes for me: The beautiful Moto Guzzi Bellagio, two old Kawasaki GT550s, and the Suzuki, three years in and out of the shed. but mostly in. And now there are none. All gone through eBay and Shetlink.
Loads of two-wheeled memories remain: Riding a BMW R1150GS through the remains of a bushfire (and much more) in South Africa. Transporting Kaye Adams in vintage BSA combination along Rose Street in Edinburgh (a TV thing). The MZ ETZ250 combo of Spirit of Adventure fame, raced at midnight for money and whisky round a car park in Islay. Honda 50, Troon to Kirkcudbright and back, aged 17, in a single night. Norfolk to Drumnadrochit in one day last year on the Bellagio and a Triumph Street Triple. Morris Dancers welcoming Rob Allanson and me to St George's Distillery last year, again on Street Triples. Caught in blizzard on the Drumochter Pass on a BMW, in April. Dropping a borrowed Ducati 996 (fortunately on soft grass). Riding a Road King at the Perth anniversary Harley rally. Nearly totalling a Harley Sportster on a cattle grid near Tomintoul. And on and on and....
Stop. Time to start pedalling.