No work on the bikes this week as lots of decorating to finish. Still faced with the choice of a trip to meet Greg Pullen at Benzina or more decorating the Turismo was fired into action for the 100 + mile round trip.
I prepared via a quick look on Google maps at the route, wrote down the roads/towns I needed to visit on a piece of A4 and loaded it into the VMCC manual route roller. No sat nav for me I thought and set off rather smugly. The simplicity of the route roller really appeals but it did take me back to my pre-sat nav days as surprise, surprise I re-discovered the art of asking directions…The problem really was preparation – I think I’d have been better off taking details from a paper road atlas because this gives a better idea of the direction you need to travel in. Google maps tends to make you zoom in whereas you also need to see the bigger picture.
Still rolled up at Greg’s, had a nice cup of coffee and chat then time to head home. I’d kind of mis-judged how quickly the light goes at this time of the year so by 15.30 it was beginning to close in. It had also started to rain pretty hard. I messed up the starting procedure so free wheeled down the road and then pulled over and it fired up.
I started to get in the groove and memories of splashing along on wet roads on the first evening of the Laverdaforhealth ride came flooding (sic) back. My confidence however was about to take a bit of a knock! I got just past Rushall and took a wrong turn. By now my goggles were pretty messed up with the heavy rain. I decided to pull over across a dropped kerb only to find too late that it was about 4″ proud. Next thing I’m sprawled on the pavement…Lucky the bike only suffered a bent footest (which I stamped back into shape once I rode off), slightly bent light switch and a scuffed handlebar grip. Tank fine, headlamp fine, handlebars fine – lucky, lucky, lucky.
The rest of the ride was uneventful aside from the continued driving rain. Infact the bike seemed to go better coming home than going – I speculated that perhaps the homeward journey was more downhill than the outward, I certainly had a following wind coming back.
The plan had been to try one last bump to get the Atlas into action but the appauling weather knocked that idea on its head and so it’s still there in my mother’s drive looking a bit sad for itself.