OK. I admit it, lately I’ve been rubbish at posting on my blog!
Honestly, its not for the want of intent, nor am I suffering from writers block, no I’ve just been to darn busy dodging the rain!
Now as I type, the afternoon sun is streaming through the window, daffodils and snowdrops are in bloom outside and this part of the world is looking a much better place. The last three days have been the longest dry spell since the end of October and it really is amazing how a change in the weather can put a smile on everyone’s face!
The other day “Harls” popped into Plymouth Harley Davidson for her annual service and came back looking very clean and smart, a mini valet being part of the deal! It prompted me to set to with buckets of warm soapy water and give “Baby” a long overdue bath; she’s been bearing the brunt of my riding in recent months and was getting quite filthy! Several hours and a few skinned knuckles later, I had two gleaming machines basking in the sunshine.
I have to acknowledge that I am a lucky chap, not only do I own these two wonderful machines, but I have friends who help me out in all sorts of ways. Take for example the photo above, which had a whopping big shadow across it when I took it. Then along came my friend Alba, who is a Photoshop genius, and bingo! No more shadow, you can’t even see the join! Thanks A!
It is very important after you wash a motorbike, to check that everything still works perfectly and to do that you have to go for a ride. . . at least that’s what I say! Now this leads to something quite interesting, because in the eleven months that my bike fleet has grown to two I have never ridden both on the same day. So, with a lovely afternoon to play with and two bikes with full tanks it just had to be done.
I started with “Baby” the big blue beast. Riding this bike has now become almost second nature to me; I’ve got used to her being a big heavy lump and I certainly appreciate the way that the faring keeps me snug out of the wind. The electronic throttle I find a joy and oh the cruise control on a long run is bliss! Anyway, she seemed fine after her wash and thirty miles just flew by.
Time to swap onto “Harls.”
Now I confess that I have been feeling pretty guilty about not really riding my old friend much, but I’m glad to report that she doesn’t seem to be holding it against me. She fired up first time and sat happily singing the Harley Davidson “Potato, potato,” song as she warmed up. For the uninitiated, the crank angle of a Harley’s “V” twin engine makes the exhaust sound like the bike is saying “Potato” repeatedly when it’s on tickover!
We eased out of Dookes H.Q. and accelerated up the road. The staccato roar of her exhaust ripped into the cool still air and lifted my spirits considerably. I could almost feel the concussion of every explosion of her two cylinders. The throttle response was crisp and sharp, true her engine is 240cc smaller than “Baby,” but she weighs over 100kg less and can accelerate like a bullet as a result! She communes exquisitely with the road, her suspension is stiffer and firmer than “Baby” and whilst the ride is not as luxurious, it’s a lot more fun! I made a mental note that I must ride her a lot more over the coming year and have that fun more often. I think I’d only gone about half a mile before my smile met at the back of my neck!
After a few miles I pulled over to check all was well and grab a quick photo in the gorgeous late afternoon light and next? Well we rode some more miles, then some more after that!I’ve said it before, I love that bike!
“You’ve got to ride to live, live to ride, feel the flames burn inside…”
Catch you soon.