For me on the front, I struggled with the extra weight at first, especially on slow corners in town traffic and also having to stop and hold the bike up. However, I soon got used to it, but I could feel the weight and poor Sylvie in restricted 33BHP mode did not enjoy the extra load, which caused the clutch to get a little hot and sticky. However, once on the motorway, we just cruised along and Sylvie was impeccable once again. I love my bike, me!
Our first stop was at the bottom of Holden Hill, in the Shell Garage there. A top up with fuel showed that we had burned a little more than I would have liked, but carrying Mez, panniers and holding motorway speed was bound to do it. Once filled to the brim and everything was packed away again, we started the climb up the hill and onto the A38. Sylvie sprinted up the hill as if it was barely there and once at the top settled into a gentle cruise, the miles rolling easily by under her wheels, all the way to Ivybridge for stop number two.
Why the stop in Ivybridge you may wonder? I was trying to find Julie, my old friend, so we popped in to her cafe and sadly she was off with the flu, so after a quick chat, it was back on the A38 and onwards to Plymouth. Plymouth, what a lovely city...
Visiting Plymouth is a tricky one for me, I have a lot of unhappy memories based there, but have a lot of very dear friends. The little time I had meant that I was not going to be able to see them all, but I was going to find some of the ones I had not seen for a long time, including my very best friends Pauly and Rachel. Along the way I was going to try and see as many of the others as I could, but it would still make me sad due to not being able to see every one.
The road into Plymouth is big and has a fly over, yet despite my knowing this, I could not remember the way to my Mothers! So with a few slightly late lane changes, I was finally on the right road and headed up to my Mums street. She did not know that I had Mez with me, but she did know that I was coming. I sent him down to knock on her door first.
I parked Sylvie up and locked her as safely as I could, it is rough down there you see.
I stayed with Mum for a while and headed over to see Rachel and her partner Jan. Catching up with friends as dear as these two was worth the trip on its own, but all good things must end and I had to get back to Mum's and get me some sleep. The ride back was cool, peaceful and my first night ride on Sylvie. Her lights are amazing, even on standard beam, but on high they are like day light. Back at my Mum's I rode her down the path and locked her up to the fence, fitting three locks to keep her safe over night.
The next morning, I was up early and set about making sure that the clutch was correctly adjusted for the journey home. Once all back in one piece, I got ready for the days visits and set about heading over to see Graham and Kim. Graham and Kim are lovely, slightly unusual and live in an armory! However, first of all I had to get there. This involved taking the bike up the pavement and back on to the road, a simple enough task it would seem, but that was not allowing for the locals. They took offence at my being there, at my having a bike and having parked it in my Mother's garden. They let me know most vocally too. Scrotes!
Graham and Kim were lovely, funny and full of chat. We laughed and joked and almost as soon as I had I arrived the time had flown by and I had to hit the road again, but not before snapping a quick photo.
From there I had to find a dear friend who I had lost touch with a while before. Thankfully with a map and an address it was not so hard to find and I pulled up and parked. Helen was out and I left a note, but by then, I had to head home.
Filtering up to a set of lights, I managed to offend the driver of a large black car who saw fit to lean out of his window and scream at me that I was a biker maniac and... but the words were lost to the wind. What had I done that was so wrong? I had passed him by while making progress. He followed my from the lights, while sticking to my back wheel and scowling in my mirror. I ignored him and eventually turned off. He fumed and sped away. A man with a very small penis I suspect.
I got back into my Mother's street and the very people who had complained about me before were still there and watched me pull up. They were watching me the way a dog watches a cat, they knew they could start, but would they get hurt. They stayed away thankfully.
My Brother was nearly ready and I packed my panniers and loaded the bike. After hugs all round I climbed aboard and then Mez jumped on the back, we pulled away and I turned my back on Plymouth once again. We stopped for fuel and then at last we were back on the A38, heading for home. A road never felt so good as that road leading out of Plymouth, even with my brother on the back making the bike feel heavy. The road was a joy and we finally pulled in at Exeter Racecourse for our first break.
The sights of the day were the usual cage driving fools who should be banned from the road. As we were leaving Plymouth two girls in separate cars both tried to pull out into the very lane I was driving in and I had to swerve to avoid them both. I do not think they eve saw I was there. The scary one though was the Guy who was weaving across the road in front of me, clearly nodding off as he drove. I gave the throttle a good twist and left him far behind, better a danger left behind than a risk in front.
The A38 turned into the M5 and before we knew it I was pulling into Taunton Dean services. My right wrist ached and my left foot throbbed. Sports bikes can be a little uncomfortable when there are a lot of miles to cover. I popped into the shop to see if I could find a support bandage and the Manager very kindly gave me two from her kit. My wrist stopped aching and my foot stopped throbbing, I was nearly home.
We pulled off the motorway and back onto the A38 before turning onto the A370. At Brentknoll I pulled over again to ease the numbness in my arse and Mez let me know that his was in a similar state, which nearly caused us to plough into a hedge. Ten minutes later, Sylvie sat ticking and cooling outside our flat and I was inside and chilled, waiting for the loving embrace of my Darling Carol. My adventure down south an aching memory in my back side.