Sunday, 1 August 2010

Bike Night with Carley


Where to begin with this new entry to our world of Blogging.

Well first of all, welcome dear readers, thank you for showing interest in our little lives and do please leave comments on our blog if you want to, nice ones will be cherished and if any one compares us to Hitler, well we can live with that too. We are big and hard after all.

Two adventures for you this month, one by Bike and one by Car.

Weston Bike night again this week and sadly Carol was working and I was stuck at home packing for our Devon trip. However, a new friend to us, the delightful Carley, has recently been very poorly and has spent some time in Hospital, luckily she is mending now and is almost ready to get back on her bike and get on with passing her big bike test. Carley is also quite brave and agreed to a trip out on the back of Sylvie before pulling up on the sea front for Bike night. Now as you can imagine, with me on the front and Carol in work, this was going to be an interesting trip.

Getting her ready
The first thing to do was find her and we agreed a pick up point close to somewhere I could actually find. Sure enough, she was there and I got a little lost and then stuck in traffic. However, the engine roar was appreciated as we pulled up and Carley and Sylvie got to know each other. Once geared up and with the bike intercom in place, we set off and I promptly took a wrong turn and ended up in the Car park for McDonalds! I quickly found a way out and headed the right way and towards the motorway.

Carley had not been on the motorway before and also going on the back of the SV for the first time was a bit of a new experience too. Unfortunately the cross winds were horrible and on one occasion the gust was so strong it blew us across our lane and almost in the next. It was only the use of counter steering and black magic that stopped us, the black magic being the grip from out excellent tyres on the road.

We took the exit for Brent Knoll and turned on to the main road to head back towards Weston, slowing some what for the heavy traffic. The whole journey felt to me to be slow and stop start traffic, we managed to filter past some slow moving cars and eventually made it to the faster sections of road before taking the roundabout turning onto the A370 to Weston. Here the road speeds up for about two hundred metres before dropping back to a forty zone. The Speed camera has finally been removed, but road conditions were making it a slow twenty five to thirty miles per hour speed limit. Once the road opened up, we blasted out and past a line of slow moving cars to catch up the one that was going thirty in a national speed limit (if that was you driving like that, you are rude and dangerous) and shot past into a nice big gap, closely followed by a 900 Hornet.

A quick blast at sixty brought us close to home again and sadly the traffic started to bunch up again as we enter a fifty zone, the Hornet behind us was trying to get past us, but we in turn we stopped by oncoming cars and trucks. Eventually he saw a gap that his bike could make, but Sylvie in restricted two up mode would struggle with. He shot past and pulled in three cars ahead to avoid a truck, before slowly skipping one car at a time homewards.

I throttled off a little and just enjoyed a pootle, although the wind gusts were so strong that I had to keep on correcting our road position. Finally we passed the Weston sign and the Blue Hornet was still in sight just ahead. It looked like he too was heading to Bike night. Cruising down the sea front with a laughing Carley on the back is one of the coolest things I have ever done, giving some one else the ability to enjoy bikes just by taking them for a ride out is a brilliant thing to do.

We pulled up and paid our pound towards the Royal British Legion, a charity that cares for ex British forces troops, so it is a pound well spent. The Sea front was filling up rapidly with bikes and we weaved our way through the crowd to a parking spot, before stripping off the hot and humid bike gear and going for a wander to see who had turned up.

Bikes continued to pour into the parking area and it looked like there were hundreds, if not thousands of bikers and bikes. As we wandered a local Council worker tried in vain to communicate with us, but being a local and having several missing teeth, she found using language a bit of a struggle. As it turned out she was concerned about why there were a lot of bikes turning up and parking on the Sea Front, so we just smiled and left her to her cursing.

After a while the wind dropped and the heat started to disperse, leaving Carley and I with a wish to sit down and watch the world of bikes pass us by. Carley kindly bought me a cuppa and we sat and talked bikes for a while before going for one last wander around. By this time, the line of bikes was three time longer than it had been on our arrival and it was also parked up in four rows. This was a lot of bikes and even a few trikes. As always, the unbaffled exhausts of the Harleys sounded mean and aggressive, but just managed to “put put” through the crowd to the road way and river barge turn onto the road. It saddens me that a bike with three or more times the capacity of my little Sylvie can actually produce only slightly more that her restricted engine.

We geared up and Carley started Sylvie who purred into life, a passer by remarked that she was “just an old SV”, yet he was a passer by who did not know her well. She may well be the first of the pointies, but she has the heart and soul of a lioness, proud and ferocious. Even with her quiet pipe, she sounds lovely and that is how I want to keep her for now.

We weaved through the crowd towards the road, people stepping out of our way as I practiced my slow control, only one guy failed to notice us, but the small child he was pushing into our path sure did. Come on parents, if you are a holiday maker and you are walking through a crowd of bikers, don’t push you kids about with out looking, they might get squashed!

The road to Kewstoke takes in the Sea front and it is finally open, at last. We blasted along and looked so cool, the gentle sea breeze now nothing more aggressive than the occasional gentle gust and we entered the Toll Road. The sweeping curves would be awesome at speed, but the signs tell us that a lot of folks have had horrible, horrible accidents along there, so the limit is reduced to a snail like twenty five. Even at this speed Sylvie feels lovely though.

Passing through Kewstoke we were moving at a steady twenty five when a car pulled up to a junction, I watched the young girl driver look to her left and just pull out as we approached. She crossed our path and turned right, heading to where we had come. I pulled my brakes hard and Sylvie’s nose dived, her new repositioned horn let the girl know that we were not pleased at her dangerous move and I was livid. As she passed us by the girl looked at us and laughed. I despair at the state of the world when a driver can nearly cause an accident and think it is funny.

I dropped Carley off and turned Sylvie around, before opening her up and slipping the clutch slightly to get her roaring as I pulled away waving, Carley now safely home and ready for a restful evening.

The following morning was the next big adventure, a trip to North Devon and Hazel and Dom’s wedding…

To be continued.