Sunday, 12 September 2010

Grab your Bra and Run!

We got a message last night from Matt, the local Motag Instructor and good guy to ask if Carol and I were interested in taking part in the Bra Run today. Now this sounded like a lot of fun to us, (before you ask, it is charity motorbike ride out to raise money for Breast Cancer research, not a run along the beach in our underwear!), so we got the bikes ready and I strapped Declan my Cradle of Filth loving teddy bear to back of Sylvie and Carol mounted her camera and a cuddly ape to the back seat of Agnes, before retiring to bed for an early night.

Then bright and early this morning we got up and got ready for a ride out on the bikes, which basically involved putting on some lovely lingerie under our riding kit and grabbing the rucksack I had packed last night. However, when we stopped for fuel on the way to the motorway, I discovered that I had lost my purse and had a fifteen mile round trip back home to find it. It had fallen out of my back pack and was under my desk, not the best start to the day. I also badly needed a wee, so had a quick break once back home before blasting back to Carol at the garage.

Just made it back in time to start!

Once back with Carol, we made our way onto the motorway and headed to Bridgewater, which I cannot describe as a nice place to visit if I am completely honest. I once lived in Bridgewater in 1983 and hated the place so much, I vowed never to return. It is a shit hole. However, once in Bridgewater we had to find the bike shop where the Bra Run was staring from. I had not even parked up when I was off on my own to find a Cash point machine and a toilet, because strangely I was bursting for a wee again, which is most unlike me. Unfortunately, Bridgewater is in the middle of some pretty complicated road works and is currently full of diversions and redirections, which meant that I got horribly lost, but eventually found Morrisons and used both their Cash point and then their toilet! I then had to find my way back to the bike shop and after a series of random turns and blatant disregard for common sense, found myself back on the A38. I pulled up at a traffic light and feeling totally lost, asked a lovely lady driver how to find the bike shop. It turns out I was less than five hundred metres away!
When bike parks 1 and 2 filled up that only left the warehouse!

I made it back just in time for the briefing for the ride out, where the leader promised to keep everyone together and told us the basic idea of the route with involved “going where we went last year!” Oh dear, this was our first time at the event… But with a smile and a spring in our step, we headed to the bikes and geared back up ready for the ride out. This was my first time riding in a pack and I quickly discovered that much to my surprise, I was not the least able rider in the group. I was forced to over take a couple on a sports bike who were travelling much slower than the rest of the group and eventually pulled up behind a blonde lass who was riding a green Kawasaki. Just behind me and grinning in my mirrors was my beautiful Carol riding Agnes, we were on the way and gladly leaving Bridgewater behind. Only I needed a wee again.

The road we took was following the A38, back towards Weston and Cheddar and pretty soon we were blasting along and filling the road way with Bikes. Sylvie felt nimble and light, smooth power flowing her into and out from every corner, she was a delight to ride. In my mirrors was Carol, smiling as she rode along on Agnes, cool purposeful and holding her own with the much bigger sports bikes in the group. She may only be a thirty year old, 400cc cruiser, but Carol is able to ride her like she is a modern sports bike and she flowed along the road like a train on rails. I was starting to really need that wee.

We passed through Churchhil and then on through Burrington Combe, the surroundings were beautiful and wild looking, the road was twisty and filled with bikes as far forward and as far back as I could see. The miles slowly ticked by and we got closer to Cheddar, I was nearly bursting and then at last we entered Cheddar Gorge and began the winding ascent to the pass before the drop down through the gorge. This place is the road that every UK rider should do at least once, it is beautiful and winding and the scenery is spectacular. Climbers worked problems on the crags as we passed by and walkers stood on the road side in awe as hundreds of bikes flowed past. I was teeth clenched and desperate for the toilet stop!

The hill down into Cheddar village is actually quite steep and has the occasionally sharp corner that must be taken carefully, today though, the streets were also filled with people cheering and clapping as hundreds of bikes rode past waving or hooting their horns, it was a wonderful feeling to be a part of it, but thankfully at the bottom of the hill is a public toilet and I was able to make a much needed stop! However once back on the bike, it quickly became apparent that despite the speed we had taken over our brief stop, the pack had left us behind and we had to play catch up to find the way home again. Sadly we were not alone and a small group of us led by Carol made our way back to Bridgewater. It soon became apparent though that the pack had taken a different route to us and we lost them altogether and just blasted along the roads, Carol leading us with her amazing sense of direction. Then just before Bridgewater, we caught the back markers of the group and followed in to the town centre and the bike shop once more.

My trip for the day read one hundred and three miles and my back side said a lot more. The strangest sensation though was in my right wrist, since changing the bars over, the front brake lever has been quite firm in its pull and after seventy miles, I found it to be quite hard work to apply the front brake. In the end, I was forced to rely upon the rear brake and careful use of the road until I could ask Carol to have a look at it for me. It turns out that the lever was set all the way out, for some one with much larger hands than me, I had not adjusted it correctly when setting it up, but today was a great day to iron out small issues. I also badly needed a wee again.

The ride back home was wonderful, Carol had adjusted the brake lever for me and it fell perfectly into my hand, it did not hurt to pull the lever and my wrist had also stopped hurting. The same could not be said of my bottom though, but even Carol could not fix that! We pulled up outside the garage and parked the bikes. Today had been a mixed day of silly mistakes, brilliant riding, a numb bum and finding out where every toilet in the local area is. All I have to do now is sow my new patch on to my bike jacket.

Thanks to Matt for bringing the event to our attention, the event raised over £700 for Breast Cancer research and was worth while just for that alone, however as an experience, it was one I am glad that I had. I must say though, thank you to Carol for looking after me, for fixing my bike and being an all round lovely lass, she looked great in her Lingerie, under her leathers!