Monday, 21 November 2011

Two wheels on my wagon...

Sometimes you think someone is trying to tell you something. Last week I managed to get two punctures cycling in to work. The first I repaired, although it was a bugger and ended up taking me nearly 40 minutes to do, but the second left me carrying the bike over my shoulder for the three or four miles to the bike shop. I asked them to put winter tyres on, and they've promised me that I won't have another puncture for a year. We'll see.

On the other hand, I felt this week is going to be a good one when I was woken up by the radio and the station, Q radio, played all my favourite tunes as I gradually stirred myself from my slumbers.

Q has been incessantly playing an ad for 'Autoglass' - reminding us of how expensive it is to replace a whole windscreen rather than get a chip fixed. The Little Car has a chip, and I've suggested (incessantly) that The Cat's Mother gets it repaired. "Yes, yes" she says. And this is the difference between her and me. Friday she drove all the way to Bath for her weekend of retail therapy and 'treatments' with the girls. I KNEW the windscreen would crack and she'd be stranded for hours until a new one could be found and fitted. She thought nothing of it and went cheerfully on her way. Of course she returned without a problem. She has no worry lines. I'm looking more characterful by the day.

I've never thought of myself as a 'biker' but it does appear that two wheels are my preferred means of transport. Except when I'm on eight.

I've decided that if I'm to audition for rollerblading at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, I should follow my own advice: "If you're going to do something, do it properly". So on Sunday I had a two-hours skate lesson on the sea-front in Brighton. Whilst most of the rest of the country seemed to be smothered in fog, we were enjoying sunshine and warmth as the waves lapped against the pebbly beach. I skated in a t-shirt. And the lesson was invaluable, if just to remind me of how much I'd forgotten and how difficult it can be to make my body do things that feel unnatural. Fortunately I've got two more lessons this week. I can only hope I learn fast.

It was finally time for the motorbike to be repaired this weekend. Whilst a new speedo was being fitted, I was given the opportunity to test ride a new Ducati. As the sales man said, "I'm not going to sell you the bike, you should decide whether or not you want it." Nice technique. yes I want it's the equivalent of a Ferrari on two wheels. I was out on it for an hour and a half. It felt solid, it gently flows round the bends and sings when you hit 4000 revs. The whole thing just felt that it had been put together with precision, love and care...just like a Rolls Royce. Gorgeous. By comparison, my KTM is rougher and likes to be chucked around - designed and built by greasy bikers, but it feels a lot more solid than the other bike they let me have for a couple of hours - a smaller KTM which just felt like a toy (even though with a 600cc engine it is fast and flighty enough that it is the preferred choice of jewel shop thieves across London). I'd really love to get the heart is sold on it. Christmas is coming up after all, and I think I deserve a treat. But my head says I should wait. For once I think I shall listen to my head. With a new speedo, and the damage caused by the vandals/would be thieves my orange beast feels great and I enjoyed the ride into work today. Funny how just putting a new speedo made th whole bike feel better.