Friday, 3 June 2011

Getting back into the swing

It being a month since my crash, it was getting time to get back in the saddle.  Tradition has it that when you crash a motorbike, you should ride again as soon as you can.  The longer you put it off, the less likely you are to return, so I knew I needed to do something about it.

Jenny was in London yesterday afternoon, but I was pretty tired by the time I finished at the bird reserve, so didn't make the effort.  There was a slight, but detectable, note of derision in Jenny's response when I mentioned this.

Today Jenny had to go to work by train, so I had another opportunity to ride her bike.  I had to take a defective power tool back to the shop in Cambridge, but Jenny's kit (mine was ruined in the crash, of course) doesn't fit all that well, which was all the excuse I needed to go by car.  But as I drove in, I was berating myself for my cowardice!

So after lunch I got kitted up, wearing Jenny's jacket, trousers and crash helmet, my own, damaged boots and my summer gloves, which I was not wearing on that fateful day.  I didn't have anywhere in particular to go, so thought I'd ride up the A1198 for a bit, then turn east onto the A603, down the M11 to Duxford and home along the A505 past the crash site.

In the event, my hands started to hurt quite badly within about 5 miles, and when I realised that the further end of the A603 had just been top-dressed with loose chippings, making skidding a real possibility, I turned off right and rode quietly though some villages to the A10, then came back home that way.

By the time I arrived, my hands were really sore, and in fact, have still not fully recovered as I type this.  I also found Jenny's bike a real handful to ride.  I don't think I've ridden it since she was knocked off last July, and I found it hard to steer accurately at low speed, with excessive dive on the front forks when you hit the brakes, and an irritating buzz from the faring at around 2500 revs, where the workshop clearly hasn't fitted it correctly.  Jenny did complain when she had it serviced, but they didn't fix it.

We've used this bike shop since we first came down to Cambridg in the early 80's, but practically everyone we know has now left, so we no longer feel the loyalty to them that we used to.  I don't think we'll be going back.

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