Busy day today, started off with a bang too! My lovely hand built desk top computer farted and died today, shutting down and staying shut down, no matter how many time I impotently prodded the big black ON button. The power supply had failed, or more accurately, the cooling fan in the power supply had failed, quickly followed by the rest of the unit!
Luckily for me, my fair lady wife to be, Carol has a real interest in IT and Computers that has also included building her own PCs and she still had some stuff left over, including a battered and rusty looking PSU. After much faffing and a considerable amount of swearing, the old PSU was removed and the new one installed. It was only after the case was back together and everything wired back up that I noticed that I had lost my engagement ring! Luckily it had come off while looting the computer store cupboard and was sat under said cupboard, in the dust. However it took thirty minutes of my frantic searching before I found this to be the case.
So after fixing the computer, finding my precious ring I then settling down to listen to Total Biker FM, a really cool internet radio station that Carol found recently that has even played some of her music on air, to great critical acclaim. This peace and quiet was to be short lived because Carol phoned and offered to meet me for a picnic in Bristol. So, pulling on the bike gear, I shut down the newly fixed computer and headed over to garage to get my second favourite girl, Sylvie out for a blast to Bristol.
The ride to Bristol was lovely, all A roads and before I knew it, I was in the city centre, heading towards Clifton and my Darling wife. I thought I was doing well, I had last ridden a bike here in 2001, but had been a mountain bike and yet I still managed to get to where I wanted to be today. Over looking Sea Walls, on Clifton Down.
Carol pulled up with in seconds of my parking up and we shared a quick kiss. I think that I am lucky, I am engaged to a beautiful woman who positively encourages me to ride motorbikes. Our picnic consisted of a ham roll and a bag of onion rings, while a large blue shark swam by in the sky above us!
Yes, you did read that right and no, we had not taken drugs! As we sat on the grass enjoying our food and just basking in each others company, a large kite in the shape of a shark took to the air behind us and proceeded to swim in the breeze. It was a beautiful thing to see and it looked like a real shark in its movements as well as its shape and colour. To put it simply, what a fantastic kite.
As quickly as we had met, it was time to go and Carol and I parted ways once more, as I headed over to Filton and the UWE campus to meet my friend Stu. Regular readers may well remember Stu, the young gentleman with a similar bike to me, albeit with a noisy exhaust and a dark blue paint job. Stu very kindly agreed to meet me and we headed back to his for a cool drink and a chat, before the real fun started, fun that has left me with a decidedly sore bottom!
Yay... It was ride out time and Stu had a wicked ride in mind. a quick blast up the M4 towards the A46 was just enough to get us in the mood for a play on the roads. We followed to the A46 away from Bath and along some pretty amazing roads, eating up the miles as the fast roads allowed, sweeping corners, blinding bends and awesome straights that allowed great views to over take slower moving cars and tractors. As always, Stu was a real gentleman and always made sure that I could keep up, pulling in to allow me to catch up if we got separated by traffic. We followed the road for miles, passing through villages until eventually we reached a large town and finally Stu's Mum's house.
Now I am not sure what Stu's Mum made of me, I am after all a rather tall, slightly odd, motorcycling lesbian, dressed in Combat trousers with a pink and black Bike jacket. Hardly the sort of person you want your baby boy bringing home to meet the folks, but she was very friendly and was soon chatting. Stu is the apple of his Mum's eye and she is obviously proud of her boy, which is a really lovely thing to see, especially when he is a black metal loving, motorcycling monster! Just like me in fact...
The ride back home was quick and great fun. Dropping on to the motorway and blasting up the almost empty road was a wonderful life affirming experience that I will never forget, riding a restricted V-Twin means that I will never get the silly speeds that an equivalent sized In-Line Four engine produces, but this was not about speed, this was about companionship and enjoying a moment with a mate. I pulled ahead slightly for a moment and took a turn off so that I could adjust my hair and sort out my music player. At that moment an old guy, with a beard down to his groin, pulled up on his Harley. Seeing two bikers stopped in a layby was enough for him to check that we were OK and our enthusiastic smiles and welcome reassured him that we were fine. Not two minutes passed before chap in a Landrover pulled over to check that we were OK and once again we laughed and told him that we were just taking a rest. There is something wonderful about the biker community that makes complete strangers care for each other just because we share a common passion, a love of motorcycles.
The final blast together was what I can only describe as one of life's beautiful moments, I was in the middle lane and pushing motorway speed, Stu was just behind and then he pulled out and drew up next to me on the nearly empty road. Riding along like that, looking over and seeing my friend was a moment that will stay with me forever. Our wheels were a blur on the road, our engines were singing with a V-Twin harmony and our dark visors kept out the perfect evening sunshine. Human beings and machines, fused into a living, breathing, dancing symbiosis. It truly was a beautiful moment and one that I am thankful to my young friend for sharing with me. We rode like that for a couple of miles, over taking the slow moving heavy goods vehicles and the occasional car. I looked at him just as he looked at me and it was awesome! It was not the speed of it, but the harmony of moving together, the shared moment of our passion of riding motor bikes. It was a moment I will treasure, along with many others from my motorcycling adventures.
However upon getting home, the ache in my bottom from that saddle was enough to have me walking like John Wayne after a gallop across the desert. Note to self, must buy a new saddle and soon!
Thanks to Carol and Stu for making an otherwise humdrum day into a day that I shall always remember, for a picnic with a beautiful woman and a ride with a good friend. Today I was blessed.