Time For A Recap

So it’s been a while. Christmas was … difficult, what with illness, injury and general malaise so I’ve been avoiding blogging.

Both Long Tall Gary and I are now fully qualified and licenced bikers, LTG with slightly more panache than me, which in fact formed part of my problem. The day of my Mod 2 I was already deep in the coils of a nasty respiratory infection and asthma attack. Unable to breathe, unable to talk and with a temperature, I shouldn’t have been out of bed let alone on a bike. I really wasn’t feeling it and being the last of 3 meant hanging around the test centre for 2 hours before I got on the road. In the event I passed by the skin of my teeth, and only because I ‘fessed up to my own shortcomings and vowed to work on them for ever. This left me with a sense of unearned achievement which has taken a couple of months to subside. Still, a pass is a pass and smells as sweet as any rose by another name. Or something.

On top of that LTG was taken off the bike by a senile old fool whose only defence was “there was nothing there”, which is certainly a variation on “SMIDSY”… That “nothing” was in fact 19 stone of hairy Scouser and a bright red lump of metal, who they then left lying in the road while they went into their own house, leaving a kindly neighbour to pick him up out of the gutter. It being Xmas and New Year and New Year aftermath it took 5 weeks for the bike to come back to us (£900 worth of repairs), by which time it had run out of tax and MOT. Once that was sorted out the demonic entity known as Lucky Dave the Black Cat somehow led me to a hairline fracture tripping down the stairs, which led to another 2 weeks bikeless. Aaaand breathe…

Howsomever, as an antidote to all the doom and gloom we have been on a shopping spree. We are now the proud parents of Vanessa the Vulcan S, a symphony in matt black and subtle green trim. Here she is with little brother Mike The Bike at Verdi’s in Mumbles:


Our first ever Biking Badgers of Bridgend Ride Out!

I was very nervous about riding the Vulcan at first, the feet-forward position, and the long-reach bars just looked too much, but I have to admit, teething troubles aside she handles like a dream. The low-ride position and low centre of gravity gives an incredible sense of stability, and she corners like silk, even at incompetent badger speeds and handling. It can be hard NOT to corner; I had to restrain myself from swooping joyfully about the M4 like a demented swallow. Running-in is frustrating, the temptation to just let ‘er rip is almost overwhelming, but patience, we are told, is a virtue. My biggest worry is when returning to little Mike the YBR125 Custom, I’ll be trying to corner like I’m on the cruiser and cruise spectacularly sideways into a hedge…

The Unnatural Biker is back on the road.