Counting down the days

by Caroline Ash

I am getting closer and closer to my goal. I have all the ingredients but one, for having some fun time.
The Yamaha TT250R is parked snugly in the garage, eager to get out and to sample some local Warwickshire roads. It should not complain too much, as I did take it out last Friday. That day, my friend, Jonathan, who is very kindly lending me the bike, came round on his very noisy Honda. Both bikes needed an MOT.

Before going off to the garage, I still needed bike insurance, which is not, in case you have not experienced this before, quick to organise. It took ages. I feel so sorry for the staff working at insurance companies for having to regurgitate the huge amount of the text to every customer. As we were in a rush I said yes and no at random, “I’ll deal with the consequences later, as long as the insurance is in place the minute I get on that scarily tall bike”. I was worried I might drop the bike, whilst getting on it, without having even travelled a metre. That would have been embarrassing; Jonathan seeing his bike damaged and the insurance not active yet. Well, I did get on the bike with no problems, opened the throttle and then this lovely feeling comes through me, as it does each time I get on a bike, of contentment and feeling happy. Don’t get me wrong, when Jonathan turned towards Stratford’s town centre these feeling changed very quickly in to sheer panic. Stratford on a weekday is packed, but to travel through the centre on Saturday lunchtime, is sheer madness. Added to that, road works on some of its major arteries is not what I, as a novice rider, looking forward to. I thought of shouting to him to go the duel carriageway, but his bike sounds like a mental 1100 instead of a mere 400, and I knew he would not be able to hear me. I resigned myself to exercising my English vocabulary, which I have picked up living here.

I would like to apologies to everybody I have gassed with the smell of molasses on route to get the MOT. Jonathan had given the exhaust had some anti-rust molasses treatment and I had bolted the thing back on just before our departure. As I started it up with the rear of the bike pointing towards my open front door, I realised too late, it had filled my house with the ghastly smell of burned sugar. Sorry daughters. Off we went, weaving in and out of traffic stinking of a mobile sugar factory. Thanks Jonathan.

At the first turn I remembered I had no mirrors or indicators. Great! No way am I going to let go of the handlebars, I thought. This is going to add more spice to the journey, which, at that stage, I thought, was going to remembered anyway. However, I did get through the traffic without too many near misses, and on to some more relaxing riding to the garage.
The bike passed the MOT, but that might have something to do with the intoxication the garage attendant experienced due to the molasses. Poor man. We rode back a different route avoiding the traffic, and I felt more in control.

So, now, all that’s between me and riding is Road Tax. Isn’t there always something, which spoils the fun? But there is an end to the waiting in sight. April fool’s day is the day I am first in the queue at the post office getting what feels like a prisoner’s release. Yes, at last free to go where I please on a bike. The last hurdle is waiting at the post office behind a queue of old age pensioners, collecting their pension, who are in front of stamp and road tax customers like me. Well, it will be worth the wait.

nessychris's picture
Joined: 17/12/2008

Gassing a town! Fibs to the insurance! No hand signals!! My goodness, takes me straight back to my 80's L plate, RD200 days. Hiding behind a bicycle shop from the copper who had seen me carrying a passenger several times... thank god for Wolverhampton traffic!
Keep it up indeed.