Maturity. It Was Good While It Lasted.

OK, so my sensible deconstruction of ‘buying new motorbike is essential. NOW!’ argument didn’t wash. To be fair, at least I’m sort of swapping motorbikes, not lashing out another two grand on top. And it’s sort of sensible. I was driving myself insane obsessing over that Triumph Daytona, which is, bottom line, a beautiful but wildly impractical bike.

Sports riding position (which I like, but is rarely comfortable, especially over distance). Zero storage capacity. And made to be revved straight to licence shredding speeds. It was very, very desirable, and I wanted it so bad, but I resisted. Just.

I was tempted again when I saw another impractical beauty, but this one would have been about £15K by the time I’d bought it blind from the States. A 1940s Harley.

If you were wondering what Wendy wants for Christmas, you can’t go wrong.

Then I saw a totally different bike. It’s a CBF1000 Honda , so you know it’s going to be quality, but the model had completely slipped under my radar. Take a Honda Fireblade (warpspeed race bike) engine, detune it, (so you have all the power in the bottom and the middle rather than at a gazzillion revs) and stick it in a tourer set up.

I should have taken some pictures. That was from the advert and it looked fine on my ‘phone, but it’s all grainy on here. The guy bought it last year and got it all set up for touring Ireland, but then Covid, so that’s not happening. It’s got virtually all the bits I would want to add. Taller screen with the wind calmer thing, progressive fork springs, new set of nicer sounding exhausts, crash bungs, and full, detachable, luggage. The only thing I might add are heated hand grips.

I was looking at the advert, with those boxes and the fairing,and thinking of my marathons. I could ride to the race, stash my lid, leather, boots and clothes, do the run and change back. I wouldn’t have to worry about borrowing Wendy’s car, or horrendous drives in traffic. Then I read the Motorcycle News reviews, which are absolutely glowing; because it’s a detuned race engine it is so unstressed it runs forever (while I was window shopping one came up that had done 161,000 miles). It’s got all the low down poke you could want. It’s supremely comfortable over distance. And it’s a 1000cc bike that delivers somewhere around 50mpg, with a 200 mile tank. My current 600cc bike, even after buying a power commander to make it run right, still only does about 30mpg. You are desperately looking for a petrol station at 100 miles. And the 1000 is cheaper than my current bike.

I cracked like an egg.

Wendy’s off work with stress so I seized the opportunity to get a lift to pick it up from Crewe. Wendy is not a confident driver outside of her familiar comfort zone, and is scared of motorways, so I said I’d drive us there, if I got the bike I’d follow her while she used her satnav to guide us back the main road, then I’d overtake and she could follow me home on the A roads. The bike was a steal so I got it and followed her. As soon as we set off I noticed the petrol gauge was in the red. Luckily we came across a garage almost immediately. I flashed Wendy madly, put my indicator on to let her know what I was doing, then pulled in to fill up. She carried on. Oh no. By the time I’d filled up she was long gone. Which meant she was out in the sticks, all on her own, stressed out of her face. On top of ongoing stress issues. I’d even left my ‘phone in the car with her so there was absolutely nothing I could do. Poor sausage. She made it home, which will probably boost her morale when she stops to think about it. She didn’t thank me.

I wasn’t in a much better state. I was lost in the wilds of Crewe with no ‘phone for satnav. I just kept going until I saw a sign for the motorway, then I was fine. The bike is great! I’d forgotten what it was like to look in your mirrors and see what kind of car is behind you. Usually it’s a vaguely car shaped blur. I couldn’t actually read the number plates behind me, but I could see they were there. I can’t even tell it’s a marked police car on the 600. And the power is really nice. Open it up and it flies forward. But get to a ton and it gets very vibey. Allegedly. That is kind of perfect. A 1000cc of power in comfort, right up to the automatic ban limit, then it’s unpleasant. Genius. Because I’ve not ridden in a while I forgot to put my ear defenders in, but the screen and wind calmer thing made it really quiet. And despite it blowing a gale head-on, I didn’t feel any wind buffeting. When the wind was hitting me from the side I was getting blown about a bit, but there’s no getting away from that short of a car. Now I really want some nice summer weather and an end of lockdown. If that short blast was anything to go by, this is going to be the comfiest bike ever!

To pay for it I’m selling my CBR600F. eBay is not the funnest of things, but there seems to be a good deal of interest. I hadn’t realised, with not riding it for 3 months, but the MOT ran out last year, so I’m getting it done tomorrow. Hopefully those showing interest will commit to giving me lots of money then.

I’ve been clearing the garden as preparation for laying the foundations for my new shed. It looked like a tip. Two dead bikes, bags, stuff out of my old shed strewn about or piled up. I decided to bit the bullet and get rid of Nath’s bike. I could have took it apart again and sold the new bits I’d fitted, but that would have been a slow process and I’d have still been left with a lot of the bike to get rid of. I just put it up for £80 to get shut. Some pensioner guy has bought it today to do as a hobby. If my 600 sells I’ll move my new bike on to the front, then put my project bike near the kitchen window, then the garden will look neat and tidy. I started digging out around the flags that were laid for the original shed today. It’s a good job I’ve got so long to do it. It’s taking forever.

The good news is the digging today has given me a sore back, but my shoulder is absolutely fine. I didn’t even think about it until Wendy asked. It gets a bit sore at work sometimes, but just a dull ache, nothing much. That could just be the muscle cramp thing I get on my shoulder when I get it cold.

Work is weird. It’s just a matter of perspective and attitude. I got three shifts last week and I’ve got three next week. Which is quite good for the time of year and seeing as the main depot is virtually closed down while they automate it. It’s the type of work though. I’m used to doing one or two runs, sometimes with a collection on the way back. These are loads of little runs. I had 6 drops yesterday. If it starts going wrong, and you start running late, that’s 6 more opportunities for it to get worse. And you are looking at the run sheet and thinking I’ve done all this and I’ve still got to tip here, run to Preston, load, run to Manchester, tip, then run back to base. I was getting well cheesed off with it. As I was driving back to base, and it was finally over, I was thinking, ‘ah well, at least huge hours are loads of money’. Then I realised I’d only done a 9 hours15 shift. That’s nothing in lorry driving. That’s a bit of an early dart. So it’s purely mental. The time is brief, the jobs are easy, but it seems awful. I don’t know why. I started looking for another job. Full time, long runs, preferably. Then I looked at the agency app for my shifts. Even though I’ve been off for 6 of them with a broken shoulder, they are still giving me the pay parity agency get at Royal Mail after 12 weeks. That’s £17 an hour! I’m going to have to suck it up, aren’t I? I’m not getting that kind of money elsewhere. (Apart from Home Bargains. When they finally start looking for drivers I will be all over that.) If Royal Mail offered me full time I’d rip their hand off. As would all the tons of other agency drivers there. And that’s the problem. So, for now, just try and adjust my attitude.

In other news I got my bike fit done.

To be honest, I’ve been grafting in the wrong position for so long I’m struggling with the new one. The guy knows all, and I’m sure it’s the right thing to do, but I seem to have lost a lot of power for now. He said to do rides at 80% of power while I adjust. Other sporting good news is that my wetsuit finally arrived from America. The advert said it looked like new. It really does! It doesn’t look like it’s ever been used. It’s a good quality one and a good fit. And cheap. For. The. Win!

I’ve been doing some Duolingo again.

The Spanish are mad as a box of frogs. A temporary truth? In English we call it an “election pledge”.

Also, the app appears to be American as it’s driving Wendy mad with English translations (from French) in American. It wasn’t bothering me, until I saw this


I liked this quote in a book I’m reading.

Right, some Dinos and I’m out of here. I’ve ranted enough.

And it’s been a bit nippy lately.

OK, that’s actually a bison in -35F in Yellowstone National Park. But similar.

Stay safe,