100,000 miles on two wheels – the good, the bad and the ugly
My GS is still in the garage in bits. So I have time to reflect upon the experience of motorcycling. Here’s a list of highlights and downers…
- Just going around any fast and wide sweeping corner with excellent grip and visibility.
- Heavily scented country air being forced through the vents at the front of my helmet.
- 0-60 in 5 seconds on a 15 year old trail-bike, 0-60 in 3.5 seconds on a new Ducati.
- Overtaking a Porsche Boxster out of a right hand bend.
- Every time a complete stranger on a bike signals hello (nod of the head in the UK, wave in SA, shake of the leg in continental Europe).
- Filtering past a Maserati stuck in a mile long line of cars, millions of pounds worth of vehicles, all going nowhere – fools!
- Riding a twisty mountain road with an incredible view, locations including the Pyrenees, Montserrat, Auvergne and Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town.
- Crossing France in a day on back roads.
- Riding dry dirt roads in southern Europe or South Africa.
- Kick starting a BMW 1000cc transverse twin.
- Being hit on the head and knocked out by debris at 85mph on the motorway in Catalunya (glad I wasn’t driving a car, it would have come straight through the windscreen).
- Hitting a dead swan at 80mph in the middle lane of the M40.
- Dodging past sheets of glass falling off the back of a lorry on the M40 (I passed the lorry and stopped it).
- Being blown off a motorway while riding an F650 in heavy wind.
- Exhaust valve burn out in the outside lane of the motorway.
- Riding on motorways, especially the Paris Peripherique.
- Falling off in deep mud, glamorous locations including Salisbury Plane, the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire and the Karoo desert.
- Riding at 90mph in the outside lane of a French motorway, and being overtaken by a car with half of its wheels off the road.
- Diesel spills, especially around Warwick University (blame the bus company?)
- Car drivers, van drivers, caravaners.
And the ugly:
..the Moosehead biker gang (notice the complete absence of functioning motorcycles).