A Tale of Long Ago
feel at last the time has come to regale you all with
a tale from the past. At least it may help a lot of you understand
quite a lot more about me.
back in 1984 I decided at the grand old age of 21 I could at last move up
from a 250(Honda CB250RS a cracking little bike) to a 400 and so I treated
myself to a 1 year old Honda CB400n, resplendent in red and gold, with
panniers and a barn door fairing.
my very drunken 21st birthday party, Keith my mate from Lincoln
with a VF400 said lets tour England and so the plan was hatched.
parents was another matter and so we joined the YHA for cheap (and parent
friendly) places to stay. Decided on the end of August and so we were all
as much stuff packed on as possible Nicky and I went and met Keith and
Pauline up in Lincoln and then headed off to York, for those of you used
to my navigational skills I was in charge of route planning (Ha Ha), and
finding of pubs, hostels etc etc.
had a loosely fixed plan which was ride a day, rest a day as long as we
reached Oswestry by the weekend. Each pub we found we hit the bar &
jukebox in unison.
then stagger back to Youth hostel and fight over who had top bunk.
girls would swap bikes as we went as it was soon found a VF400 was not an
ideal touring machine. The cross England route was interesting and Pauline
lost one of several maps as she tried to read it on the motorway at speed,
along with several pairs of sunglasses.
Hostel reminded us so much of a German POW camp and the person in charge
also thought the same.
here we went sight seeing and found a picturesque waterfall which we
decided to stroll up.
I really must remind you that this was the early 80ís so my riding kit
consisted of a mixture of Millets waterproof trousers, flappy jeans ,
wax jacket and Cowboy boots (Cuban heeled with smooth soles). I can
hear you all gasp at such sartorial eloquence.
as we started to navigate back down the waterfall I fell bounced and
plummeted several yards down, bruised blooded and bleeding I reached the
bottom, only to find my bike had done just the same , oh how we laughed.
we did what every good biker does nonchantly right the bike (wincing with
pain) kick bent bits straight and ride off, ignoring the stares of
onlookers, as if nothing had ever happened. We then found the best tasting
cream tea I have ever had.
had a room booked in Oswestry and we spent a pleasant few days there, it
was then the time to head to Wales, and needless to say it rained, and
rained and rained. As we headed through the mountains near Bala visibility
was down to zero, add the single track roads, hairpin bends, huge drop on
one side, rain pouring down the mountain like a river it was one of the
worse journeys I have ever had, oh and my laughable waterproof gear gave
up the ghost a long time ago as well.
finding the youth hostel we found a very cheap hotel and a grim chippie
and pub. The next morning Keith and Pauline had had enough and so rode
home. We carried on for a few days in glorious sunshine, blatting back and
forth over the Bangor bridge to Anglesey for no other reason than it was
there and it was so pretty. Finally we headed back across to Lincoln for
one last night with Keith and then home.
got me the urge for touring and so the Dutch trip was planned for the
following spring, but that is another story .
as a PS Nicky now rides her own bike, a 500 Honda, the experience cannot
have been that bad