Sunday, 28 August 2011

It started out well......

With it being the summer holiday weekend I decided to take a 3-day ride taking in some bike and car-related events. Itinarary prepared and bike packed (2 pairs of underpants and a toothbrush as per Affers instructions) I set off early Saturday morning for the New Forest* and Sammy Miller's Motorcycle museum.

Out of London, riding south on the A3 it was chillier than I anticipated, and pretty heavy traffic. As I got to Guildford it started raining so I pulled into a petrol station, topped-up the tank and changed gloves from the thin summer ones I started off with to the winter ones I put in the pannier just in case. Just past Guildford I turned off onto the A31, much less traffic now and nicer scenery, I enjoyed riding up and over the Hogs Back with tremendous views in all directions. In no time I reached Winchester, where I stopped to take a couple of photos.

Riding on, I stopped somwhere around Romsey for a cup of coffee and a cake in a "Wild Bean Cafe"; sat on the kerb outside the petrol station watching the traffic whizz by I thought "this is the life". Enjoying now the quiet country roads and country smells I rode down through the forest to New Milton and the museum; 100 miles thats the longest trip for me and the Triumph so far.

                                                    Outside and inside the museum
Sammy Millers museum was excellent, great bikes well prepared and presented; friendly, knowledgable staff AND a restaurant that served an all-day breakfast with mugs of tea and young waitresses in mini skirts - biker heaven!

                               All aluminium frame and engine - look at the quality of the welding

                                                                Love the back-end

After a good couple of hours taking it all in I was ready to set off for Bristol and on into Wales.

Unfortunately, that's when it all went wrong - when I got back to the bike it was sitting with a flat front tyre. I borrowed a pump and pumped it up - it went flat immediately. I've got AA breakdown so phoned them; after an hour a guy turned up and said " OK sir, I'll just pull the wheel off and we'll get this fixed in no time"; well that's what I thought would happen, what actually happened was he put some air in the tyre, it went down, he pursed his lips and said "I can't fix it, we'll recover the bike back to your house". I was incredulous to say the least, come-on, its just a flat tyre, but Mr. Negative was adamant " it's holiday weekend, everywhere is shut until next Tuesday, nothing I can do".
                                                        We ain't going nowhere

By now the museum was shut, the AA man cleared off saying he'd called for a recovery van that would be there in an hour, then it started raining. Then the rain developed into a tropical downpour. To say I was pissed-off would be putting it lightly. Two-and-a-half hours later the recovery van turned up, only the staff of the museum had, unknown to me, padlocked the gate at the car park entrance. Panic! I finally rode the bike gingerly down a little dirt track that went behind the buildings, past a private house and down their drive. The lady of the house was bit suprised to see me, but let me out their gate; I then rode very slowly back up the road with the front tyre now completely destroyed and got the bike onto the recovery truck. Oh yeah, by law these trucks are restricted to 56 mph, so it was 11.45 pm when the driver dropped me and the Triumph off at home.

So this morning I went round to the coffee shop for breakfast (did I mention that LF packed her bags and left a week ago?) to reflect what to do for the rest of this weekend; hearing that bloody song by Adele "I'm gonna slash my wrists" or whatever its called didn't lift my mood much, nor did a walk down by the river where all of a sudden the weather has transitioned from summer to winter in a couple of days; then it started raining.

Have a great weekend!

* The New Forest created in 1079 by William the conqueror from the existing Roman Forest of Spinaii, created in turn from an existing Bronze age forest - so not very "new" then.


  1. At least you saved the cost of all that expensive petrol.

  2. Thanks Nikos - that made me chuckle. I'd never thought of you as a glass half full kind of person..

  3. ....and, since LF has now left, you can now leave the toilet seat up - ie, in its proper position, as always intended by the designer (a man).

    On a more frivolous note, I hope you publish some more pics of the museum - I never made it there (yet) and it looks fantastic!

  4. Wow, talk about bad luck with the tyre and the recovery van. I bet a lot of bad words were said that day. At least you got to see the museum.

    When I have bad days, (usually at work) I sing this in my head. You'll probably have to cut and paste the link.

  5. Trobairitz

    How cruel - the poor animals mean no harm. we have protection sanctuaries for donkeys over here in UK because we like all animals.

  6. Affer - the museum really is worth a visit. I'll put some more photos up tomorrow if you like. Oh, and that business with the toilet seat - what I always do is put the seat AND the cover down so the female of the house has to lift the cover every time they want to use it...seems to wear 'em down after a while.


  7. Trobairitz, thanks for the tip.

    Nikos - WTF?

  8. I think Mr Affer's comment is most uncalled for. The finest gentlemen of my acquaintance always desisted from using the loo-of-the-house entirely, going off to a public toilet, or perhaps one in a local hostelry. That maintained an element of freshness for the lady-of-the-house.

  9. I have to confess I know my place in "my" house, with one wife and two daughters, BUT I always remind them how long women had to fight for equality. All three are big, strong girls now, and if they want the toilet seat moving, they are capable of moving it for themselves (it's a cheap plastic one and not heavy anyway).

  10. It's always quite amusing to cover the pan opening with cling film too.

    Anyhow Mrs N imposes a strict no peeing standing regime so you lot have got it lucky IMHO.