Monday, 26 September 2011

A tale of two quandries

The first quandry I faced yesterday - join one of the bikers' protest rides against proposed EU legislation, or go to a classic car and bike show/autojumble in deepest Essex at the picturesque village of Battlesbridge. The show won, although I did have second thoughts as I was filling up the Triumph at a petrol station on the M25 motorway when a Harley-rider came over and spoke to me about the protest ride. The thing is...I'm not convinced that riding slowly along motorways in a large group causing congestion is the way to persuade the EU not to bring in anti-biking laws. It is a perfect way to piss-off all the motorists whose goodwill I depend on when riding my bike....

Anyway, a couple of hours ride got me to Battlesbridge, and I have to say it was an excellent event. A huge field full of autojumble stalls; classic bikes, classic cars and a few hot-rods too (Essex has a large number of American car fans); hot dog stands; beer tents; fat tatooed Essex birds; a live band, my dear there was so much to see and do!

Nice cafe racer

Very impressive

One for Bobskoot

Trident looked like my Thunderbird except for the siamesed exhaust

Best of both worlds?

Love the burger-eating biker

One for Affer

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Eventually I got jaded by it all and set off back home. Unfortunately, the Sunday afternoon car drivers were clogging up all the nice twisty roads, crawling along bumper to bumper so I ended up back on the M25 motorway which was a fairly unpleasant experience; turned off down the A1 through North London to join a grid-locked North Circular road, fought my way across west London and arrived home hot and exhausted.

The second quandry I faced today. I started my new job in central London, travelled there on the tube, had a normal sort of first day, got on the tube to come home, and it was packed. Sandwiched-in between a fat smelly bloke and a couple of  schoolkids shouting at the tops of their voices, as I looked around in desperation for a seat I spotted a couple of empty seats at the other end of the carriage. Not stopping to reflect on how this almost-impossible state of affairs could exist, I fought my way along the carriage and claimed one of the empty seats, As I sat down, triumphant, I realised that someone had thrown up on the floor. It smelt worse than the fat bloke I'd been trapped against, but...and here's the quandry...if I could put up with it I could sit all the way to my station, 25 mins journey away.


  1. El D:

    your words are too vivid. I can smell that stench from here, and also visualize it oozing on the floor. Do you have any clothes pins with you ? Lucky you didn't sit on it, did you check ?

    thank you for the Lambretta photo. That was probably an Li 175, or such. I had a GP200 SIL. If I could turn back the clock, I should have purchased a P200. I love manual shifters

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Thanks for the pics and I empathize the effort. An observation I made while traveling on trains, buses or anywhere for that matter is people are like cows/sheep and adopt the herd mentality. Try waiting on the tube platform away from the crowds near the front or rear of where the train will stop. People are lazy and won't walk any further than they absolutely have to. You just have to be willing to walk just a little bit further.
    Good luck on the new job.

  3. It looks as though there were some beautiful bikes and autos at the show. I'd be inclined to agree with you, slow bikes clogging the roadways will probably just piss people off and not get the point across as intended.

    Have fun with the new job. Hope the tube gets better. Maybe you need to wear ATGATT while on the tube, kind of a buffer against the asshats. So......did you sit the whole way and hold your breath?

  4. The reported fact that car drivers are clogging up the roads on Sunday leads me to suspect that they are in fact protesting against EU legislation for perfumed airbags in all cars to be made mandatory in 2013. Damned inconsiderate.

  5. GREAT photos! The Lambo: is it an Espada (the 4-seater GT)? Have a good memory of 110mph around the Heathrow access road in one of those.....

    Having 'tube-ed' to-and-fro Central Lunnun for the last 3 years, I would rather go home a bit later than get jammed in one - unless it's during London Fashion Week when the chances of a furtive 'rub' are quite high!

  6. A very nicely maintained Gold Star - although the owner has carelessly not put the plug in the Amal's bellmouth. I liked the Goldie as it was a very obtainable - and affordable - racer. The 350 could give a Manx Norton a run for its money but, ultimately, you can't beat double knockers.

  7. Bobskoot, I had a TV175 black & chrome with Union Jack seat cover! As for the smell, I kept my nose inside my rucksack (which was on my lap, not my back) for the whole journey.

  8. Affer - it was indeed a huge Espada.

    Ms Jessop - as you say, you can't beat knockers.

  9. Troubadour & Trobairitz - thanks for the comments; the new job's good, the travel is just a matter of switching off and thinking about something else (like what should the next bike be). By the way, I can't seem to leave comments on your blogs any more, but have been enjoying the photos.

  10. Nikos, I don't know what those pesky Eurocrats will think up next, but I think they should consider banning 4 wheeled traffic from the roads on Sundays to let us get out and really enjoy ourselves.

  11. I am sure that is a rebuilt 1949-50 JAP speedway bike. Comparing it with the 'Red Rooster' (which looks very like an early US board-track racer) I find the transition from a brazed lug-construction frame, to a fully mig- or tig-welded one very interesting.

  12. Oh that Gold Star......

    One has just been auctioned in NZ for over $40000! I think ex-World 125cc Champion Hugh Anderson owned it.

    Great photos!