So Stefan the taxi driver mentioned that he wanted to sell his wife’s motorbike, would I be interested? He said it was cheap, so I said I’d take a look; he turned up one night unannounced with this goofy-looking bike, like a midget Harley that had been squashed. Anyway, I took it for a short ride but it felt quite strange, besides, it had a single seat with embroidered flames shooting out the rear, which Nikos will tell you is just not desirable.
|Not the actual bike - but still goofy|
This did, however, prompt me to look for a better bike, after a bit of looking around I found this great little bike shop out in the sticks, run by a father & son they had kept every bike their family had, plus accumulated an extensive collection of bikes, all for sale. Amongst them was a really nice Suzuki GSX1400, a bike I had lusted over for several years but never found a nice one. A little negotiation and the deal was done, it took a couple of days to arrange the bank transfer in Euros, but last Tuesday I turned up at the shop, complete with new kit, to pick it up. All we had to do was to register it, which was (allegedly) a five minute job, I had of course forgotten about the Dutch love for bureaucracy; in the UK we fill-out a form and send it off, here I had to go to the vehicle licensing board and produce a whole raft of documentation to prove that I live in Holland – documentation that I did not have. I then went to the town hall to get a resident certificate, but when they told me all the papers I would need, I just gave up. We talked it over, but with no other option they agreed to refund the money and I went away dejected.
|Not the actual bike, but the same colour|
This was the final spur I needed to bring the Triumph over to Holland, so last weekend I cleaned and checked the bike over, packed some stuff in the panniers and set off to ride down to Folkestone to catch the Eurotunnel train through to France, then up through Belgium into Holland. After 30 or so miles, my right hip seized up. I stopped to stretch, got back on, another couple of miles and agony set in. Another stop and the realisation set in that I wasn’t going to make it – damn you old age! I turned around and drove slowly home, no tears but a great depression, what if I have to give up riding? Happily, with a couple of days to reflect I’ve decided the solution may just be to find a bike that’s taller and more comfortable for me, so the Triumph’s up for sale on e-bay and the search is on for a good used BMW GS. Fingers crossed!