Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Sunday, 25 February 2007
...the grass is riz,
I wonder where my battery power is?
The sound of spring in the Highwaylass household isn’t the sound of birdsong, thawing mountain rills or gentle breezes from the south. It’s the sound of a starter motor not turning, closely followed by gentle swearing and the unwrapping of jump leads.
This year we have gone one better than normal and had to get the jump leads out at the end of the trip as well as the beginning to get the bike back in the garage – either my charging circuit has failed or the battery was even flatter than last Tuesday’s pancakes. Fortunately I have a long-suffering and Patient Partner who, now that Stargate SG-1 has finished, has nothing better to do on Sunday afternoons than track me down and jump-start me (arf arf!).
I’ve been getting itchy wrists for the past few weekends - I’m not a fair weather biker but the fact that this was my first ride this year rather argues against me :( - and it was great to get out on the road even if it was just the A1 and the North Circular.
Before I was diverted by the total failure of the battery to even illuminate the idiot lights at the Shell garage, I promised myself that I would name and shame today’s example of egregious motoring behaviour:-
- You in the blue Toyota at the traffic lights at the North Circular – just because your car is called a Picnic does not make it OK to throw your banana skin and Walker’s Crisp packet out of the window. Yes, S503BKN, I’m talking about you.
You’re lucky - if it had been a few months later in the riding season I would have been able to pick them up from the roadside and throw them back into your window, you filthy git. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Friday, 23 February 2007
Sign the petition!
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to open all bus lanes to motorbikes across the UK now and stop messing about. More details
Submitted by Gary Stephenson – Deadline to sign up by: 11 April 2007 – Signatures: 490"
Only one million, seven hundred and ninety nine thousand, five hundred and ten to go before we get our own "thanks but no thanks" reply from Tony!
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Three cheers to the commuter braving Picadilly Circus on a Ducati ST-4 this morning - looks like a banana, sounds like a heartbeat.
Almost made me decide to start work at 8.00am so that I could find somewhere to leave the bike - Does it say "SCOOTER PARKING"? ! No it doesn't
Saturday, 17 February 2007
Went to Chelsea today to see Gonzo, the exhibition of some of Hunter S Thompson's photos. There were only around 9 or 10 in the gallery and about half of those were of the Angels he hung out with while writing about them - which were the photos I wanted to see. Truly amazing to see these characters who've only been names in Hunter's books as living, drinking, wheelying bikers, dirty denim against the California sky - but there were no names in the captions so we had to play "guess the Angel" - Terry the Tramp? Magoo? Mother Miles? Mouldy Marvin?
The most interesting thing is that they really don't look that scary - you have to work hard at imagining them against the backdrop of chino-clad buzzcut early 1960's conform-or-die USA to get any whiff of the moral panic and outrage that Hunter takes to pieces in Hell's Angels.
From the final chapter.."...with the throttle screwed on, there is only the barest margin and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right..and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms...You watch the white line and try to lean with it...howling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica...letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the Edge...The Edge....There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others - the living - are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to do when it came time to choose between Now and Later."