A very grumpy ride over to Lickey this morning to take Ruby for her 13,500 mile service (yes, I am a bit late on that one) has moved me to offer some notes to West Midlands motorists:-
1. Motorcycles overtake things. I am a very nervous overtaker so chances are if I am overtaking a tractor and you are in the far distance heading towards me, there will be enough time for me to pull out, pass the tractor, pause to pick a few flowers, have a cup of tea out of my tartan thermos and pull back in before you get within 20 feet of me. There is no need to flash your headlights in wounded offence.
2. Motorcycles filter. If I didn’t think there was room for three of us to share the road’s width, I wouldn’t be doing it. Please do not honk your horn because a kick in the wing mirror often offends.
3. On leaving the motorway – I’ve personally taken the view that if someone is stuck in lane 2 having misjudged how soon the exit would be upon us, and is indicating hopefully, then it’s a nice thing to do to moderate my speed and allow them to tuck in in front of me. Thank you for educating me in the local custom of staring slack-jawed at the satnav while picking up speed on an intercept course. It’s some time since I’ve had to skitter across the tiger-tails and I enjoyed the experience this morning. I blame the M42 “managed motorway” for turning you all into passive zombies who have forgotten that motorway driving is an interactive experience.
I handed Ruby in and received the yellow peril in exchange. Filling in the insurance form was fun.
- Have you had an accident in the last three years? Yes.
- Have you been convicted of a motoring offence or received a notice of intended prosecution in the last three years? Yes
- How long have you had a clean licence? Not since 2004.
The excess is £1000 so I’m hoping Mr Jallilemudi and his red Honda stay well away from me this time.
The GS800 is fun. If I had an inner hooligan it would certainly be coming out to play – the riding position is much more forward, in an off-road stylee with elbows out and weight over the front wheel. The engine note sounds just a little bit like an over-excited sewing machine but deepens up in higher gears. And the exhaust is of such magnificent bore that I fully expect to return to the bike to find Cher straddling it.