Thursday, November 16, 2017

Riding an Icon - a dream fullfilled.

Thanks to a couple of friends, (Dave and Mark), I had the delight of some 80 miles on a Vincent Black Shadow yesterday, and in the process discovered just how far us motorcycle riders have come in the last seventy years. Or rather, how far motorcycle engineers have progressed their art over that time. Stepping off my electronically controlled suspension bike, replete with traction control, ABS, and state of the art radial tyres, I was reintroduced to cross-ply tyres, wire throttle cables actuating throttle bodies, and gear box and rear brake levers that had exchanged positions. On the plus side I discovered that everything I did had both immediate and far reaching consequences, no more safety nets, no cosseting, just "if you want something to happen, then you are going to have to work for it", and "if you want it to happen now, then it's already too late!". It has been half a century since I rode a bike that required such assertive mastery, (a Royal Enfield 750 Super Meteor), and it took a while for me to stop changing up when I wanted to apply rear brake. But eventually I began to get a glimmer of an idea as to how to ride again - get the speed - keep the speed - conserve the speed - don't brake - look beyond the horizon - and lope along. The Lincolnshire Wolds had provided the excellent roads, replete with ever changing demands, and my new friend Pete had allowed me to ride his Vincent - I am in your debt Pete, thank you.

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