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I only had to make a few decisions today one of which was what bike to ride and the other was where to go – and although I got two bikes out of the garage my mind was probably already made up after looking out of the window at about 5.30am and realizing that last nights forecast was looking to be about right – a hot sunny day in prospect with temperatures at the top end of the 20s.
So it was the Moto Guzzi V7 – perfect for the weather in prospect and the half idea of the ride I had in mind … that’s not to say the Z1000 wouldn’t have been pretty much perfect either but after a couple of thousand miles on the Z1000 the other week in Germany I suppose I was itching to get on the Guzzi.
No where near as powerful with just a fraction of the horsepower, brakes that are shameful by comparison, not as comfortable for a long hot day, not as stable over the bumps and contours of the road – but with the sound of the v-twin comparing more than favorably with that of the inline four and the popping and banging from the exhaust providing its own soundtrack who could ask for more – especially with no set place to go, no set time to return, no deadlines, no schedules and no one to think about but me. In fact the only eventuality I needed to cater and the sole amount of preparation was to make sure I had money for refreshments and for however much petrol I needed to get to where ever I was going and back.
I was off for about 6.30 or so and only had to do about six or seven miles of motorway and even though it’s not that long ago that the daily commute was part of my life, in truth it seems like an age ago and it seems odd (from where I am these days) to look at people on the conveyor belt to their place of employment. Within 15 minutes or so I was away from the traffic and making my way towards Cheshire and then into North Wales and I stopped around 7.30 or so for a coffee and a sit down in the morning sun, then it was on again for what was to be a superb day – onto Llangollen, across the Horseshoe Pass, down into Ruthin then onto Bala – past the Lake then on-towards Ffestiniog, then towards Corwen, turning off for Ruthin, back over the Horseshoe Pass and then pretty much retracing my journey home for the last 40 miles or so.
Of course in between times I stopped a couple of times – a few coffees, a sausage sandwich (with loads of brown sauce) and a couple of Welsh cakes. I also saw a sad marker of a biker who clearly hadn’t made it home some time ago – but if there is any consolation at all, and if that marker marks the spot where destiny caught up then what a fine road and place for what was surely an untimely end to happen.
So all in all – a glorious day: hot sunshine (30c was the highest I saw), wonderful empty roads and as I racked up the last of my 290 or so miles on the short stretch of motorway home it was pretty much as you were with the traffic building and the return leg of the conveyor belt well and truly in place. Wonder who had the better day?