by Eric T
Beginning of my motorcycling in the UK.
|Originally written ans posted Sept 2009
Drove to Aldershot to pick up my motorcycle today.
I was so excited about riding a motorcycle again I hardly slept the night before, however mixed in with the excitement was a nervousness about my ability to handle riding the motorcycle here in England let alone London. The drive to Aldershot started out ok but quickly turned ugly and was not what anyone would call confidence building. I couldn’t follow Tom Tom’s directions and got lost trying to leave London, people were driving really aggressively and I had a very hard time understanding how the lanes were changing. It didn’t take long for all the ingredients to be cooked up together to cause a fight in the car. Neither one of us slept the night before or for that matter, many of the nights prior and we were both excited and knackered. I would like to be able to tell you that I have learned to slow down and think rationally, unfortunately I have a long history of being aggressive and easily angered behind the wheel. Add in confusion, being cut off and getting lost and I am right on the edge of my sanity. To our credit, on the M25 we somehow sorted it all out and enjoyed the rest of the trip.
We were going to leave our flat 9ish however, the time we actually left was 10ish. It wouldn’t have been an issue if we were not trying to make it back to get to the Camden parking office before they close at 2:00pm on Saturdays. We got to Aldershot at 11:30am and were met by Shawn(the guy I was buying the bike from), his three-legged dog(who I don’t remember being told his name) and then of course Shawn’s wife (again names not my strong point). Shawn was an absolutely lovely man who seems very intelligent and kind. He gave me a bunch of extra stuff such as the chain adjuster, a repair and maintenance manual, and left over parts that he no longer had a need for. By the time we signed the paperwork, had a cup of tea and got the gear on it was 12:30pm. It was so completely awesome to feel the motorcycle under me with the engine running and ready to pull away. It felt so natural to me to have the clutch pulled back while throttling up the engine, the potential energy that is transferred through the engine, up a cable, into the handle of the clutch and into my hand was electrifying.
Finally, we left and headed home or more accurately to the Camden parking authority. As we approached the last rest area just outside London, Rachel pulled in, to my delight because I had to wee so badly. We parked the vehicles, Rachel in her Mini and me on the Triumph, Rachel said a red light had come up on the dashboard and she was concerned, hence the reason we pulled in. I looked at the light and it appeared to me to be the tire pressure warning light. We don’t own a tire gauge so I thought that after I went to the loo we would go the petrol area and check the pressures with their machine. While I was inside, I was reminded that I was hungary so I bought us some food from the Burger King. The food was recieved with much joy and we decided that we were not going to make it to the parking authority so we chose to relax and enjoy the sunshine. A side note to this is I didn’t expect to eat there so I only bought two double cheese burgers for £7.50, one for Rachel to eat on the way and the other for me when we got to our destination. Rachel then decided that she wanted chips and a drink, normally this wouldn’t be a problem, I went back inside and ordered two regular fries and drinks for a total of £7.35. The helpful man behind the counter tells me I should have ordered value meals, thank you is all I dared to say.
Back on the road, we go into West London and it takes an hour to get through Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, what a nightmare getting through there on a Saturday afternoon. We finally get home just after 3pm and I am so relieved to be home in tact with my new motorcycle.