Monday, 18 April 2011

The Wizard of Leicester

With less than five weeks to go drastic action was needed. The old girl was back together after heart surgery but was difficult to get going (just like me) and ran like pregnant duck (I know what your thinking but it‘s unkind). It had a heart rate that raced when hot and took an age to get back down. I fettled and f**ted about getting nowhere (as usual) and after the 20th cup of tea I was about to throw in the towel when inspiration struck (no don’t be daft, I didn’t come up with the answer, well not directly). A quick phone call to Head Honcho mechanic Bob and she was being loaded on the trailer. Bob was off to Leicester where Terry’s bike was waiting to be collected after having been given some TLC and I thought Roberta could hitch a lift. I spoke to the wizard of Leicester, aka “The Boxerman” (Phil Hawksley) and few days later I get a message to say that she’s been resurrected.

With crash helmet in hand and on my knees (again) to the lovely Anne, I got myself a lift to Leicester to be reunited with the lady I spend all my spare time and money on, at least that’s what I’m always getting told. I just keep blaming Bob and hope I get away with it.

More silver crossed palms, crash helmet was donned and I was off down the M1 back towards the soft south. She performed faultlessly and guess what, it was 117 miles back home and not a murmur or missfire to be heard. A bottle or two were cracked and Roberta was christened. However, after about the fifth glass it became increasingly difficult to get three syllables out, so that night she became Bobby which, being an ex gendarme training bike, seemed appropriate.

That’s her above in most of her finery. A free advert for Ernie of Overland Solutions who made the panniers, rear sub frame, crash bars etc. Also a big thank you to Nigel, (known to all in the Southern Section of the BMW club and to just about everyone in the motorcycle travelling fraternity) he has been looking after the best interests of my backside by making that cosy looking sheepskin cover adorning the seat. He also made the saddlebags over the tank. Not only are they going to provide important storage, they will also give much needed weather protection to my aged arthritic knees.

What next, well I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that the bike continues to behave impeccably like a lady should! With less than three weeks to go, it’s time to start getting some kit together for the trip. It being my *0th birthday in less than two weeks I’m hoping for some travel essentials from my nearest and dearest. Scotch (for its anesthetic properties of course), bubble bath, feather pillow and sudocrem are some ideas if you’re struggling.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Lock, Stock and .............

The work continues. The poor old girl (nothing poor about her, it’s me that’s applying for benefits) hasn’t seen the outside of the garage for sometime now. She has just had her sticky out bits enhanced (changed) after Terry’s bike was trailered to the Boxer Man in Leicester. Phil’s prognosis was that his bike wouldn’t get off life support without radical surgery. He had never seen barrels so badly worn. Head Honcho mechanic Bob thought (bad move) that as all three bikes had similar history, mileage etc that investigative surgery on the other two was required. The result, six new barrels were ordered along with the necessary ancillary bits and bobs (no pun intended). If you play the stock market here’s some info that hasn’t reached the market yet. “BMW profits will be considerably ahead of expectations this year after three mad Englishmen decided to make three bikes out of spare parts (Buy).

Alongside the mechanical work Rob (my daughters other half) has been performing a starring role (thank you). He has been travelling down from Wales (or is it across) and building an auxiliary wiring circuit to wire in the Sat Nav, heated clothing (yes I am a whimp), auxiliary lights and sockets etc. While I’m on the acknowledgement bit, I’d also like to say a big thank you…….. to Anne and all my family and friends (I have one somewhere) who have offered and are going to support my mum (who has dementia) so that I can make this trip. Big, big, big thank you.

Keep watching this space. Will I get to Christen Roberta before leaving the UK or are workshop facilities going to be required in Calgary? It‘s getting to be a close call.