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Saturday, 1 September 2007

Giving us a bad name.

Well here I am, home from the Isle of Man, totally skint, totally tired and left with mixed feelings. I suppose every holiday has ups and downs, but to set the scene, just before I left, I was mid way through changing my bank account, so was left with just a few pennies in the box under my bed for spending money. The worst of it was I'd had to cancel my direct debits and couldn't pay my bike insurance. This wasn't exactly the best way to start the trip. Still, the insurance didn't run out until I was on the island so at least I could get there legally, and my trusty MZ Skorpion carried me all the way there (and back) without complaint. I think total mileage to and from the ferry was about 700 plus another couple of hundred on the island itself. That equates to a lot of petrol and more importantly oil. On the way to Heysham, a nice lady tried to take me on at the Haudigan (sp?) roundabout in Aberdeen, then she smiled, waved and drove off. Then a white van man attempted to run me off the motorway - three times! When I got to the ferry terminal, I met up with a friend from my school days, Sandra. She rides a green Kwakkysakky machine so was easy to spot. Arriving a few hours early we popped into a nearby pub to thaw out and dine. The only seats available were next to where the band was setting up, so after a few people cleared out we moved to the far end of the pub for some peace and quiet. A good move as it turned out for that was no band, that was karaoke! A pack of cards was then produced from my rucksack, the intention being to pass the time playing snap (we would never even considering gambling), but how can you play snap with 23 nine of hearts cards? Perhaps we should have gone home then. The crossing was uneventful, apart from waking up to find a man sitting staring at me at some hideously early time in the morning. Arriving at the campsite I pitched my tent (Sandra's was ready pitched for her, cheat) and we got a stern telling off for waking people - come on, it was 6am for goodness sake! Probably Sandra jousting with a lilo that did it.

Throughout the week I was most disappointed by the behaviour of some of the motorcyclists on the island. Ok, some roads don't have a speed limit, so if you really want to, you can go up to the Mountain and try and wrap yourself around a fence post, but surely when (if?) you get back down to the villages and 50mph limits, you can ease off the throttle. People actually have to carry on with their daily lives while we're there on holiday, and I felt so sorry for an elderly lady trying to cross the road with her dog, but she couldn't because of bikers riding like idiots, overtaking, and filtering in twos and threes through her village. Sadly it wasn't always plastic rocket riders to blame.

Ok, I’m off the soapbox now and would like to report that the Vintage Motorcycle club events I went to were great, and the Triumph owners club meeting that clashed with a Norton meet was also pretty good. The weather held fair most of the time, apart from when we were on a late night mission to deliver a kebab to Sandra’s boyfriend who was drinking all the pubs in Peel dry. I never did get to do a full lap of the TT / Manx course, but can’t say I’m terribly bothered, it’s not going to disappear. I might go back and do that next year on the Cubby.
Talking of which, I’d better give that the once over in preparation for the Grampian club run tomorrow. Oh yeah, Mum got locked in the bathroom today. I tell you, I go away and what do I come back to? Chaos! Look out for the full report (of the Manx events, not the bathroom saga) in your fav old bike mag.

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