When I was finished setting it up, by which time it was getting dark, we set off into the void.

About half an hour into the trip home the clutch-cable popped its nipple in such a way that the spare screw-on job I always had with me wouldn’t help, (just as it was beginning to drizzle) so I had to signal to my escort and explained at the next lights what had happened.

SO there I was, in the middle of London, trying to negotiate every set of lights and roundabout without stopping, otherwise I would have to hurriedly select neutral before coming to a halt. When starting off, I would have to leg it until I was doing enough speed to put it in first, and off I went again, changing gears by ear, ‘snicking’ the lever into gear with as much feel as possible (with Commando-Boots on), revving up in the false neutral between gears on down-changes and vice-versa for the changes up a gear. After a while, ‘legging it’ gets a bit tiring and definitely hotter under the collar and in the helmet…thankfully it wasn’t raining (much), there wasn’t too much traffic (despite being London) and being evening, wasn’t too warm, either.

Oh, the joys of motorcycling!

As you can imagine, By the time I got home I was pretty knackered (technical expression), the parents and I were glad it was over and I retired to bed, happy to be home again. The next three days and nights were worked through, dragging my poor dad up to town twice to get the bits I needed to put the bike together well enough to face the ordeal of the return trip to Germany, where I was living, a long ride of about 480 miles/770km…

© peter gouws 2011

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