As I sit here tryng to decide which storyline to purse, I must warn you that we are two blogs away from landing on the Isle of Man.
The lead up to landing on the warf of Douglas needs to be told so you will know where and how we got to where we are now.
My Man, who will undergo a name change, did a lot of planning and preparing before we left our safe abode in Kuala Lumpur. This involved a number of late night/early morning calls, texts and emails to The Organiser and Green Jacket. I know you are wondering ‘what on earth would these guys be talking about, planning, discussing and researching?’
In my mind, I assumed it was all about me. I thought they were discussing various activities I could do that was not totally centred around motorbikes. I had overheard my name mentioned a couple of times, so I mistakenly assumed I was the topic of conversation.
Well to be fair I was.
But it was all based around my comfort on the back of a bike. Whether my tiny tooshie (rose-colored glasses on here), would fit comfortably on the back of this black bike, this green bike or this yellow bike.
As you are aware, my whole concept of motorbikes and cars is limited to the color. Each night My Man would show me pictures of motorbikes and ask if I liked them or not. The major flaw in asking ME if I like something or not is the fact that I will want comfort, ease of mounting and dismounting, color and what I can hold on to whilst perched on the back.
I am not interested in the speed it will go, the size of the engine, the make or any other testosterone making concept.
As time marched forward to where we would be embarking on our adventure, the luxury of constant internet connection, sleeping, ‘gluten free food’, decent showers (though we had a luxurious shower in the Hobbit House) started to fade and the excitment of Italy took over. We knew that once Italy was over, the real adventure would begin.
Lets pause for a moment and backtrack a few sentences to the mention of a motorbike. As mentioned above, three colors of bikes were mentioned…Black…Green….and Yellow. No I dont know what they were, No I dont know the make, model and year- but I do know the color.
Black Bike- Honda VFR 800
Green Bike- Kawazaki ZRX 1200
Yellow Bike- Aprilia RSV 100 Mille
A moment of digression- please keep in mind that at this point in time, in our bike collection we have:
1. A Buell XB 12S Lightning (Black and very comfortable for me)
2. An Aprilia RS250 Sports bike
3. Ducati 1098 Race Bike (I do not like this bike as this is His ‘true love’)
4. Modenas Sports Elite 150 (Yes we have a scooter- idea was to teach me to ride on this beast- not likely Boy)
5. Yamaha Quad bike
6. Suzuki RM125
7. 2 Suzuki RM250 in bits
OK! I hope someone is reading this and taking note-there are 7 mentions of bikes- and you complain about my handbag and shoe collection?? At least I can use them all at some stage….unlike…….hmmmmmm
Now lets take normal logic out of the discussion and lets put on a ‘mans logical’ for a moment. (It won’t be required for a length of time as we all know what will happen to us- we will believe that it actually makes sense at the time).
All of the emails, messages and conversations flowing between Kuala Lumpur and Manchester was all about the purchase of a motorbike for our trip to the Isle of Man. Financially it was better if we purchased a bike which we could use rather than hiring one….so I was told.
So after we had landed and rested at The Organisers place of work (which was an amazing experience seeing how a huge printing press flows, feeds, prints and spews out brochures) we bundled ourselves into his little beast of a car and headed off.
Unfortunately I was not really listening to the conversation which was swirling around me. I was gazing out of the window, watching the rain pelting down onto the car, listening to the wind thrashing around outside and wondering if I had packed enough warm clothes to see us through nearly two weeks on the Isle of Man. (Please note we had left Italy in 27 degrees and above, sun shining, wind gently ruffling our curls. Arrived in England to rain slashing our vision, wind howling around us and frostbite nipping at our bodies. )
So imagine my surprise when I tuned in and all I heard was Mille this and Mille that. Hmmmm..Does this mean we are not actually going to The Organisers Hobbit House?
Oh please tell me we are heading to the Hobbit House.
Alas my silent pleading was not listened to.
We were heading to somewhere along a few different highways to see a man about a bike.
So we kept travelling. Down millions of miles of endless road, along hundreds of highways, past trillions of road blocks, traffic queues, the sky darkening as the sun set…like sand through the hour-glass, so was the distance to the Hobbit House increasing. The wind howling, the rain slashing our windscreen, my bladder starting to whisper that we needed to empty and my head telling me I needed a coffee.
Traffic was horrendous, the weather was violent and there was no happy ending in sight.
The constant chatter between the two males in the car lulled me into a false sense of security. We are only going to have a look. It doesn’t mean we are going to part with pounds and have a new addition to our family.
Or does it?
Finally turning off the highway and heading up a slight rise, a quaint village came into view.
We threaded our way through streets and down alleys around some bends and finally came to a stand still infront of a non-descript house sporting a bright yellow motorbike out the front.
Oh no. That bike looks suspiciously like one shown to me just a few days ago. Ok it was only the color that looked familiar as I remember thinking-oh not a yellow bike. It will clash with my hair and clothes.
The Organiser pulled the beast over and parked opposite the Yellow bike.
My Man and The Organiser leapt from the Beast. Yes you have read it correctly- they LEAPT from the car. Swallowed by the rain and wind and gathering darkness they approached this Yellow bike with reverance.
I could not decide which was shining brighter…the bike or My Man’s face.
The Owner came out and shook hands with the Lads. He extracted a set of keys from his pocket and leant across the bike.
He turned the key…Life sparked…Jubilant smiles passed between the three males.
Bike turned off and closer inspections were made. If was not raining, the Boys would have been on hands and knees looking into every pipe, chain, nut and bolt to make sure it is a good buy. It is funny, a man will go to extreme measures to suss out a purchase that is important to them. But ask them to pick up a bunch of flowers for you and I swear they find them on the side of the road.
Anyway, My Man came skipping back to the car to retrieve his helmet so he could go for a spin on the bike. The rain was still falling, the wind was still howling yet nothing was going to deter him from taking the bike around the block.
The key was turned…no life. Another try…Still no life.
The Organiser had a try…Nope….My Man tried again. Life.
Leg over…Off he goes.
The Organiser comes over to the car, face beaming, eyes shining brightly.
“What do you think Sal?” he asked with a huge smile and bright anticipation shining from his eyes. I did not have the heart to state
“Ummm…It’s a bike”
“It sounds great and looks very bright”. I responded with as much enthusiasm as I could muster whilst nursing a full bladder and massive ‘lack of coffee’ headache.
We could hear him returning way before we could see him. It was so loud. Faces appeared in windows as the bike flew past. The sound fighting with Mother Nature’s storm. Who will win?
Poor Mother Nature bowed her head in defeat as the bike continued to roar back to us.
My Man climbed off this Yellow Thunder…his eyes were piercing through the visor with excitment. Oh No. We have another bike to add to our stable…NUMBER EIGHT!!!!!!!
Hand shakes made, additional things added to make the sale sweet. Yes I do not understand how a new battery will make the bike start better, or how it needs its own bike cocoon to keep it warm during the night, battery charger and a promise that if the bike did not perform well, he would take it back with a full refund. Now to be honest I thought that was abit extreme, a full refund, but it quelled My Man and The Organisers fears. No time to wait. No time for a change of mind. This Yellow thunder was being delivered tomorrow. Damn.
So back into the car they piled. Two men beyond excited.
So for an hour, heading towards the Hobbit House, conifined inside the Beast, wind still howling, rain still pelting down, stomach growling, bladder past funtional use, head split in half due to no coffee…I listened to non-stop chatter, like two magpies, chatting about this new addition to our famly.
An Aprilia Mille RSV 1000. It is a big V-Twin, fuel injected, 2003 super bike.
Welcome to the family….Yellow Thunder