Ride like an angel….

It takes a shed full of certain magnetic twists and turns within the world’s atmosphere, that’s unbeknown to man and woman to ignite a supersonic glow inside us as we open the curtains on a given morning and think ‘BIKE’.  You rub your eyes and open the window, the smell of a beautiful day soothing

Hello Dave 2.png

your nostrils and caressing the face and mind.  The sun glistens across the tarmac and then…… as if in another biker’s dimensional world, the road speaks in a way as if it knows you are listening….. and in a sexy alluring way it simply says “HELLO….. ride all over me!”

Immediately after one more sniff of the fresh air, the head tilts towards where the Motorcycle sits, for me it’s the garage.  The urge now uncontrollable, it’s as if a magic finger has pressed the fast forward button that

Kitchen

controls you.  The shower is on and you’re underneath it, using the smallest amount of shampoo as time is of the essence.  Within a split second there’s breakfast in front of you, less milk, less cereal than usual, eating standing up of course, there’s no time to sit.  Me…. I’ll be standing in my pants, so I properly dry off as there’s nothing worse than struggling to put the leathers on with slightly damp skin.

Then whilst still chewing the last spoon full of breakfast I pull the cover off, the bike is revealed, the leathers and boots are on……. eventually, the helmet is on so the last thing to fit in to are the gloves.  For me, I want to feel like Batman so I sit on the bike then press the key fob and the garage doors come up (you know, the part where Batman and Robin drive out of the Bat cave in the Bat mobile).  I slowly manoeuvre up the drive that takes me on to the road of freedom.

No matter who you are or where you are in the world, no matter what type of bike you have, when the weather is right, the mood is unstoppable. There’s nothing like it, smooth long winding roads with beautiful scenery.  The sound of the engine, especially the cheeky rev at the traffic lights, the feel of freedom with only the elements against your body and the hint of anonymity as the helmet covers your face or in my case now, a buff (open face helmet).  I don’t know what it is…… I didn’t ask for it, it’s just built in my DNA, but I always smile when I hear a loud bike, I have to look, for me it’s a low rider with their arms and legs stretched out in front of them………COOL…… I always say ‘May the ride be with you!’

For me living in south Wales, my usual ride is Brecon or beyond, the scenery is lovely, I don’t travel much further at the moment due to the bikes I own…… keep reading…. the pictures will follow.  So once I’ve reached my destination, either Brecon or Tal-y-Bont on Usk, I like to have a cup of tea and a hotdog whilst enjoying the view, whether it’s the mountains, the river or the Brecon Canal and if I’m lucky the RAF Jets fly past very low……. I love that! I jump every time….. I wave but they never beep their horn (for you beautiful American readers

Frantonys of Porthcawl

‘Honk’ their Horns!)  Of course, I always want another hotdog but I don’t.  Made that mistake when riding home from the beach in Porthcawl, the time when I used to own a Kawasaki Ninja 636….. you know, the sports bike where you have to lay all over the tank to ride it.  Not good in tight leathers looking like a mini Power Ranger after eating a big bag of Fish and Chips…… that was a long ride home….. and by the way, the fish and chips were this big!

It’s not that I haven’t got friends, although as I get older the less I have, but I prefer to ride alone, it gives me more freedom to go where I want and even change my mind half way through and ride somewhere else.  Also it helps me not to ride naughty, YES some of you reading this are saying ‘but sometimes Dave, naughty is nice!’ and sometimes I agree with you.  But let’s consider, if there’s 3 of you out for a ride and you’re over-taking, the

Nun, Vicar and Cardinal

1st rider does it easy, the 2nd rider squeezes in but the 3rd who always wants to make sure they keep up and stay with the pack will either make it without leaving enough room for a fly with his wings in his pockets beside you or…. well, the unthinkable.  I know, I know, I‘ve been there and YES, some days even if you put a Nun, a Vicar or the Pope on a motorcycle, at some point it will bring the bad out in them and the naughtiness goes straight to the wrist and they’ll want to twist and go faster.

Also it’s not always the biker’s fault, as the saying goes “Think Bike, Think Twice!”  If I was running for Prime

Big ben

Minister or President (don’t get too excited, I’m not…… not this week anyway) I’d make everyone take their bike test just so they’d understand how vulnerable you can be on a motorcycle.  There would also be other things I’d do but I’m not telling you……you might never vote for me.

Lots of things left to do in my biking world life, I was supposed to travel through America with a friend for our 40th but we both forgot to save for it……. we were stupid, I think we thought 40 was a long time away.  Top tip for anyone else, it takes 40 years!  Same time for everyone and it comes around quick.  I’ve not yet ridden a bike with Ape bars (I really want to!)  Still hoping to travel across America or maybe ride around the Italian lakes or Lake Michigan, I’d love to ride the Californian coast with the ocean to one side of me as my arms and legs stretch out as far as possible enjoying the views and the sun on my face….. maybe my 50th (not started to save yet though) or I’ll find a very generous American new friend with far too many bikes who says to me “Dave, have a month off, come ride with me…..” and his name would be Harley Davidson.  I’d even be happy having a few hours riding the Hollywood Hills, with a cup of tea and a hotdog in the middle of it all (am I asking to much?)

When the time is right I’ll know I’ll be there, but until then I’m happy where I am, The Kawasaki Ninja 636 was sold a few years ago (saving for a new bike).  I have 2 bikes which I’m keeping, both restored by myself.  I have a year 2000 Vespa et4, 125cc, it’s lots of fun, twist and go.  I also have a 1978 CB400T Superdream Cafe racer, gets lots of looks, it’s very nice…. and sounds like a thunder storm.

Bikes

For the new bike yet to come….?  Well, I’m in two minds, I’m torn, 50-50, half and half, chips and rice….. you know what I mean.  For me, it’s a choice of only 2, and they are the Harley 48 Sportster or the Triumph Bobber.

harley-48 & Bobber

I’m not the tallest of people and I know I fit on either one, both lovely though…..  Well, when either one arrives I’ll let you know, but until then, please ride safe you have a family waiting for you at home.  Enjoy your motorcycle, life is always better in the wind with a bike between your legs.  Let the riding clear your mind and soak up the scenery and the hotdog and a cup of tea or coffee.  But above all else, make sure if it’s a sunny day and the road is calling you, you always come back in one piece and it’s your bed you sleep in….. MAY THE RIDE BE WITH YOU!!

Brecon

As ever on the Easy Blend, I’ll let you know what I’m listening to.  Today it’s Bruce Springsteen, Rocky Ground.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..

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The entertainment we had growing up on a Council Estate

This was the era of the 1980’s, yep that’s right, when it was always sunny and you always had time to play.  I know what you’re thinking….there was only one place to play and that was outside.  They were the days of playing on the streets with a pen knife in one pocket and policemanin the other, a packet of crisps with a slice of cheese inside (I don’t know why…but I still eat crisps like that today).  There weren’t so many cars on the road and you always saw the local Policeman walking his beat.

These were the days before computers and tablets and mobile H&Sphones and of course before Health and Safety went mad.

Playing as a child was always an adventure, whether in the woods, forestry or in the surrounding streets and if you had a fight, it was a proper fight…you remember the ones with that started with a bit of pushing and some fists, not like today where everybody brings every weapon possible, even a tank on their heads……

Pockets

As well as playing and making up your own games, you also had the older boys who were a little on the crazy side and you were never too sure of what they were going to do.

So here are just some of the things I’ve seen and experienced.

I was playing on the field one day when I heard the sound of a motorbike.  As I turned, I smiled….. a young boy on a Suzuki PE175cc was doing a wheelie up the main hill of the estate.

wheelie up hill

I looked thinking “WOW….who is that?”  He came on to the field riding around me as if he was the sheep dog and I was the sheep.  Eventually he stopped and we became friends.  For ‘Health and Safety’ reasons let’s call him ‘Moriarty’.

A week later my friends and I had just bought ourselves a 99 from the ice-cream van, and were enjoying the sunshine sitting on the wall, wCar up hillhen at a terrific speed, a blue Ford Capri ‘R’ reg, year 1976 with far too many young lads inside, came full throttle in too low a gear up the hill towards us.  But they were playing a game; it was how fast they could turn into the side street from the main hill of the estate.

car on bend

 

 

Of course we were all asked if we wanted to go for a ride….. but there were a few reasons why not!

1. The driver (Moriarty) didn’t have a licence
2. The driver wasn’t old enough to have a licence
3. There was no room (not even in the boot)
4. I wanted to live

And finally 5., Mother Frantony would have hit me with the tea towel, taking it from her shoulder at lightening speed.

This, by the way, was regular weekend entertainment.  So was the time my Dad let Moriarty (thinking he had a bike licence) borrow his bike so we could both go to the Gym.  I was on the back of my Dad’s Honda XL 185cc (a very good bike) with 2 gym bags over my shoulders.  On a long straight road and with a bus in front of us, Moriarty decided it was a good idea to overtake…….  Bike vs Bus

Well….. it took so long I nearly made friends with everyone on the bus looking through the window.  I did wonder if we were ever going to see the front end of the bus and make it alive.  Another occasion was the time Moriarty would borrow other boy’s motorbikes.  Like the time (again with me on the back or as we called it ‘a backie’) on a Kawasaki KX 400, on the road Bike v car(again) overtaking a Ford Escort XR3i and suddenly the chain came off.

Yes…..I look back and see how silly we were and of course how lucky we were and I definitely wouldn’t recommend all of these things…..but when I look back it does make me smile, thinking of the days when we didn’t have a care in the world (You remember those days?).  Dangerous YES, but funny all the same, we all know someone who provides crazy entertainment no matter where you lived.

 

 

As usual on the Easy Blend I’d thought I’d tell you what I’m listening to.  Today it’s Barenaked Ladies – If I had a Million Dollars.

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..