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August 4th Rideout

So as a member of the club but not active in terms of sport, (other than standing on the banks at Trials and taking some piccies) I thought it was time to do something a bit different. Guessing that there were a few like minded souls I suggested a ride out somewhere. Seemed like a good idea and a couple of others agreed so that was it I'd sort it out.

I hadn't any idea how many people would turn up, Julie said she'd ride as well to boost numbers, but in the end due to a minor foot op that wasn't going to happen.

I'd decided that we'd take the big single as we weren't expecting to race anywhere and besides it had a full tank. Fire up, and away, turn out onto the slip road onto the Thanet Way accelerate, traffic in the outside lane so stay on the inside and........thud.....hit one of the many large lumps in the road (is that still a pothole??) Instant silence and all the lights are gone, coast to a halt …...................”oh b*****” quick look can't see anything obvious so what now. (Warning no 1) At this stage I'm a great believer in fate, and really should have said nope not my night, gone home and put me feet up. But hey we were looking forward to the run and after all I had arranged it so would have been a bit bad if I hadn't turned up (plus I could already hear all the stick at the next committee meeting). So had to get the bike back and take the Triumph instead. To get back there were two choices, roll down to the end of the slip road and then push back through the village (about 2 miles) or back up the slip road (about a mile). The latter was chosen, so with Julie making traffic aware I pushed the bike back up the hill, initially backwards as no gap in traffic (that's interesting as well with narrow bars!) Finally got off the slip road just as the son in law came round the corner. He took Julie and all the gear home while I continued to push the Suzuki home.

Few minutes later I turned into our street as Julie's lift left, couple of minutes later turned into the drive and saw that the front garage door was open so could get the Triumph straight out.

 Went inside to get a drink and there was Julie a bit dazed, “You alright?”  Turns out she'd gone out the back and opened up the garage door for me and thought she'd come and help push the last bit, but typically as she'd gone out under the garage door it swung down, cracked her on the head and actually laid her out for a second or two, she came to on the floor! (Warning no 2)

Anyway we carried on, running a bit late, dragged the Triumph out, low on fuel and not really been run or checked over since getting a fuelling problem sorted. No time now. Lock up the house (again), fire up the bike ….bang....tinkle tinkle.....”Whats that?” look down and the end cap off of one of the pod filters has blown off (Warning no 3).

First thing that has come off the bike since it was built back in 2005! Never mind carry on regardless. A bit of quick riding and a fuel top up and we're almost back on time and finally pull in to the pub car park feeling a bit more relaxed and looking forward to the ride.

Pull up and Julie says “The chainguard looks a bit loose” I have a look and don't believe it, the rear bracket has sheared from the frame - (Warning no 4). Dive into the tool bag and 3 heavyweight cable ties secure it all back in place.

What else can go wrong/happen?

Well about a mile outside of Barham and the cable ties decided to part company along with the front mount on the chainguard, giving Tim who was just behind me a chance to test his reaction times having to avoid being spiked by a flying chainguard!  Other than that a pleasant ride down to Hythe – nice to see a snake of lights behind as we wove our way around the bends at Lyminge and Etchinghill.

Pull up, eat some chips and time to go, hold my breath as Eddie fires up the Vinnie and we're off, only to find the route out of Hythe was shut, so we doubled back and headed for home, watching the Vincent and others peel off at Elham and most leaving us at the turning for the Duke.

Pulling up at the Duke we had a chat and overall felt it was a good evening and well worth replicating again in the near future.

With that Glynn left us and set off just in front of Tim and I who duly toddled off to the A2 and home.

I was beginning to forget about all the little issues and warnings along the way as we were enjoying an uneventful ride back, out into the outside lane, overtake a line of traffic coming up to the Canterbury slip roads, under the bridge and just level with the “on” slip when I spy an Astra convertible coming down the slip and accelerating hard. Open the throttle a bit as otherwise I had visions of him coming straight out and using me as the red ball on a snooker table, nope he's still accelerating, no intention of letting me past, after a couple of seconds I thought “Nah” rolled off and tucked into the nearside and watched his tailights begin to disappear towards the rest of the traffic. Moments later, see his brakes on, swerve, hear a bang and see the Transit that his hit catch the central reservation and roll!!! The next thing as we're hitting brakes and parts of the anatomy begin to grip the seat a bit tighter we're being showered with grass, branches, mud, car parts and who knows what else!

Get pulled up and side stand down, Tim doing the same, as I get off the bike, the driver of the Astra is out and in a sprint that Linford Christie would be proud of is away over the barrier!

Ignored him as there was still someone in the transit. Did a quick check as I went past the Astra but no one else was in it, but the front was smoking badly. There were two in the Transit, we got one out but the driver was trapped by his belt. Tried kicking the windscreen in to no avail, but in the end we did get him out ok, neither appeared to badly hurt. By this time the car had caught and within minutes was an inferno. The bikes and others were one side and I was with the van driver with a couple of others. Tim had rung the services who duly rolled up and put out the fire, the dogs were brought in and within about 10 minutes they'd got Linford.

By about midnight the road was cleared enough to let us on our way – so away we went – thought we'd have a coffee at the services when I filled up with petrol, after all it had been a pretty hectic evening and what else could go wrong and we deserved a Costa how come I got a soddin hot chocolate!!!

But hey it was a grand night out and we look forward to doing it all again real soon.


What we started off on Action all the way There were more blue lights than you could shake a stick at Fires out gutted Astra and rolled Transit
Triumph complete with chainguard Tim getting those reflexes ready for chain guard dodging