Thanks to the kindness of friends, I have been to the bike show! I wasn’t going to go this year because I haven’t published enough recently to qualify for a press pass and I hadn’t won any tickets. But covid-19 struck down a friend-of-a-friend and I was the beneficiary of their misfortune.
Since my most recent attempt at off-road riding (back in October) ended with me faceplanting in the forest I’ve had a very tetchy and lumpy knee. A day walking round the show was going to be sufficient of a challenge for it, so going to see our local 70s rock cover band the night before and giving in to the urge for a spot of flailing around on the dance floor rather sailed straight past “unwise” and landed on “bloody stupid.”
I packed ibuprofen, stick and stretchy knee support and looked longingly at the mobility scooters.
But I wasn’t there to give in.
I was there to look at bikes and possibly buy a pair of fat bastard sized winter trousers, because the problem with duffing your knee in, just when you were literally getting back on your feet after a third-degree burn (also self-inflicted) is that not being able to walk anywhere for 5 months means you’re shopping in the plus-size aisle.
I did a quick count on my fingers and I think this year is 16 years since my first visit, when I was a VIP thanks to the job that I was in at the time. This year I was just a punter, grumbling slightly about how much things have changed. It was good to see all the electric bikes, because whether we like it or not, they’re going to be playing a big role in years to come. I’m less keen on the current fashion for adventure bikes to have great big lardy front ends, and they all seem to have shrunk in the wash – if I have to shop in the men’s aisle for fat bastard trousers long enough for my inside leg I want a bike that I’m not scrunched up on. The only one that’s still tall enough that I can put my feet down with straight legs is the Ténéré 700. So I shall be saving up. As I doubt Yamaha will want a W650 outfit in part-ex…