Taking it Easy

 Well, it wasn't The Eagles it was The Vultures, and it wasn't Winslow Arizona, but Winslow Buckinghamshire where Arls and I found ourselves waiting on a corner for an AA man!

With the sun shining we had joined a multitude of Vultures at The Wheatsheaf for our first Ride-Out of the season. Baz was leading  at a legal and steady pace, Second Man marking was working a treat and the pack was tight and disciplined. That was until the approach to a sweeping right hand bend and it suddenly felt like the back of my bike was on marbles. I needed to shed speed faster, but I knew a fistful of brake would have had completely the wrong effect. I went into the bend quicker than I would have liked with the back wheel squirming around.  Young Snapper was right behind me but had twigged something was amiss and backed off giving me space to investigate what the bike was doing.
We stopped at a junction and, unable to see the back wheel because of the flared exhuasts, I bounced up and down in the saddle. That told me all I needed to know. We had a puncture.

There was no point stopping where we were  ........ as where that was I didn't know. So I tried to nurse the bike to the next Petrol Station. The bike got harder to handle as the pressure went down and down. I waived Chris past, but he pulled alongside and asked if he should take Arls on the back of his bike. A very welcome and generous offer. As soon as I could find a safe place, I pulled over and stopped. Sue then got on Chris's bike, leaving the more comfortable armchair of the Rocket 3 for Arls.  Thanks guys, it was good of you and it made riding the bike a tad easier for a while. We made it to a Garage and said our good-byes to all those we had held up behind us and Rear Gunner Badger.

The lady in the shop gave me a till receipt with the name, address and Post Code of the garage. It was then I discovered we were waiting on a corner in Winslow Buckinghamshire. A call to the AA revealed we would have a twenty minute wait, which indeed we did. The guy arrived and in less than another twenty minutes had plugged the puncture having first extracted three inches of nail. He was as amazed as we were at the size of the thing. In well under an hour we were riding home slowly.

Not the start to the season we had planned, but given that it could have been so much worse in so many ways, we were very lucky.  Thank you to all the Vultures for their help and support and the emails and texts of concern. Very much appreciated.

John 'n Arls