Starting from Lake Meadows Billericay on the most ideal day. Seventeen of us set off on a ride organised by path finder extraordinaire Dave Bradley complete with his carer Pam on the pillion. The coffee stop was at suitably named Norton Heath Cafe where tea, toast and other stuff was waiting. Norton Heath Cafe is something of a throw back to the sixties, a typical roadside café where you can eat and drink for not much. It was here that the one and only gremlin struck. Paul Selleck’s Bonnie lost a sparkle and after car park surgery to replace a vital organ ( spark plug ) It still wasn’t its former self. Paul pop pop popped off home on one cylinder to collect another bike saying I’ll see you at the lunch stop.
Steve Back was congratulated on getting this far, something he didn’t want to hear in case fate cast an evil spell and smite the Triumph in an electrical storm. On to the lunch stop dodging pot holes you’d need a ladder to climb out of and only a huge green tractor stopped forward motion.
At the lunch stop The Fox Matching Tye, we were ushered to our own room (weren’t allowed to mix with normal people) Orders for food were taken in order of appearance but came out very random leaving those that ordered early receiving their food last. Those of us that got our meals did laugh. Just to make things worse, Paul having made it home on the sick Bonnie reappeared on his Goldie, ordered his food and got it right away causing mild uproar. Rex never got his dinner and we believe he was still waiting two days later.
All fed and watered it was ‘ start your engines ‘ but wait. Steve was kick, kick, kicking and the Triumph remained silent. My heart sank for him and me because most everyone had gone and I might have to help him fix it. Then, when exhaustion was taking over it started. Steve is convinced the bike plays up because it hates Simon but wait, Simon is in Dubai so that theory doesn’t work, or does it ?
On we went to Margaretting Saddlery, they’ve got a cafe you know and it was at least 18 miles since we last stopped. Fatigue was setting in. Where has everyone gone? Only eight of us made it. Clearly the pace had been too hot and some had fallen by the wayside. Most probably they had drifted off home.
Thanks to Dave and Pam for a grand day out and to Mick and Jimmy for jointly back marking.