Thursday, 5 January 2012

Adventure Riding on a YBR125

The weather has been lots of fun of late. Today marked the first day back for the new Spring Term and it was all about the wind. It's been on the news and my phone has been pinging away happily with weather warnings (happily, there is an app for that) though I wasn't prepared for the reality.

Firstly, last night, as the wind was gusting to 90mph (or so I'm told by our caretaker), making mincemeat of our boundary fences and knocking over weather stations across Yorkshire, I was having a bad nights sleep. Blaming it entirely on the wind is unfair. There is something about the start of a new term that has me writhing in bed and dreaming like I've consumed the European cheese mountain (assuming there is on). This time, I had decided to take five years out of teaching to rejoin the ARMY. It's not the first time I've had that one so feel free to psychoanalyse away.

By 06:30 I was clearing bits of fence off the drive so I could head into work on Angie's Yamaha YBR125. It needs to get out more and I quite like it. Weighing next to nothing, the little learner dances around in strong winds making it lots of fun in the gales we had last night. Being blown all over the A59 was the main challenge I expected when I headed out.

As it turned out I felt like I was in one of my many adventure motorcycling DVDs. I came out of Askwith for the final run into Ilkley to find a truck in the middle of the road. Knowing I could get round the lorry, it never occurred to me there might be a reason why it had stopped. The reason, a fallen tree soon became obvious. As it was mostly clear on the verge I broke off a few branches and decided to ride over the remaining tree. It all started well but before long I was stuck with branches I hadn't thought would be a problem jammed in the spokes. I ended up lifting, shoving, heaving and pretty much carrying it. We got there in the end though and though I must have looked a bit of a wally to the truck driver, I'm glad I did it.

That wasn't the only tree down on the road however non of the others had blocked it entirely. The next obstacle was a great big puddle. I've seen enough of motorcycles wading in my many aforementioned DVDs and even had a bit of off road experience driving Rover's and Daf's in the Balkans. That's not to say I'm any kind of expert but I know the water must not be allowed to get to the air box. Going into the puddle, probably a little fast, I found myself thinking, 'I have no idea where the air-box is on this on.' It came out the other side and the only things that suffered were my socks.

I've done it all now. I guess I'm all set to circumnavigate the globe on a 125. Should be fun and with the YBR's fuel economy I'll only need two or three tanks of petrol. Anyone want to join me?

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