I know the point of any journey is essentially to get you from A to B, but this weekend we took this quite literally, and rode from Aylesbury to Bognor.
What was supposed to be an interesting journey there with less motorway/dual carriageway and more country roads would have been more accurately described as a testing one.
We started off with a bit of town riding, where it seemed that the mission of car drivers everywhere was to ensure we felt we were lucky to leave any junctions or roundabouts in one piece. Apparently, when setting off to a bank holiday destination all normal driving concerns such as rights of way, mirrors, and indicators become superfluous!
Then came a test of the strength of our hands – filtering an entire 8 or so junctions worth of the M25. I did momentarily feel sorry for those folks baking in their cars, doing little over 17mph for the duration of a 70mph road … but not that sorry as my fingers were beginning to tingle with pins and needles and both I and my bike were starting to bake in the sun! Watching the temperature gauge soar whilst perspiring mildly (remember girls don’t sweat, they glow) was not the finest hour of the day. Note to self – definitely need to check out getting a breeze air-flo jacket before the real summer sun arrives.
We soon came off the circular rat-run and started to enjoy some pace again until we made the classic mistake of “I remember that road number, I’m sure it’s another possible route, let’s try it” at Petworth. This led us (convolutedly) onto the A29 which I would urge any motorcyclists to stay away from for quite some time – they are re-surfacing massive sections of road, and it is like riding on marbles due to the amount of loose gravel. Fair play to the Council and/or contractors – there are plenty of signs in place to warn you, but unfortunately not so far in advance as to give you any choice to chicken out and turn off first, and so you trundle along at just under 20mph which seems to take forever, worrying about either spooning off or having your beautiful paintwork destroyed by the cars that don’t bother to go so slow as skidding isn’t quite so scary on 4 wheels.
But anyway, eventually we got there safely (but shattered), and vowed to take a different route back at the end of the weekend.
True to our word, for the journey back we zipped easily along the dual carriageway across to Portsmouth, and used most of the distance of the A3 this time. It was so much more enjoyable being able to spend my time testing how quickly my throttle opens on an open road instead of slow built-up riding testing how long I can ride the clutch without dropping it!
The only point in our journey which was at all slowed was through Hindhead, where it appears they have been carrying out road-works there for the last 2 years, and still with no end in sight; still, it was a short enough part of the journey not to dampen our spirits. We happily arrived home in really good time with no aches and pains and with the sun still shining 🙂
I’ve come away not quite knowing how I feel now … generally in the past I would always have opted for the ‘interesting’ rather than the fastest route to get places, but I can certainly see my perspective altering.