Bikes and Apple Strudel

Proud moment. A couple of days ago I was on duty as the Blood Biker on a routine shift. As usual, I went to collect the bike. We have two available in the lockup. Ila – a Suzuki V-Strom 650 and Lloyd – a Yamaha FJR.

I always take out Ila as I am properly scared of Lloyd. It looks big, bulky and heavy. The bikes are in a container lockup and to get them in and out we need to use a ramp. I’ve already dropped Ila once on the ramp in the rain while putting it away.

On Tuesday I wheeled Ila out, as normal and went on to do the paperwork. As I turned the key in the ignition I realised Ila was flat as a pancake. Nothing. No lights, no dash display. Dead. As I had a routine run to do I only had one reasonable option. Take out Lloyd and deal with Ila later. So I pushed Ila back into the lockup and wheeled Lloyd out.

Yamaha FJR Blood Bike

This was a slow process as it is bloody heavy and I was nervous which didn’t help. I got it out and set off on my way. I’ve never ridden a bike of this size before and I must admit, it was easier to manoeuvre once running and definitely easy to go around corners than Ila.

I had to think further ahead and plan my stopping and parking as I didn’t want to get caught out in a dead end and unable to push Lloyd where I needed it to be.

One thing that really annoyed me, though, was the screen. The top of it was exactly slap bang in the middle of my field of view which irritated me. Also, it was a lovely sunny day and the reflection of the tank, the handlebars and my in the screen were very distracting. Which brings me onto my apple strudel story.

Distracting screen on a motorcycle

When I was a teenage girl my dad got me a 50cc moped – Tomos. My mother decided she wanted to use it to commute to and from work but the wind messed her hair up. This was in the days we didn’t wear helmets on bikes! So to save my mum’s hairdo, dad installed a screen on the little moped. I was so embarrassed!

Tomos Silver Bullet 50cc moped 1985

Once dad installed the screen I took the moped up the street to see what it felt like. And guess what! It was a gorgeous sunny day without a cloud in the sky. The screen was big, like old postman’s screen and all I could see was myself. It was like a mirror. I made it back home, more by memory than actually seeing the road. Our drive was slightly raised from the road so I sped up to go over the curb then my mind went blank. For some reason, instead of braking, I opened the throttle and went straight through the hedge and into an apple tree.

As I’ve mentioned before, it was a lovely summer’s day so the apples that fell off the tree weren’t ripe enough for eating at the time. Which meant we could only use them for cooking. My punishment, or reward for not breaking anything else, was to make tonnes of apple strudel!! My parents had a funny sense of humour!

So there you have it, a proud moment for not cancelling my shift and going home like a scared little girl. I confronted my fear and did the job and it has brought back some old memories which isn’t a bad thing all in all.

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