Today, after quite some cold and wet weeks, there was finally some nice and warm weather. Ideal for the first spin of this year!
Enthusiastically I cycled to the garage in order to get out Elisa, only to discover that I disconnected the battery charger from the socket, yes, but not from the bike. Alright. The charger took electricity back, using it for its tiny little indicator lamp. The bike did not want to start, however it indicated distinctly that it really just was the lack of juice causing this behaviour.
On the other hand, maybe there was something else? After all, she is a proper Italian lady, and as you know, real ladies never go out without proper dressing – or as in Elisa’s case, clean and shiny. Well, charging the battery takes a couple of hours, and to Elisa’s delight I spent the waiting time on cleaning her. Taking off the old flies from the fairing with furniture polish, and cleaning the exhaust pipes with chrome polish. Taking off the tank cover, cleaning underneath, re-strapping everything to the bike. Proper cleaning of the really dirty parts will be done soon, now it was rather cosmetics. And indeed, after I even managed to polish my bikers boots, we got the green light from the battery charger. I started Elisa, and yes, there it was, the lovely sound we both longed for.
On with the leather suit and all equipment, and off we went into the summerish Swedish landscape. Taking in the sights and smells of May. First stop was Ekenäs castle close to Linköping. There was some kind of study reunion, closed group, and no coffee or anything for thirsty bikers. But lovely it was anyway! 36 kilometres away from our base in Norrköping.
We continued via Björsäter and Östra Husby to Söderköping – a proper shake down run on a narrow and very curvy road through wild landscape. And then, all of a sudden, a warning sign for – pheasants! The first one of this kind of warning sign I ever saw, however, no pheasant in sight whatsoever. As if to compensate, a few kilometres away, a group of wild geese beside a small lake was lifting their heads when we passed. The same with some cows on the roadside. Yes, we were probably one of the attractions of the day, it seemed.
In Söderköping it was time for ice-cream. However before I could head off to the ice cream parlour, as in 80% of the cases when parking in town, a nice middle-aged man approached us. “Oh, a Guzzi!” He rode a beamer all the way from the Swedish West coast. His wife also on a beamer. “I have a 1000 s at home,” he went on, and there we were, hooked up in a friendly and very pleasant motorcycle conversation.
When I then finally got my ice cream, the lack of energy had to be fixed with two large scoops, and when I finally sat down, my eyes fell on a figure a bit further away. It resembled very much one of our friends from the Ducati club. (Funny how you recognise people by their walk in a leather suit, while you would probably not spot them in normal clothing.) I lost him and his friend out of sight, however when searching for a more quiet place to sit down than next to the playground, there he was again with his friend. There went another very pleasant half an hour, chatting away, while enjoying late afternoon sun and ice cream.
No, going by bike, you never really are alone. It is like being out with a dog, either you meet complete but nice strangers you engage with in a conversation, or you meet friends. And if neither is around, there is still your best friend on two wheels, who is taking you out. Yes, who is taking YOU out. At least in our case, I can never tell whether it is the bike showing me places, or me taking the bike to new places. Probably a mixture of both. All in all we put 112 km of happiness on the clock today.
Either way, enjoy your weekend!
P.S.: When returning to the garage, and after the bike cooled off a bit, she even got new oil and filter. ;)
Cold, though, quite nippy, actually. Last week we had nice and summerishly warm evenings, however the night before 1st of May, the traditional date for the start of the motorcycle season – 5 centigrades plus in the mornings. Brrrhhh.
Anyhow, too cold for me, I can wait. So I took the job of taking some pictures of the five brave guys of the Swedish Ducati-club in our region (Östergötland), who took themselves out for a 200 km long trip through Swedish springtime, starting point in Norrköping.
Here is the link to the evidence in pictures – at least from the start of the tour. My beloved one was one of the three cold weather warriors on two wheels who actually completed the trip and returned to base. Enjoy the pics & video, and pray for warmer weather, will you, please!
Incredible – all of a sudden it was the end of January and time for the motorcycle fair in Gothenburg (next year it will be in Stockholm again).
Here are some impressions of the fair (please follow the link if you want to see all pictures).
This is what a moose/ an elk can do to a rider. Let’s hope none of us ever has to encounter one of these long-legged guys while riding… Unless you are on a mini bike. Than you just have to time the drive-through between the loooong legs ;) . Apropos mini bikes, follow the link and take a look at more of these happy faces!
And yeah, well, I suppose this is what they mean with “Biker Prayer” at the end of a long and intense day at the fair… ;) .
Just in time for the motorcycle fair I came across this picture on a German forum. Don’t say Germans don’t have any humour!
“Look, a Guzzi with hanging boobies!”
Quite fun to find a video where one of my favourite artists explains my favourite motorcycle brand AND mentioning that his first Guzzi was a V50, bought in the late 70′s. Has to be shared. Watch & enjoy.