One year (mostly) off the road
So here we all are - a year on from the first UK lockdown. I don't know how you're all doing, but I don't mind admitting I've found aspects of it pretty tough. Largely the staying-at-home-and-not-riding-a-lot aspects of it all. I suspect you're feeling the same...
Actually, I shouldn't complain too much. I am lucky: as a single adult living alone, I've been allowed to travel to my support bubble. Which has meant riding to my girlfriend's house - it's not far and I generally take the most direct route, but occasionally I use the decent direct-but-not-dual-carriageway alternative. Anyway, the contrast in traffic levels between now (pretty busy) and a year ago (not a single other vehicle in either direction on a seven-mile stretch of the A11) tells you a lot about everyone's attitude to the latest lockdown. I don't have any guilt about getting on the bike.
I even managed to get out for a couple of proper rides last year: a trip with Ali to the Buccleuch Arms in Moffat and then, in September, my run down to the French Alps on the new Honda Crosstourer. That was my last blog as there hasn't really been much to say since then. Though I bought that bike because it's a far better machine for two-up riding than my Kawasaki Z1000SX, I actually did this trip solo. Were you able to fit a trip in last year? I know the memories of those two trips have kept me going through the winter, but it seems like a very long time ago now... and I'm itching to get out and do some more. Especially now spring is here.
Not that I'm terribly optimistic about the chances of getting back to Europe in the next few months. Like everyone, I'm looking forward to more UK riding in the summer... Starting with a trip to the West Country once the self-contained accommodation is allowed to open again. When hotels are open, I'll be heading back to the Buccleuch. Fingers crossed I'll be able to get to Iceland with Globebusters in the summer... then maybe a bit of Europe in September.
Meantime, it's head down and keep working. The trusty Z1000SX rolled out of the garage after not turning a wheel since November, started first press and then waltzed through its MoT. The Crosstourer is ready for two-up trips when they're allowed... and I'll get busy preparing for the summer's riding. My heart goes out to all the people I've planned European trips for - some were prepped for last summer and didn't get to go (let's hope they get to run this year).
Meantime I'm planning UK tours for people and I'll be updating both the routes on the website and the stories on the blog on a regular basis. It won't be long now until we're doing proper rides again - I can't wait!