Right we're back, the big red machine is back home where she belongs. I have a big hole in my credit card! Our lovely friend Linda drove 120kms from Capetown to come and fetch us, in the rain, so that we could collect the bike. How's that for a friend?
That's right, it was raining this morning! I thought WTF man we've had sunshine for the past three months and the very day I want to collect my bike it rains! Bloody Murphy hard at work.
While I was paying and sorting out the account I was approached by a guy wanting to buy my bike, interesting. I told him that I wasn't sure what I wanted to do yet, because I'm not but that he had first option.
We took Linda for lunch at "Dale's Place" in the Paddocks Centre, all three of us agreed that the food was great, lovely meat; Janet's gammon, Linda's Eisbein and my steak, we'll be back.
After lunch we could see the rain bucketing down, we were in the underground car park so we pulled our rain gear on before setting off, I don't mind riding in the rain but it's difficult to see properly. I normally lower the windscreen so that the wind is directed onto my helmet visor then it blows the rain off the visor but you have to be going at speed for this to be effective, it doesn't help in traffic.
Onto the R27 and up towards Blaubergstrand I rode with the visor open but in the stop/start traffic the rain was stinging my face, eventually as we got closer to Melkbos the traffic started thinning out and I could get up to 130kmh, visor down and lower the windscreen, now I could see.......sort of.
I had to keep a wary eye on the traffic but by the time we were about halfway the rain was starting to let up a bit and as we passed the Yzerfontein turnoff the clouds were breaking up and patches of sunlight brightened things up. I increased my speed to between 140 and 150kmh, better to stay ahead of the cages!
The bike was performing beautifully, plenty of power on tap, a 2006 BMW with a 2013 differential and it was definitely providing tranquility, the deeper growl from the smaller Scorch exhaust gave a melodic background to our journey and the deeper bellow whenever I "grabbed a handfull" to pass some slower traffic was enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck, it was fantastic to be back out on the road.
Thundering along my mind wandered, as it is wont to do under these tranquil circumstances, back to this exact time in 2006; early February when I took delivery of the bike;
What an emotional time that was for me, very exciting and the first time buying a new bike since my Yamaha 1.1 way back in 1982. Little did I know then that I had bought a bike with a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon differential!
The second half of the ride was sublime, no rain, no strong wind and little traffic, we blasted through the new Langebaan bypass, overtaking a slow cage in the middle of the long sweeping curve. I always go that way now, it is so much more pleasant and it feels quicker even though it probably isn't. The speed limit there is 80 km/h but it is incredibly difficult to hold the bike down to that speed as the road is beautiful, anyway I believe that speed restriction only applies to cagers, definitely not to us.
I arrived home rejuvenated, styling it through the streets of my hometown, blipping the throttle for that exhaust bark and looking forward to more riding tomorrow.