Sunday, 5 July 2020
Sat in the shed Friday, Bob the Dog snoring gently at my side and drinking my second strong tea of the day, 6-Music chugging away in the background on the dab and it’s a squally, windy morning, it’s still early, a quarter-to-five in the a.m. [some habits are hard to break] 45 years of getting up early-doors to go to work and the internal body clock still kicks in and shouts ‘HELLO, TIME TO GET UP!’ So, I’m sat there and happen to glance at the calendar and notice that the m.o.t. [the annual Ministry Of Transport test for vehicles over three years old to make sure that they are safe and roadworthy for our foreign readers] had expired yesterday. Post breakfast and I call in at the village garage on my return leg of my daily Bob the Dog walk.
I’ve known these lads for what seems an eternity, three generations of the same family, I’m met with a torrent of abuse. Same as it ever was. Of course they can do my m.o.t, just drop the bike off and leave it with them, I get a bollocking for riding up in my shorts, trainers and t-shirt, ‘you should know better Bailey!’ Yada, Yada, Yada. I set to and get my chores out of the way returning late afternoon to pick up the bike. ‘It’s passed but your brake light isn’t illuminating, get it sorted’ here we go, the annual wind-up. Let me explain, I go through my bikes with a fine tooth comb before I take them in for a m.o.t. There wasn’t anything wrong with it before I took it in. They look at each other, straight faces to a man, ‘it was ok when I bought it in lads’ I reply.
I try the foot brake, no brake light, what-the-actual-fuck! I’ve literally ridden it half a mile, what could go wrong in that short ride? The brake light illuminates off the front brake lever. I kneel down and root around.It takes a second. They’ve only dropped the spring off the foot brake lever so the brake light is inoperative. I feign outrage and apologise for missing this glaring defect. They tut and look stern. I go all Otis Redding and we try to keep a straight face for at least 30 seconds before we all crack-up laughing. fucking wankers!
So, I’d like to say that’s where it end’s but after a fifty mile ride home, [suitably attired rather than the t-shirt, trainer, shorts combination from earlier] I decided that the Srad was toast, I put it on ‘a well known, internet auction site early Sunday morning and it sold four minutes later returning a healthy profit. Deep Joy. Why do I do this? It was a great bike, brilliant handling, the induction noise intoxicating and fast but I’m still searching........