Another biking milestone was reached today (actually yesterday – it’s now a few minutes into Saturday as I write this). Sue and I got out on the bike together for the first time in 2009.
Sue had been awake for most of Thursday night, so took the day off work sick and slept for much of it while I went off to the dentist and to do some work. When I got back in mid afternoon, Sue was up and feeling a lot better, so we kitted up, got ourselves astride the Heritage Softail and hit the road.
We started out by heading out to East Midlands Airport in the hope that there might be a few planes to watch. We sort of saw a Ryanair jet land in the far distance, but couldn’t get into the closed Aeropark, so remounted the Harley and set off down the old A453 which runs parallel to the bust A42 through the Leicestershire countryside towards the wonderfully named Ashby-de-la-Zouch. This quiet road was a dream to ride and all too soon we came down to Flagstaff island at Ashby. There is a McDonalds there, so we took advantage of the fact that I had a full coffee loyalty card and stopped for a drink and a deli of the day.
Suitably refreshed, we headed out along the Burton road – my daily route to work, but rather than turn down into Swadlincote, we continued through Woodville and took a right turn at the Mason’s Arms towards Repton and Willington. Both of these villages were quite busy as we landed there during the peak of the school run with countless women in Chelsea tractors collecting their little darlings – and one or two giving their mobile phone conversations far more attention than a couple of bikers aboard an apparently invisible Harley.
I did feel slightly better after yelling “W*nker” into my helmet lining as one idiot in a Mercedes narrowly failed to kill us.
After this, the open road of the A38 towards Derby felt like a welcome relief. This was short-lived because my impeccable timing had managed to hit the start of that fair city’s rush hour traffic. This is where a bike’s ability to filter through the queues really comes into its own and I am grateful to the unknown rider of a red and white Kawasaki who led us, and two or three other bikers, through the melee.
We took the familiar tarmac of the A6 northwards through Duffield, where the Kwak turned right and left us to it, on to Belper (more filtering) and out through Ambergate, Whatstandwell and Cromford.
It was great to see a good number bikes lined up in Matlock Bath outside the Promenade Chippy, but we pressed on into Matlock itself where our destination was Sainsbury’s petrol station. After a quick consultation with my pillion, we decided to go no further northwards, but to head back via Tansley, Wessington and Alfreton onto the A38 and back via the M1.
We arrived home at about 6:15 and after one of Sue’s speedily produced stir fry dinners, we both crashed out for a sleep that ended sometime after 10pm. Our day finished with a cup of tea in front of the TV and me sitting down at the computer to write this ride report sometime after midnight.
It was a good ride, and all the better for having Sue on the back. Here’s to many more of them.