And now my intrepid audience (all two of you, and the cat reading over your shoulder), I shall delve into the horror that is known as Ashhurst …
It was a dark and stormy night … er wait, it was a sullen night, with a churlish moon hanging low in the dark sky, it was near the time of 5am when I turned into the town of Ashhurst .. and I was trying to find the road that was a nice bit of twisty (Colyton Rd I do believe). Well I made a turn and ended up in a very rough muddy and potholed tractor’s run. I managed to get myself stopped safely and gingerly turned the Preddy around.
As I proceeded to ride out of the rough, a great yapping dog comes bounding in from an angle directly to my front right, sheesh! That’s just all I needed! I went left in order to move away from the animal … and it just kept bounding right into my path and with the suddenness we all know that occurs when a motorbike impacts, everything went tits up pretty quickly.
The bike headed towards a ditch and as the back slid out, I found myself suddenly riding air and gravity decided to exert it’s Newtonian laws (dagnabbit!)
I ended up about 2-3 feet away from the bike, it was on it’s left hand side, engine auto cut off and the light illuminating a great swathe of water, mud and ditch!
Well hopping to my feet, I did the classic “how’s the bike!?” and went over to check it over. Steam was immediately sweltering off the hot bits and there was the smell of baking mud.
With a firm grasp on the handlebars, I heaved it up … it only went up a couple of feet … and wouldn’t go up even further. I tried a bit more brute effort, but no gain.
So, I spent a minute collecting my thoughts, application of a little scientific thought drew me inescapably to one conclusion. The vacuum or sucking effect of the mud on the surfaces of the bike was causing it to be harder.
I then proceeded to scoop out piles of mud from beneath the bike as best as I could. Once I ascertained I had demolished the circumvallation of mud around my bike, it was relatively easy to hoist back into a vertical position.
Oh, I highly recommend this vertical position as the most agreeable pose to any motorbike.
Taking advantage of adrenaline, I rocked and rolled my bike out of the ditch and walked it back onto firm ashfelt and beneath a street light. I was covered top to toe in mud and half the bike was encased in the lovely combination of dirt with copious amounts of water .. mud, muddy, muddier! At that time, I did a scan for the stupid mutt, but it was nowhere to be seen. I was half tempted to give it a boot if it was still around! Ah well, bigger fish to fry (or was that the mud cooking?) and I returned back to the bike.
I did a good look over what I could see, flinging bits of mud out and checking for any obvious signs of damage. Nothing leaking, nothing out of spec … looking okay!
Until I tried to start her up. Nothing. Rechecked the gear lever, neutral on, not a response! Now, I did that little step back again and went through my mental checklist – and I bet you all came to the same conclusion in the same amount of time I did! Light bulb flashing over my head, I reached over and flicked off the mud encasing the kill switch … and what do you know, it was engaged!
As soon as that was sorted, Cindi started first time with a purr. Damn girl, I think she loves being dirty! Letting it idle for a wee while to ensure nothing was out of place, I hopped on with a squelch as mud blossomed over my seat from the gunk on me – and proceeded to ride to Fielding. In search of a hose!
Passing through the small localities of Bunnythorpe and Aorangi, I pulled into the local BP servo (oh fancy that, a BP again!) which was opened. The reaction and looks on the staff’s faces was priceless! (oh, forgot to take pictures as I was a bit more distracted with getting the bike and me back into some semblance of rideability!)
A hose was procured and I spent a good half hour rinsing the bike and myself off, great sluices of mud went sliding down into the gutter, like the silt from the Nile. As the mud sloughed off into the gutter, I noticed a red sheen come from the front, ah, blood it was. Not mine, so must be the dogs. Silly beggar, must have thought I was a renegade sheep or some paddock creature. Anyhow, I took this opportunity to really look over Cindi and marvelled at how relatively unscathed she was, the mirrors were a bit wonky and I bought a spanner to fix the right one (the left was canterkerous and refused to be brought into line, it stayed at a cock-eyed angle all the way up to Auckland!)
I had a slight pain in my left side, just on the ribcage, so I bought a pack of panadols and had a couple of those. By this stage, the dawning of a new day was upon me, the sun was starting to ascend it’s majesty and shoo the recalcitrant moon away from it’s stage.
So up SH54 to Airnadale, Dunolly, Rewa and Livingstone, popping out on SH1 towards Taihape. The sun’s effect on the road was most telling, where before there were drifts of snow on the road, it was relatively clear (probably also to the efforts of the road crews). The ride to Taihape reminded me of winter in Japan, the surrounding lands caked in a white surcoat of purity. There were trees festooned gaily as a Christmas one, fences, farm buildings and implements were touched with gossamers of fairy dust and rendered as peace on earth.
At Taihape I pulled up at the … BP … and did another refuel and check over of the bike and myself, by this stage, the weather did show a stunning turnaround to the efforts of last night. Boy, I was enjoying myself! Big grin all around! Cindi was running nicely, most of the muck was cleaned off and I got another chance to clean more of my riding gear off.
So, this particular post is all about the arraignment of my riding pace in Ashhurst. It wasn’t too bad – as we all know, any crash that we can stand up and ride away from is a good ‘un. I just don’t recommend it too often, hurts the pride, wallet and body don’t you know!
Now, I shall take a brief pause to go outside, switch Cindi on again and marvel at how she purrs. I daresay she has been taunting the boys (Big and lil’ol Hornets) about what she got up to on her first ride out. Sassy bitch. She’s got it all and flaunting it! You can do as you please and return in your own good time, this part was the zenith of the story, the climax as you will and the next shall be the denouement, heading towards the end of the tale!