A black sheep on a motorbike.


Bikers

Bikers


I received a phone call from Franco last week; well to be honest Mrs Sensible received the call, I just stood next to her saying, what does he want? Did he set up the meeting? Is he coming over? Very reminiscent of my childhood. The days when my mum would answer the phone, and then decide if I could go out to play, or stay overnight at a friend’s house.

Franco asked Mrs Sensible if I was allowed to go out to play on Saturday. Franco and four of his friends, were going to the mountains on their motor bikes and I had been invited. Mrs Sensible said I could go. I was told to wear a heavy jacket, big boots and bring some spending money.

Proper bikers boots

Proper bikers boots


I understood the bit about the spending money; but the big boots and heavy coat seemed a bit of an overkill. We had just swapped Italian winter for Italian Summer with 10 days of spring squashed in-between. The temperature was forecast for 27°c.

Saturday arrived and at 6.00 am I jumped out of bed crawled out of bed and threw into the back of my mini two heavy coats and put on a thick pair of walking socks and my big hiking boots. I then set of for Franco’s house.

His bike is a Moto Guzzi California EV 1100cc, a really great looking bike, as I arrived, Franco was cleaning little bits of dust from the gleaming paintwork. Bits of dust that was invisible to the naked eye. The day was already starting to become hot, so I asked Franco, why the big boots and heavy coat? In case you fall off!!!

Franco/s Moto Guzzi

Franco/s Moto Guzzi

So complete with my safety boots, gloves and coat, we climbed aboard his bike and set off Tto meet up with his mates in Torino. Driving Racing down the country roads, I began to notice how every time, I leaned in sync with Franco, or when he braked and then accelerated away, my stomach muscles pulled. I decided this would be excellent exercise and by the time we reached Cresole Reale in the Alps, I would have a stomach like a six pack.

A six pack

A six pack

In Torino we met up with his friends and set off at break neck speed for the mountains. It was great fun, when Franco leaned to the left I leaned with him, when he cornered right I leaned to the right. I have to add I was hanging on for dear life. After 30 mins of chasing through villages and country roads, I managed to relax a little. I was just admiring the river that was running alongside the road when Franco dropped the bike over to his left and went haring around a corner, I was still sat bolt upright and the bike gave a little wobble as Franco tried to control it. I say a little wobble, but we were racing along at 120 kph. I decided not to watch the scenery, but in future to just watch the road.

As we climbed up into the mountings, I developed an itch on my left nostril, just a little itch. But the more I tried to ignore it, the more it itched. In fact the itch started to include part of my cheek. My helmet was a full face helmet that belonged to Franco’s wife, it was a tad too small, and I couldn’t work out how to raise the visor. I was hampered by a thick pair of gloves, ignorance on how to open it and the fear of falling off Franco’s bike.

I tried sticking a finger in between the helmet and my neck, moving the helmet with the hope of catching my nose on the internal padding and as a last resort I tried to see if my tongue was long enough to reach my nose. After all, lizards can lick their own eyeball, surely I could reach my nose. Please bear in mind, I was still whacking along at 120 kph and trying to remember to lean with Franco.

As well as the itchy nose, I discovered the visor would suddenly steam up, and no I didn’t decide to lick it clean. But you will be pleased to know, that even though I had an itch, couldn’t see for toffee, and the helmet that was a bit too small and was giving me brain crush. I didn’t fall off.

Helmets that don't steam up

Helmets that don’t steam up


Climbing up the mountain we came across a sign and barrier that said road closed due to heavy snow. The Italians looked at each other, shrugged and in true Italian fashion, ignored the warning and drove around the barrier.
Finally we had arrived; it had taken two bum numbing hours. My six pack now felt like a crushed coke can, my bum hurt and my arms ached from hanging on.

No chance of a six pack

No chance of a six pack


After a couple of photos and a bit of graffiti, we decided to drive back to the nearest village for a beer.

Pecora Nera

Pecora Nera

The snow plough had cleared the road

The snow plough had cleared the road

While we were sat drinking and discussing how I had nearly ended up as a smudge along the road and the episode of the itch. They asked if I wanted to join them in October, for a little ride to Munich for the Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest.


If I am a good boy and Mrs Sensible says yes, I will go and buy a helmet and jacket for a bit of serious beer drinking.

The bikes and the bikers, thanks guys.

A great set of Guys

A great set of Guys


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86 thoughts on “A black sheep on a motorbike.

  1. If you’re going to Germany, you better have proper equipment…. This said, I’d’ve loved to ride with you all. You think they’d come and pick me up in Montreal?

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    • Mmmm I think the next one is accidentally dropping 150 pepper corns into the pasta I was making for Mrs Sensible and her mum. Unless something else happens in the next 24 hours……

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      • Wait, what’s this thing that you are making pasta for Mrs Sensible and your suocera? (mother-in-law doesn’t produce the same eloquent sound). Mrs Sensible is an extremely confident person to allow an Englishman in her kitchen 🙂

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        • Although I am an Englishman, I do know how to cook with wine.

          You hold the glass of wine in your left hand, while stirring the sugo with the spoon in your right hand.

          Easy peasy lemon squeezy….

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  2. I am on a diet too and I am constantly stressed. I think I have worked out reading the whole of this post that the picture of the your six pack isn’t actually your six pack.

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      • My diet is going okay. I am due at CentreParcs in 4 weeks and I’ve been starving myself since April. The problem is exercise – its a total sod but it speeds things up no end

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        • Exercise, as in sitting up to turn the alarm clock off and walking from the front door to the car,,, I tried that.

          I even went as far as downloading some MP3s from the NHS how to lose weight site. They start with a women telling you she is going to help you to lose weight. and after 6 weeks you will be able to run 6K
          60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, after 30 minutes, I can honestly say I hated her and her voice.

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  3. What a lovely entertaining post. I love biker stories as my dearly beloved is one and he has a BMW GS1200 like the ones in the photos. I’m a passenger too but I have worked out how to raise the visor to scratch my nose. 🙂

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    • It was great fun, there were times I was terrified and times I really enjoyed it.

      Biking in Italy is fraught with danger, cars just pulled out and we had to swerve around them and the roads have loads of huge pot holes.

      Do I want a bike,… yes erh well maybe.

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      • We were recently in Sardinia where EU money seems to have been put to good use relaying the roads so they were marvellous. Not many cars on the road (in May) and fantastic road surfaces, plus lovely views. We loved it.

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  4. Great post, had me chuckling at the image of you trying to lick your nose and your visor fogging up! 😀 Went on the back of a bike in Spain when I was 18… many years ago now 😉 I was on holiday and we hired them out. I decided I didn’t like not being in control of it… my husband was driving and he was making it as hair raising as possible, probably to impress! Got my own one for the rest of the week and loved it! Not so sure I’d want to drive one in Italy though, sounds a bit too hair raising for my liking! 🙂

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  5. I almost threw up my coffee at the photo of the six-pack abs! My husband would love to have a motorcycle again (he had to give his up a couple of decades ago). I don’t miss it 😉 I was always too keenly aware of the bodily damage that would occur if I fell off.

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    • Ha ha, No it was Italy, I don’t think my poor bum could have sat on a bike all the way to the Yukon, although at times it felt as though it had.

      It wasn’t a snow drift, it was just a hole cut through the snow by the snow plough. 3 metres in places.

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    • Ha ha, No it was Italy, I don’t think my poor bum could have sat on a bike all the way to the Yukon, although at times it felt as though it had.

      It wasn’t a snow drift, it was just a hole cut through the snow by the snow plough. it was 3 metres deep in places.

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  6. Pingback: A dedicated follower of fashion | Englishman in Italy

  7. Lord have mercy. Did I read a bit ago that you “enjoyed being terrified” or was that you were terrified and really enjoyed it?” But you must be referring to the hair raising 120mph ride on a twisting and narrow mountain road when you needed to scratch your nose. That had to have been thrilling just trying to reach your nose with your tongue. 🙂

    But seriously your biker friends own some serious looking machines, And your photographs are really good. The mountain shots are very nice.

    ~yvonne

    PS: you have quite a following- lots of fans for sure!

    Like

    • Hi Yvonne,
      It was a great day. The bikes were fabulous. The snow was three metres deep in places. I have no idea how the snow ploughs knew were the road was….

      Not sure about the number of fans, my blog is just a bit of fun, almost an on line diary.

      Like

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