The reasons for this are varied and I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say, it has nothing to do with losing my licence or getting into any form of trouble. I haven't crashed or hurt myself and my personal life is very healthy. Its more a case of circumstances are preventing me from getting out there on a regular basis. Knowing this, this mornings ride was a rare treat. Taking the Ducati out for a spin I took in one of my favourite routes via Salisbury and Shaftsbury and the superb A30.
With the UK basking in a sustained heatwave, I knew the ride would be fairly warm, and pulling on my Alpinestar leathers, I was reminded of summers past riding into and out of Central London, something I don't miss at all.
Apart from the obvious heat, the one thing I really did notice was how I no longer seemed to be 'bike-fit'. By this I mean physically used to riding and holding myself on the bike. After about an hour, the palms in both my hands started to hurt as I was clearly taking too my weight through my hands and secondly, the tops of my shoulders started to ache as well. Not a good sign that's for sure, especially as I have to head up to the aforementioned Big Smoke this Friday.
With warm dry tarmac to play on, the 1098s was a dream to ride. Probably what you would call underpowered in today's market, there is plenty of power which required 100% attention to fully control.
After filling up just outside Wilton in Wiltshire, I caught up a rider on a Ducati Scrambler. They were making some good progress and were clearly familiar with the road. I was following about 30 yards behind in a staggered formation when, as we rounded a corner, we were greeted with a dustcart on the wrong side of the road as it pulled out of a junction. Quickly reducing our speed, we both avoided disaster, but it was a good reminder that no matter what time of day you're riding, or how clear the road appears to be, you have to put yourself in a position to be able to stop at a moments notice.
About 40 minutes later I pulled up in front of my garage. A tank of fuel spent, a tasty beverage consumed and with my mind filled with reminders of why I look riding my bikes so much. Hopefully, I'll be back riding more shortly and it doesn't really matter if its wet or dry, thankfully the fun is not weather dependant.