After only 20mins or so, my shoulders started to ache. It looked like getting out of London on the Ducati had already taken its toll due the bikes very forward riding position. To be honest thou, I don't think that a full 8 hours at work was really the best build up to the ride, but the sun was out and I was determined to enjoy it.
Eventually we arrived at our destination and my body was knackered. My hands, back, legs, ankle (I strained one of my achilles tendons whilst running on Monday) and shoulders was crying out for me to stop. We sat and talked for around 45mins, Dave having a pint and me downing a small, but expensive coffee, which not only gave us the chance to catch up, but also gave my body a chance to recoup. For the return journey we planned more of the same sort of roads which snaked past Bishops Stortford and through the fantasticly named village of Steeple Bumpstead. The only problem was that because we started out in the early afternoon, it was now rush hour and this resulted in being stuck being far too many cars and buses, which ruined the ride and left me in agony as I couldn't get up to speed getting the wind to take some of the weight from my upper body. My 1098s is still set up really stiff, which also didn't really help. The roads we were riding on weren't table top smooth, so the bike was unsettled a lot of the time, making the ride harder that it could have been. On its current settings, my bike likes big fast sweeping bends and hitting three figures, neither of which I encountered today.
I finally got home and the bike and the rider were both covered in nice array of insect remains and I could barely walk. Did I regret the ride? Not at all. I'll take any excuse to ride the bike, especially as summer is slowly disappearing and warm sunny afternoons are now only available in limited numbers. It will be winter too soon and I'll be standing in a cold garage looking at my bike, thinking about afternoons like today.