I am just beginning to try and get to grips with net beyond the web, as it were. A website I have done, constant updating and this blogging and tweeting is totally new and a bit scary. I have a published book ‘Back Roads of Spain’ by Duncan Gough, available on Amazon (Author signed copies and I get the most) or through Waterstones etc. It is a compilation of articles written for ‘Gambalunga’ magazine – the Moto Guzzi Club Great Britain. Mostly dealing with ten years of my annual trips to Spain on my Motorbike but also reflecting on life in general, with over a hundred colour photo’s maps and sketches. I am in the process of preparing this for E-publishing for Kindle etc. Progress will be reported… I also want to find a way of offering a .pdf download of the book with all the pictures etc which obviously won’t make it into the E-book. So work in Progress… Below was the start of a story:
Driving drizzle maliciously wrapped itself around him, slid with a malevolent slowness across his goggles forcing him to keep wiping them with a gloved finger. His mask was already feeling damp to his lips.
It was going to be a long way to Portsmouth.
About 300 miles as the wheel turns; but it looked like being a few more as the thoughts revolve. Ray headed West and though the road rose to climb the mountains the cloud, and his thoughts wound downward.
Even non-Volvo’s were putting on their headlights.
All the old fears grew like fungi from the wetness of his imagination:
Did the tyres feel ‘squirrelly’? Did that mean the pressures were wrong, or that the tread was gone? Why hadn’t he checked properly? Were the panniers secure, would they leak? What else could go wrong?
This should have been a happy and triumphant beginning.
The start of his annual visit to his mistress, but somehow it had become soured. And not just by the weather…
12 miles from home and the trip was showing 120, time to stop and fill up, the next petrol station was a good twenty miles away over the other side of the mountains, that might be pushing it. Or it would be in his present mouldy frame of mind…
Somehow the act of peeling saturated gloves to open the tank…
Stretch to nozzle, and nozzle to fill, whilst keeping the bike up straight (no centre stand).
The dripping walk into the garage…
“Somehow I think, today it is going to be a long way to Portsmouth.”
“Yes… A long way.”
“Can I have a VAT receipt please?”
Somehow some vague equilibrium began to assert itself. The old core of self-reliance gathered enough strength to push back a little of the grey mist.
And now, though the damp, wet dreariness deepened. The atavistic spark had been lit, that spark of self-image connected to being a biker, to braving the elements, to braving such a trip in such a way.
That was warming up!
The hunting instinct reborn!
Suddenly the tyres were fine, so what if the spray of this tanker lorry was vile…
GET THE BASTARD! After the next bend there’s a stretch; for a hard – wound bike, with a big heart.
YES!!! Got the swine… Where’s the next tin can!
Now the fire is well alight, though the drizzling remnants of Ray’s former mindset manage to keep a certain safety level. The tarmac runs with sheets of water, but Ray is upping the pace, 80 shows for the first time.
‘Have A Nice Day (in your car)’; the peeling logo on Ray’s helmet echoes through his mind as he loses the self doubts in the concentration of the motorbike rider. Slicing past cars, anticipating each well known beat of the twisting mountain road, coming hard and fast off every bend that has sufficient straight following for an overtake. DECISION… DO IT, IF IT CAN BE DONE. Wring the throttle neck, wring the chicken – in-ones souls’s neck, and try and kill the creeping scared-ness of middle – (more like old) age.
The ‘Edge’ is back!