Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Monday, 31 May 2010

Catching up

Lots of changes since last time!

The XBR finally got sorted and through the MOT although strictly speaking it should have failed because there was no damping in the front forks.  Mr sfb had to promise to sort them out straight away.  We managed to improve the damping by adding a few washers but it was clear that still wasn't very good so they now have progressive springs.  Even now, however, they still don't seem as good as they should be.

Following on from that, it became apparent that Mr sfb is no longer to be Mr sfb because he has decided to move on to better things (has been seeing someone else!) Of course, there have been ups and downs since then and Jon (the person formerly known as Mr sfb) has now moved out, although I am still privileged to  be custodian of heaps and heaps of junk that he hasn't got room for.  Unfortunately for anyone who reads this blog, this means you will probably never get to enjoy the delights of Jon playing banjo on You-tube.

To take my mind off all this, I decided that a small trip was needed and made arrangements so that I could set off for the the last night of the BSAOC rally at Wicksteed Park in Kettering.

Yesterday morning saw me loading up the bike with newly purchased tent and sleeping bag etc, checking oil level and tyre pressures and trying to make the always difficult decision as to what to wear for the ride.  Jon called round to do safety checks on my luggage loading and seemed to approve of my effforts so off I went, leaving him to lock up behind me.  The ride to Kettering on the XBR was brilliant, warm and sunny and I found myself loving the bike more with each mile. I've suffered a real crisis of confidence over the last couple of years, following a car crash and a very minor fall off the XT225 and I've been really frustrated at how I seemed incapable of getting over it.  I knew I could potentially do so much better but couldn't actually make myself do it.  I started to feel a bit more confident when Jon and I went for a ride last weekend but my trip yesterday gave me even more of a boost and I also enjoyed doing something totally on my own.  I also have to say that Avon RoadRiders are brilliant tyres.

I got slightly lost trying to find Wicksteed Park once I got to Kettering but fortunately there was also a classic show at Stanford Hall so I accosted a man on a very nice Matchless to ask for directions and he was kind enough to offer to escort me to the site.  I got a very warm welcome from lots of the BSA owners, help with putting my tent up and lots of offers of beer (which I had to turn down as I don't drink beer). There was food laid on at the "disco" - roast pork, jacket potatoes so I was able to be sensible and eat my first meal since breakfast.  I'm glad I did this as lots of alcohol was consumed later on, pear cider while in the bar and then wine later when we did our usual sitting around in the dark talking long after everyone else was asleep.  I didn't get to try out my lovely new tent as Myles and Roger decided I needed looking after and put me in my sleeping bag in their tent.  I didn't even take my boots off and I still couldn't get warm.  They both reported this morning that they had been lovely and warm so I think they just stole all my body heat and kept it for themselves.

It rained a bit in the night but was just a bit grey and miserable this morning so managed not to get rained on - just as well because even without rain I have only now managed to warm up.  I rode home with Myles on his B40, mostly at B40 speeds but I did have a couple of moments of tearing off to overtake things.  Jon had stayed at my house while I was away - he's not very good at this moving out thing - so he made us a hot drink and unloaded my luggage.  Myles went home then Jon and I went for a ride to the cafe at Quat. The throttle cable on the XBR has been catching and not closing properly and for some reason this had now got much worse so I just had to nail it everywhere - Jon commented on how much my riding had improved since last weekend!  I got made to ride the Speed Triple - having brakes that work so well scared me to death, I thought I had just touched the brake to slow down a little and it almost stopped dead. Nice bike though - too sophisticated for me.

Will investigate the sticky throttle tomorrow, I need the bike sorted for next weekends planned trip - if the weather is favourable I plan to include bagging a couple of Norton's for the Real Classic magazine's Norton Challenge - I have a route in mind that will take in three Nortons.


  1. Aye aye quine, glad you're getting things sorted. Sounds like a fine time was had the BSA do. Toodle ooh.

  2. Good to hear you are still friends

    Getting the confidence back aint easy, been there years ago when I (the bike) got ran over with a lane changer on a round about, took ages to get back into the way of things, but it comes back

    Hope your weekend goes to plan....... my weekend starts tomorrow, Shetland here we come

  3. Shetland sounds fun, hope you all have a good time.

  4. Shetland was FAB, SFB, you should consider trying the 2012 show. Ok, so it's a long trek to the ferry, but you sound like the kind of girl who would just get on a bike and go. GO!!!

  5. Go Go Go SFB. You can do it!