Real Classic

FROM THE FRONT

- Frank Westworth Frank@realclassi­c.net

Every year at this time the first issue of the new year I generally write some thing about new resolution­s, plans for great rides to see great things and to visit greatfrien­ds.and indeed, my thoughts asthe rain slash down against the windows and my riding gear gets more and more and more lathered in mud turn with inevitabil­ity to those faraway warm days. day sof sunshine, days spent grumbling genially about how it's too hot to ride and other lies like that. It's never too hot to ride unless you' re stuck aboard a three wheeler in yet another Ms traffic jam, unableto move and baking only a lot in the heat.

Which happened a lot last year. a three wheeler? yes indeed, we have one such in The shed. it's perfect for weather too foul to be enjoyable on two wheels, and for those trips where we need an improbable amount of baggage.and for fun, unsurprisi­ngly. As generation­s of side carr is ta shave always known, three wheelers have a charm all their own. So i'm told. I've never got along with motorcycle out fits, but I totally enjoy riding our own tricycle which is something entirely different.

What a third wheel hasd one for me is return riding pleasure to a rather wider range of weather and lighting conditions.as I've aged, I've pretty much stopped enjoying riding far in the dark, even along familiar roads, which is a shame, as back then I always enjoyed riding the night section of the annual a cu national rally. Even on my ancient Ajs with its equally ancient Lucas lights. a fairly recent norton ride on the main road to Hereford found me hitting what I thought was just a shadow or a patch of rough road surface hard enough to flatten the front tyre. i suspect it was a plank of wood or similar whatever it was, I simply didn't recognise it as a threat .thisis not entirelya good thing.

But I digress. I was intending to talk about plansfor next year I'mdone with resolution­s; plansare better and lessintimi­dating. How often havewe resolvedto eat less,drink less, exercise more... only to achievenon­eof those?i shallsay no more.

It'sdifficult in the presenttim­esto plan anything involving an event,and I'm not a great fan of endlessly postponing trips if it pours down, so what? If it 's cold, so what? Modern gear isgreat,i tell myself,and I ride anyway,evenif my intended evening meal pal criesoff I'd not be a solo motorcycli­stif I didn't enjoy my own company. But if an event is cancelled,that's a different matter,mostly becausei usuallyloo­k forward to the event itself,ratherthan the ride to it. Whenevents­havebeen cancelledt­his lastyear and they have,in droves,asyou know I find myselfincr­easinglydi­sinclinedt­o book the time and a lodge for any more in the nearfuture... but my not resolution­isthat I shallboost my new year opt imismand book someevents­anyway!

The reasonfor this?it soundsbonk­ers,even to me,but it's all about not surrenderi­ngto circumstan­cesbeyond my control.ratherthan gloomily decidingth­at it's not worth bothering becauseit might be cancelleda­nyway, I shall assumethe opposite.smilewidel­y and start planning the world's most eccentricr­oute from Cornwallto Stafford.

Here'shoping that you havea great new year,too!

Ride safely

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