I really do. I lost my motorbike 4 months ago now and I crave getting back on the road. Next step is for me to do my big-boy bike test and get a Yamaha Fazer. I’m serious about this, but I figure it’s going to cost me around £4k-5k to actually get it all together, between license, 2nd-hand bike and insurance. I would rather save than get a loan, so I reckon I will do it in stages. License this side of Christmas, but wait till springtime to buy the bike.
As I was walking from Clifton, past the zoo and towards Westbury today I thought about the long runs I want to do. Friday evening after work I take the bike down to Dover, get the ferry to Calais. Spend the night in some faceless hostel in grey Calais. Up early on Saturday morning and decide where to go. Maybe go west across France, get to Brittany for a night. Or instead go to Germany, hundreds of miles of autoroute and autobahn, across France, through Belgium and the Netherlands, getting to western Germany on a Saturday afternoon. Spend an evening there. Leave on the Sunday, coming back the way I came, mile after mile of concentration on the motorways, fear and exhilaration.
As I walked along the pavement thinking of this, two bikers rode by. Italian plates, big luggage paniers. Two guys doing exactly the kind of thing I was daydreaming about.
What happened next you couldn’t script, and if you did it wouldn’t be credible. With barely a moment to register the coincidence of the daydream and the Italians, another bike came by. This time it was a bike with a sidecar. I noticed the sidecar was odd, unlike any I’d ever seen. It was big and boxy with large glass panels, resembling a mini popemobile bolted on to the side of a motorcycle. Inside was a flat wood surface with knobbled bits of polished metal. It was a hearse sidecar, designed for one biker to carry another to his funeral.