In the morning more drama ensued when I was trying to leave the Isle of Man. In the end I managed to do that, and got to enjoy brilliant Scottish country roads spiced with a hint of tankslappers.
We knew the morning was going to be an early one, so we didn’t stay at the dinner for too long. It was a smart call, I had no problem waking before 6 to pack my things and head to breakfast. As I had some spare time, I went to ride Bray Hill for one last time, which felt really special, now that there was no mentionable traffic. Must be scary as hell to do it flat out on a superbike… the TT racers, they must have wheelbarrows to haul their balls around.
As I got to the harbour, they didn’t allow me to check in. At the ticket office they said, they would not let me leave on a bike, as I entered as a foot passenger. I’d need a new reservation, which would be really expensive (100 something) when booked an hour before departure.
I lost it there and then with their bullshit and after some “negotiation”, the ticket sales lady agreed to be so kind as to give me a refund for the previous ticket. That’d still leave like 40 quid for me to pay.
So I took the phone and called the organisers, who came in to pay for my ticket. I have a low tolerance for bullshit, and after again listening to their idiotic policies, I issued some constructive feedback to the staff. Earlier I had been so steamed I didn’t see the door opening button, but luckily my friendly inquiry whether someone could open the door was complied. The button was really big and hard to miss.
After the boring boat trip we headed off to Scotland from Heysham. It rained when we arrived, but according to weather forecast, it’d clear out before long. And it sure did. As we headed to the hills, we got to enjoy excellent twisties with a nice surface and rolling curves. Heading upwards, the surface became bumpier, and the fact that the Kawasaki could use some suspension servicing wasn’t left unclear. It would bottom out, and especially one time gave my poor kidneys a proper jolt. Also, interestingly it wheelies quite happily at any bump, it’s much more eager to lift the front than the not-so-great horsepower would suggest. Otherwise that’d be jolly good fun, but every time the front touches the ground, there’s quite a bit more headshake than required. Oh well, it’s still pretty fun!
A special mention for today must go to Markus. The organizers had marked an area with high likelihood of police activity, and well… he didn’t really slow down. At all. On top of that, he decided to pull a massive wheelie on his Hayabusa, just as there was an oncoming police car. Oh well, luckily they didn’t seem too bothered.
Also I found out the bike’s pretty thirsty. We were doing full blast for a pretty long stretch, and suddenly it’d just stop accelerating at like 130 mph. I stopped as the engine died, scratched my head a bit, and turned the fuel tap to reserve. Lo and behold, after a while I’d fire up again. I was seriously worried the high speed riding had hurt the engine, but luckily that was not the case.
As we were closing on Glasgow, we had planned a fuel stop where I thought I’d have the juice to run to. But no, the bike started spluttering on the motorway, and I wasn’t able to find the fuel tap. The engine died and the speed started going down, so I got to the shoulder. I was nearly down to the same speed as other traffic, when I finally found the tap and got it to reserve.
Although we got lost a few times, there were only like 10 or so bikes at the hotel’s drug den – I mean parking lot – so we weren’t that slow. At least we beat the target arrival time by a little more that how long it takes to down one beer.
The forecast says it’ll rain again tomorrow, but let’s hope they’re wrong and tomorrow will be just as nice a riding day as today.
Today in stats:
Distance traveller: 436 km
Times lost: 4
Times pulled over: 0
In case you’re wondering what happened to the speed data, I lost my GPS holder with the Triumph, and the battery on the GPS doesn’t really last that long without a power source.
(This article was first published in the letsri.de blog on June 28th, 2017)