Thursday, 31 July 2014

Of loose gravel resurfacing, losing waterproofs, laughing boots, shiny Triumph and a monumental stage in recovery...

I can't believe it's six weeks since I last posted. It has been a hectic time though.

Currently, unless I take a longer route to my Dad's, I have to use a stretch of the York outer ring road which is being resurfaced using the controversial loose gravel method. For those of you who come from countries where this utter stupidity would probably be illegal I will explain:

The roads in the UK are in a terrible state, having been neglected for reasons of austerity, and now some repair work is being done. Much of this involves repairing the surface of stretches of the roads using a method which involves putting down a thin layer of tar and then covering this with loose gravel. The road is then opened to traffic so that it is the traffic which embeds the gravel. Of course much of the gravel remains loose and piles up where it isn't being flattened by vehicle tyres. Not so bad in a car so long as you drive with care, but dreadfully dangerous for motorcycles (and for pushbikes). Not only does the road quickly become very uneven, the loose gravel is a skid risk and of course gravel is constantly being spat out from tyre treads. It's a cheap method of road repair but it's dangerous and should be banned.

Most of the time I travel that road without incident and there are one or two long straight stretches with good views for long overtakes. A few weeks ago I opened up the throttle for an overtake past a few cars and a large truck. No biggie. But I'm embarrased to say that somewhere along that overtake my set of waterproofs that were strapped to the pillion detached themselves. I only discovered the loss when I arrived at my Dad's. I therefore knew staight away that I had been responsible for a hazard. I did go back and retrieve the jacket which I found in the middle of the road. I saw the trousers further back along the road but they were tangled up on the verge and out of harm's way.

This is what you recover when your waterproof jacket has being blowing about on a busy main road for several minutes...
I'm glad the set, which have been excellent in 
the rain, cost me less that 20 quid to replace.

My very comfortable riding boots have started to laugh at me after I caught the left toe on a metal stud in the road...
Still, it was a good excuse to buy a new and 
more expensive pair with gortex lining. I'll 
probably glue these and keep them as spares.

The legal stuff still meanders along but from what my solicitor is telling me there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, I may get a Harley on the road before the year is out, but I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime the Triumph is doing nicely and is running well. Shines up lovely too... 

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will possibly have some idea of the scale of problems I have encountered since being clobbered with a ramp more than three and a half years ago. There will never be a full recovery, especially in respect of my damaged hearing and the awful awful tinnitus. However, there have been small gains along the way in respect of the psychological issues. Today was a massive gain, a truly monumental stage in the recovery process. I will not go into any greater detail because this picture of me overcoming abject terror says it all...
York Rail Station - 12.30 today.

In a much lighter vein, here's my eldest granddaughter and I getting in some static practice for when she's a bit older...


  1. I hear you about the roads. They use the same technique here for the back country roads and I was held captive for a couple of weeks this year because the roads were under repair and just too dangerous to ride. And congratulations on your ongoing recovery. I can only imagine how tough it's been.

  2. I am glad things are going well for you, tinnitus aside. One step at a time.

    Fingers crossed you get that Harley. Although the Trumpet sure shines up nice.

    A nice post to catch us up on things.

    They do that with the roads here in Oregon too. They call it Chip Seal or Seal Coating. Usually put a layer of tar/oil on top of the gravel too. They have been doing a lot of roads in our area lately. Some roads didn't even need it, sigh.

  3. Clearly the guys who plan the road repairs don't ride bikes.