Motorcycling was put on hold for a while as both Grainne and I suffered a nasty stomach bug although as I was recovering I did manage to spend a day representing the TRF at the Emergency Services Show.
We were showcasing our work with the Police including the South Yorkshire “Green Road Watch” Scheme and also promoting the use of trail motorcycles in disaster response. This follows the successful assistance given to the Fire and Rescue Service by TRF members during wildfires in the North of England earlier this year and based on the example of Italian trail riders where the Italian Motorcycle Federation (the Federmoto) are in Partnership with the Civil Protection Department (Dipartimento di Protezione Civile).
After this it was Grainne’s birthday so various events were planned. A trip to the Secret Cinema on the Thursday to see Casino Royale was great fun although a very late night! Then on Saturday we were off to Cambridge for a night in a Spa Hotel. This started well enough with a nice relaxing time by the pool although the combined heat of the sauna and Jacuzzi did bring on the fatigue from my Myasthenia but we were there to relax after all!
A decent dinner followed but then it went downhill… woken no less than five times during the night, first a fire alarm and evacuation saw us standing in the car park for half an hour until we were allowed back to our rooms as it was a false alarm. Then we had the delight of someone in the next room being very noisily sick! At around 01:30 the fire alarm went off again, this time it was soon silenced but we were well and truly awake; it was LOUD!
At around 03:30 what sounded like a door slamming contest started in the corridor, thanks for that whoever you were! Then to add insult to injury the fire alarm went off again at 05:20. Of course the hotel were very apologetic and offered a full refund… like hell they did, quite frankly their attitude was awful, you get a better level of customer service at a Premier Inn (they guarantee a full refund if your sleep is disturbed and from experience we know they deliver on their promise). So The Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge is definitely on our black list.
On the Sunday we were meeting up with Gina and Mum for a meal in Cambridge as the next day was also Mum’s birthday. Caitlin and Owen were coming over with boyfriend Rick and girlfriend Nicole to meet us. Unfortunately Rick’s car had a blow out on the A421 near Bedford. Thankfully they were OK and were recovered in only 20 minutes and taken to a tyre dealers in Bedford, only to find their compressor had broken, so the car could not be fixed until Monday. We were able to call on a favour and our friend Kate was able to pick them up and give them a lift to Cambridge, so they managed to get their lunch before we had to rush Owen and Nicole to the train station for their trip back to Hull. Then it was a drive to Welwyn Garden City to drop Rick and Caitlin off as her car was at Ricks place.
We had been scheduled to take a hot air balloon ride from Cambridge that evening but that too got cancelled due to bad weather. Typically the Saturday had been perfect weather but Sunday it poured down... typical! This was of course to be one off the Sixty by Sixty list but will have to wait for another day.
The next weekend we were back to biking with a trip to the Herts TRF “Come and Play Day” a chance to use some private land in Essex to ride off road. For Grainne this was her first chance to really try out her 250F Freeride. The terrain wasn’t very technical but had enough variety to test her ability and her confidence as this was also the first time back on a bike since breaking her shoulder on our snowboarding trip in March.
And she did really well! Culminating in the “Ford of certain sogginess” although I did have to promise to stand in the middle of the stream to catch her if she fell off. There was no need of course and she rode through it four times in total and I got soggy feet!
It was also a chance to try out my 450 that hasn’t been used since my diagnosis last year, a new battery and a full service were done on the Friday night and after a few problems starting it due to the choke refusing to stay on, it ran perfectly. All ready for my next challenge, the Edinburgh Trial, more on the preparations for that in the next episode…..