it's Sunday morning, the sun is out and I'm in Horley, a quiet little town in Surrey England. Much of my energy (what's left after the jetlag) over the past few days has been spent searching the web, papers and many bike shops for a uitable steed upon which I can explore this beautiful country.
My wife expressed a preference for Ducatis (she already has the Ducati jacket) and my mate Alex said it has to be red. i was walking around Croydon the other night, after having travelled there on the train especially to see a couple of bike shops and having found nothing there when I spotted this wonderful convayance. i knew I was getting tired and very much over the search process, when the little step thru actually looked attractive! it certainly filled many of the criteria - red, tow wheels, engine (albeit not very big), greeat lugge capacity, good fuel economy and cheap!
Finally the motorcycle news website came to my rescue and I found a 2005 Ducati ST3 for sale only half an hour's drive from here. I called the owner and arranged to meet that evening. When we arrived and saw the machine i told Alex unless it was a real wreck i was just going to buy it - it wasn't a wreck (although perhaps it might be by now - Alex dissappeared on it an hour ago!) so I bought it on the spot.
I had heard horror stories about foreigners not being able to get vehicle registered or insured in UK but it hasn't been too bad. The registration is easy if you have a UK address, and the first two insurance companies didn't want to play, but the third was happy to cover me in UK and Europe albiet for about double the price the previous owner had paid. Still it's only about two days hire bike charge.
i picked up the bike yesterday afternoon from Cuckfield and rode it via quite a few wrong turns, to Box Hill, a well know motorcyclist gathering spot. i got so badly lost on the way there though, that not many bikes/people were left when I arrived. The little hilly backroads i found were amazing fun though, and I'm really enjoying drivig the new machine. Check out the 'Ducatisti' album on my site for a picture of the real thing.
Sandi and i managed to get the webcam working on Skype yesterday and enjoyed our first "virtual date" as she called it. Pretty good really but with a couple of downside compared to the real thing - for the benefit of my Son & Daughters i won't elaborate though.
If my neighbour Kevin is reading this - the Tom tom GPS has been terrific so far. I've used it to find several motorcycles, my way around town, the way back to my lodgings and used it in the car and while walking. It gets a bit confused when i walk through a railway station or similar though - as it thinks I'm taking a car in there! My next challenge is to rig up a mounting for it on the bike - i'll check it out tomorrow.
Today I'm not planning to go too far - might even accompany my host family to church and meet some of the locals - then perhaps do a loop ride in the afternoon - if alex has come back by then!
trust you are all having fun