Sunday, 8 July 2018

Not A Biking Trip

My French Trip 2018

Sometimes things do not work out as planned. Having booked everything in advance and paid for most of it the only things left to do were the final check over the Buell and an MOT. The MOT was due at the end of the month so as I would be travelling in France I thought it best to get it done before I go. On checking the final drive belt it had splits in it between the teeth and needed replacing. I would not have bothered if I was just travelling in the UK as I know there are not that many Harley shops in Normandy where I could get a replacement belt if it broke. This was ten days before departure and should have been enough time to get things sorted. I should have changed the belt myself and gone on my merry way. However advice was given that the sprockets would need changing too! This has lead to a whole series of disasters that meant my treasured Buell was not ready to take to France. The Kawasaki was not suitable with Gita on the back and to carry enough luggage for two for a week. I needed to make a reasonable choice of which set of wheels to take and decided on the Burton two seater sports car that Gita could also drive. 

Turned out to be a good choice as we had lots of fun driving around in it and admired by many as it is so different from ordinary cars. Taking the Newhaven to Dieppe crossing with the first night in Le Harve followed by a day along the coast via Honfleur to Caen. Day two to Dinan via Mont St Michel then on to Laval where there was a music festival. All free and out doors. This happens on a particular Thursday all over the country each year. Something to remember in mid June. Finally arriving in l’Aigle to meet up with the guys from the Wey Valley Advanced Motorcycle Club for the annual “French Trip” that is not always to France. While there we had a trip to Le Mans to see the Bugatti circuit and the Motor Racing Museum. 

It was well worth the visit with features on racing stars over the decades including Steve McQueen. There are not many bikes there but for me an interesting steam powered one, a 1907 Paul Buard. I did enjoy looking around the older cars as they were modified production models but the later ones start to look the same as the aerodynamics take over and everyone comes up with the same ideas. 

I have discovered that over the years when the concept is right there are very few alternatives that work as well. The last time we went to France it rained most of the time and the glorious sunshine has prevailed for weeks making me miss the Buell even more. The Kawasaki is getting more miles on it and so is the LE and now I am finally getting around to changing the front oil seal on the Valiant in an effort to cure it incontinence. After taking off the generator flywheel and removing the faulty seal I discover I can’t find the oil seal I ordered from the LE Club months before. I am now waiting for one to arrive in the post. I seem to have gremlins around me at the moment where bikes are concerned. Still some fun to be had as Chinnor Bike Dayz is upon us with more canvassing for the LMM and hours of live music.

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