Maxing Madly…

England leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve been away. I get back. Drive home from the airport. On the way, decide to fill car up – head for my local gas station, only to find a queue of vehicles heading off into the middle distance. I decide that civilisation has in fact collapsed in my absence, something I always suspected would happen. Turn radio on to discover that the English have finally learnt something from the French and blockaded the oil refineries as a protest against high fuel prices.Time then to do the responsible thing and switch to a more economical form of transport — that would be the Duke. But I don’t need to go anywhere. That’s easily fixed — there’s a note around from a few of the local group suggesting that a sunny evening with most cars off the road would make for a good rideout, and might help cure my jetlag. So it proved.

There’s sense; there’s always riding within your limits and those of the road (the bike’s limits are somewhere else entirely). And then there’s last night, for which the recipe went: Ensure that work surface is clean and clear of all cars – what few there were were in 30mph fuel-saving mode; check that police are on emergency call-out only; take a fine, clear, warm evening. Stir in four Ducatis and an R1 and bake in Surrey and Sussex’s finest twisty bits at gas mark 8 for an hour-and-a-half. Collapse giggling and exhausted at Mucky Duck. Wonder at continued existence.

My tyres look like they’ve just come in from a hard track day; my brain is fried from the concentration and endorphins and I’ve discovered exactly where FIM set the rev limiter on their Ultimap chips…

Jetlag? The massive adrenaline overdose seems to have fixed that. Something to remember.

And the bad taste? Esso’s finest unleaded. Managed to fill the car up, purely to use as a tanker for the bike. Then had to use a piece of garden hose to siphon from one to the other…

Footnote on fuel prices. The UK is currently running at around 80p/litre. California is now around $2.08/US gallon (I recently paid $2.35 in Yosemite). That makes it about 2.3x more expensive in the UK. And the US has released its strategic reserves to placate people…

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