I had to curtail a ride today due to a nail in my front tyre – with it going from 36psi to 10psi in 3 miles, I wasn’t going to get thirty miles home unaided. Called the AA (via Ducati Assistance) from Springkerse. Three hours later they turned up, with a truck with a comedy bike attachment that hung off a piece of wire and looked like one of the ore carts that Indiana Jones used to get chased through mines in. Rather less comedy when the guy was fiddling around with the securing straps and the bike promptly tipped sideways out of the device and onto the ground. Result: mirror; bar end; hand guard, pillion peg/hanger, pannier mount and, best of all, gouging one of Marchesini’s finest forged alloy wheels on the way. Just as well I wasn’t wearing my shiny new Observer’s jacket at that point – I would have brought the IAM into serious disrepute.

0/10 also to J K motorcycles in Stirling for being “too busy” to help, despite my being 400 metres from them. 10/10 though to Strathearn Tyres in Crieff, who stayed open until I finally turned up then fixed the problem promptly and efficiently – they even managed to have a spare Diablo Rosso Corse on standby in case the nail had caused internal damage to the tyre. And a big fat kick in a very sensitive place to the bloody AA, who were, in timing, design and execution, culpably useless.