As most of you will know, I recently bought a new motorbike. It was time. I’ve had the training, covered 46k miles on my beloved Smoggy. It was about time that I had a big girl’s bike.
I had ridden the Ducati Monster at the demo day at The Green Welly Stop in April. They provided a lowered seat for the test. When I pulled out of the business, my first thought was, “Where the hell are the foot pegs?”
Some may know, some not; here goes. I knackered my right knee, playing hockey for Scotland, (25 caps, you know; with a hat trick against France to my name) when I was 20 years young. It was reconstructed. I was fit (at the time) and the surgery was a success, replacing my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) with my patella tendon. Then I had a wee slide in Whistler, when I was skiing, which resulted in me losing my other (left) ACL and damaging my meniscus. That damage they didn’t fix. I wasn’t so fit (no shit, Sherlock) and not as young as I would prefer. I’ve had to live with it. I have fab flexion in my right knee, my left knee has disintegrated some what. The only option is a replacement. Too young.
So, getting on the Monster and having to search for the foot pegs didn’t bode well. I’m vertically challenged. I was determined to buy a bike that was different to Smoggy. I got a bit of a shock. Never the less, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn’t move for 3 days after, but loved the thrill. The power. The breath taking moment when you have to keep your gob open to breathe. It was quite dramatic. It literally took my breath away. Marvellous.
Then I took a white demo out from the dealership. Wrong colour. It just has to be RED!!! They didn’t have a low seat, I sat on the bike. No problem. My knees breathed a sigh of relief. At the same time, Ed took out the Multistrada. He was just a bloody hooligan. He was off. I was quietly shitting myself. I was so tentative, I was overtaken by two bikers who must, in the nano second of time, thought, aye, test rider. They were gone, around the corner, having a blast. By all accounts, so was Ed!
That was it. Bought. All the possible accessories, a Monster 1200s. Yes, why wait for the 821 to come out when you can have the full package. The full, raw Monster.
God, what have I done?
I picked her up from the dealership, I was shaking. I was incredibly nervous. Going against all the training I have had, I have to paddle. The steering lock is comparable to an aircraft carrier doing a u-turn in the Pacific. I just don’t do ‘paddling’ I had to re-teach myself pretty damn quickly! I guess if you don’t, it would be *clatter*!
Leaving to go home by the long route, it lashed with rain. Biblical proportions. Up my trouser legs, down my collar; I blame the lorry and oncoming traffic for that. Up to Arrochar, then to Inverary. Thankfully, there were some dry spots, so I could try to get used to Ruby. Oh, my arse was wet too. 🙁
At Inverary, I chose to head towards Dalmally, however, heading towards Connel there after. Good plan. Until we got caught behind a queue of traffic. Ok, let’s go round the old road loop after Benderloch. But, Ed didn’t tell me, he just indicated and went left at the roundabout. Right. Follow. I’ve driven that road once, the other way. Mud, gravel, the lot. It’s not the kind of road that you want to take a brand new bike around.
Ed, typically made great progress; I didn’t.
By the time I caught up with him, because he’d stopped; he had removed his helmet, snood off, ear plugs out, jacket off. Jumper on, ear plugs in, jacket on, snood on, helmet on, just I came round the corner! Pfft.
Petrol light came on. I was surprisingly relaxed about it. However, that was probably because I knew I wasn’t far from Glencoe. There’s only about 20 miles in reserve, apparently. I cut it even closer the next evening.
Ed suggested we went to our favourite restaurant for dinner. By this time I was still soaked, couldn’t contemplate doing anything but go home. I had a blast. It wasn’t the best of conditions to pick up the bike, however, I still had a stupid grin on my face.
Let the adventures begin.