Ducati’s are beautifully styled but are about as dependable as Captain Schettino, and as reliable as catholic birth control. My bike looked pretty precarious this morning – it was overloaded, it had been badly packed and repacked (twice).
I try not to regard success and failure as absolute states. Instead I like to think in terms of gradations; low expectations make success easier to perceive. As I type this blog I am sitting in the Three Magpies pub, near Heathrow, watching Arsenal v Chelsea on the box. The volume is most impressive – the dial must go up 11, if not 12. Our bikes have been left in the capable hands of Kevin at James Cargo, and are hopefully being lovingly bubble-wrapped and crated as I type.
Thoughts have been constantly playing on my mind. My bike would fail to start this morning, or would simply be unrideable with all the baggage. It would be hard to dress failure to reach Leigh Delamere services as anything but abject failure. In the event the bike road perfectly – it was even confortable. It’s reassuring having your back resting against the two large bags that now occupy the passenger seat. The rear view mirror filled with the ungainly big red blobs that shows me that they’re still attached.
And now a pint or two and a bus to the airport awaits. I have fucked up – I have six bags to carry. But this is only a minor inconvenience. I am also swaddled in endless layers of clothes – people have ventured to the south pole wearing less. This is more of an inconvenience. I am hot and look like a dick, or a best, a very nervous bus passenger.
Tonight we fly to Shanghai. This is success to me. Our trip has finally begun.