Little things can make all the difference. A mate phoning up and saying “coming out for a beer?” can change a shit day into a good one, a colleague at work doing something that makes your life just a little easier can change your whole view on the day. On the way back from work the other day a little thing might well have saved my life. I was “making progress” , as an English bike cop might say, through my favorite bit of twisty road…
The sun was out, the sky was blue, the bike was beautiful and I just flew! (sorry....but thank the gods for small mercies, it could have been "and i needed a poo")
A blind bend approached and I realized that something wasn’t quite right, I slowed down to a legal speed and then I realized what was wrong and slowed some more. As I came round the bend, there, just past the apex, was a tractor with a plow on the back. If I had been going at my normal rate of knots I would have had to try to go round it, and, seeing as a lorry was coming up the other side of the road that wouldn’t have been an option. Best case scenario would have been a trip through a hedge into a field and hope for the best. However, thanks one little thing none of the nightmare scenarios came to be, so the question is, what was it, what saved my life?
It was my nose!
As I was approaching the corner I started to smell diesel fumes, and they got stronger and stronger as I got closer. Now, it could have been a lorry laboring up a hill, but there wasn’t a hill so it wasn’t that and it wasn’t the right smell. Lorries, even under load burn cleaner than farm machinery, they don’t have the same quality of fumes belching out and so a tractor or something like it had to be the guilty party. So how did I know it was just around the corner? Well that is because the fumes got stronger as I got closer, they had not had time to dissipate and so the heavy smoker had to be close by. It is not the first time that my nose has saved me, many times the smell of diesel has been the alert I have had for a possibly slippery roundabout or corner, where an overfilled tank has overflowed onto the road, and I am sure it won’t be the last.
Your nose is not there just to save you having an “ouch” moment, it can also enhance your ride out immeasurably. The smell of a BBQ, freshly cut grass, wild garlic on the side of the road or just clean fresh air; they are all part of a great ride and having the chance to experience those things is just another little thing that makes motorcycles the wonderful form of transportation that we love.
And now I am off out to get the bike ready for the first track day of the year. The sun is out, the sky is blue…ok no I won’t do it again, but I bet you by Thursday we will be back to freezing conditions and rain. Still it’s a track day and they are always fun…no prizes for guessing what next week’s blog is going to be about.