Having escaped a near-death experience at the hands of his wife a shaken James Whitham is planning his revenge. But not before witnessing a display of Spanish bin foraging...
Traditionally for anyone making a living out of motorcycles, especially if you’re involved in the racing of said devices, January is a quiet month. I had a couple of mag jobs organised for early Feb but instead of going cold-turkey and sitting out January without throwing my leg over a bike I decided to have a ring round and see if anyone was interested in a day out on trials bikes. Most of the top BSB riders have a trials bike in their garage these days because it’s a lot safer way of staying bike-fit than motocrossing is.Within 10 minutes on the blower I had a dozen enthusiastic amateur trials riders leaping into their vans and heading for Yorkshire from all points of the compass. Among them were Leon Haslam and his dad Ron (old enough to know better) Rob Mac and new Rizla Suzuki superbike signing Tommy Sykes. Now, when you think of trials riding you probably get a mental image of lycra-clad athletes with the skill and grace of ballet dancers coaxing their bikes up impossibly steep rock faces or perhaps defying gravity as they leap from one obstacle to another in an indoor event. Well forget all that. Imagine a load of monkeys on acid being let loose on bikes in my local woods and you get some idea of how the day turned out.With the exception of Rob Mac, who competes fairly regularly in club events, the rest of us were, quite frankly, pitifully bad. In the same way that your average Brit, when confronted with someone who doesn’t speak English, will just talk louder and a bit slower in an effort to be understood, your average road-racer when equipped with a trials bike will think he can get up and over any obstacle as long as he hits it fast enough and with the throttle wide open. Whichever way you looked there was someone submerged in a river, trapped underneath their bike, or trying to ride up a tree. All this without any injuries, in fact the only time I felt in any danger at all was when Andrea found out how much shit we’d dragged into the kitchen afterwards.It didn’t take her long to get her own back. A few nights later she played the most un-imaginative, crudest, but in the event very effective practical joke on me. Over the years we’ve laid many a trap for each other, what annoyed me about this one was the fact that I fell for something so basic. Much to her joy.We’d been sat one evening watching one of these ‘true crime’ type programs on the Discovery channel in which a woman had stabbed her abusive husband to death. During the break I made a trip to the downstairs toilet, and Andrea got up to make a round of toast. As she waited for the toast to...well...toast she decided it would be funny to try and scare her loving husband by jumping out at him on his way back from the bog. If you had asked me before if I would be taken in by such a basic ruse I would’ve laughed, but when this ‘thing’ leaped out from behind the kitchen door in the half light, screaming like a banshee and brandishing a butter knife over it’s head I nearly passed out. She thought it was the funniest thing that has ever happened in the world ever and set about telling everyone she knew. She liked it that much I think she even told a few people who she’d never met before.I’ll have my revenge though...I flew out to Spain recently for the launch of the new KTM LC4 range (see page 78) and ended up having a few shenanigans at the airport on the way home. As I checked in and put my kit bag on the scales the girl at the desk informed me that it was a couple of kilos over the limit. My options were to take something out of the bag or pay an excess charge. When I unzipped the bag I realised my riding boots were knackered anyway so I took them out of the bag. No sooner had I dropped the boots into a bin in the middle of the terminal a bloke in overalls who’d seen what was going on dived in after them like a tip-rat, pulls them out and walks off with them under his arm. So, next time you’re in Spain and you see a guy on a moped with blinged-up white racing boots you know what it’s about.
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