Ex-Grand Prix legend turned superfast roadtester Niall Mackenzie meets a very nice man... and Gordon F!@KING Ramsay!
In these days of incessantly getting ripped off and pathetic customer service I have a happy tale to report.
Fearful of breaking down then getting stranded in the middle of nowhere on some freezing winter’s night, for many years, I have faithfully renewed my RAC ‘get you home’ membership. Like many insurance products I find you never need them until you don’t have them, so sometimes signingup can actually prevent you from having a problem in the first place. As much as I mistrust the insurance industry I have been a long-term believer in this logic, especially as my pricey personal accident policies never leave my filing cabinet from one year to the next.
Anyway, my secret fantasy with the RAC was that one day I would have an unfixable break down in Inverness on a cold, wet day and then have to be chauffeured home to the Midlands with me up front and my bike on the back of a nice warm Iveco transporter. I figured even if that only ever happened once every ten years the annual premium of £80 (and wifey is included too) would have been a useful investment. Admittedly there has always been a nagging doubt in my mind that the deal was probably too good to be true and should a breakdown occur I would be going nowhere until my pants were lowered and a credit card handed over. I know that sounds bad (or good) but you know what I mean. Well read on because this time I bring only good news.
On returning from the Ducati 1198 launch, just as I was approaching the exit of the Gatwick’s long term car park the front suspension on my Mercedes Vito Van decided to collapse onto the off-side front wheel. My orange RAC card said I was covered for any vehicle so I called the number.
Within forty-five minutes my van was on the back of a truck and I was in a Vauxhall Corsa loan car on my way home. Five days later my van was dropped off and the loan car was picked up with nothing to pay except a very reasonable £150 for repairing my suspension. Recovery experts Westbourne Motors from Haywards Heath handled the whole operation and were nothing but polite, helpful and very efficient throughout the process. And I’ve been telling everyone about the amazing experience. It’s just a pity that value for money and being looked after is a surprise these days and not the norm. Lets hope the up side of the credit crunch is that everyone tries harder to up their game.
Anyone with Scottish blood and affiliation to Glasgow Rangers will always get my vote, but no matter what your opinion is of Gordon Ramsay he’s as mad on bikes as you and me.
For the last two years he has visited Whitham and myself on our stand at the NEC for a chat on what’s hot and what’s not at the show. I have only ever seen him ride Harleys on telly but he tells me there is more than one Ducati in his shed. He really is a top bloke but I was disappointed not to get F worded at least once.
All that’s now left is for me to wish all of TWO’s readers a very happy 2009 and if, like I have in the past, you do happen to find yourself crawling around naked in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve try not to get frostbite on your caber.
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk