Hard Ride 1: The Fouled Plug
Once upon a time I was a learned rider and restricted to a 250. After 3 months or so on a Yamaha XS250 Dog I finally moved up to something a bit better - a Suzuki RG250.
250ccs of two-stroke power! It was great: really light, handled properly and when you gave it some you got a kick in the pants when the power finally chimed in.
Anyway she was a great bike and I did 10,000 miles on it - commuting and chasing my old man's GSX1100 around.
One day Dad had heard that a bunch of guys on old classic bikes were doing the Napier-Taupo, re-creating the old mail run (which would have been a real mission when those old bikes were new). And so we headed off with a few other guys.
Once out in the Esk valley the poor old RG started to miss a bit with one cylinder cutting out every now and again. I stopped and told the old man about it. His suggestion - keep the revs up and maybe she'd clear her lungs a bit. So off we went again.
Almost as soon as we started heading up into the hills the weather started to pack it in and pretty soon it was raining quite heavily. Now we come to the interesting bit: I'd enter a wet slippery corner pulling 7,000rpm on a 125cc and all of a sudden the other cylinder would kick in and I'd be right in the good old power band - interesting all right.
I managed to stay on the bike and we got up on the tops where we promptly hit both road works and fog. After a while I had no choice but to lift my visor to see and then my glasses started to get all wet and fogged up - great stuff.
Never mind, we battled on and eventually met up with the old bikes and stopped to have a look at them before battling the weather back home. Maybe not one of the "hardest" rides I've ever done but to a newbe it was a bit of an eye-opener and definitely an adventure. Still cracks me up when I think about that 2nd cylinder kicking in...