Coming down the M6 motorway from the north last night, peering through the dark and the rain, dodging the middle lane hoggers, I got to thinking about a particular journey way back in the mists of time .....
Nearly 30 years ago my Dad and I went touring France with a friend of his on two motorbikes, Dad's 500cc twin Suzuki and the friend's 1200cc Honda Goldwing. We had been right down to the South of France and back, mostly in wonderful hot weather, but got caught in a torrential downpour on the way back up through central France and all got soaked to the skin. Dad got really badly chilled and although he made it back across the channel he woke the next morning in St.Albans, just north of London, in no fit state to ride.
This left us with a big problem. He couldn't ride his bike and even if we could book a train journey, getting the bikes to the station would be a challenge in itself. We couldn't risk waiting for him to improve because it might be days before he got better which would cost a lot in hotel fees. Then we decided on our solution!
At the grand old age of fifteen, underage, with no driving licence and no insurance, riding at 80 or 90 mph all of the 400 miles home to Glasgow I rode Dad's bike while he sat on the back of his mate's!
Boy did we get a row from my Mum when we got home.