I am seated in the back garden, my left cheek resting on my hand, listening to the breeze rustling the leaves in the spinney which borders the property; dense, tall trees which have a habit of cutting out the sun as it slowly drifts westwards when it is low in the sky.
With rain predicted, I had been putting off taking the bike out. Somehow the equilibrium of life feels disjointed today. I have been reading Henry Miller’s classic travel book, The Colossus of Maroussi, but the lines aren’t registering, so I turn to the cellphone.
I have just read a post on Facebook about Sturgis Bike Rally 2023. Apparently, so far it is the wettest, coldest year experienced since 2010, but thousands of bikers have ridden across America to enjoy this most extraordinary of gatherings. I plan to be there next year, God willing.
Then there is one from the Real Lindum Colonia Chapter, my local Harley club. Today they rode to the pub owned by Guy Martin, the biker turned adventurer. The Marrowbone & Cleaver is located in Kirmington, Lincolnshire. Martin grew up in the village and bought the pub with his sister Sally a few years ago as he wanted to make it a home- from-home for locals and guests. I’ve never been, but apparently the food is good, as is the atmosphere. I forgot about the ride, which is why I am in the garden.
I have just had fitted some mini grenades on the 2013 Harley 883 Sportster I bought recently, plus new mirrors and grips. No doubt the noise will annoy the neighbours and put the pigeons in a merry old flap. Oh, and the Ducati XDiavel S which arrived last Saturday. I’ve only been for a brief ride. Today would have been a nice day for a ride and visit to a biker café. I should have done that this morning, as now spots of rain are landing on the keyboard. I don’t mind riding in the rain, but when you have a new bike, and it is all lovely and shiny and clean, the last thing you want to do is pick up road crud. Is that a poor excuse? Tomorrow’s weather doesn’t look any more promising, but then I will be in London to cover a hotel review.
The Wesley Camden Town lies within the reaches of the famous Camden Lock, a market filled with a multitude of treasures along the Regent’s Canal. Streets and alleyways normally are filled with live music, cute cafés, and the like. The new boutique hotel is housed in a chapel dating back to 1824, and the total refurbishment of the interiors made use of sustainably-sourced materials and thus saw the transformation of the building into a contemporary, chic hotel with 38 bedrooms. I’ll report back on my findings, as should you ever find yourself in London, perhaps visiting The Bike Shed, it might make for a lovely stopover.
Located in Camden Town Conservation Area, it’s good to see the owners have gone to great lengths to retain its historic façade and finishings. Stylish design, warm colours and the latest technology in each bedroom make for an oasis of calm and comfort amidst the busy urban street life of Camden Town. It’s a pleasant 19-minute walk from King’s Cross Station where I’ll be rocking up Sunday. I think it’s where I need to be to retune my brain.
Life is full of ups and downs. At the moment I’m in one of those bloody awful bubbles. It’s been a chaotic week, with plumbers and plasterers and window cleaners making merry hell as I have tried to concentrate on work. The exciting news, however, is that I am currently working with my web designer on a new blog site/social media/YouTube channel, to be titled thegonzobiker. Someone asked me what ‘gonzo’ meant. I asked if they had read Hells Angels, the seminal work by Hunter S. Thompson? They hadn’t, and had never heard of the author either. Ah well. When we are up and running, which will be very soon, I’ll explain more about the reasoning, as The Bikers Nod morphs into thegonzobiker…
As I say, there are good days, and there are shit days. Roll on tomorrow…
(Sorry, no pictures of the Ducati yet…)