IoM – 2009-05-15

Friday came.

Up early, feeling a little tired (after a heavy night out with the Swedish contingent…. The Bloody Marys were excellent). Gave the bike a (very) quick wash and trundled off to Triumph to get a new rear tyre. That was all fixed, so I gave it some berries up Chigwell High Road, past an annoying blue BMW 5 series that inconsiderately pulled out in front of me. Which turned out to be an unmarked police car… An apology and a few “Yes Sirs” later I topped up with sans plombe and headed home to pack. Everything fitted in the tank bag, which was nice. Or rather, anything that didn’t fit in the tank bag got left behind.

JRC called at 13:30 as promised and we departed – me from home, him from work.

M25 was its usual miserable, lane-hogging self… But I soon arrived at the car park formerly known as the M1. Promptly got a soaking, but only for about 5 minutes – up ahead it looked a lot brighter, and the traffic eased up as well. So it was a fairly easy run up to junction 19. Just after joining the M6, I spied a red bike behind, which conveniently turned into John. How good was that? Parked up at Corley Services for fuel and comfort, which was a welcome break ™, and it was sunny! It wouldn’t last….

Batted on up to Liverpool (cue dodgy haircuts and moustaches). John expertly guided us through the more salubrious outskirts to the Liver building, and the port next door, with time to spare. The rain came with a vengeance while we were waiting for the ferry. Doh.

The ferry was populated by stereotypical scousers, who were drunk and loud, and stereotypical eastern Europeans who didn’t understand the concept of “No Smoking”.
John managed to pull a young-un. About 4 or 5, and bike mad. She was quite funny. Her dad kept apologising to us! Time passed with the help of crisps and beer, and we were soon disembarking onto a dark, but dry Isle of Man. Had a bit of a misty ride down to Balladuke farm, near Ballabeg. John and Elaine were very welcoming with tea and a beer! We were pretty knackered so it was off to bed.

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