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MrFictions Playpen Of Doom

Just RIDE!

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Ahh, the Saturday of a long Bank Holiday weekend. There's some deeper story about Jesus dying and then coming back as a Zombie and rolling rocks around caves or something, but I like to think of it as just Time Off Work.

I even get paid for these Bank Holidays these days!

The forecast all weekend had been heavy rain, but last night a quick futile check showed sun for Saturday and Sunday! Holy shit, Batman!

I tried to round up some troops to come for a long ride somewhere. It struck me a few weeks ago on a blast with Kneedown Nutter that all I really do these days is commute to and from work. Short journeys that I try to make as much fun as possible, but since buying my new ZX9R I hadn't actually RIDDEN it properly! I still had chicken-strips at the edges of my tyres, and had only got my knee down very briefly a few times on this bike!

Nobody else was free, but I'd be buggered if I was going to do anything but take this opportunity to be on my bike. I had no idea where to go, but wanted a good few hours of constant riding. Short journeys are no good for superbikes, so it was about time I blew the Winter Cobwebs away! Also, I have a bike trip planned soon where we'll be riding right across the country, and I figured being sat on a bike with a riding postion similar to a monkey clinging to a wet rock would HURT after a while.

I scrapped the idea of closing my eyes and pointing at a map - I didn't even look at a map - I just jumped on and off I went...

Some of my favourite roads are from Bromsgrove - Stourbridge - Bridgnorth - Ludlow - Bewdley - Kidderminster and then home. The route is excellent, and really comes alive going from Stourbridge to Bridgnorth. This is where you start to hit some beautiful scenery, with a nice mix of tight twisty roads and 3 huge flat-out straights.

I was taking it a bit easy and just enjoying myself and getting to know the bike. I took the straights at Sensible Speeds because my Spidey Sense was tingling, but of course had loads of overtaking to do. Something I loved about my last ZX9R was it's overtaking ability. You just pull out, open the throttle and hang on for dear life! You can seemingly overtake any number of cars at warp speed well before hitting anything coming the other way! If you've never ridden a proper superbike you're missing speed that's so effortless and extreme your mind won't even be able to comprehend it! Mine still can't fully! It's stupid!

As it happens, this newer, lighter and more powerful '99 ZX9R likes to rear up in the first three gears and nearly made me soil my petticoat several times as I ended up looking at the sky unexpectedly!

From Bridgnorth there's one of my favourite roads ever heading towards Ludlow. It's a 'B' road, with loads of really tight bends and fast sweepers constantly for about 20 miles, and truly is awesome! The best bit about it all is that it's running through some of the most beautiful countryside you've ever seen. More than a few times I slowed to watch Buzzards playing about low in the skies above me. It was here I spotted a big-ass hill, and thought "I'll have some of that!".

I got to the end of the road and turned back towards Bewdley where I'd seen the hill. Apparently it's called Clee Hill, and some of my old pics with the hills in the background? That's where they were taken - but on a road quite a bit away from the main hill. I took a random turning through strange villages on a 'road' that was jusssssssssssst about wide enough to get one car down. I was laughing and telling myself that this was NOT sportsbike territory! The tiny strip of road that was there was chock-full of gravel and holes and stuff trying to kill me. I was just there for the views, though. I was looking for a place to pull over that would show the bike and the narrow road along with the hilly fields, but didn't have my decent camera anyway, and didn't really want to stop.

This lead me back onto my favourite road again, so I got to do all that again as I headed home down some fast roads.

An awesome day! It's been years since I just rode to nowhere. I shall try and do it more often!

And as an added bonus I came back via The Cloverleaf, scraping my knee good and proper with no effort at all. I then finally stopped at a supermarket to grab some hard-earned beer.

I then proceeded to walk around the place laughing because after 4 hours in the saddle it felt like someone had smashed me on each buttock with a sledge hammer (not David Rasche)! It didn't make much difference, because I looked the picture of Mentalness anyway, with marks all over my face from my helmet and a very inventive Keith Flint style hair do going on!

And those chicken strips ain't there no more, Pa!

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