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Balance Stories from the Crypt

Started by George_balance, 06/07/22 - 14:51:29

Previous topic - Next topic


Chapter One
(Yo Adrian, I did it!)

Working in the company day in, day out. Not having a motorcycle. Envying other people's motorcycles. The fat van driver came in. How on earth he rides a motorcycle with a belly like this? Can he even make a turn? I wondered.

-Hi John!

-Oh, hi George!

Yada yada yada, chit chat started.

-Oh, my friend's brother is selling the Varadero.

-Really?      I said halfheartedly.

-He gives her for 1400 pounds.

My left eye woke up. The right one thought that there is no possibility for a 1400£ Varadero to be in any respectable condition so it continued it's sleep.

-She is in perfect condition. My friend is a strait up guy. His word is guaranty.

My right eye woke up too.

-Really?? Oh, if that's true I'll buy her right now.

-She is in Parga though.    (That's 200 miles and 3.5 hours away from where I leave.)

Shoot. Again, if she is in worthy condition for 1400£ she may justify the trouble.

I took the Monday off. I lied to my girlfriend that I'll be at my uncle's village. On Sunday I took the bus and went to Parga. On Monday morning I looked at the motorcycle. Oh my god! She looks respectable! She looks kind of pretty too. Oh holly mother, what a behemoth she is. Will I manage the test ride without a fall? Without embarrassing myself? I never rode something this big or heavy.

Test ride went very well. It was feeling like a heavier transalp with the handlebars more to the front in comparison. Nothing scary or intimidating. I was surprised. For a beast looking bike she rode quite tamed.

I checked the motorcycle with whatever knowledge I had, which was zero. In fact, I pretended that I was checking the bike. The only thing I really checked was the light bulbs.

-The rear left turn signal is not working.      I said happy with my discovery.

-Oh, I checked everything except the lights!    Said his mechanic.

- I forgot to check the lights for Christ!      He continued.

- I fixed it. The motorcycle is ready for your travel back. It even has fresh engine oil.

Moments later I was a smiley face on a XL1000V ready to return home. Oh my, I did it!

(It may be continued...)

The Prodded Dog

Nice one! keep us posted.
The Prodded Dog
I can still do all the things I could when I was 21, but now it is with less teeth.


Chapter Two
The frozen detour

It was around 11:00 am now and a light drizzle began to fall. I managed to buy rain pants and I wore them immediately together with my hiking raincoat. I found a promising cafeteria and I ordered Eggs Benedict and coffee. It was the most delicious, sense awaking breakfast I had in my life! I was delaying hoping the rain will lighten up. The rain however showed no signs of boredom. I have to go.

Now I am a smiley face on my newly acquired XL1000 returning home. There is one small detail though. As a car driver I used to the luxury of the google maps. Any slight doubt, any thought for possible traffic and the stupid smartphone is on. Alas, there is no phone holder on the Varadero. Ok, no problem. I'll follow the road signs. How hard can it be? After all I was born in an era where the mobile phones where known only by major bankers.

A turn here, a turn there and suddenly I'm on the old country road instead of the highway. "Never mind." I thought. After all what better road for the XL than a country road. Let's go.

The twisties slowly but effectively began to baffle my sense of orientation. The weather was a charm, little coolness just to keep you brisk. The nature wonderful, and the sunlight was a painter's inspiration. Mountains full of green and brown colors. Smell of moist soil and wet leafs. Some weak rain here and there incapable of comfort disturbance.

I was passing one village after another. Some had very promising names. "Fairy", "Basil", "Crystal Water Spring", "Golden Dawn", "Fairy Tale" and the like. I couldn't resist. I had to visit at least one or two. I turned towards "Fairy Tale". The road became single lane wide. Potholes and gravel all over the place. Thank god I'm on a Varadero.

I saw three locals in the entire village. The youngest one must be 80. They looked at me as if they had to see a visitor since the fall of the Berlin wall. I waved my hand. They waved back. God, those villages are dying, I thought. They will become ghost villages, with houses doomed to decay and destruction from the rain and the wind.

The road was leading to the next village and then the next, and then the next one. The scenery was one of the most beautiful I have seen in my life. It was like it sprang out from the Tolkien's world, the Hobbiton or the land of the elves or something. I was thinking how lucky I am that I "lost" in those villages. I will remember them for years and years. After that pleasant detour feeling like Maria running in the fields of "The Sound of Music" film somehow I ended up on the highway again. That's it, I will be home in a jiffy I thought...

The clouds became darker. Rain started again. My new helmet's visor is foggy. The only way to keep him clear is to have him slightly open. I'm going with 60 to 70 miles and the rain hits my fingers like a whip. The road slowly is gaining altitude. As the altitude rises, the temperature drops. Long gone the brisk coolness. The coolness now is bitchy. I start to sing inside my helmet just to soften the discomfort. My body starts to shiver a little.

Sky now is a complete dark gray, or should I say a "light black" if there is such a thing. Rain starts to seep through my hiking raincoat. I can feel the moist on my forearms. It's not a biker's jacket after all. No gloves under the seat. Passing tunnels again and again. There must be around 50 of them in the route. Tunnels are protecting me for a few seconds from the weather but in each exit the weather is worse than the entry. Amongst all that, I have to stop at my country's frequent road tolls, open my raincoat, take out the wallet, pay, put the wallet back, close the raincoat and move on. Ridiculously easy as it sounds you don't enjoy it, especially when you are wet and cold. (As all the bikers know.)

Rain stopped. But it wasn't for the better. Snow replaced her. Good god snow in April? Snow in the middle of April in Greece? You waited for me to buy a motorcycle to make a joke on me? The whip on my fingers from the snow now is truly painful. My body is shivering uncontrollably. I start to worry that my fingers will frostbite. I'm singing louder inside my helmet in an effort to warm myself and distract my mind. Soon I run out of lyrics. I have a lousy lyric memory. I started singing songs we were learning in the mandatory army service. I reminded myself that I was a brave, unbreakable MP (military police) officer as the drill instructors used to say to us. An MP never breaks, no matter what. Good lord give me strength.

A can't bear it anymore. A have to take a break. I will stop to the next city for a cup of warm coffee. I saw the sign for "Kozani" and I took the exit immediately.