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Supporting appealmobile on his world travels

Friday, 3 April 2015

I set off last week on the Triumph and got as far as I did a month ago when I broke down, with what I thought was a burnt out clutch. The real cause of the smoking engine was in fact the alternator which is now cinderised. I returned home, sorted the magneto out on the Cagiva and set off once more. It was a blessing in disguise as it was my second attempt to call in on Mark Muirhead, but he has been having a few issues after moving house and it wasn't the best of times to visit. I instead headed for Ben Carley in Denbigh, in North Wales.

I went the long way round on a cold and often wet day. Preston, Liverpool and then Wales. I have never ridden this bike on a reserve tank before so had no idea what the distance I had, when the main tank was empty. I found out very quickly when I went onto reserve along the A55 and missed the only services on the opposite carriageway. I ran out only two miles futher on at the Travellers Inn. The manager found his lawnmower can that contained a couple of pints and I set off again after updating Ben where I was. I figured I might get to Ben and fill up again but no. Only half a mile away I ran out. Ben was great and came down to run me to the petrol station, but on returning to fill up it wouldn't start again.

We left the bike to go and enjoy a pint and a chat. Ben is one of those guys who just makes you want to go that extra mile. Full of enthusiasm for what I do which makes you want to go further. Ben was born to Liverpool parents but has lived most of his life in Ruthin, a town I know so well from my cycling days. Nestled in the shadow of the two hardest hill climbs for cyclists in North Wales, the Horeshoe pass and the Bulk, there is not much there except for Ruthin (pronounced Rithin) Castle where I used to take people by coach for medieval banquets. I spent an hour with Ben who is an accountant, but was conscious that his kids were down with cold and as I was late, decided to call an end to the meet. I knew I would see Ben on Sunday, as I had been given a ticket for the big football game on Sunday and Ben is a memeber of the football forum I am a member of.

Bens passion for football and Liverpool, puts me to shame and I have been watching for half a century. Ben ran me back to my bike and insiusted on staying with me till I fixed the bike, as he was prepared to give me a lift to my friends in Prestatyn if I failed. I chased Ben, with the promise that if I failed I would call him, but an hour later I had the bike running again and raced on to Prestatyn, 20 miles away, with headlights that were still running on candle power, to see another friend who I have known for nearly fourty years.

Ben and his mate and me at the pub before the big game

I have spent the week doing some gardening at my friends and earning some cash to replace my alternator on the Triumph. I say some gardening, but it was more substantial and resulted in filling a skip to the top with vegetation. Imagine how I felt after finishing and realising I couldn't get my bike out and past the parked skip. Hopefully the collect today so I can go and retrieve it

But the week was wonderful doing what I do best and at my mates Robs. A lot of digging cutting and clearing which has set me up for the repair of the Triumph and a chance at the ferry to Spain.

I have known Rob many years and we are on the same wave length politally and humour wise, so we spend many hours laughing at various political characters and policies. That's not to say we take it lightly, but we'd be suicidal if we took it too seriously.

Rob is a Gurdjieffian in philosophy as I am to some extent. Practice is a different matter though, as we sleepwalk our way through life. Rob and his wife live in bungalow land in Prestatyn although Robs house is a semi two story. It's really a nice place in spite of that and there's a couple of good pubs to alternate in visits that at least keeps it a bit interesting. It is also within reach of my favourite place; North Wales and Snowden and not to mention Anglesea where I grew up in the summers.

As mentioned I made a mistake while working and couldn't get my bike out, but eventually did and returned home to prepare the Triumph for the Spanish sectyion of the ride

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