Traverse 06 - Page 83

The large white building loomed out of the dusk as I passed. My bike was giv- en shelter for the night in a wine-cel- lar alongside a flashy red Ducati, owned by a German couple who were also travelling through France. I hope it didn’t feel intimidated (the Ducati, I mean.) I then headed to the hills and found the prettiest place ever for lunch. The outside dining area un- der the trees overlooked a lake. Little flowers from the trees dropped into my rosé wine and on to the plate of whitebait who looked surprised to be showered by the tiny yellow petals. The charming waitress replaced my half drunk glass of wine as it had flow- ers in it. “This could go on all afternoon” I thought dreamily as I finished off with homemade alcoholic ice-cream. I stayed nearby and explored this quietly soft area, the Parc du Pilat which led me all the way to Lyon. After a night at a Formule 1 hotel, I had a superb day with my daughter whose meeting lasted only two hours leaving us the rest of the day to eat, drink and talk our way around the ma- jestic city. I wobbled my way to the Enfield mechanic and explained the problem. The work couldn’t start until the morn- ing so I asked about nearby accommo- dation. After a phone call to his part- ner, I was whisked off in the owner’s motorcycle racing sidecar to his home an hour’s ride out in the country. “This’ll be fun”, I thought as I climbed in with my overnight stuff. We tore along the dual carriageways and through the underpasses of Lyon with my nose inches away from the car in front. Suddenly Francois would dodge out and overtake and I found I was gripping my bag with terror. My early smile became a grimace of fear and my eyes widened as I read the makers’ marks stamped on the car ex- haust pipes, so close and near the road surface was I. I’m not easily scared but I was ter- rified, laughing insanely as one does on a theme park ride you wish you hadn’t gone on when it’s too late to get off. He probably misinterpreted my screams as enjoyment and cranked up the speed. I was glad when this fair- ground ride stopped in a village heav- en knows where; road signs had just TRAVERSE 83 been a blur. He and his partner lived in a very large garage. With them re- side dozens of motorbikes, an old car and a St. Bernard dog. The motorbikes were a mixture of makes, some of them prototypes and all of them unique or rare. He and Adele raced at local circuits on Sun- days and were building a new outfit. Good for them but I’ll go slowly on my Enfield, thank you! They were very kind and I had a great evening with them, looking at all the bikes. Back at the workshop the following morning, after driving more sedately in Adele’s car, I learned that a com- plete new steering head stock bearing had to be sent from Paris. Concerned about taking advantage of their hospitality YZ[Hۙ\Y]Y\H[HB[^\ˈ^H]Y\H\[\YHB[YH\Y\[H\[]YYH^H][KBZYH[H\HYBHYوH]H[^HZB\Z[\Z\Y HX\Y\[B]][ۈ[^YY]\B܈YH^\[\]ݙ\[H]\