It's been 30 years since I've ridden a bike and here's what I've done so far on our motorcycling round-trip to Paris: knocked down the side stand a few times; fell off the bike, bruising both shin and hip; went on reserve (even though my bike doesn't have reserve); managed a wheelie (it's Honda C90!); and broken down.

This last happening has meant I've had to ditch my bike and ride pillion on my husband's for the remaining part of the journey. If you've missed this experience and wish to catch up (I did do well - I thought - considering my lack of recent riding experience) here are parts one and two of our trip.

Things can only get better

With all of what's happened so far in mind, I thought surely, things can only get better... I was beginning to wonder whether me breaking down was meant to be, as I truly felt I would not have dealt with riding into Paris – I would have had to park the bike somewhere and taken the metro in. I am used to London traffic on a bicycle whereas this was something else.

We finally arrived at our hotel in an ‘interesting’ part of town, but we were relieved to have finally got there. Other friends and family were already there to greet us - everyone but our daughter, Carly, who had travelled luxuriously by Eurostar that day but was still ‘missing in action’.  (I began to have traumatic flashbacks of our failed last attempt to meet up with her in Paris when Dave and Milky were setting off for the Heroes Legend ride to Dakar).  

Anyway, this time, we all had some means of communication with each other and so were finally all reunited, and marathon man had been sent off to bed in preparation for the next morning. Carly was in charge of organising us all to see our hero at various points along the marathon route, and a sterling job she did too.  

It all went well except we lost a few people the minute we left the hotel! The day was unexpectedly warm, which was lovely for us spectators but a bit of a shocker for the runners. Our boy did a good run (in 4 hours 34 minutes) – another proud parent moment.

Blue lights and unmarked cars

We had a celebratory meal and drink in a café/bar with some revelling rugby match spectators then marathon boy and his girlfriend Georgia went back to their digs. The rest of us headed back towards our hotel and found a lovely bar that had cocktails for 5 euros each and was playing some good music.

100 euros worth of cocktails later (!!) – there were a few of us – and we went to retrieve Carly’s phone from behind the bar where we’d given it in to be charged. Only the charger remained! Hissy fits and strops later, the local police arrived en masse – blue lights and unmarked cars included.

Imagine, if you will
One policeman had a fancy gizmo on his phone and was able to ascertain that Carly’s phone was just around the corner. Off they rushed with us in tow and in a split second the police were coming back up the street with the ‘thief’ and the phone. We had to agree to make a complaint in order to get the phone back so Carly and I then got an exciting blue-lighted speed chase around the streets to the nearest police station. Three hours later and the euphoria of cheap cocktails and feeling like we had been part of a scene from Spiral had worn off.

We eventually arrived back at our hotel after insisting that the police take us back – they had wanted to chuck us out in the pouring rain at 3am in the morning, not having a clue where we were...lovely French police hospitality.

So we waved goodbye the next day to our fellow marathon support team members and set off out of Paris, for our final trip home.

Comming soon, part four...

07/05/16         How I wish I could. I long for a Triumph motorcycle but my wife has given me a lifetime ban

Posted by Jane Newman
for Wemoto News on 05 May 2016 in Features

Edited By: Daisy Cordell



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