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Home Ren's Biking Blog

One Of Those Weekends

Blog Date - 18 April 2017

Good Friday was spent sheltering from the rain. Rather than tidying up or doing ANY of the million DIY tasks that my man-cave urgently requires I watched endless Youtube videos, ate all the wrong food and vegged out in front of the TV watching awful made-for-tv B movies. I don't know why I have days like these. I know they're no good for me and yet there I was doing it. The human condition is a ridiculous contradiction.

Saturday was better. I went out for a decent 2 hour walk, the sun shone a little and while tidying up I found a big red thing on the floor of my house too. Sharon tell's me this is called a "carpet". I've seen a "carpet" at other people's houses but I never realised my house had one beneath the old bike boots, discarded pizza boxes, toolboxes, tents, CBF125 parts, drill bits, motorcycle magazines, oil containers and computer spares. I'm told I have a "vacuum cleaner" too that will suck up all the toenail clippings and hairs off this "carpet" but I'm scared to use it in case it eats my rusty washer collection that lives among the debris of my "men should not live alone" existence.

A hotel room filled with bike gear strewn about all over the placeIf my hotel room looks like this imagine what my house is like...

Sunday brought rain. Lots and lots of rain. It also brought Sharon to my house looking a little damp but smiling. The ride for the day included a trip to Rawtenstall where the rain came down ever harder. Through Blackburn I got us both lost and made a rather large motorcycling mistake that I have not forgiven myself for. I'm pleading the 5th amendment here, that's all I'll say on the matter. We went to Rivington to meet a friend. Hmmm. He decided it was too wet to go motorcycling so Sharon and I returned to my hovel. On an otherwise wet and miserable day one thing went right - I managed to create a pasta dish that tasted somewhat akin to real food.

A soaking wet motorcyclist in rain gearJust another wet Bank Holiday weekend.

Bank Holiday Monday saw us riding off to Wales with hope in our hearts and the weather at least suggesting today may be merely damp as opposed to swimming pool wet. Things were going well with just the hint of rain here and there as we approached Chester. We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea at Cafe Fresh on the A56 then continued to the other side of Wrexham. I'd just turned off onto a single track lane when Sharon peeped her horn at me from behind.

She's not well. Nausea and hot shivers are washing over her in waves. 

This is a situation I have pondered and worried about for years. Sharon is unwell, too unwell to ride and yet she in not so unwell as to declare this an emergency requiring assistance from people who use blue lights and sirens. What do I do? What does anyone do? What is the protocol? 

Do I stick her on the back of my bike and run her home - hoping she won't puke in her helmet and down my back? If I do this then how do we recover her motorcycle which is 40 miles from her house? Is it safe to leave it parked here on the outskirts of Llay for an unspecified length of time? Do I leave her here while I go find somewhere that may offer sanctuary for recovery? Maybe a local B&B can accommodate us while her body sorts itself out? I'll have to find such a place, take her there and then walk or get a taxi back to her bike to also get that to the B&B. There's the costs of doing this and the difficulty in finding a suitable place in an area I know little about. 

Oh god what do we do?!? What would I do if I were on my own and took ill? I am seeking your suggestions and guidance for such events please. I understand that if it's a heart attack I may need an ambulance but what if it's just the shivers and shakes, the queesy tummy or man-flu? You'll likely be just fine in a few hours or maybe a day or so but right now you know that being on the road makes you a danger to yourself and others. What do you do if it's someone else? It could be your partner of someone you ride with. 

We park the bikes and take a very gentle walk. Sharon stops from time to time to wretch and heave but nothing spews forth. After an hour or so she declares she's fit enough to attempt the journey home. We successfully navigate the hour long return leg without mishap or vomit filled helmets. At her house however Sharon collapses onto the settee so I put her bike away. 

I'm not a nurse. I manage to wrap her in a duvet then do what any brave, heroic, doting and caring boyfriend would do - run away back to my place. I believe she has survived working on the principle "no news is good news". 

Sharon at Miserey in FranceSharon has been to Miserey before.

This has been quite a negative post but I want it to be read in a positive light. This weekend has not have delivered thrilling motorcycling in enchanting surroundings. It has failed in the laughing with friends department. There's been no revelations or life affirming experiences. It has been soggy, unhealthy, disappointing and underwhelming. It could have been worse. It could have been a lot lot worse. Most importantly we are both here. Second most importantly both bikes are fine. There'll be other weekends, some of which will be great and others will be awful. 

Just ride the waves, keep smiling as you do.

Annoyingly the sun has come out. Keep smiling...through gritted teeth...keep smiling...


We'd really like to hear your suggestions regarding what to do if someone falls not-quite-so-seriously-ill while on the road. We await your comments...nervously.

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Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
Commiserations and I hope Sharon is feeling better.

In answer to the question - I don't have one. Except......

We have a joint Nationwide Flexplus bank account that, amongst many other benefits includes Britannia breakdown service. This has one very useful feature:

"If the only available driver cannot continue a journey because of illness or injury, we will:
• Provide a qualified driver to drive your vehicle and up to 7 passengers back to your home address in the UK; or
• Pay any extra costs to transport your vehicle, up to 7 passengers and luggage back to the UK as long as these costs are not higher than the market value of your vehicle".

Whether you would be able to use this service is a moot point but worth considering. And on further reading maybe it only applies when you're not in the UK......

Although the bank account costs £10 / month this is offset by 5% interest on amounts up to £2,500 held in it so the net annual cost is less than £50.
18/04/2017 15:19:52 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I have the same account Ian - for myself only. I did not realise the breakdown cover would cover illness. I shall take a closer look at the fine print. I have not had cause to use any of the covers provided thus far and I hope never to have to - but it's good to know it's there.

Good call
18/04/2017 16:07:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
From the Nationwide PDF...

"Supply a relief driver if the only able and legal
driver of the vehicle cannot continue a journey
because of illness or injury. Documentary proof
of the illness or injury must be supplied to us if
you are not to be charged for this service"

My concern is the documentary proof. If - as Sharon was - I am merely a bit sick or poorly would I need to bother a doctor at some point to prove I was ill? I fully understand why Nationwide require this otherwise I might be feeling a bit lazy and feign illness just to get a free ride home.

Still - it is worth knowing.
18/04/2017 16:13:44 UTC
Sharon said :-
I hate being the cause of spoiled plans. I love my bike time so it took a lot for me to admit defeat and abandon plans for the day.
I felt so sick I really had to muster everything to get myself and my bike back home safely. I have never been so grateful to come to a journeys end.
I think I am currently caught between a rock and a hard place. The pain due to my schwannomatosis as led me to high dose pain medication. It has helped ease the pain...but the side effects have been stacking up and I believe my sickness and dizziness etc the other day was due to the medication.
I did not take my meds yesterday and physically felt better but pain is straight back in there.
So I can be too sore to ride or too sick too. Argghh. Maybe I will find the balance. Maybe the upcoming surgery might help.
But as always accept the bad days and always remain grateful for the good.
18/04/2017 19:33:25 UTC
Stuart said :-
My Dad ( who's 87) had the same issue of balancing his medication. One drug caused side effects which needed another etc but the Dr's did get it right although it was frustrating while it was happening.

I hope they will get you sorted soon Sharon and you will be able to enjoy all the hot sunny days that are to come.

As for what to do with a sick riding partner I've fortunately never had the problem but my solution may well involve a mobile phone and a friend.


19/04/2017 05:52:06 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Another solution may of course to be to break down at the roadside (there are many components which may mysteriously fail / become disconnected) and get taken home by the breakdown truck. In my experience the breakdown services rarely actually try to fix bikes.


Although many years ago when I was an AA patrol in Birmingham I was the person always called to bike breakdowns (as no-one else had the foggiest) and often got them up and running again - although they were simpler machines in those days.
19/04/2017 09:32:39 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Blasted AA guys that fix things! Just when you thought you'd nobbled your motorcycle for a free, warm, dry and comfortable ride home some idiot in a yellow high viz jacket comes along and fixes your "issue". Dammit.

Sharon is booked in to go under the knife next week. Of course nothing is certain especially when it comes to the medical profession but we hope she can come off the meds. Only time will tell.

I have offered to carry out the surgery myself, saving a lot of pain and anguish on the waiting list and yet another trip to a hospital far far away. I promised to wash my hands and put a new blade into my Stanley knife but Sharon seems unwilling to take up my kind offer. Let's face it, removing a small lump hidden behind a rib is child's play compared to rewiring a CB250T or fitting a new camchain to a CD200 Benly.

I tried to help.
19/04/2017 15:43:13 UTC
Louisa said :-
There's nothing worse than feeling poorly when on the bike - that must have been scary. Glad you both were able to get home safely after a stop. Some types of medication can have dreadful side effects!
All the best for next week Sharon and I'm sure you'll soon be on the mend.x
23/04/2017 21:02:20 UTC
Sharon said :-
Thank you Louisa for your good wishes.
Fortunately last weekend was a ok weekend. Some pain but could still ride so had a glorious day out in Wales. So good bike fix before the op. We had lovely weather, gorgeous scenery and strangely very little traffic. So all in all a near perfect day. Loved it.
Hope you are still having fun yourself.


24/04/2017 13:25:56 UTC
Louisa said :-
So glad you were able to get out for a fab ride last weekend Sharon. It must have made you feel tons better! The pic is lovely - thank you! I wish I was nearer to places like Wales, the Lake District or Scotland. But a trip to the coast from home could be done in a day.
I'm now just about past the terrified stage and beginning to find out how therapeutic getting out on a bike can be!
I'm venturing a little further, just outside my comfort zone to places I would have said 'no way' to a few weeks ago. I rode to my Husband's work to meet him for lunch (my first destination) and it was very exciting to park up alongside the other bikes! I experienced a country (two way) road that I know and was surprised to find how cornering is easier on a bike compared with my car. Also did my first overtake of several cyclists on that road as well. All done safely and carefully with no hills involved - the roads are fairly flat around my area. Another 'first' was to refuel my little bike. I'm fortunate enough to be near to a 'pay at pump' station so no faffing about with leaving the bike and having to take your skid lid off! The stalling is now happening less depending on the gradient or how nervous I am!
I'll look forward to hearing about your next adventure!:)

24/04/2017 16:48:30 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Stuart,
Thanks for the well wishes. Glad your dad eventually found the right balance in the wibbly wobbly world of meds.
I have been juggling myself and hopefully will find what works for me. As in most things in life it's a balance thing ??
28/04/2017 09:27:19 UTC
Sharon said :-
Louisa,
Wahoo you go lady. Love to hear about your happy progress. If you can now fuel up there will be no stopping you.
We are lucky we have wonderful Wales to escape to for the day. Gives us townies a well needed nature soul lift.
28/04/2017 09:32:03 UTC
 

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