A Light In The Black….

18 Feb


Monday night. A fabulous evening at Stanwick with lots of ‘up for it’ dancers who (despite their own personal doubts and misgivings) are actually starting to get it. Great class from Gordon.

Gordon, Ali and I lock up without tripping the alarm. I suit up and am back on the motorbike. Twenty yards up the road the entire electrics on the bike die. Subsequent investigation turns up a wire that has worn through on the frame, which I then manage to break. Half an hour later and some blood loss (caused by stabbing myself with a screwdriver while trying to strip insulation) I have repaired the broken wire (after a fashion) and replaced the fuse.I have also met a very chatty gentleman called Martin and now know most of his life history, his medical ailments and divorce woes. The bike starts and I have lights. Hurrah!

I stop for coffee to calm my nerves. The lash up falls apart and I have to rebuild it. I head off, holding the battery on with my right leg. Just before the Oundle turn the lights fail, abruptly plunging me into stygian darkness at about fifty miles an hour. I can see nothing, and the fact that the LED lights on the dash are finding enough power to dazzle me isn’t helping.

I manage to brake gently to a stop before I run into the central reservation that I know is there somewhere lurking and waiting to pounce. I do the last couple of miles running dark like a scene from a Bond movie. I expect at any moment to be attacked by helicopters and men abseiling from the sky. Or, at the very least, squirrels and the barn owl that I know hangs out on the corner waiting for unlucky motorcyclists.

On arriving at the front door, I find that, upon parking the bike, that the battery (somewhat precariously attached to avoid breaking the somewhat Heath-Robinson wiring and secured, as previously mentioned, by my leg) has ceased to be attached to the bike, precariously or otherwise. I get the push bike out, pump up the slightly deflated tyres and cycle off (still wearing motorcycle gear, but having, this time, removed my helmet) in search of the battery before someone runs it over. Fortunately, I find this lying in the road about a quarter of a mile away.

Today, armed with a soldering iron, I fix the recalcitrant wiring. The battery, sadly, has not survived its 30mph journey to the tarmac and subsequent deceleration. It may, however, have just enough juice for a trip to get a new one.


Find out more at www.timhodgson.org

(“A Light in the Black”? Possibly the best track ever by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow” – catch the synth & guitar duel)


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