Day Fifty One: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I sent an email to my friend Dave telling him that I would ride my motorbike up to Girona unless prevented by an ‘act of God’. In retrospect, I think that God must have hacked into Dave’s email account for he put on quite an impressive show whilst I drove my Suzuki up to Girona.

It was like one of those classic ‘Readers Digest’ stories.  My wife questioned my decision to take the bike saying the weather looked a bit dodgy.  I was really keen and argued my case. I think my parting words were “A bit of rain never hurt anyone”. If it had been a Reader’s Digest story I would have wandered off the motorway, been attacked by a bear, stitched myself up with dental floss and been found eleven days later by a park ranger walking his moose.

I was about ten minutes into my motorcycle ride when the sky went black.  I mean properly black.  Day turned to night.   Animals began to form male/female groups of two. Somewhere nearby a man began to build an ark. The rain began to batter me, doing its best to make its way through my leather Dainese jacket and Kevlar jeans.  The traffic was doing about 140kmh when the first hail stones struck.  I was in the outside lane cutting a Suzuki sized swathe through the rain when the first golf ball sized piece of ice hit me in the chest.  I gasped and let out a muffled yelp. It hurt. A lot.  The next piece of ice hit me in the thigh.  The Kevlar reinforced jeans were useless against the onslaught of hail.

I rolled off the throttle trying to make out the road ahead through the gloom.  My headlight was like a laser beam, displaying a road covered in marbles made of ice.  I was shocked at the sheer quantity of ice on the road. I was still doing well over 120kmh when the hail went from impressive, to bad, to completely outrageous.

Every car flicked on their hazard lights as I entered a patch that was incredibly thick with ice.  I did not brake for fear of starting a slide. I am not sure why, but I kept the throttle on and hid behind the tiny screen.  I wondered if the screen would stay intact, the ice was battering it really hard. My left hand had already taken three or four direct hits in the same spot when a jolt of pain tore its way from my hand up to my brain.  It had received another huge impact.  I took my hand off the bars and hid it behind the screen to let the pain subside before putting it back onto the handlebars, and exposing it to the oncoming hail. This was not going to well. But being a stubborn donkey I carried on.  I was aware of drivers staring at me out of their windows at me on the bike as I overtook them

I was yelling inside my helmet.  Random stuff. It was truly amazing.  Ice was pummelling my Arai helmet, making a terrible noise and I was roaring way, adrenalin was coursing through me. I was soaking wet, getting colder, but in a bizarre way, I was really enjoying myself.

The act of nature lasted about twenty minutes before I shot out from under an inky black blanket out into a blue sky.  It was like coming out of warp drive, to another part of the galaxy. I assessed where I had been hit.  I had quite a bit of pain in my hand, my thighs had taken quite a few impacts and my knees had also been subjected to the icy onslaught.  My visor was still intact and my screen had held up. I was grinning.  Happy.  Alive. Exhilarated.  I said my thanks for the show ‘meister’.  It was certainly biblical.

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