The sun was shining brightly this morning. Half the population would be indoors watching the royal wedding and the other half would be watching the football. My personal interest in both being zero, it was a good day to go for a ride. The roads here in Galloway, where I live, are hardly plagued with traffic at any time, but today I would have them all to myself.
The TDM is in the garage waiting to go for an MoT and service next week, so I wheeled out the Guzzi: a 1979 V50. For non-Guzzisti, this is a compact lightweight 500cc v-twin. It has all the good old bits - air cooling, carburettors, twin shock suspension - and all the worthwhile modern bits - electric start, Bosch electronic ignition and disc brakes. No ECUs, no catalytic converters, no Bluetooth. It handles brilliantly and sounds like a proper motorbike.
Past the ruins of Dundrennan Abbey, through Kirkcudbright, with fishing boats at the quay and yachts bobbing at the pontoons. Over the river, down the west side of the bay, through Borgue and Kirkandrews to the Carrick shore. A traditional looking schooner was lying offshore, at anchor in the lee of the Isles of Fleet. Then inland to Gatehouse, and a steep climb up the Laurieston road, looking across the Fleet Valley to the high hills in the distance. Over the high moors, then down through woodland to Laurieston. Up the west side of Loch Ken to New Galloway, then down the east side to Castle Douglas. Over the hills to Dalbeattie to fill up my tank with some decent petrol, then home. About 100 miles.
What a day. Sunshine, blue sky, new green leaves on the trees, white lambs in the fields, bluebells and wild garlic on the roadsides, intense yellow gorse on the hillsides, and a red Italian v-twin to tie it all together
I think I was probably right to miss the royal wedding.