Summer has come and gone, and another biking season draws to a close.

Tomorrow, the big "Hoggin' The Bridge" event takes place nearby here, with one of the Severn Bridges closed to all except motorcycle traffic, and thousands of bikes making the crossing for charity. If the weather holds, we'll try to get there.

Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day, and my bike was booked in for its annual service. So, bright and early, I took it the 18 or so miles to the dealership in Bristol, and, after a nice cooked breakfast, I took out their Triumph Thunderbird Storm demonstrator, to fill the time.

I like cruisers, although due to lower back problems I've never owned one, and this one certainly didn't disappoint. I think I'm most attracted by their big, torquey engines, which appeal to the lazy side of my personality! The 1700cc parallel twin engine was really grunty, pulling nicely from little over tickover revs, right though to the legal speed limit. The exhaust note, through the optional louder pipes, was enough to make a grown man, old enough to know better, play silly games with the throttle, just to be able to listen to it. The handling was stable, and the seating position ticked all the boxes, with high wide bars, low wide pegs, and a big (wide) tank beween them.


After a brief stop at home, Janet joined me on her bike for the ride back to the dealers to collect my bike. As usual, the transition back to my own bike was a little unsettling, with its low bars, high pegs and narrow tank. But it felt great, with the latest Triumph engine remap on board, and the injectors balanced, and it was a pleasant ride home in the lunchtime sunshine.

To end the day, we took a (bus) trip to town, which, here in Weston-super-Mare, means the coast. After a pinball session on the pier, we retired to a recently opened sea front pub for dinner, and over fine Bath Ales beer and a nice little Shiraz, we watched the sun go down, and the pier lights come up, on the Bristol Channel.

We've lived in this town for well over 25 years now, and we've seen a lot of changes - not least a new pier, after the last one was badly damaged by fire. We've had a lot of fun here with friends over the last quarter century. Some have now gone, sadly, never to return. And many times, we've sat and watched as the sky gets dark, and made plans for the next biking season, or reflected on the last road trip, while as The Boss would say, that pier lights our carnival life on the water ...

Ride safe,