The rain had never really stopped all the way from Bakewell to Otley so when we arrived at Chateau Lamb the roads were wet and a bit greasy. It had been a long while since my last visit and it was my first on two wheels, Sue had mentioned earlier about the imposing driveway but I had shrugged off her concerns and blithely turned the heavily laden Blackbird into the entrance with a jaunty blip of the throttle and a downward gear change.................... EEEK!
Driveways designed for horse and cart have three surfaces. Two outer ones for the cart wheels and an inner strata of big knobbly stones designed to give Dobbin some grip for his iron shod hooves. Naturally the outer surfaces are the ones that car tyres use and have been worn down and have traces of grippy rubber left on them. The middle knobbly bit has green algy, oil from the sumps of delivery vehicles and frog poo!
Guess which one your Macam hero chose?
The first ten metres were accomplished through sheer good luck and adrenaline! I managed to get the bike stopped half way to the house without the use of brakes! Can any other biker reading this stop a fully loaded Honda Blackbird, complete with passenger, by using only wide eyes and clenched buttocks? I think not!
"Everything okay?" A query from my pillion.
"Get off " I squeaked through the intercom.......... "Carefully!",
With Sue following, I paddled the bike to the house, switched off, put it on the stand and had a nervous breakdown (quietly).
Adrian, Suzanne and middle son Philip took us for a splendid meal to a gastro pub with a magnificent view. We returned and enjoyed a lovely evening in the billiards room, playing pool. Philip was undisputed champion, sign of a mis-spent youth, students....hah!
I went to bed wondering how I was going to get the bike down to the road without embarrassing myself and woke up thinking the same thing! However, after breakfast Adrian and I manhandled the unloaded machine to the gate with no problems.
The next leg of our journey would get us back into Scotland........... to be continued.