Friday, December 31, 2021

Prefer riding a Royal Enfield on roads, or no roads?

I rolled my Royal Enfield Bullet back into the garage this morning, disgruntled.

"You know," I said to myself, "I think I finally understand the appeal of riding a motorcycle off road."

The appeal must be this: NO STOPLIGHTS.

I'd taken my 1999 Bullet for a spin shortly after dawn this Sunday morning, planning to enjoy roads empty of traffic.

They weren't empty of stop lights, however. Again and again I was stuck waiting at a light, although there was no cross traffic. Sure, I could have run the lights, and safely, too. But I was disgusted enough to just insist on stupidly sitting there.

I was overheating, even if the Bullet wasn't.

Naturally I attempted to "time" the lights, slowing down as I approached to avoid having to stop. 

Naturally, too, the car driver behind me reacted to my slowing by going around me to the right in a merge lane that briefly appeared there.

It wasn't a close call but, you know, closer than it needed to be.

I caught up to the guy at the red light and we sat there side-by-side. Waiting.

A few minutes earlier, while waiting under a sign reading "No Right Turn on Red," a cabbie swung completely around my left side and made his right turn.

He not only didn't stop for the turn, he didn't even slow down. I wasn't the only one out there this morning who felt like running red lights.

Last summer Richard Miller rode his Royal Enfield Himalayan in Britain on something called the Trans European Trail. He wrote about it on his blog, Red Devil Motors.

His wasn't a perfect trip (before riding do more planning, and drink less beer, he advised).

He and a friend on another Himalayan covered hundreds of miles mostly off road during a heat wave, and camped out. So his multi-day outing was far more of an adventure than my Sunday morning drive.

Yet his sounded so appealing in comparison.

No stop lights. Or, at least, he didn't mention any.

1 comment:

  1. If all my riding were urban riding, I would quit. I see that lots of today's new riders ride only in the city and I don't see the charm. They moto-commute but they can't be sincere environmentalists; they've removed their cats with their mufflers. The bus runs cleaner and sounds like more fun than your ride Sunday morning. The city is a minefield on the way to the good riding.


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