Beware of the Termites!
Poor old Saunton Sands. Not only has it been invaded by a particularly voracious species of termite that is eating its way through a bungalow, but it has now been invaded by the Quick Quacks!
The meeting did not start well, thanks to my ending up in Bristol Royal Infirmary before the meeting actually started, courtesy of a 24 ton truck on the motorway (see below).
Mark takes up the story. Several new and excellent members turned up, with or more often without the blessing of their spouses (spice?) who seemed more than pregnant with expectation in some cases. Some members were immediately recognised
a) by their thirst and
b) by wearing QQMCC t-shirts.
The hotel which has pretensions to poshness warmed to us quickly and were very friendly, after I suspect initial reservations.
No one wore a DJ or Tiara at any stage but Cedric put us to shame with his sartorial style.
Tour of Devon the following day was excellent, as good as I could have hoped for. Exmoor road surfaces were as entertaining as promised (I need super glue on the seat of me pants said one wit), the twisties were well bent, we had a good reception at the various well chosen hostelries we fetched up at The White Horse Inn Exford for coffee - if it moves shoot it and stick it on the wall in the bar: The George, South Molton for lunch, and best of all Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor for afternoon tea, amongst the aspidestras, retired colonels and sweet old ladies with lap dogs "we were a little anxious at first but they seemed quite civil". Brilliant. Good ambassadors for motorcycling as they say.
Ride back to N Devon was made entertaining by heavy rain storm (brilliant sun rest of day) so we found out who can crack on in the wet (no names mentioned). Good evening meal and fond farewells next morning except I rode off with Rupert
(aka Angel who's got colour blindness) leaving Pete the Free (tm) to find his own way home. Sorry Pete.
Excellent lecture on Sunday morning from plastic surgeon Vik Deveraj, displaying all kinds of gruesome motorcycle injuries clearly affected some people into reducing their speed on the way home.
Doc Squid's Accident
I never made it to Saunton. Having loaded the NC30 up to the scuppers with club t-shirts, I took a non-motorway route to Cheltenham, where I joined the M5 for a few junctions. I was due to meet Doc Jane and Steve at Gordano services at Junction 19.
There were road works approaching the Avon Bridge, and a contra-flow. I moved into the inside lane when I saw the sign for the services, and we were then routed onto the hard shoulder. As we started to climb the bridge, the traffic slowed, and then stopped. I had just taken my foot of the right footpeg when without warning, a 24 ton lorry hit me from behind. I was slammed into the car in front and felt my leg break. There were more impacts as cars were driven into each other, then I was thrown out to the side, where I wobbled and fell, my head in the next lane, and traffic still passing by my helmet.
I knew I had a broken left femur and tibia and fibula. I had a numb leg and was worried about spinal damage so stopped anybody moving me, although petrol was pouring from my tank onto my legs. Eventually I was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary and had 4.5 hours of emergency surgery, in which my femur was pinned and my tibia and fibula stabilised, but not fixed. I had 5 pints of blood, and was taken to intensive care.
The next few days were a haze, but after a further 5 hours surgery my leg was fixed with a super carbon-fibre meccano set, otherwise known as an Ilizarov frame. Then followed a very slow and painful period of recovery, during which the support and help of lots of bikers, not to mention QQMCC members, was brilliant. No question of my deciding to give up biking!
After six weeks in hospital I returned home, and am now recovering. The leg should end up just as good as new, and the lorry driver's insurance company should end up paying me a lot of money. Now, what should I get ...... an R1 perhaps?
Quick Quacks Pete the Free