Saturday, 19 February 2011
An Evening With Lois Pryce
Again, apologies for iPhone picture quality
I've just spent a very pleasant evening at Garland's Motorcycles in Haverfordwest, where a lady called Lois Pryce was giving an illustrated talk on her motorcycling adventures.
She once worked for the BBC, but jacked it in and bought a Yamaha XT225 Serow, shipped it to Anchorage, and rode it to the tip of South America. She tells the story in her book Lois On The Loose, which I thoroughly recommend. It's not a book for gearheads or mechanics, as the bike doesn't get much of a look-in, except for the times when it gives trouble, but her account of all the different cultures that she encounters, the generosity of strangers, and the experience of being alone on the road in an alien environment are fascinating. The style isn't quite Bruce Chatwin, but it's very readable. Ideal for the bedside cabinet of the wannabe-motorcycle-globetrotter.
Lois's talk was lively and engaging, and well worth the effort of turning out on a damp night. There were 70 people there, and of that 70, how many do you think turned up on two wheels?
The XT got some admiring glances in the car park, and several people came up to me and wanted to talk about it. One guy even asked if it was for sale. I know I cleaned it this afternoon, but are people blind? The thing is held together with cable ties and gaffer tape, and it's missing most of the body plastics. Anything that isn't scratched is rusty. Nevertheless, it's kind of satisfying when my eBay drudge bike gets all the attention. One chap told me they were very rare these days (they're not) and that every one that goes on eBay gets sold before the auction end (they don't), and that I was very lucky to have it. He was right there, at least.
The evening ended with a mass decamp up to The Glen, where there was a pint of Rev James with my name on it and some free sandwiches to round off the evening. Very pleasant.
My decision to rock up wearing only a leather jacket and jeans was fully justified when it started to rain just as I left the pub. Mmmm, a wet plastic seat. After listening to the story of a 5ft 4in female alone facing bogus policemen on a remote jungle track in Honduras, I felt I just had to man up and get on with it. So I did.