Operation Point Clunk North - The Idea
Johnny Parsons, age 41-and-a-half
Every year I try to set myself a challenge, or spontaneously try something different.
I am not especially talented at any one thing, but I do like to have-a-go, and with enthusiasm (and a bad case of OCD, as in my case) it is surprising what one can achieve.
Lina and I had a wee nipper in March, little Valentina, this has been an adventure in itself and we are all loving every minute of it. In June, Lina and the bairn went to Germany, to visit family for a month.
So, apart from work and a list of jobs, I had an unexpected free-time-slot (which was a novelty in itself!)
I didn’t have a fortune, and set myself a £100 budget.
What to do???
I have always loved travelling by two-wheels (my complete lack of coordination rule out unicycling), be it by pedal power, or motorised. Last year (pre-baby) I had a decent sized motorbike, so Lina and I took ourselves off on a trip to Aviemore (Lina’s second time on a motorbike, we did 330 miles on our first day, a sterling effort for a passenger!)
Now, I have downgraded retrospectively, back to a trusty Honda C90, “The SuperClunk”. For those of you unfamiliar with these epic little machines, in essence it is a 90cc step-thru motorbike/moped (it has 17” wheels, so it differs to a scooter).
Honda have produced over 60 million of these little tinkers since 1958, making it the most produced machine (car or motorbike) EVER!
Nearly everybody who has ever had any connection with motorbikes will have a C90 tale.
They will have ridden/fallen off/had one nicked/sold-and-regretted-selling a C90, or had dealings with their smaller brothers, the C70, or a diminutive C50.
Why do I ride a C90?
- It is simple to ride (3 gears and a semi-automatic-clutch, which make a reassuring “Clunk”, hence the name).
- It is mega-economical, super reliable and goes forever.
- It has a four stroke 90cc engine producing an eye-popping 8 brake horse power means a top speed of around 45mph (flat-out and unladen).
- Because I love it!
Enough technical ramblings.
Motorbikes do have their risks, that is a fact that I cannot deny.
A small misjudgement can have very serious consequences. I was once told by an Instructor to just assume that everyone else on the road is out to kill you! Severe, but it does keep one alert.
However, (as on a pushbike), you feel more on two wheels, your senses are open to the elements.
There is no protective cocoon, as in a car, but this has its benefits too & every trip, no matter how big or small becomes an adventure!
So, mode of transport sorted.
10 days off work booked.
Where to go???
As a SuperClunk doesn’t travel very fast, quiet roads are preferable (I have a full bike license and as the bike is over 50cc, legally I could go on the motorway, but I don’t, purely for the fact that they cannot keep up with traffic, unless it is on the M1, which is normally a 3-lane car park, around these parts!)
Scotland sprung to mind!
I bought two 1962 sixpence road maps off fleabay, but didn’t plot any route; I just wanted to see where I would end up. An old map may not show all of the roads, some roads may have changed and some locations will have grown. The idea being that I would get lost and have to ask people for directions/help/moral support.
“Operation Point Clunk North” was born… Get on and read the first installment.