In response to a post Dean did recently about bike zen I wanted to write my bit about pillion zen.
I’ve kind of made that name up but after travelling about 120000 kms as a pillion I feel I have enough experience to share what makes a pillion (me) happy.
It’s pretty simple really… A happy rider (Dean). Sure… Not too hot, not too cold, not wet, not too boring, not too exciting (not too many water crossings or sand roads…) But most of all a happy rider.
When there is something wrong with the bike it occupies every second and space of deans brain. Constantly throughout the day I can see when he’s unhappy with how the bike is running.
It seems that to try to diagnose ANY problem with the bike it usually involves accelerating really really fast and then breaking suddenly… time after time after time. This gets a bit tiring on the back, constantly trying to stop myself from smashing into the back of him but I try to remain calm as I know that whatever is going on in deans head is more painful. When there are bike issues Dean gets angry which is very uncharacteristic of him… There are lots of air/petrol tank punches when he misses an exit on the highway and lots of shaking of head. For a while I thought it was just big cities and highways that were challenging him but it appears that it was the bike.
He worries and worries and constantly considers worse case scenarios (suggestions of sending the bike home on a boat occur frequently) but its really hard to appear as concerned/worried as Dean is as I know he always fixes everything!
‘it will be fine babe, you fix everything’ is all I can muster as words of encouragement but Dean looks at me like I don’t understand.
He always fixes it.
I try not to mention that I was right 😜
On the flip side when Dean has ‘bike zen’ he is happy and we ride faster and. there are more wheelies… The mixture of excitement + bike zen+ a fast, happy betsy and a bit of testosterone results in a raising of the wheel… It’s quite phalik actually and I kind of feel like I’m imposing on a private moment between Dean and Betsy but I do try to embrace the air borne happiness … Whilst gripping on for dear life.
The other thing that happens when we have bike zen is night time dean…. We all know what happens when night time dean comes out….
Anyway, we are now back in France, in Bordeaux. We rode through the Pyrenees from Spain which was beautiful. The South of Spain was much like Australia…dry and hot whilst the North was more like England, lush and green. Spain was full of bars, people , tapas and late nights where nothing gets going until 9-10pm where as France goes to bed at 9pm.
This left us this evening with no wine and barely any food. Our dinner consisted with everything we had left in our panniers which was pasta, oil, garlic, salami and egg… it sounds better than it was… But more importantly no wine. Camping is hard enough at the best of times but without a glass of wine to help us sleep?!
Spain was unexpectedly unfriendly whilst France has stereotypically and expectedly followed suit. Obviously this is a huge generalisation and we have met lovely, friendly, hospitable people everywhere we’ve been but it’s always interesting to experience cultures based on your assumptions. France had been spot on 😜
Tomorrow we are going to go and visit some wineries which we really hope will be a good experience and improve our opinion of the French and their wines.
Update: (it’s now tomorrow) our opinion of wine hasn’t changed. Some of the French people we’ve met today have been lovely and are changing our initial opinion somewhat 😉
We want to go back to Italy, we miss aperitivos… Xx