A horse with no name

When I have the time, I like to use photos that I’ve taken to make short videos set to music, which I then fire up on occasion to remind me of places and events and experiences that I have enjoyed. My personal favorite is this one that I did following on from our time in the Maldives in 2012 for our 25th wedding anniversary – the combination of the images plus the powerful and slightly poignant music instantly transports me back to the paradise that is so far, my top place in the world to spend time in, along with the person I most love to spend time with.

I’ve often thought of dedicating a video to my bike and although I’ve owned it since 2009, there was a danger that the theme song would be America’s “A horse with no name” ………… you see, the family kept on pressing me to name my bike but it has until early on in this trip, remained nameless.

But first I need to give you some background. You see, back in 2009 when I finally took the plunge and bought a bike again after 26 years of being bikeless, I had to consider my options very carefully – this was going to be a big step and I was after a lasting relationship.

The primary contender was the Italian mistress – the drop-dead-gorgeous Ducati Multistrada 1200. The one that turns men’s heads and makes jaws drop, drool slowly dripping down as wives look away in contempt. But the Ducati was instantly dismissed – you know the type, highly strung, high maintenance, not worth the pain of upkeep – it’s all just going to end in tears after a brief fling with a bitter taste in the mouth and an empty bank account.

Next up, thanks to the feature length advertising by messers Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor in the form of the “Long way round” and “Long way down” TV series was the bountiful Bavarian Beer Frau – the BMW 1200 GS. Now my friends know that I have a penchant for the “fuller figure” and the BMW most certainly fits this category. But (and that’s aside from her very large butt ….) for all her grace and unhurried, unerring ability to delivery her copious load (and if you think I jest about grace and ability then you have never seen a beer Frau in action for real at Oktoberfest in Munich – it’s a sight to behold!) I found her to be a little aloof and more than a little ponderous – too safe and motherly for my liking.

I was then faced with the Austrian Dominatix – the KTM 990 Adventure – the leather clad, whip cracking animal that is ready to rip your arms off and feed them to you – anally! Even trying to mount her required the skill of a gymnast and only those with sadistic tendencies are prepared to face her wrath as she stomps on your ego and spits in your face while laughing manically – there is no relationship to be had here – only mutual hatred.

And then, sitting in the corner of the BMW showroom was the new girl on the block – trying desperately to prove herself against the others, looking a bit frumpy, like the titular character from the TV series “Ugly Betty”, she was the one most overlooked – the BMW F800GS – and she was the one I fell for.

Time and time again over the course of this trip, Betty has delivered more than I could ever have expected. She has kept on going relentlessly, uncomplaining at the lack of attention I have previously given her, taking me on a wild ride when I give her the chance to let her hair down. She has faithfully given her all, kept me safe and has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is better than all the other choices I had. Some might snigger at her looks, but I know that if my mother was still alive, I’d be proud to take her home to introduce her to Betty.

Oh – and if you were wondering, since biking is very “rock and roll”, her theme song would have to be Ramjam’s “Black Betty” from 1977 specifically the lyrics:-

She really gets me high
You know that’s no lie
She’s so rock steady
And she’s always ready

Which really is all there is to say 🙂