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John Sambrook - EFI Electra - July 2012

John Sambrook EFI Electra

I have had half a mind to get another bike for some years, after seeing one in the window of a then Aberystwyth dealer, but really I put it to the back of my mind, until a strange set of coincidences which were...

1. My van was off the road for nearly 2 weeks.
2. I had to hire a car to get about my work.
3. The local library van man left me a book about the history of Royal Enfield.

That was it ! I suddenly decided I could justify the expense as I needed a standby vehicle. (5 miles nearest bus route). Well I checked out a few dealers, and when I checked out Midlands Royal Enfield, I'm pretty sure I found one that went the extra mile in customer care. Maybe the others do too. But I'm pretty sure that not many take the trouble to school a rusty rider, by watching them practice around the yard, then the industrial estate, and then a short spin down the road before sending them on their way.

But Steve did.

Anyway I eventually hit the road for home on a typical summers day. Yes it was windy, cloudy, and the rest of the time just plain chucking it down. (Yes there is another more apt description, but I'm trying to be polite). So deciding to avoid the Shrewsbury by-pass, I opted for the 'B' roads to Llanymynach. The only trouble is, the good burghers of Shropshire County Council think road numbers on sign-posts on 'B' roads are an unnecessary luxury that can be safely dispensed with. And just to keep the ride from getting boring, their electorate joined in the fun by spreading patches of mud at regular intervals, with the more adventurous adding the occasional sprinkle of diesel.

So this was not going to be a 'Burn-up' on my bike. After much following of my nose I eventually came out on the A5 and civilization and managed to come out at Llynclys. Well not too far from Llanymynach. To be fair, the residents of Wales had decided to forget home rule in this Olympic year, and join in the road sprinkling party, and it was not until I reached the Dyfi valley that the roads dried out enough to enjoy the fact that I was now feeling more confident with the handling of the machine, and surprise myself that I'd taken that corner without thinking about it. Ah well, got home in one piece, and it certainly tested the efficiency of the wet weather gear Steve had supplied. Now all I need is some traditional Summer weather so I can enjoy the bike.

At this rate it maybe a genuine vintage bike by then! All the best.

John Sambrook. Presenter at Radio Hafren