Seize the day, not the engine.

A group of young lads on squeaky bicycles marveled at the bikes parked up as we ate lunch in a shaded café. Their wide-eyed expressions illustrated the appeal of our outlandish custom cruisers. Either that or they were gloating in the knowledge that they could out accelerate us in any gear.

Suddenly the air was filled with trumpets and drums. A huge parade came down the high street with locals old and young in traditional dress. Other locals came scurrying out of doorways and alleys to watch the parade. We clapped and cheered, somewhat inappropriately after it turned out to be a funeral procession.

We decided to have an extra long lunch. We only had eighty kilometres to go to reach the Faro Rally. We smugly texted Stan the Man to declare we would be making our glorious entrance to the rally by late afternoon. Naturally this jinxed the proceedings.

Later that day, we were on a long stretch of open road that enabled us to wind the bikes up to terminal velocity. Suddenly Jim’s bike decelerated at a rate previously unseen on a Honda C90 causing a three bike pile up. Luckily there was nothing more than a bit of gravel rash and a bit of molten flesh on hot exhaust pipes. Clearly such a rapid stop could not have been the result of the brakes which on a C90 have only marginally better impact than putting your feet down.

A long trail of black rubber on the road indicated an engine seizure. A fact confirmed by the fact that the sump plug (and therefore the contents of the sump) were missing.

After bodging bike with spare parts and topping up the engine with extra virgin olive oil we were on our way a couple of hours later. By eary evening we reached the crest of the mountain and lo and behold there in the distance was the sea, and the Moto Faro Rally site. A faint rumble of bass and drumming emanated up the valley. We got a bit excited.

As we got closer to Faro the number of bikers steadily increased until it seemed that for every car there were a hundred bikes. There was a massive queue of bikes waiting to get on sight. It was hot, dusty and noisy and all we could think about pitching tent and grabbing a cold beer. Our wishes were granted. Stan the Man greeted us with back stage passes and a short cut to the front of the queue. We had indeed, ARRIVED.

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