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September 10, 2016
Posted at 2:24 pm

Motorcycle pilgrimage

Once upon a time, people used to make a pilgrimage, which usually consisted of walking barefoot a long way to a shrine, or something like that. Last Thursday, I ddecided to ride my 500cc single-cylinder Royal Enfield motorcycle 86 miles to the RAF Museum, Cosford - a visit I'd wanted to make for several years. I duly got an AA route and set out at 7.30 am, filled up with petrol, and almost immediately was embroiled in rush-hour congestion as I left the city. Of course I got the benefit of the congestion in Chesterfield, too, and was relieved to get on a smoothly flowing A38. Until I reached Derby, where the ring road was solid in both lanes. Got through that, and as it was around 10, considered finding somewhere to buy coffee. Decided against.
Missed my turn near Lichfield and found myself the wrong side of Sutton Coldfield - completely lost. Tried to buy a road map... at a convenience store, then a filling station. Finally managed to get one and worked out how to get back on track.
Arrived at Cosford at 1145, approximately an hour later than planned, after 110 miles.
Fantastic visit - incredible collection of unique aircraft. Literally unique in one or two cases. Worth the drive.
Set off home. Diverted in Lichfield because of roadworks and found myself heading south on the A38 instead of north. Said some rude words.
Back in Sheffield, refilled the petrol tank after 200 miles, and picked my way through the afternoon congestion back home. 206 miles, instead of 172.
But Oscar behaved impeccably... though that distance on a machine with a 55mph cruising speed (only if traffic permits!) was, perhaps, optimistic.