August 13th, 2010

Orange Vespa Huskyteer

The Night We Went To Hastings By Way Of Appledore

"What? Tonight? And coming back?" said my colleagues when I announced I was off to Hastings after work.

I was helping a chum from the Modern Vespa forum practise the ride he will be leading on Sunday. I'll be riding tail-gunner at the back of the pack, so it's good to know the route in case the group gets separated.

The journey from Maidstone Services lasted an hour, taking in the sweeps and straights from Tenterden to Appledore and the precise, perfect curves of the military road to Rye. Drizzle-damp roads dried into an evening of pink sky, golden light and long, flickering shadows.

A bag of chips on the beach, then homeward as it grew dark. There was a strange, dreamlike bit where we rode through a tunnel of trees and I could see nothing but black shapes above and, in front, the red tail-light of Bill's GTS and the bright stripes of his hi-viz vest.

As we travelled past open fields, a golden streak flashed overhead - part of the Perseid shower. I was so excited I forgot to make a wish, but really, what else could I possibly want from life?