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11th March 2015

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Beyond The Coffee Shop by Nick Adams

RealClassic contributor Nick Adams regularly heads off into the wilderness of northern Canada aboard 40 year old Moto Guzzi motorcycles. He explains why, and how you can read all about his adventures...

There is a moment, when youíre in the middle of nowhere and the bike starts pumping hot black stuff all over your boot, when you think; ĎOh God, what on earth do I do now?í. Youíre miles from the nearest town, the last vehicle you saw passed in the other direction half an hour ago, and itís raining carnivorous blackflies and bulldogs. Itís the kind of fear that keeps many people close to their dealer, close to the coffee shop and close to home. The eight year old in the back of your head is thinking; ĎIím going to be bear poopÖí

Like so many people of a certain age, my motorcycling days began during my teenage years with cheap transportation. Eventually riding morphed through the stages of passion, neglect and rebirth. I deeply regret the thirty years during which I more or less forgot about motorbikes, but one quick ride on a friendís Honda CB350 was all it took to ignite that passion again.

Beyond The Coffee Shop by Nick Adams

It is only by complete accident that I ended up riding Moto Guzzis. The Eldorado was the first bike which caught my eye once I started shopping for something to ride after the CB350 incident. The Eldorado seemed suitably simple, a bit classic, robust and sufficiently far from the main stream that it appealed to me immediately. Although Iíve since accumulated three other Moto Guzzis, itís not as if I think they are the best machines in the world, or anything daft like that, but they do have a reputation for being durable Ė a characteristic that is necessary for the kind of riding I enjoy.

I quickly realised that my greatest pleasure comes from riding long, hard days in the middle of nowhere, alone. If the roads are traffic free and unpaved, with lakes to pass, rivers to cross and potholes to avoid, so much the better. My 1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado is usually my weapon of choice for these rides, although recently, my Guzzi Nuovo Falcone has been nipping at its heels and vying for my affection.

Beyond The Coffee Shop by Nick Adams
Moto Guzzis on Now...

Writing seems to go hand in hand with riding. I often say that I couldnít tell you anything that has gone through my head during a long trip, but something must be stirring away in there because when I get home, I have a compulsive need to start writing straight away. My wife now grudgingly accepts that a four day trip actually takes five days, since, even though Iím physically at home in front of the computer, Iím just as absent on that last day.

Most of these stories were written as trip reports to the motorcycle forums at Adventure Rider (www.advrider.com) and the Wildguzzi forum (www.wildguzzi.com). Each segment was posted as I wrote it, complete with spelling mistakes, verbless sentences and half completed thoughts. Others were polished up a bit and published in RealClassic magazine. Through RealClassic, I got to hear about Daisy, Graham Hamís 1948 Triumph, and read about their adventures in Grahamís Kindle books: Daisyís Diaries. I was so impressed with the ease with which my cellphone Kindle reader handled the text, and the unexpected pleasure of reading a digital text while tucked up in bed, that I got inspired to throw all my stories into a single heap.

Beyond The Coffee Shop by Nick Adams

As you can probably guess, I didnít get turned into bear poop. I wonít spoil the tale by filling in the details here Ė letís just say that the further from the urban crush you travel, the more likely it is that people will help you. Heck, itís hard to stop for a nature break without the next vehicle along stopping to see whether you need assistance. Itís enough to resuscitate oneís flagging faith in humanity Ė even for a misanthropist like me.

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ĎBeyond the Coffee Shop: Riding 1970ís Moto Guzzi motorcycles in Northern Canadaí by Nick Adams is available as an ebook at Amazon

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