Eff Yoo, Friday 13th

Eff Yoo, Friday 13th

I’m not superstitious.

So when the radio this morning advised that statistically there are more car accidents on Friday 13th than any other day, I pretty much ignored it.

Riding into Birmingham I’d done 90% of the journey when I thought “I’ve done this without any kind of incident!” – before a car pulled straight out in front of me at the very next roundabout!

I had both cameras running, so figured at least I’d have some interesting footage from it…

Except when I arrived at work I found the helmet camera had switched itself off having filled the memory card around 10 mins before Death tried to put me over his side.  The Veho on the bike would still have a great angle on it, though!

But the other camera only gave me a corrupt file that I can’t view!  Argh!

Later, I did some minor servicing work on the bike with the petrol tank off.  Everything went smoothly, and I had it all back together quickly, grabbed a sammich from a local shop, and headed back home from the garage.

I’d got a mile or so before the bike started feeling a bit strange.  I checked the reserve switch, but the engine cut out.

Figuring I’d had the fuel switched off, I gave it full choke and the engine started again.  Dropping the choke back to idle it cut out and died again.  Full choke and it started again, and then even cut out on choke, and this time wouldn’t start at all.

I sat on a handy bench to chomp my sammich thoughtfully, trying to work out what I could have cocked up – or more likely, as with every job I’ve ever done on this bike, what major, crippling destruction had randomly befallen the GPZ500 this time after I’d done a simple job on it.

I was getting full spark and could hear the fuel pump, but didn’t have any spanner to get the tank off, so had the lovely prospect ahead of me that I’d have to push the bike back a few miles to the garage…

And this is the hottest day of the year so far (hotter than in Brazil, don’tcherknow)!  And of course I’m in full protective kit as always, with the added bonus of a pair of denim jeans under my leathers because I’d been at work!

Luckily, I hadn’t got far before a biker pulled over to see if he could help.  I asked if I could jump on the back and he could take me to the garage to grab some tools to get my tank off again, which he happily did – you have to love the biking commuinity!

He was on some Suzuki big cruiser-type bike – it’s actually my first ever ride on a cruiser in my 14 years of biking, albeit only as a pillion passenger.

After grabbing tools and getting back to my GPZ, I thanked Cruiser Rider for saving my life, and got to spannering.

It was actually an easy fix – trapped fuel line where I’d mover the position of the main wiring loom – so I sorted it all out quickly and went home for a shower!

So I’m not actually dead or anything, but it hasn’t been the best Friday 13th, either.  Maybe there is something in it, after all?

False Widow Spiders Want To Kill Me!

False Widow Spiders Want To Kill Me!

It’s been a while since you had anything spidery from me, so let’s address it.

Over the last few years, whilst our newspapers were filled with horror stories about Deadly False Widow spiders invading the UK, I’ve been spotting them all over my house.

When mowing my lawn, I had a very suspicious bite on my arm, that looked very spidery, and itched for months, with the spread of the poison being visible over about half of my arm.

I’d seen a few small False Widows around the place, and figured they’re a bit runty compared to the House Spiders tromping around the place, so wasn’t too worried.  Yeah, they’re poisonous, but I didn’t die, and the press greatly exaggerate this kind of panic-inducing stuff.

Around 6 months ago I discovered a filthy great False Widow living in my garage.


I call him Nelson Mandela.

What the pictures don’t show, is that he is HUGE for one of these spiders!  They’re not actually supposed to grow this big – but Nelson Mandela wouldn’t fit on a £2 coin in his normal squat.

This sucker must have a Hell of a bite!

I don’t know if it was Nelson Mandela that bit me before, but he must be a good few years old, and has happily claimed that half of my garage.

And look how close he is to the light switch!

You don’t want to poke him in the eye whilst fumbling around in the dark for the switch!

There was also Maggie Thatcher, who lived in our kitchen for a while.  She was less than a 10th the size of Nelson Mandela, but you could still clearly see the markings.  Sadly, she seems to have been obliterated by my fiancee, who “will not have a Tory living in our house!”

After telling how I’d seen several others in our porch, I was warned that I should probably kill them, as finding one in my bike kit might not be a great experience… I was kind-of hoping they’d eat some of the -ing people who keep leaving charity clothes selection bags in there!

So, there I was this morning, backing my bike out the garage (kept well away from Nelson Mandela), when I caught a movement out the corner of my eye.

I moved my head to look, but the movement was still in the corner of my eye.  Hanging off the side of my open visor!

“NNnghh!!” I said bravely, throwing an inside right hook, just like I learned from watching “The Fighter”.  Mark Wahlberg hadn’t been balancing a motorbike at any point of that film, however, so never had to deal with 200kg of Kawasaki falling sideways on top of him.

The swinging False Widow – let’s call this one ‘Pol Pot’ – calmly held on as his path described a nice short arc in the morning air, swinging back in at eyeball level, fangs glinting in the sun.

I quickly flipped my visor down, severing any chances Pol Pot had of clambering up to fang my iris.

And all the while Nelson Mandela was sat in the far corner of the garage, bouncing in his web from what must have been a gust of wind, but may have been from his spidery chuckling.

I sense the war of terror has begun…


After writing this blog on my lunch break, I got home and discovered another large False Widow sat in my porch.  This one is called ‘Rasputin’, and must be catching some serious sun as he’s very dark-skinned.  Pray for me, people!