Wanstalls Solicitors

Close Encounters of the Pheasant kind

This is one for the bikers out there.

Last Sunday morning held the promise of a lovely day weather wise so I set off bright and early for a ride up into the wilds of Northumberland.

It was indeed a great morning but as I was proceeding “briskly” along the road from Langley up to Alston a pheasant decided to run across the road in front of me and unfortunately his timing was poor. The pheasant hit my leg and then passed between my leg and the bike.

I thought little more about it other than to think how lucky I was that the pheasant wasn’t flying at the time!

I stopped to have breakfast at my favourite café in Wolsingham now being back in the lovely county of Durham. I went to turn off the ignition (on the Honda Shadow the ignition key is behind the riders left leg) and there were a few feathers but no ignition key. On closer inspection the pheasant had got it revenge and had broken off the ignition key in the lock.

No problem thought I a screw driver from the tool kit could be used to turn off the ignition. That would be the tool kit that is behind the side panel which needs the key to open it. No breakfast as I couldn’t leave the bike with the ignition turned on!

I also noted that the bike was a bit low on fuel. That would be the fuel tank with the locking petrol cap. A slow crawl home hoping that I didn’t run out of petrol.

So now I am left with a fairly useless bike that I can’t turn off or put fuel in. Did I have a spare key, no of course not. I contacted the previous owner who had lost the spare key many years ago.

This is a bike that is around 20 years old so I doubt that Honda would be able to supply a replacement key so what next.

If the pheasant was the villain of the piece then the heroes of this story are Ace Motorcycles at Pity Me (yes that is the real name of the area) in Durham. I went and told them the whole sorry story and they said “don’t worry, just bring it in and we’ll sort it”. I managed to work the ignition with a screw driver and took the bike in.

True to their word they managed to extract the remains of the key and get two new ones cut from the remains. They also did an unrelated job of fixing the cooling system that needed a new switch. Rather than charging me for an expensive new item they salvaged one from an old Honda they had at a fraction of the cost! Great service from people who really do their best to help – I highly recommend them.

So now all is well and a summer of biking beckons. Look out Northumberland wildlife I’ll be back!

Ian wanstall


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