4 October 2013
Enjoying the ferry trip with my Guzzi from Portsmouth to Bilbao this sweltering July, I was delighted to bump into an old pal aboard

Well two, actually, as I spotted his bike first. French-Canadian Pierre Drown’s old-style 500 Enfield Bullet is pretty distinctive. His father had bought it while working in Madras where they’re made, with his mother deciding on the yellow colour “like the beautiful sunshine of Chennai.”

There hadn’t been much sunshine when Pierre had ridden it to the Spanish ferry the previous autumn, from Tarbes in the French Pyrenees where he works. The passes were filling up with snow, and only a balaclava had saved his face from frostbite. But they made it, which didn’t surprise me. Over some fine wining and dining, we recalled our previous year’s Pyrenean trip together. The Bullet’s clutch cable had snapped, and an alternator glitch meant the battery wasn’t charging, so no lights plus finite sparks. But the way that thumping single had handled the zigzag mountain paths and taken the steep climbs like a willing pack-pony, had been impressive. You meet the nicest people (and bikes) on Brittany Ferries.

Steve Wilson, via email

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41-05 - May 2014

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