Email from Bob Ellis to Yam650 mail list:

A few years ago I was heading south in search of sun on my clattery old XS, across the channel down through France over the Alps and into Italy, at last the sun came out. And with it, off came layers of waterproof barbour jackets etc.

Leaning into a bend on the outside lane of an Italian autostrada I felt a distinct wobble from the back end. Looking at the crazy Italian drivers on my right I thought the fortuitously widened central reservation ahead was a safe haven to mend the puncture. The soft ground wouldn't allow a pull onto the centre stand so I had to loosen everything off on the side stand and lie the bike on it's side to pull the wheel off. This also meant stripping the bike of its camping gear, bags and petrol tank.

With my bike bits, tools, wheel and traveling gear scattered around me I decided that it was time to open the nice bottle of Italian red wine I'd just bought. One hour later I awoke to two Italian ambulance men strapping me into a well-harnessed stretcher and sliding me into the back of an ambulance. They'd strapped me down in case of a spinal injury after the obvious crash and carnage I'd just been through. They'd seen my gear scattered around and me lying there with red (wine) blood stains down the front of my tee shirt. It took some explaining in my broken poor Italian to get out of the ambulance and back to my bike to fix the puncture.

Bob Ellis

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