Although these days I have to admit to being a crone, I’m still young at heart, adapt easily to new technology and I’m usually pretty laid back about most things. I generally take life in my stride and keep calm even when most about me are losing the plot ….. most of the time!!!
So, hubby announces that he wants to go on a road trip for a few days, to stay with a friend and fellow motorcyclist in beautiful Devon and I’m invited too. Excellent!! Drifting through the countryside, going where the fancy takes us, trips to the beach and over hills, stopping here and there for a snack and a few drinks or just to admire the views, is fabulous.
However, it will be a 6 to 8 hour journey before we even arrive in Devon. Sat on the back of a motorcycle, in heavy traffic, on busy main roads for all that time is not my idea of fun. Plus, we would be very limited on what luggage we could take with us. So we came up with a solution to make us both happy. He would take the bike and I’ll follow in the car. That way he enjoys the long ride down to Devon on his motorcycle but I get to travel in comfort and get to take whatever luggage I want. My Bike gear can easily go in the back of the car and then I can go on the back of the bike once there.
So that’s all agreed. Then we got to thinking about other trips we have done! We have done a few other trips with use of both car and bike to get to our base destination and decided it would be a lot easier if we could communicate when on the road. We both have wireless helmet headsets, so that we can chat to each other when we are both on the bike. We did actually debate (tongue in cheek) the practicality of me wearing my helmet in the car but obviously dismissed this within a very short time!
Since our last road trip I have changed my car and I remembered that this car has some sort of bluetooth facility set up. Quick read of the manual and I have my phone connected up so that I can make or receive hands free calls just by touching a button on the steering wheel and telling the car who I want to call. So … press button … say “Call Troy” and his number is dialled. Excellent! Then we connect his helmet headset up to his phone by bluetooth and he just has to touch a button on the side of his helmet to answer said call. We even devised a simple hand signal code so he could let me know if he wanted me to call him. Ta da … Simple!!
He already has a Guardian Bell attached to his bike that I bought him a few years back. Just for added protection I also make him a travel charm and place it in one of his saddle bags. It should be a lovely relaxing journey down there. I can play music or listen to the radio in the car and we can talk on the phone if and when we need to, for checking directions or deciding when to have a break.
He has driven the route before but I haven’t so when the day arrives to set off on our journey I agree to follow him. It started off so well! It wasn’t easy to keep up in traffic and the first hiccough came when he couldn’t quite remember which roundabout he needed to make a right turn on and although he started to go straight across he changed his mind and carried on round instead. Well he was on a big powerful motorcycle that could just nip on round through the traffic. I was not! I attempted to follow him round in haste only to find myself having a slight disagreement with another car over road space and was promptly forced off down the next exit. Eeek! I could just see hubby’s motorcycle disappearing back round the roundabout. I eventually managed to pull off the road and ring him.
“Where are you?” …. “How the hell should I know” was the basic gist of the conversation but we worked it out and soon got back on track. After a while I got the hand signal to ring him. So I pressed the button on my steering wheel and said “Call Troy” … nothing happened “Call Troy” …. then the car said “Do you want to call Troy Now?” .. “Yes” …. “Yes”!! Finally it rang and we had a quick discussion on where to have a break and get a drink. Then off we go again.
About an hour after our stop he makes his “Ring me” signal and I try and call him. Press button, “Call Troy” …. “Call Troy” ….. He makes the signal again …. “CALL TROY” …. do window up “CALL TROY”, “Do you want to call Troy now?”, “yes”… Yes …. “YES” …… “Unable to connect” nothing happens! He starts making over exaggerated signals for me to call him. So, my normal placid exterior is now starting to slip as I am now sat driving in my car, shouting at it to call Troy, shouting at the idiots on the motorway that keep pulling in between us and shouting at Troy telling him that I am trying to ring him!!
Fortunately, he managed to communicate his problem, without the aid of a phone, quite quickly as he spots signs for services and fuel. After we had calmed down we discovered that on our last break, his bluetooth had disconnected when he left his helmet with me and went off for a comfort break and that’s why I couldn’t ring him. I set it back up for him and tested it was working before we set off on the next leg of our journey.
A few hours later. I see the signal again. Press button, “Call Troy”, close window to minimise noise. “Call Troy”……. “CALL TROY” …. “Do you want me to call troy now?” … “Yes” … “Yes” …. “YES” …….. !! Press button, “Call Troy” …. “Call Troy”……. “CALL TROY” …. “Do you want me to call troy now?” … “Yes” … “Yes” …. “YES” …. “YES” …….. “YEEEESSSSSSSSS” … “Do you want me to call troy now?” … “I JUST SAID YES YOU STUPID CAR!” …. “If you wish to hear other options please say Help” ….. “HEEEEEELLLLLP”…… “To make a call say “Call” followed by the number or name of the person you wish to call”. “CALL TROY YOU IMBECILE”…… “I’m sorry I did not recognise that name”. ….. “GRRRRRRRRRR!”.
I’m now currently following an irate hubby round in circles whist he is making angry gestures at me…. I think he meant “Call me” but it could have been something else! We get separated at traffic lights, which does not improve either of our moods. I manage to catch up with him and then he stops at the side of a roundabout. Eeeeek! A motorcycle might fit neatly out of the way under a flyover but a car doesn’t. I do my best!. He strolls up to my window “Why aren’t you ringing me?” … my voice drops a couple of octaves and sounds like something straight out of the film The Exorcist. “I AM TRYING”. He backs off!
It turns out he needs more fuel, which we duly found before setting off again. Once we got to Devon we get totally lost and end up going through the city of Exeter, which is not where we wanted to be at all. Then, Goddess save me, the dreaded helmet signal is once more deployed…. “Call Troy” …. Call Troy now?”….. “YES” ……… Ring ring…. “Hello”. I nearly faint with shock, it actually worked this time! We have a debate about where we are and where we should be and head in what we hope to be the right direction. We end the call and carry on but neither of us have a clue about where we are going.
So now I finally have my phone ringing out properly, I thought it would be a good idea to ring our friend and get some directions. I take over the lead and happily chat away getting directions back to where we should be. Ahhh bliss, isn’t technology wonderful when it works.
By the way, next time, to save all the hassle, I think I’ll just fly by broom ;-).