I have my moments, for sure. There was the time when I was watching my 14 year old son playing rugby and witnessed his head being held by one opposition player whilst another brutally and repeatedly punched him in the face. The next thing I remember was being 10ft on the wrong side of the touch line with a couple of friends calling me back. What happened during that ‘lost’ 10ft I could only put down to the ‘red mist’ factor. My son, by the way, was fine and I plodded back off the field feeling a little embarrassed as a stunned referee and players looked on.
It wasn’t in the same league as the above example and this time I can recall all conscious decisions but that cloak of red mist crept out of the panniers for a brief reappearance on our recent trip to the Alps. We had just blasted our way up to the apex of a twisty pass above the village of Cortina in the Italian Dolomites having played with a couple of wannabe formula one car drivers on the ascent. No contest, as any biker would know.
With a relaxed throttle we began the hairpin laden decent as I caught sight in my mirror of four bikes approaching at speed. The first sped past cutting my line a little too sharply for comfort as did the second, and the third, and by the time the forth Italian number plate sped past I just knew what was going to happen next. Dropping two gears I pinned the throttle and set off in pursuit of the four unladen sports bikes 100 yards ahead on a 13 year old fully loaded up Triumph Tiger. A quick check in the mirror confirmed that Jason (KTM 990) and Spenser (BMW 800) were glowing a shade of crimson too and hot on my heels.
By the forth bend I was sitting on the back wheel of the Italian tail gunner and for the next 10 mins had one of the most thrilling, technical rides of my life as we blasted down some of the most epic Alpine tarmac in existence. Hairpin followed hairpin, adrenalin piled on adrenalin and by the time we arrived at the outskirts of Cortina and reduced our speeds the Italians were giving us the thumbs up. I think we surprised them, I know I surprised myself.
The next 30 mins saw the three of us sitting outside a coffee shop in Cortina, our speech a little quicker than normal and our hyped up conversation buzzing from the experience. I like a little red mist, just as long as it’s not too dark.