Monday 25th July, Day 2
A cheeky start to the day, with three central London visits in quick succession. Riding a motorbike in London may be quicker through the traffic, but I can assure you that when it comes to finding a parking space, it’s just as painful as driving a car! This probably explains the extent of the public transport network, but ‘The Greg’ will not succumb to the comforts of double decker buses and air-conditioned black cabs.
The first stop of the day was with Tereza Urbankova at Amec and then straight down to Louise Walton at Barclays Wealth.
Timings slipped slightly after an altercation with a speed camera caused ‘The Greg’ to rethink his ‘speed, distance, time’ calculations, but after Katy Cash at Deutshe Bank (great name for someone who works in financial sector!), delayed her lunch break to see me, I was able to make it out of Town….well, almost!
First stop, after grabbing a quick bite to eat on the road (quite tricky for mere mortals when one hand does the throttle and one does clutch – rather simple for ‘The Greg’ however) was Staines, where Deborah at Centrica was kindly able to fit me in, despite having a day full of meetings! Great progress being made now – quite literally cooking on gas.
However, now the pressure was really on, two more stops (both near Reigate) to go, and it was already gone 3pm. Time to wind back the throttle…were it not for the M25 and its ‘make it up as they go along’ speed limits, but despite the heatwave ‘The Greg’ was keeping his cool.
Fortunately, I was able to make up this time once I came off the motorway and hit the country lanes. My advanced motorbike training and fearless approach were put into action and I ‘made progress’ towards my next stop (Erika Redding @ Pfizer), waving to the brave servicemen and women at Headley Court, as I passed. After meeting the lovely Erika it was back on the bike and time to turn and burn for one last time.
The final visit was to Stuart Lawton-Davies at Kimberly-Clark, just after 5pm, where Stuart showed me some very impressive results from his case study, as well as a very impressive reception wall!
A very successful day by all accounts, with one notable exception. My return journey to London was plagued by dodgy throttle response and a mis-firing engine. Once home, I stripped the bike down, first suspecting fueling issues, then air suction valve problems. In actual fact, I had blown a gasket!
So, as I write this, the search is on for a super-quick mechanic and an alternative means of transport, but fear not all contributing authors, ‘The Greg’ will not let that stand in his way. That extensive London public transport may come in handy after all! This is ‘The Greg,’ once again signing off….