So the bike finally comes to a halt, I can't see this has happened as I've had my eyes closed the entire trip. I just feel it stop and unfurl my fingers from the bonnet of the bike.
After i've dismounted the bike, I take those same fingers and curl them in to a clenched fist and unleash 7 kinds of hell on Alessio.
Amidst screams of 'What the hell do you think you're doing!' and 'You could have killed me!' and more relevant 'You said you would go slowly!'.
What can i say? His face was crestfallen, he had no intention of killing me. Of course.
What i had accused him of was tantamount to attempted murder.
It's just a cultural difference. Never in my life did I dream of riding on the back of a motorbike. And maybe never in his life did he think he would have a passenger who had never once sat on a bike.
Part of the reason i wanted to go on this journey was to discover some faith. Not in the religious sense but in the 'having faith in people' sense. To see if good still existed in the world today. To see if you can truly trust, even in this case....with your life.
It has taught me not only to put my trust in someone else with my life but that I can control my irrational fear of cars and bikes, or anything on the road. When I explained my 'lack of control' fear to Alessio, he dashed it away by explaining that i was as much in control of the bike as he was. That every movement i made, every time i lent into a corner with him made all the difference. It's one thing to feel tense in a car and the driver feel nervous because they've noticed. But it's another to sit directly behind that person and them to physically feel my tension.
So there it is........I had no choice but to calm down, chill out.
I am driving the bike as much as he is, it's a team effort.
But with my anxiety out on the table (and also the rising costs of insurance for said motorbike), Alessio decided to trade in his fancy, racer red Valentina for something a bit 'safer' as he puts it.
In the space of one day he sold the Yamaha R6 and bought a Honda Trans alp.
Bit of a blurry shot, so my apologies but doesn't it break your heart to see him saying goodbye?
He deliberated over a Vespa (oh what joy!) but after much research discovered they weren't actually that safe and if they need repairs, it's not that cheap. He chose the Honda with me in mind, ''It should be much more comfortable for you''.
He didn't bother to mention that it was the same bike that Gionata Nencini used on a 'round the world bike trip....' (some inspiration maybe?)