We packed essential clothes only into John’s panniers, and took Brigid’s BMW in for servicing at Dunbar Eurosports in Brockton. The idea had been to leave Brigid’s bike and head straight for New York, where John was anxious to catch up with his cousin, Nora.

Before we left, however, John had Tom Fournier look over his Triumph Trophy. Tom reckoned that it was in pretty good nick for its year, but pointed out that the tyres were unlikely to last another 5,000 miles. The rear tyre had been losing air, and Tom turned it slowly to reveal a nail embedded in the centre of the tread. Knowing now that both tyres would both need replacing, we headed off in search of a sandwich. It was about 3pm by the time we were finally on the road.

We caught the Bridgton-Jefferson ferry (as much to keep us out of the rain, as anything), and arrived in New York around 11pm. This was the first time John had ever attempted to carry a pillion passenger, and all had gone smoothly (apart from Brigid’s gasp of pain every time he rode over a slight bump – something had to be done about the suspension). However, New York’s roads leave a great deal to be desired, and suddenly John was confronted with uneven, pot-holed roads, which were wet, badly lit, and frequently patched with sheets of metal. We located the hotel (Chinatown’s Holiday Inn) without much difficulty and were extremely grateful to park the bike in the hotel’s underground car park for the duration of our stay.