Blood, Sweat & Tyres is the book that every Hairy Bikers fan has been waiting for. Full to the brim with tasty morsels and colourful stories, this genuinely intimate memoir will move, entertain and delight in equal measure.
The book is also available as a stunning audiobook, read by the boys themselves.
In this exclusive extract, Si reveals how he a Dave bonded over a love of fine food and motorbikes, and dreamed of turning into a career. You can also listen to Si reading this extract himself here.
One night Jane had arranged to go on a much-deserved night out with her friends, and I was in charge of Alex and James and was looking forward to cooking for them, as I always did whenever I had the chance.
‘Dad, can you do us a wrap?’ was a familiar cry at breakfast-time, because they adored the sausage-and-egg tortilla wraps I made.
I loved to see them enjoying the food I’d made, and on this occasion I’d got hold of eight live Northumberland lobsters from a mate of mine who had a fishing boat. It was perfect timing, as Jane was funny about seafood and always refused to cook it, but I was really looking forward to serving up a treat.
The lobsters were nippy buggers and I put them in the bath while I popped out to borrow a Baby Burco boiler from my brother Will, as I needed something that big to cook them in all at the same time. While I was out Jane came home to get ready for her night out. The shower was over the bath with the curtain pulled across, and Jane switched it on at the wall and waited for the water to be nice and hot before she stepped through the steam and into the bath without looking down.
‘Argh! What the bloody hell?!!’ was all I heard when I came in the front door moments later. How she hadn’t noticed eight live lobsters had beaten her to the bathroom was unbelievable, but very funny indeed.
‘Siiiiii! Can you come and take these bloody things out of here?’
I did, trying not to laugh as I apologised, and then the boys and I put on some tunes and had a lobster-race on the kitchen floor before we prepared our feast. It was a top evening, and the food was absolutely mouth-watering.
Dave was lobster-mad too, and during one of our Scottish adventures he managed to procure some fabulous specimens from the west coast, which we decided to take to a bikers’ campsite that had a big bring-your-own BBQ. We couldn’t wait to cook them, but as soon as we arrived we looked at each other in horror, knowing exactly what the other was thinking. All the other blokes had packs of economy burgers and plastic-looking buns, and it seemed to be a free-for-all with the food.
‘I’m not sharing,’ Dave said defensively, clutching the lobsters tight to his chest.
‘Glad you said it first. Nor am I, mucker!’
We scuttled off into the woods like a couple of truanting schoolboys, built our own fire and cooked the lobsters to perfection.
‘Shall we have a bit of salad?’ Dave said, rummaging in his rucksack. ‘Oooh, I’ve got a nice head of garlic here.’
‘Oh aye. Look, I’ve got us some lovely butter, mate, and some belting tomatoes. Oh, while I remember, you know what I’ve got back home, that I’ll cook next time you come?’
Whenever one of us got hold of something special we always wanted to share it, particularly with one another, as we both knew how much the other would appreciate it. We’d then get excited as we discussed all the lovely things we could make with it.
It had been like this with the lobsters, and by the time we’d cooked them on the fire with butter and garlic we were salivating. We enjoyed them immensely, and while we savoured every mouthful we babbled on about our respective bikes and pored over maps, planning where to ride and camp and fish the next day.
‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could live like this all the time,’ Dave mused.
‘Aye, wouldn’t it just, mate. Wouldn’t it just . . .’
‘I’m serious. How great would life be if we could just ride bikes, cook food and talk bollocks?’
‘Lush. It would be lush, mate. Dream on, eh!’
Photos courtesy of Si and Dave