Summer Solstice 2016

There’s nothing like a British summer to piss on your bonfire.

The summer solstice, when the Northern hemisphere is at it’s closest point to the sun. I wouldn’t know, I can’t see the sun for the thick cloud and rain. I got absolutely drenched this morning, definitely not fun biking weather.

Herbert Richter Phone Case Mount

When it comes to satnav’s on a motorcycle you basically have two choices: splurge a tonne of cash on a proper water proof and rugged device from the likes of TomTom or Garmin; or you make do with the smart phone you already have. With the latter cheap skate route you either make do with audio direction only and keep your phone in your pocket or you look at a waterproof case to mount to handlebars. This is where this Herbert Richter phone case and mount comes in.

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Mersea Island Ride Out

The only thing worse than being stuck at work, is being stuck at work when there is perfect biking weather outside. So, the other day my wife and I booked the day off, dropped kids off at school and then just hit the road. Life’s too short.

We took a gentle bimble out into Essex with Mersea Island as our destination for lunch. Fairly familiar roads to myself, but a good opportunity for Mary to continue building back her confidence and also test out her new Garmin Satnav. Here’s the route (though we plotted this in Garmin’s Base Camp app and then downloaded it to the satnav, which all worked perfectly). Continue reading “Mersea Island Ride Out” »

Maplin USB Power Socket Review

USB-Motorcycle-SocketThere’s nothing more annoying than being far away from home with no battery life left in your camera or phone. It’s sods law that at this point you’ll really want to capture some video footage from an incident, need to phone for recovery or just witness the perfect shenanigans to go viral on YouTube next. All of which are easily resolved with the addition of a USB power socket on your bike.

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Marshalling Hackney Half Marathon

A change is as good as a rest, so the saying goes and this Sunday on the bike was most definitely a change from the norm. I volunteered to help marshal the Hackney Half Marathon with the East London Advanced Motorcyclists (ELAM) group.

HackneyHalfMarathon01

12,000 odd runners barely a hundred metres behind us.

Our role is to ride the race course in advance to ensure it is clear, the road closures are adhered to and route is generally safe for all the runners to come through. It was an early start, but lovely weather and warming up fast. Roads closed at 7am ready for the race start at 9am. We donned our high viz, took radios and trackers, and made some slow circuits of the course. Finally we rode out slowly in pairs just ahead of the race leaders with 12,000 odd runners barely a hundred metres behind us.

HackneyHalfMarathon02Lots of slow speed control, some polite warnings to public trying to leak onto the course and overall, a nice change to do something different and helpful. Also, a big congrats to the winner Mark Kibiwott, who managed 12.6 miles in 1hr 4mins, in the heat!

Thumbs Up: Squire SS65CS Padlock

Squire Padlock ReplacementLast week when my wife tried to take her bike out she discovered the Squire padlock had seized, leaving it chained to the ground! Neither key would unlock, we tried dousing it in WD40, GT85 and Halfords Shock’n’Unlock spray, even after been left to soak for a day or two. We tried tapping it with a hammer, but nothing would make the key budge in the lock.

Upon contacting Security For Bikes who we purchased it from, they informed us it was covered by a 10 year warranty and put us in touch with an engineer at Squire. They got back to very quickly with some advice, mostly what we had tried already, but as a last resort suggested applying pliers to the key to force the lock. This worked and the padlock opened, however it wouldn’t unlock again subsequently.

As per Squire’s advice we sent it back for repair/replacement. A couple of days later a brand new padlock arrived through the post with a cheque to refund us for postage.  So, a big thumbs up goes to Squire, for their top customer service, prompt responses and a warranty that really is worth the paper it’s printed on.

You can purchase a Henry Squire SS65CS padlock from Amazon here.

CBF500 RedFox Fender Extender / Flick

CBF500 Fender Extender - 1Mary’s little CBF500 is very much a commuter hack and needs to run in all weathers. In an effort to winter proof it I fitted this RedFox fender extender (or flick) a little while ago.

It’s a very similar affair to the Pyramid fender extender I fitted on my Fazer some time ago. A small plastic extension to the front mudguard to help ward off dirt and crud being flung up against the front of the frame, radiator and engine. After having a struggle to remove the oil filter last service, I’m hoping this will help matter somewhat.

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