Terrible weather today, absolutely tipping it down. Time to dig out my waterproof over trousers, highly glamorous.
Picked these Basic II Rain Pants up from Hein Gericke for £20. Like their name, just basic thin waterproofs to put on over my leathers. They work really well, keep me nice and dry, zipping down over boots to stop rain running down into them and pulled up under jacket to stop the rain entering there. Very effective, no leakage around the crotch where water can collect. They have no pocket holes mind. Being thin and lightweight, means I can pack them up at the bottom of my bag or under the seat, so they’re always handy in case the weather turns bad.
The only downside with these trousers is they can be a bit slippery on the seat. I keep finding myself sliding forward from my default riding position. No doubt I can get some sort of grippy seat covering, shall have to investigate.
Close shave this morning. Filter through the Limehouse Link, between two lanes of traffic doing around 10mph. Suddenly an Addison Lee minibus suddenly swaps lanes right in front of me. His indicator blinked once before he had moved across. I hammer the horn and swerve to his left, to find him, moving back over to the left lane. Luckily escaped with just a clip of the mirror. Fucking moron.
Be warned Taxies, be they black caps, private hire or whatever, are often the most dangerous of drivers on the streets of London. Often behaving unpredictably and erratically, with little or no indication of what stunt they’re about to pull. Watch out for:-
Sudden U-Turns, be it across you, or from opposite direction into you.
Sudden lane changes.
Sudden stopping and starting.
Give them all a wide berth and treat with extreme caution…
Booked myself onto the BikeSafe course run by the local police force. Everyone I speak to recommends it, and at just £35 for a days tuition, whose to argue? That said, that’s Romford price, in central London it’s £45.
In an effort to improve my riding I have picked up this book. Universally well regarded and the manual for police motorcyclists. It is jammed packed with advice, tips and lessons to rider better and safer, in all manner of situations.
I managed to pick up a second hand copy off the Amazon Marketplace for less than the price of a couple of beers. There’s a lot to read and learn, with many lessons backed by simple diagrams. I’ll report back, once I have finished reading it, but do check it out yourself in the mean time.
As of 19th January 2013, the rules around motorcycle tests in the UK have changed considerably, Trying to fathom how this affects you is no mean feat. Today I’m going to attempt explaining the changes in a clear and simple way.
Hopefully you will be able to choose the best route to get riding, as taking the wrong test could cost you more in the long run and limit the choice of bike you can ride.
With the crappy weather and roads covered in salt and grit, it’s not just your bike that needs plenty of washing and TLC. Leather clothing can also damaged by the salt. So give it a good wash, apply some leather conditioner and waterproofing. It will cost you a lot less in the long run.
Last night was a work social do, over at the Bincho in Exmouth Market. It was a great Japanese grill house and a thoroughly good night. The key thing, was everyone left the office on Bermondsey Street at the same time, myself on bike, everyone else on tube. Always figured I’d be there first, but most striking was the time difference. They took 40 minutes and I took 15 minutes (including getting bit lost and going long way around St Paul’s)!
Hence chilling out with a lovely pot of Gyokuro green tea and big smug face, when everyone else turned up. Of course, no Sake for me, but I did have a enjoyable ride back, along the quiet moonlit East London streets. Quite a novelty.
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London