Autumn is here. The leaves on the trees are changing colour and are being shed. The weather is all over the place, wet, windy, bright sun. Watch out for wet leaves on the road, they’ll be super slippery. Avoid hard braking and cornering on them, or risk loosing grip on the front wheel. Don’t ride in the gutter where the collect, with the low Autumn sun dazzling you, glare on the wet road, you may not notice them until too late.
Riding back home last night, quietly filtering down the A13 through it’s usual gridlock, when this twat suddenly decides to change lanes and takes me out.
He then starts getting a bit worked up, telling me I was wrong for filtering, I “shouldn’t be filtering, it’s illegal, don’t ya know?”
Exactly one year ago I passed my direct access test, and what a year it has been. Thrown in at the deep end, straight onto my Fazer 600 and commuting into central London everyday, then onto some long ride outs like my jaunt up to Shrewsbury. I’ve put in 7000 miles odd, numerous sorties to the Ace Cafe and unfortunately a couple of offs.
I’m definitely a better rider than one year ago, far more confident and a dab hand at filtering. It’s inevitable all new riders will drop their first bike a few times, maybe an un-faired bike would have made this less painful on the wallet, but hey-ho, I’m loving my Fazer.
A day of annual leave booked, kids with childminder, mid week, quiet roads, lovely sunny weather – ah the perfect ride out. The intention for the day was to go for a reasonably long run on the bikes, get Mary more accustomed to her new ZZR400, build up her confidence after returning to biking and have a chilled out ride, culminating in a picnic in Finchingfield, Essex.
The route was fairly straight forward. From Dagenham: Hainhault → Stapleford Abbots → Chipping Ongar → Leaden Roding → Great Dunmow → Finchingfield. The route is very scenic, especially the stretch North of Great Dunmow. Undulating fields, twisty bends and corn in the fields being harvested. Total length is just she of 40 miles and easily doable in under 1.5 hours. If you fancy a longer ride, you could continue North through Haverhill and onto Bury St Edmunds, which is another 28 miles.
I went for my first ride out at the weekend with the FOC (unofficial Fazer’s Owner Club), London lot (LoFo). We started off in High Beach, Epping at the well known tea hut, then made our way North up through Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden and finished up near Royston.
The the plan was to meet up with the (slightly more) Northern branch of FOC and then ride back to Epping together. Everything started off well, but the day didn’t continue as planned.
Summer is finally here, the sun is out and riding two wheels into town is most agreeable. One can really chill out, cruise along and soak up the sites of London; Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and all the rest. But here I am sat in the office counting down the hours before I clock off and can get back out there on the bike.
A lot of crap stuck in the tyre, but crucially a big hole with lump of glass in it. Tried to pull it out, with a view to repairing it, but I can’t get it with the pliers, just ends up crumbling. The hole also seems bit big for emergency repair. Breakdown recovery it is. At least I’ve got some this time.
Well that’s my afternoon off work scuppered.
Had a good blast out to the Ace Cafe last night. Another newbie night for the London Bikers forum. This time however we sorted a babysitter and I took Mary along. Bit of a round trip, but not too bad on the North Circular.
First time at the Ace for Mary and out with the LB lot. Great night, meeting people, some new, some not. Mary had a sit on Ally’s Kwak ER-6n, now convinced it’s the bike for her and even more determined to get her own wheels. Fair enough really.
I’ve recently found my wrist aching slightly whilst riding. Namely around town, where I’ve noticed my riding posture is all tense and rigid straight arms. Not good. I need to relax my elbows more, use my legs to grip the tank to support myself, and ultimately take my weight off the bars and my wrists.
On the open road I have no problems, but around town, when filtering and doing lots of low speed manoeuvres I keep unconsciously tensing up. Such that periodically I have to mentally remind myself to relax. I guess, with practice I’ll get better.
Some suggestions I’ve read about include gel filled grips and raised bars. What tip do you have do to avoid this?