Category Archives: Riding

First Time Pillion Rider

first-time-pillion-riderYesterday I took my sister-in-law pillion on the bike, the first time she has ever been on a motorcycle. Kitted out in a mixture of my spare leathers and my wife’s gear, I gave her a lift back home to Islington.

Lovely sunny weather, just cleaned, polished the bike and a great day to ride out through the quiet-ish city streets. She was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but soon got the hang of it and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Was a great ride, except for when I mashed the gears trying to pull away in 2nd or 3rd, stalling lots and struggling to find first. Doh!

Public Transport Strike, Missing Bike

I’m currently working on site for a company in Heidelberg (about 1 hour south of Frankfurt), however there’s been a local public transport strike, both limiting my options and causing huge waits for taxis. The client is situated on top of a big hill a couple of miles out of town, in the middle of some lovely countryside and has some great bendy roads and hairpins on route.

Really missing my bike right now. It would be so handy to get about and so much fun on the roads over here. But alas it sat at home 500 miles away.

Here Comes The Sun

At last, it looks like we might be getting over this long winter that has dragged on far too long. First ride into work of the year without thermals on, heated gloves off and shades on!

To be fair, yesterday was also fairly warm, didn’t really need heated gloves on, but I left them on lowest setting. I must be turning into a nesh Southern pansy. 🙂 Could be time to swap to my summer gloves.

Bike desperately needs a nice wash and polish, however I’m still waiting for damage and insurance claim to be resolved. At least the other insurance company is starting to get their act together. Just had a visit from their engineer to assess the damage and push the claim forwards a bit. Fingers crossed it will be all sorted soon. However it’s looking likely it will be written off, but I have been advised to buy back the bike cheap and repair it myself on the cheap.

Delays on My Commute Home

imageThere were long delays on my commute home today. I ask you, who brings a yacht up the Thames into central London and gets Tower Bridge to make an unscheduled opening at rush hour?! It wasn’t even a posh or expensive looking yacht, nor very fast!

That said, sat on Tower Bridge on a warm Spring afternoon, Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, Dome to my right, and to my left I can see the Shard, HMS Belfast, City Hall, Tower of London, St Pauls, the nearly complete ‘Walky-Talky’ building, and in the distance, BT Tower, the Eye and Big Ben. London is a mental place to live and work in, crazy, busy, total bedlam, but there are moments when you stop and take in all amazing history and breathtaking sights. Over 15 million people each year, travelling from around the world to visit London, the city I call home.


Car Pulled Out On Me


The other night on the way home from work I had an off. Thankfully at very low speed and just a slight clip, so no injuries or serious damage.
I was approaching a red light junction with two lanes to turn right. The first of these had two stationary cars, the second was clear. So I took the second clear lane and prepared to pull up at lights. However a car on the left  suddenly pulls out into the second lane, causing me to swerve, just touching his car and come off.

Bike now has some cosmetic damage, cracked and scuffed faring and a crumpled bust belly pan. Indicator was bashed in, but thankfully has a rubber mount, so just clipped in. Bike still rides fine, just looks a mess.

However, the other party was very reluctant to exchange insurance details. Firstly, he promptly moved his car around the corner away from the traffic, then insisted he wasn’t to blame and as there was no damage to his car, there was no need to pass on his details. What a wanker.  In the end, it wasn’t until I started calling the police did he dig out his insurance details. He did eventually concede he changed lanes without indicating and ‘just didn’t see me’ – didn’t check his blind spot. He has a big scuff mark in the dirt on his door, where I clipped him (which I photographed)

Insurance claim is under way, just hoping the other chap doesn’t spout some bullshit to his insurance firm and leave me to fight this one out. Going to try put off any repairs and costs from the insurance until blame has been assigned, I don’t want to be left out of pocket if the other chap is an arse.

Close Shave with Cyclist & Scooter

This morning on my way into work I had a rather close shave, that could have so easily have turned out badly. I was going round the block just South of London Bridge to negotiate the one way system on Bermondsey Street. Picture me, stationary at a T-junction ready to pull out and turn left, looking right, waiting for a clear gap in the traffic. Also to my right, is a zebra crossing with some vehicles just pulling away as some pedestrians finish crossing.

A scooter comes along, indicates to turn left into the road I’m on, but as he turns, all of a sudden a cyclist comes bombing along on the inside and slams into the side of the scooter, sending him flying towards me! Thankfully the scooter rider manages to remain up right and came to a halt inches from me. The cyclist? Checks he’s OK, apologies, said he didn’t see him indicating, then zooms off.

Obviously, the cyclist was at fault for undertaking. The scooter probably should have done a left shoulder life saver as he pulled away from the pedestrian crossing and about to turn left. As for me, I’m not what I could have done. I couldn’t have pulled out to avoid the scooter, I would have gone into other traffic behind the scooter. What would you have done?

Don’t reverse into me!

Had a really close shave this morning. On my way into town, with Mary pillion, going down A13 as it crosses junction to Blackwall tunnel, I pull up at some red traffic lights. I filter so far between the two lanes of traffic, but have to come to a halt due to lack of room. I’m a bit hemmed in, sitting between the lanes behind a couple of cars, but everything is stationary. The lights turn green and whilst I’m waiting for the traffic in front to move, the people carrier in front to my right, rolls backwards towards me. Not just an inch or two, but a good metre or so. I have to lean the bike right over on my left leg to dodge it, they still clip my mirror and continue rolling backwards right alongside me as I hammer the side of the car!

A couple of centimetres closer and they would undoubtedly have pushed us over into the near side lane of moving traffic. Good job my right hand foot was on the brake or they would have rolled over it. It turns out the car had Polish plate and was left hand drive, but still no reason why he didn’t see us in his mirror, I could see him fine… And certainly no excuse to roll backwards so far.

Not sure what there is to learn from this one. Had I not been between lanes, they would have rolled right into us and done serious damage. Tricky one. There’s no accounting for incompetence on the roads.

Impromptu Essex Ride Out

Took a day off work today to sort out some loose ends, however this afternoon made for an impromptu ride out into Essex. Weather was perfect, bit overcast, but warm and calm. With my wife, Mary pillion we sent off from Dagenham, with a plan to get a late lunch at Pizza Express in Baintree. Our route consisted of:

  • A112 to Hainault
  • A113 to Stapleford Abbotts (possibly cutting through Lamboune End)
  • A113 to Chipping Ongar
  • B184 to Dunmow
  • B1256 to Baintree

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