Just back from a good meet up at Borough Market with the London Biker forum bunch. Great turn out, lots of bikes (only half in photo above), of all shapes, sizes and ages. Good friendly banter, but cut a little short due to rain. Can’t believe I’ve not made it before as I only work 5 mins around corner.
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.
There 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.
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?
Today I’d like to address the things that you need to have with you when you are taking your motor cycle off for a long haul excursion.
There are five things that I think are absolutely essential if you are going to hit the road to take a trip.
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.
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
Everyone wants to find cheap bike insurance, of course, but you really need to know what types of things can help you get this low-cost coverage if you want it to be a reality. There are certain things that you can do to drive the cost down. People often do not know that it is within their power to reduce their own payments. It is also within their power to raise their payments. Rarely do two people pay exactly the same amount of money each month, so you need to know how to act so that your payments can be on the low end and not the high end.
Most bikes have a small storage compartment under the seat, ideal for essential kit for them tricky emergencies. You probably already have the factory supplied mini tool kit in there, so here I’m going to go over other useful kit you should pack on an every day basis. Some I’ve found useful myself, some I’ve been recommended by others.
Stumbled across this excellent YouTube video today. Certainly not for the faint hearted, but there’s some definitely lessons to be learnt from the unfortunate accidents shown. Not easy viewing, but do try to avoid repeating their mistakes on the road yourself.
A large number of these accidents are down to aggressive filtering, often on the inside and general lack of perception and anticipation of upcoming hazards. It may be easy to spot these errors watching the video, but many of the riders had too much speed for the conditions/hazards around them, leaving them no time to react. There’s also an awful lot of riders seriously lacking protective clothing – they’re really gonna be hurting!