On the back of the excellent BikeSafe course I did on Saturday, already I’ve found one of the tips covered useful and prevented a potentially hairy situation.
Riding home in the dark, along a quiet tree lined avenue, I spotted up ahead the nose of a car protruding from a junction. Its indicator was flashing to turn right across my path and was slowly creeping out. I changed position, moving out towards the centre of the road, to make myself visible around the tree. The car hit the brakes and waited for me to pass.
It was a simple trick, being aware the tree was blocking the line of sight between myself and the car driver, and changing position accordingly. But had I not moved out the car driver would not have seen me until much later, and likely would have pulled out in front of me.
So, tip of the day, position yourself to be scene. Consider what may obscure you.
Distinctly frosty and foggy this morning. But once wrapped up warm, it was a good ride into work. So glad I’ve got my heated gloves and Pinlock visor. I do like riding into London on a foggy day, coming in past Canary Wharf, with just a sun blinding glint coming out of the fog where some skyscraper is hidden. The Shard (pictured) was particularly dazzling as it poked out above the fog, and just the top most floors visible and catching the sun.
This shot of the Shard was taken from just off Bermondsey Street.
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…
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.
With several inches of snow on the ground, and our road totally covered in ice. I’m going snow where today. Just not worth the risk, both to myself or damaging the bike. Much easier to just stay in the warm and work from home.
This last couple of days I’ve been commuting out of London, up to GSK in Stevenage. So good to get into some open roads and open the Fazer up a bit. 🙂 My normal commute never gets above 50mph and often just filtering in thick traffic, so this has been quite a novelty. And with paying travel costs, double bonus.
The weather has been seriously cold and a little icy in places, so some smooth and careful riding was in order. Stevenage was a good few degrees colder than central London. On setting off home, I had real trouble with the key in the ignition. A right struggle to disable the steering lock. 🙁
I had to head over to my old haunt in Soho tonight to catch up with some old work colleagues. However unlike the the rest of London, Westminster council charge for motorcycle parking in the solo bike bays – the cheek!
You have to register first, then phone or txt through, with details of your bike reg and the parking bay location id. Full details can be found on the Westminster Council website here. The charge is £1 a day. Not going to break the bank, but a right faff when parking up. it is however free after 7pm, until 7am. I can definitely recommend signing up and sticking the number on your phone handy for when you may wonder into the West End.
To find out where there are convenient parking bays, I can recommend this site: ParkingForBikes.com. It has a decent search engine and interactive map, highlighting which bays are free and which aren’t.
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London