So many of the things we do in life carry unique benefits and dangers and motorcycle riding is certainly no exception. While we savor the freedom that comes with our motorcycles, we must be mindful of the risks we take every time we strap on our helmet. Consider these risks and then please consider the ways that are suggested to make the riding experience safer.
The MET office has forecast high winds, so ride safe. Watch out for sudden gusts, flying debris and falling trees!
Watch out, it seems these cameras are the new favourite toy of cash strapped councils. Bolted to lamp posts and enforcing bus lanes, councils can move them about at ease. This one recently popped up on a bus lane along my daily commute, on Lodge Avenue, Dagenham. A spot that used to be covered on occasion by a Smart car with a roof camera. It’s an awkward bottleneck, often in gridlock, with unbroken white lines down the centre, so no filtering at all. Yet the bus lane is invariably empty.
Quite why some bus lanes allow motorcyclists and others don’t had no rhyme or reason. But we can be certain the motivation is purely for revenue generation.
So a fellow biker pulls up at work with these spankingly shiny red wheels on his bike. Seriously funky and big improvement to his bike, much better than the old grey wheels. However the wheels are not new, he’s just had the bike professionally cleaned!
The top chaps who cleaned this were Over The Rainbow, next door to Ace Cafe, who also do bikes. Done a very good job, cleaned all the grime, chain lube and other detritus and got whole bike sparkly clean. All for a tenner and in 1.5 hrs. After spending ages the other weekend trying to remove the chain lube off my bike, it’s a tempting offer.
Another Wednesday night, another London Biker meet up at Borough Market. Traditionally home to some of the best food produce, organic fruit, veggies, quality meat, game, hand cooked meals and deserts. So, of course not to be out done, Thamer arrives with a home baked apple crumble strapped to the back of his Street Triple. And why not?!
A little quiet on attendance (bah! you other fair weather bikers!), but we all had a good chin wag and tucked into some tasty pudding. But what culinary delights can other bring next week?
During my recent visit to Shrewsbury I had chance to catch up with two of my sister’s buddies who are also avid bikers. We had a nice leisurely Saturday afternoon ride out, with excellent sunny weather, quiet ish roads (compared to London anyway!) and a decent pub at our destination. I was joined by Blake, riding a heavily customised Harley 883 Sportster that sat barely a hairs breath off the road and Pete on a Honda Transalp adventure style bike. With me on the sports-tourer Fazer, we couldn’t have as far apart from one another in our styles of bike and riding posture.
I had a half day at work, motorcycle loaded up, 170 miles to cover, time away from kids, lovely dry weather and a pub dinner booked with family in 6 hours time. It doesn’t really get much better than this. It turned out to be great ride up to Shropshire, cross country through the Cotswolds, Worcester and South Shropshire. Here is how I got on.
I left work after lunch and immediately cut straight up across the city via Islington, Highbury etc along the A1, before hitting the North circular and then out of London on the A41. This first leg was a little slow going due to traffic, but later on the A41 was almost empty. A fast dual carriageway with big sweeping bends leading to Aylesbury, a nice easy ride through green countryside, but not the fun country bends I was looking for.
Aylesbury is a nice small town, but straight through I went continuing on the A41 to Bicester. The road was mostly single carriageway, but with occasionally stretches of dual carriageway. The scenery was pleasant, highlighted by passing the majestic Waddesdon Manor, but nothing compared to beyond Bicester as I entered the Cotswolds.
I picked up this kit a few months ago and have been using it every now and again to clean up and condition my leather motorcycle gear. It’s a pretty decent box of bottles covering, head to toe pretty much everything you need. You get leather cleaner, leather restorer, waterproofing wax, glove waterproofing and visor water repellent. Not a bad bundle for £20.
The glove waterproofing I used on my Gerbings XR12 gloves, as recommended in their care instructions and on my wifes Buffalo leather gloves. The bottle has a foam top sponge dispenser type thing, which lets you apply and rub the solution all over your gloves easily. Once dry, the solution is completely invisible, but the palms did feel a little slippery on my grips for a day or two. In the wet, it performed exactly as desired, no water leaks, dry hands – job done, big thumbs up.
Bike cleaned, serviced and laden with luggage, ready for my trip up North this afternoon. Spending a few days in Shrewsbury, Shropshire with family. I’d rather travel light, however I have a funeral to attend so need to pack a suit and shoes.
My plan is to avoid the usual motorways (M25, M1, M6, M54), as although quicker will get very monotonous and tiresome very quickly. I am going to take a more cross country route on A roads, with some interesting scenery and bends. The route is roughly A41, A44, A458 and will take me across the top of the Cotswalds and through the Vale of Evesham.