Watch and Learn!

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!

Position to be Seen

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.

Heads up on Lidl Bargain Biker Gear

Lidl-Biker-Baselayer-topCheck out your local Lidl store next week, they’re doing a bunch of biker gear cheap. Lids, boots, gloves and thermal base layers. The Lids, gloves and boots look a bit cheap and probably only worth bothering with for occasional pillion use. However the thermal base layers look decent. Although the worst of the winter is over, it’s still pretty chilly out there, so will still be useful before next winter. Offer starts Feb 28th, but be quick, once the stock has gone, that’ll be it.

Cold Frosty & Foggy Morning

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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.

Young Person Wanting A Motorcycle? Here’s The Top Bikes For Young Bikers

4543984915_4627ef07d9When planning to take to the road on two wheels, novice motorcyclists should realise that motorbikes vary considerably in size, power, weight and handling. No beginner should hop on a Kawasaki 2012 ZX-14R, which packs a 1,441cc engine and can reach speeds of up to 186mph (or higher with the limiter removed), generating 11,000rpm, 192bhp (over 200bhp with a modified exhaust) and 113lb.ft of torque. The ZX-14R is certainly no bike for beginners, but some of the models listed below may be suitable.

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Ride Magazine Subscription

Ride magazineThe first issue of my Ride magazine subscription arrived today. Excellent Christmas present from my wife. I had picked up the odd issue previously and found it a very good read, with loads of great articles. Not just reviews or new bikes I can’t afford, but decent riding tips, maintenance info etc.

This month they have several pages dedicated to bike security to help prevent theft. The subscription also had a free gift, some Oxford heated grips, potentially very useful. Not sure I’ll use them myself since I have heated gloves. However my wife is keen to get her own bike and fancies them for that… 🙂

Wet Ride, Waterproof Time

imageTerrible 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.

Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London