This month I was posted to San Jose for work, but unlike most work trips this one included a stay over the weekend. So, stuck on my tod in California I decided to hire a Harley to explore the area as it’s not often you get chance to cruise down the West Coast freeways on a big hog, definitely on many bikers bucket lists and too good a chance to miss. I hired my bike from EagleRider in San Francisco, who had a wide selection of Harley’s to choose from (but also have others). I initially booked a Sportster 1200, but due to unavailability was given a Dyna Low Rider 103 as an upgrade – nice one!
It was a bank holiday, the sun was shining and the rest of the family were out of town – such a perfect day teat up Essex on the bike. Be rude not to take advantage.
I struck North out of Romford, up to Ongar, West a bit to Stansted, up through Thaxted and then my first stop was Finchingfield – all roads lead to Finchingfield, you can’t have an Essex ride out not going there… Though surprisingly quiet today, not like most weekends. A quick cuppa in Bosworth’s, then back on the road.
Heading Eastbound to Sible Hedingham, Sudbury, Manningtree before finally hitting the coast in Walton-on-the-Naze for lunch. Parked on the seafront by Revved Up, a friendly little biker shop selling clothes and a modest brew. With sea, sand, surf and the chippie next door it ticked all the boxes for a quintessential British seaside jaunt.
The only thing worse than being stuck at work, is being stuck at work when there is perfect biking weather outside. So, the other day my wife and I booked the day off, dropped kids off at school and then just hit the road. Life’s too short.
We took a gentle bimble out into Essex with Mersea Island as our destination for lunch. Fairly familiar roads to myself, but a good opportunity for Mary to continue building back her confidence and also test out her new Garmin Satnav. Here’s the route (though we plotted this in Garmin’s Base Camp app and then downloaded it to the satnav, which all worked perfectly). Continue reading “Mersea Island Ride Out” »
Some highlights from a recent ride out with the East London Advanced Motorcyclist (ELAM) group I’m with. A great day blitzing around Herts and Essex. Hope you enjoy it!
Not a lot beats a hot August for getting out on the bike and enjoying oneself. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing this last couple of weekends, by mostly exploring Essex, which invariable entails a stop in Finchingfield. This picturesque village is quite the Mecca for bikers at weekends. With so many great country roads leading to and from it (see routes below), it’s no surprise.
Bosworth’s Tearooms Cafe still rustles up fine food, although did change ownership earlier this year which has led to some menu changes and price increases. Their ice cream kiosk is still very much welcomed on hot days when sweating like a pig in full leathers.
Continue reading “Summer Ride Outs Via Finchingfield” »
Just home from another long jaunt across the middle of England, from London to Shrewsbury, and back. Catching up with family for the weekend up in Shrewsbury, Welshpool and surrounding areas. I took a slightly different route from last time, running a little further North.
Over the weekend I rode up to Shrewsbury on the bike to see family. Heading North I took boring motorways, but on my return South I took a far more enjoyable and scenic route:
As the days grow longer and my IAM course progresses, I have been looking for decent routes to hit after work on my commute home to squeeze in some extra practice and take advantage of the lovely weather. I ride home Eastbound on the A13, so have been hunting down quiet, yet interesting roads in close proximity to the areas of Upminster, Bulphan, Tilbury, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Brentwood. This is my route:
It’s Christmas! – screamed Slade. For bikers up and down the country that means Toy Runs. Not just any old excuse for a ride out, but a chance to dress up, decorate the bike and most importantly take some toys to kids stuck in hospital this Christmas. On Sunday I joined the Ace Cafe Toy Run, which visited the children’s wing of St. Mary’s in Paddington, Royal Brompton in Chelsea and the Evelina Children’s Hospital in Westminster.
I took my 8 year old daughter along with me, who was super excited and had wrapped our presents days in advance. The weather held out well, just a spot chilly in the morning and we finished off with bacon sarnies and complementary drinks back at the Ace. Here’s some snaps from the day, most taken by my daughter!
It was a lovely sunny summer evening, I Managed to blag leaving work earlier, a night free from kids and my Fazer had a full tank of fuel. I really fancied a chippie tea and the Fazer Owner Club – Unofficial were riding into the far reaches of Kent. Like planets falling into alignment, everything was all set. I left central London, down A2 via Blackheath and on to Nell’s Cafe in Gravesend for the rendezvous, where I had a good natter to some of the Kent branch of the IAM (really must do that some day soon). A quick blast down the M2 took us deep into Kent, where top chap Steve led us along some nice twisty country roads before stopping off in Herne Bay for our chippie tea. Not the cheapest Fish’n’Chips, but a decent one it was, and great to sit by the sea eating whilst the sun slowly came down.
Once sated, onwards we rode along some great minor roads and twisty country byways skirting Canterbury and Dover, before finally calling it a day when we had exhausted all daylight.
Big thanks to Steve for leading this ride.