A day of annual leave booked, kids with childminder, mid week, quiet roads, lovely sunny weather – ah the perfect ride out. The intention for the day was to go for a reasonably long run on the bikes, get Mary more accustomed to her new ZZR400, build up her confidence after returning to biking and have a chilled out ride, culminating in a picnic in Finchingfield, Essex.
The route was fairly straight forward. From Dagenham: Hainhault → Stapleford Abbots → Chipping Ongar → Leaden Roding → Great Dunmow → Finchingfield. The route is very scenic, especially the stretch North of Great Dunmow. Undulating fields, twisty bends and corn in the fields being harvested. Total length is just she of 40 miles and easily doable in under 1.5 hours. If you fancy a longer ride, you could continue North through Haverhill and onto Bury St Edmunds, which is another 28 miles.
I went for my first ride out at the weekend with the FOC (unofficial Fazer’s Owner Club), London lot (LoFo). We started off in High Beach, Epping at the well known tea hut, then made our way North up through Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden and finished up near Royston.
The the plan was to meet up with the (slightly more) Northern branch of FOC and then ride back to Epping together. Everything started off well, but the day didn’t continue as planned.
Had a good blast out to the Ace Cafe last night. Another newbie night for the London Bikers forum. This time however we sorted a babysitter and I took Mary along. Bit of a round trip, but not too bad on the North Circular.
First time at the Ace for Mary and out with the LB lot. Great night, meeting people, some new, some not. Mary had a sit on Ally’s Kwak ER-6n, now convinced it’s the bike for her and even more determined to get her own wheels. Fair enough really.
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.
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)