Motorcycle Blog UK

This motorcycle blog tells my story as a biker in London, from learning to ride to now a seasoned city commuter and lover of motorcycle adventures further afield.

Read on and watch my videos about the lessons I’ve learnt, tips I’ve picked up, reviews of my kit and stories of amazing rides around the globe.

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Motorcycles

My First Shift with Blood Bikes Scotland

Recently, I signed up as a Blood Bikes Scotland volunteer and after some onboarding, I undertook my first shift. I had been thinking of volunteering for a few years, but finally took the plunge last year after being approached by a local rep at an IAM meet-up. It felt like a worthwhile cause, a good use of my advanced biking skills and a great way to get out and do more biking.

Have you thought about volunteering as a Blood Biker? Have you ever wondered what it is like? Read on if you’d like to find out more about what Blood Biking involves and how my first shift went.

What are Blood Bikers?

Blood Bikers provide a free-of-charge transport service to the NHS run by volunteers in their own time. They deliver small urgent items between NHS sites or to patients’ homes in the community. The service runs in all weathers and supports teams in primary and secondary care including GPs, District Nurses, Care Homes, and Community Hospitals.

This service is 100% run by volunteers and is reliant upon charitable donations and the free time offered by members. It can save the cash-strapped NHS a lot of money and help the day-to-day running of care the NHS provides, which ultimately helps patients in need.

Categories
Motorcycles

The 3 Best Motorcycles for Beginners in 2022

There is nothing quite like the experience of riding a motorcycle in the open air. With the pleasantly warm weather and clear roads these days, we can’t blame you if you suddenly consider buying a motorcycle. But what is the best motorcycle to buy, I hear you ask. First of all, there is no such thing as the best motorcycle for beginners! Let me explain.

Every experienced motorcyclist knows how important it is to choose a motorcycle that suits his/her riding style, his/her build, and most importantly, his/her ability. In order to choose the best entry-level motorcycle, we should familiarize ourselves with the different types of two-wheelers on the market.

Before we start our guide of motorcycle choices that are beginner friendly, we would like to take a moment to explain briefly how to bet on Motorcycle racing.

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News

Happy Christmas! Take care, it’s been a tough 2022

Happy Christmas!

Take it easy, folks, we’re still going through tough times, and the Christmas spirit is in short supply (budget cuts, austerity etc). So stress not on all the whirlwind of consumerism and obligated gifting. This year, the well-being of family and friends is the greatest priority. A simple catch-up and blether over a wee drink is worth more than some hurriedly purchased tat online.

We’ve all had greater struggles recently, be it physical or mental health, finances or work stresses. Many are still dealing with the fallout from Covid, rocketing inflation has hit some more than others, and work is certainly not getting any easy. I wholeheartedly support those striking over crap conditions and pay. My wife has been dealing with some shocking stuff as a Nurse at the Forth Valley NHS Trust. It is just one example of tough times many people everywhere are going through, which left unchecked can severely affect health and well-being.

So check in with those close to you and especially those you haven’t heard from in a while who aren’t joining in with activities they previously enjoyed. The quiet isolation of a once close friend can be the first sign of mental health deteriorating. It affects huge numbers of us, yet is still a taboo subject less spoken of for fear of shame. Suicide rates are depressing high, with 5,583 recorded in 2021 in the UK (10.7 in every 100,00), around three-quarters were male and the highest in those aged 50 to 54 years. However, the biggest increase was in females under the age of 24, a scary trend and possibly linked to Social Media and unrealistic expectations.

Do you have a biking buddy you haven’t seen out for a while? – Now is the perfect time to check in with them and see how they’re doing.

The weather may be rubbish, daylight hours short and not much opportunity for biking – which we all know does wonders for stress, but hang in there, we’ve just crossed the winter solstice, and the countdown to better biking days has begun. Look after yourselves this Christmas and New Year, and see you on the flip side.

If you want more help on mental health, for you or someone you’re worried about, get in touch with:

 

 

 

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News

Autumn Update

Things have been a bit quiet here at Beginner Biker Adventures, lots of non-biking things going on that haven’t left me with much time, to be honest. Sometimes it is not all fun on the bikes. This blog is only a hobby and far from a full-time venture. So here is a quick catchup, just to fill you in on the random other stuff I’ve been up to recently.

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Gear Reviews

Shapeheart Motorbike Phone Mount – 2022 Edition Review

Shapeheart motorbike phone mountLast year I reviewed the Shapeheart mobile phone case for motorcycles, it was a good budget offering but had a few niggles I was less fond of. This year the good chaps at Shapeheart took heed of this critique and have released a new and improved version for 2022, which they were kind enough to send in for me to review. Let’s take a closer look at this new model and see how it compares.

Shapeheart is a small firm from France, kicked off by two clever entrepreneurs who started out making arm mounts for runners and then later branched out into solutions for cyclists, scooters and motorcycles.

Categories
Riding Videos

Lake Tahoe Motorcycle Ride and Yamaha Super Ténéré XT1200 Review

Check out this new video or a chilled-out Lake Tahoe motorcycle ride as part of my past motorcycle trip to Yosemite. Located on the California/Nevada border and a great excursion for a San Francisco motorcycle route. I rode a Yamaha Super Ténéré XT1200ZE picked up from Eagle Rider, San Francisco motorcycle rental, a great dual sport bike for this adventure.

The route took in some breathtaking scenery alongside this beautiful lake. I also review the Yamaha Super Ten after three days of riding and give you my verdict.

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I actually filmed this Lake Tahoe motorcycle ride back in late 2019 just before the pandemic, I just haven’t had the chance to finish editing it until now. Sadly, much of the area was hit badly by forest fires since I was there, and there is a worrying trend of fires getting worse with each season.

More details about the trip, my plan and the route can be found here.

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News

10 Years of Riding!

How time flies when you’re having fun!

Passed DAS - Big Grin!
Motorcycle test passed 30th Aug 2012

I can’t believe it was 10 years ago when I embarked on my motorcycling adventure. Back then, I was fed up commuting into London on the tube, so I took my wife’s advice (yep, she’s always right!) and learnt to ride a motorbike.

Life has changed dramatically since then, I well and truly converted, now a die-hard biker. For many years I commuted into central London, toured in far-flung locations, went on track days, and did a spot of off-road riding, and throughout I was always looking to better my riding skills with further training. I’ve also made so many great friends within the biking community, it really is just one big family.

Mary picking up her Triumph Street Twin

Mary got herself back on two wheels after a few years’ break allowing us to share our biking interest and enjoy some fun times together. The kids grew up fast, also joined us on the bikes and are now contemplating their first motorbikes. Guess that’s what happens when you start ‘um young!

Categories
Riding

Is it worth getting a 50cc motorbike at 16?

16 years old is the first big milestone towards adulthood, with many things you can (legally) do at this age: leave home, join the army, apply for an adult passport, have sex, get married, register to vote and so on. But crucially, 16 is when you can legally start to ride a motorcycle on the road. You can only ride a small 50cc moped and it may be your first set of wheels to get around, but what is involved, what does it cost and is it really worth getting a 50cc motorbike at 16?

What can you ride at 16?

Get a 50cc motorbike at 16?In the UK at age 16, you can legally ride a 50cc moped with a top speed of 45km/h (30mph). OK, certainly no speed daemon, but it’ll get you around faster than a push bike and will have more street cred.

The most common 50cc bike will be a twist’n’go scooter with automatic gears. However, there are a number of traditional geared 50cc motorbikes available, ranging from basic commuter bikes to retro classics, dirt bikes to race replicas. Basic Chinese bikes start at around £1k, with prices going up to about £4k for posher Italian models from the likes of Aprilia.

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Riding Uncategorized Videos

Random Encounters Video – Scotland Style

Random encounters when out riding in Scotland are quite different to what I used to encounter in London. Check out this short video of some of my recent daily observations from riding around Scotland.

YouTube player

Have you bumped into anything wild on your riding adventures, do comment below, I’d love to hear more.

Categories
Riding

Is the end of petrol motorcycles upon us?

At some point, we bikers really need to discuss the big elephant in the room – burning petrol, no matter how much fun it is, causes some serious problems.

Recycling dinosaurs doesn’t half feel good!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy revving the tits off my motorbike as much as the rest of you, hooning it through the twisties, revelling in the sound, vibration and smell it makes. Recycling dinosaurs doesn’t half feel good! But we really need to face up to the fact that burning petrol is not without consequences. I don’t want to go all Greta Thunberg on you, but we can’t live in denial and we should face up to some home truths.