Motorcycles News

Visit to Bike Shed Motorcycle Club show 2014 (BSMCIII)

BSMCIII-WristBandAt the weekend the Bike Shed MC were hosting their annual show down in Tobacco Dock, East London, having outgrown their usual Shoreditch haunt. The event was a huge showcase of the best custom bikes, cafe racers, cruisers, bobbers and other random hand built two wheel mayhem. The weather was lovely, but unfortunately this was a family outing, so the bike remained at home. But that didn’t stop hundreds of other bikers descending and enjoying the chilled out atmosphere. But I couldn’t help wondering if I’d fit in better with a well trimmed beard, waxed moustache and a full sleeve tattoo. A peculiar blend of ’50s rockabilly and Chap was very much in vogue.

I couldn’t help wondering if I’d fit in better with a well trimmed beard and waxed moustache…

It was good to check out all the funky bikes, even if I’d be hesitant to take any out on the streets of London myself, style over substance seemed to pervade in many instances. Knobbly tyres and Hessian wrapped pipes are definitely this seasons look. Front mudguards are optional and the more belts on show the better.

Hope you like the snaps of all the best bikes we saw. The kids pinched my camera for most of the show as they were getting a bit bored, so please excuse the odd framing or any not quite in focus. They were pissed they couldn’t sit on all the bikes like at the last show we went to!


Midnight Ride Out

LB-MidnightRide-May14-3The other night The London Bikers organised a night to remember, a midnight ride ride across the city hooning past all the sights. What made it special was the immense turnout (over 50 bikers), the gorgeous warm evening and amazing atmosphere from fellow bikers and the crowds spectating and cheering us all on. With Miss Plum getting everyone organised and leading the ride, we all had a top night we’ll always remember.

Our ride started at Oval Motorcycle Centre, then on out across Battersea Bridge into Chelsea and Knightbridge, before whizzing past Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace before a quick pit stop on the Mall overlook St James Park. Then on past Trafalgar Square and looping up round into Soho via Frith Street, before heading down past Downing Street, the Cenotaph, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and across the river for a second stop by Waterloo and the London Eye. Back in the saddle we went North of the river again, zoomed past Aldwych and Royal Courts or Justice, down Fleet Street and our third stop outside St. Pauls cathedral, for a perfect photo opportunity. Off again, hanging a right by the Bank of England and South over London Bridge, past Southwalk cathedral, Borough Market, the Shard and then crossing the river again over Tower Bridge, lit up beautifully.

… a stop at the wonderful 24 hour Beigel shops for some much needed sustenance and a mix with Shoreditch hipsters leaving their night clubs and bars.

We continued North weaving through the streets and up to Brick Lane and a stop at the wonderful 24 hour Beigel shops for some much needed sustenance and a mix with Shoreditch hipsters leaving their night clubs and bars. To finish off, we continued East onto the Isle of Dogs and took a tour through the ghostly skyscrapers of Canary Wharf all lit up and towering overhead. The original plan was to continue on to Greenwich, but alas the Blackwall tunnel was shut for maintenance.

All in all, it was a wicked night, it was great to get out with Mary pillion (sorely missing a bike of her own) and great to see all of London’s landmarks lit up. Everything went swimmingly, even if group of us sometimes got separated momentarily.



Best Motorcycle Routes UK and Beyond for a Ride out

Whether you’re a new biker looking for places to ride, or a seasoned rider in need of fresh motorbike roads to try, here is a round-up of my personal favourite and best motorcycle routes the UK. Many emanate from East London and out into Essex, Herts, Beds or Suffolk, but some stretch further afield across middle England into Wales and beyond from more distant motorcycle adventures.

Best Motorcycle Routes (UK)

Adventures Down Under, Motorcycle Rental MT09 in Brisbane, Part 1
Adventures Down Under, Motorcycle Rental MT09 in Brisbane, Part 2
After Work Twisty Road Circuit
Losing Chicken Strips
Another Jaunt Across Middle England
Autumn Ride to North Wales
Back to Biking: Essex Ride Out to Finchingfield
Best Motorcycle Roads Essex has for a Ride Out
Best San Francisco Motorcycle Routes in the Bay Area
Essex Ride Out, Burnham Bends to Bishops Stortford
Good Friday Seaside Ride Route Essex Loop from London
OsmAnd Start Riding
Howto: Plan & Follow a Google Maps Route on Motorcycle with your Phone
Impromptu Essex Ride Out to Braintree
Essex Ride Out - Mersea Island
Mersea Island Essex Ride Out
Mid Wales Motorcycle Ride Out – The Abergwesyn Pass
Motorcycle Routes – Essex Ride Out Loop
Food Stop Cafe Bridgenorth
Scenic Ride Back From Shrewsbury
Scotland West Coast Motorcycle Road Trip with Mapped/FA
Bosworth's Tearooms
Summer Ride Outs Via Finchingfield
Welsh trip Jul16 Ludlow Castle
Trip to North Wales July 2016
Ultimate Guide to Route Optimisation in 2020

Most of these routes are presented in Google Maps form, which can easily be sent straight to your phone, or can be downloaded in the universal KML format for import into Garmin or TomTom satnav’s.

If you’ve ridden any of these rides, do report back, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Similarly, if you have your own alternative detours or back roads, I’d also love to hear from you.


Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 12 (SMIDSY Avoidence)

Ah yes, yet another near SMIDSY. You can probably spot this one about to happen a mile off, however today I’m going to give you a break down, step by step, my thought process and what I did to mitigate a potentially unhappy bike-car interface. These are some techniques I’ve picked up over the last couple of years and find invaluable, but do let me know if you have further tips for this kind of situation.

I’ve also been experimenting with dubbing on a narration in an attempt to make my videos a little more engaging. Feedback in this respect would be much appreciated.


Essex Ride Out, Burnham Bends to Bishops Stortford

Essex ride out to Burnham Bends, Tillingham
Pit stop in Tillingham

By gum, a mid week ride out, what’s that all about? With kids at school, the weather forecast predicting summer arriving and the two of us in dire need of a break, we booked a day off and hit the road for an Essex ride out. The plan was to hit the infamous Burnham Bends (around Burnham-on-Crouch), then double back, through Chelmsford and out to Bishops Stortford following the A1060. But wait, Mary was having a wardrobe malfunction: her old leather trousers were hideously baggy after recent dieting, but the interim pair bought cheap off eBay seemed to fit, but had no give in them and prevented her getting her leg over the bike. Not good. A quick pit stop at J&S Gants Hill sorted us out with a pair Frank Thomas trousers that fit and didn’t break the bank. Sorted. Now back on the road.


New Leather Jacket & Trousers From Alpinestars

Alpinestars-Leather-Jacket-Pants-1I recently picked up a new set of Alpinestars leather pants and jacket, perfect for the coming summer. I have been wearing the Alpinestars Bat Pants for over a year now, however the second hand set I had were starting to show their age, but a knackered lower leg zip drove me to finally replacing them. Jacket wise, I’ve been wearing a Hein Gericke textile affair, which although good in cold and wet weather, is a bit warm in the summer and doesn’t really suit the leather trousers.

After completely failing to find any trousers at the MCN show that fit me around the waist (I wear 30″ waist Levi’s, but all 30″ leathers were huge on me and nowhere had any smaller), I opted to get another identical pair of Bat Pants (labelled size 30 and fit perfectly). There weren’t many pairs this size on ebay, but those that popped up received few bids, so I was able to blag a pair in top nick for a measly £25 – epic bargain!


Biking Videos, Sixth Sense Skills

Throughout my riding in London I constantly witness a multitude of situations unfolding on the busy roads, that make me cringe and say to myself ‘knew they were going to do that!’ As a biker, you need this kind of sixth sense to remain upright and safe. For seasoned bikers it will be instinct and an unconscious reflex, however for new riders it will be a skill that may need developing.

Please watch my videos, see if you can predict what is about to happen and spot the tell tail signs that give it away. I hope you find them interesting and possibly learn something that may help you on the roads.

BMW Drivers
California Dreaming – Harley Davidson Rental of Road King
California Revisited – Exploring the Best San Francisco Motorcycle Roads on a Bonneville
ELAM Ride Out Video
Filtering Tips Video, Part 1
Harley Davidson Test Ride, Heritage Soft Tail 114
Highlights Roundup Video 2019
How to Replace a Clutch Lever (Honda CBF 500)
May 2020 Update and Post Lockdown Finchingfield Ride
Motorcycle Trip to Yosemite on a Yamaha Super Ténéré
Motovlog: Best Roads Wales Tour 2020
Prudential Ride London Sweep Team Volunteering
Replacing Air Filter on Yamaha Fazer FZS600
Sixth Sense Skills – Morning Commute Close Call
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 1
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 11 (Expect the Unexpected)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 12 (SMIDSY Avoidence)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 13
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 14 – Fail 🙁
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 17
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 18 (Super Close Call)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 19 (Bad Obs)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 20 (Peds)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 3
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 4
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 6
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 7 (SMIDSY Double Bill)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 9 (Booner Racer Dodging)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 10 (SMIDSY)
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 2
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 5
Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 8 (Filtering in a car)
Sixth Sense Skills 16
Video Montage 2017 Highlights

Watch videos on YouTube


Sixth Sense Skills – Tip 11 (Expect the Unexpected)

On the bike, we have to continually keep our wits about ourselves, be ready for whatever surprise pops up. This was a bit of a close call, a bit higher and it could have screwed up all visibility.


Another Good London Bikers Meetup at Borough Market


Wednesday night means one thing – London Bikers Borough Market meetup or LB BM as it’s often more succinctly known. With all the chaos on the roads due to the prevailing tube strike, it was a welcome opportunity to chill out for a bit and let the carnage dissipate a little before undertaking the commute home.