Ace Cafe Toy Run December 2014

AceCafeToyRun2014 Ready To Go
Ready to deliver toys

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!

Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

Alpinestars P1 Sport Touring Drystar Trousers Review

Alpinestars-Drystar-P1-trousers-frontAs summer comes to a close and winter approaches, the prospect of wet riding days looms with a damp inevitability. I was fed up of my waterproof over trousers that were no longer waterproof,  and a hassle to put on, as well as causing me to slip around on the seat and more importantly, look pretty naff. Definitely time for some new textile gear. Being a cheap skate, I hit ebay and found these Alpinestars P1  Sport Touring Drystar trousers brand new for a £100. They’re not current, but the Drystar range is still going strong and well regarded.


IAM Taster Session

IAM-Taster-RideThis weekend I attended a taster session with the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) and a freebie too! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing their Skills For Life course for a while, to try and learn a bit more. So when the offer of a free taster session popped up, I jumped at the chance.

I was put in touch with a Observer from the local IAM group (ELAM), with whom I arranged a short ride out. After a quick natter on what I wanted to get from the session, we hit the road, with my observer following and keeping his beady eye on me. We had a couple of stops on route to natter more, before a final debrief at the end.

All in all, I found it really useful with a number of key things highlighted that I need to work on. Some bad habits and some from inexperience. Either way, it was pretty clear I’ve got a lot to work on and that’s the crux of it is, we should never stop learning.

I shall definitely be signing up for the full course in the near future. Especially as there’s a discounted rate for the time being.