With a new year dawning, let us take a quick pitstop to look back at the years past adventures and look forward at future adventures planned. 2018 was a busy year for me with my main day job, involving many trips abroad to San Francisco, San Diego and Berlin and almost trips to Belgium and Switzerland, but these I managed to delegate to others in my team.
The longer trips to California were great as they afforded me time off to hire some bikes to explore the San Fran Bay area more. First a big Harley Road King from Eagle Rider and later a Triumph Bonneville T100 from Dubbelju. Very different bikes, but both a lot of fun in their own ways. I was pleasantly surprised how well the Bonney could be hustled around the winding forest roads, whilst presenting an air of relaxed sophistication. California has some epic scenery and roads to explore, from the sweeping Pacific coast line, huge Redwood forests to nearby mountain ranges. If you’re in the area, definitely get yourself a bike to explore, you won’t regret it. Continue reading “Year End Pitstop” »
A sunny weekend, lumbered with the bored kids and wishing I was out on the bike. Hmm, what to do instead? Well, the MCN Festival up near Peterborough was on and looked like a good day out. At £16 quid for an advance day ticket, kids going free, only an hour and bit drive away and plenty on schedule – it seemed a good option.
Located at the easily accessible East of England show ground it was a surprisingly big event. My first time in attendance and I’d certainly not been to the old BMF rally it descended from either. A large number of manufacturers and key dealers were present displaying the latest bikes to see up close, sit on and take for a quick test ride out on nearby roads. Continue reading “MCN Festival Peterborough Low Down” »
2017 was quite the packed year on and off the road. In my main line of work as a software team lead I’ve been managing multiple projects in parallel, done three work trips to New Jersey and one to San Francisco, and have now just taken over a second team!
On the biking front, I’ve also been busy in 2017. The highlights were a couple of track days (except when I binned it), an Essex Fire Service/Hopp Rider skills day, hiring a big fat Harley Dyna in California and seeing my better half, Mary Crash Bobbins improve her riding on her IAM course. I’ve been heavily involved with ELAM, sorting out their new website which has been very rewarding. And let’s not forget all the great rides over the year, with ELAM, London Bikers, solo or as a couple with Mary.
As well as working on this blog, I am involved with the East London Advanced Motorcyclist (ELAM) group and over the last few months have been revamping their website. That’s my excuse for the somewhat sporadic updates to on this blog recently.
The group’s old site was pretty dated, but was WordPress based so plain sailing to update with a theme change. Fresh photos were sourced and page layouts reworked make things more engaging. Whether the IAM is something you’ve considered or not, take a look, any feedback would be much appreciated.
Vintage bikes and dirt track scrambling – what’s not to like? This weekend saw a blast out to Marks Tey in deepest Essex, to catch one of the Pre-65 Motocross Club scramble meets. A low key affair in a field beside the busy A12, it had a friendly atmosphere of motocross enthusiasts having lots of fun on vintage twin shock bikes from the ’60s and ’70s. It was great to see a wide pedigree of classic bikes from the likes of BSA, CZ, Triumph, Bultaco, Greeves and many others not just looking great, but being used for their built purpose. A super polished classic in a museum is one thing, but a classic in it’s element haring round a track is really quite something else.
I popped along to this local fun day a couple of years ago, I recall it being a bit small – just only a handful of stalls. Returning this year, it was good to see the event had developed and had a lot more going on.
The fund raising event is organised by the Essex & Herts air ambulance, a entirely charity funded service, and one that is often deployed to a fallen motorcyclist. North Weald airfield is a great venue for the day, and obviously where the air ambulance runs from.
At the weekend I popped by the Classic Dirt Bike Show up in Telford. Being in the area with family and having not checked it out before, it seemed too good to miss. Admittedly I’m no off road dirt biker, but some green lane and trail riding has always been on my list of stuff to try. So with kids in toe we rocked up to ponder all these curious bikes with knobbles.
If you live or commute into London, you will undoubtedly have heard about a raft of emission charges, toxicity charges or ultra low emission zone charges being banded about to tackle pollution. With so many charges, consultations and plans a foot it’s tough to get a grip of what the hell is actually coming into affect and how it’ll affect you and your bike.
Pollution is pretty bad in London, but motorcycles should definitely be considered as part of the solution. Bikes rarely, if ever sit still in traffic jams and have much shorter journey times and thus pollute less. Recent TFL consultations even concluded bikes contribute less than 1% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. So read on to learn how to avoid the charges and keep biking.
Earlier this month I popped along to the IAM’s 60th birthday bash up at the Nation Motorcycle Museum in Solihull (near Birmingham), being a member of IAM it seemed daft not to. Especially as they had guest talks from Steve Plater, Peter Hickman and Mick Grant and a chance to check out all the classic bikes in the museum.
I rode up with another from my local ELAM (East London Advanced Motorcyclists), avoiding the M1/M6 by taking the old A5. On arrival, of course we had to check out everyone else’s bike, including the parade of bikes from every year of the last 60. Next we hurried into the main hall to listen to Steve Plater, Peter Hickman Mick Grant discussing BSB, the TT and how bike racing has changed over the years.