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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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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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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!

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Scottish Motorcycle Show 2022

After what seemed like years, we made it to a motorcycle show. This weekend we popped along to the Scottish Motorcycle Show in Edinburgh, having missed many past bike shows due to various lockdowns and those that followed in Birmingham and London shortly after due to our big move to Scotland. It was good to check out the local show up here, see many of the new bikes to hit the market and all the other stands on show.

Custom Tartan Yamaha XJR1300
Custom Tartan Yamaha XJR1300

The Scottish Motorcycle Show spanned 3 large-ish halls with a number of manufacturers, stalls selling gear, custom and classic bikes on show and many stands from local motorcycle clubs. Outside there was some entertainment in the form of the Two Brothers stunt riders and some trials riding.

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A Wet February off the Bikes

Kelpies, Falkirk
A brief moment of winter sun at the Kelpies

Wet. Wind. Sleet. Cold.

Pretty much what one would expect from a winter in Scotland. Although some extreme weather has hit the UK (122mph wind on the Isle of Wight! WTF!), here in Stirling we have dodged the worst of it. But it’s still been pretty wet and miserable, so not a lot of biking has occurred this last few weeks and things are a little quiet on the blog. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy with other projects.

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Future Gear: The Chill Ride Cooling and Heated Vest

We all know the biking mantras ‘dress for the slide, not the ride’ and ‘all the gear all of the time’. Whatever the weather, we really should be wearing all of our protective gear, you just don’t know when you’ll need it. In the winter, the issue is wearing enough gear to stay warm, whereas in the summer the issue is staying cool enough. So, when I received an email from new start up Chill Ride about their new invention of a motorcycle vest that both cools and heats, I was most interested.

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Big Milestone, 400 YouTube Subs

Just hit 400 YouTube subscribers!

A huge thank you for all your support, it’s been quite the journey. Having started this as a hobby and seeing it grow and develop. There’s been so much positive and constructive feedback, I couldn’t have done it without you all.

I’ve always found the video creation side tougher due to the time commitment needed for editing. However, fear not, more video content is on its way very soon now. Watch this space!

You can find the Beginner Biker Adventures YouTube channel here.

 

 

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News Riding

Turning a Corner, Normality is in Sight, Time to Power On

The weather is picking up (mostly), restrictions have eased and we’ve all been getting out on the bikes again, trying to make up for time lost in lockdown. Things are definitely looking like they’re on the up and some normality is returning. I’ve managed to get out over the last few weekends, shorter ride outs around Essex and Kent; I’ve led an ELAM ride, socially distanced and in sub-groups of 6; and caught up with riding buddies again.

My age was called out on the vaccine Bingo and I’ve now got myself the first dose of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine. My wife had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine a couple of months ago as she works in the NHS. All very reassuring and with so many getting vaccinated, it does raise hopes for a summer of biking, touring, commuting and life as we remember. Obviously, no trips abroad are on the cards, not even any work excursions to the US I can tie in with a motorcycle rental. However, plans are underway for some exploration of Scotland, both to get away on bikes and to scout out potential relocation areas.

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Spring Cleaning

Life in the Beginner Biker Adventures family has been very quiet, with only essential local travel allowed, there’s not a lot of motorcycle action occurring. I’m still stuck working from home, kids are back at school and Mary’s is still between nursing jobs with her new position taking stupidly long to start – you’d think there wasn’t a shortage of nurses in the NHS!

The bikes still need regular TLC to keep them in good shape. Keeping batteries charged, periodic running of fuel through the engines and keeping on top of any surface corrosion from the bikes being parked outside.

Bigger spring clean plans are underway on the house however, full-on declutter in progress, shabby paintwork is being repainted and other preliminaries prior to selling up. It’s surprising how much clutter you collect, needless spares from bikes, computer kit, DIY projects and other assorted junk. Even more surprising is how much some of it sells for on eBay and other marketplaces!

Now that restrictions gave eased from the 29th, we’ll be back out the bikes whenever we can.

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ChromeBurner – The Specialist in Motorcycle Gear!

ChromeBurner started as a hobby and has grown into the largest motorcycle clothing specialist in the Netherlands, thanks to a good dose of perseverance and our love for motorcycles. Every day we get up to work with something that is our passion: riding motorcycles! We supply bikers all over the world with motorcycle clothing and, no matter your riding style, we make sure we’ve got what you need! With over 70 brands and more than 6000 unique products it’s very likely you can find your new motorcycle gear on our webshop! Found your new helmet, gloves, jacket, pants or boots? Then place your order quickly, we will kick it into gear and ensure that we send your purchase the same day. Because of our huge stock, we can always deliver quickly! This allows you to have your new motor gear as fast as possible. Is the ordered product not to your likings? No worries, returning your product is just as easy. We only sell products that we ourselves would want to buy, we call that the ChromeBurner approval!

ChromeBurner motorcycle gear specialist