I was recently assigned a new work project that required a visit to San Francisco to work with a client for a few days in October, and so of course I got to thinking if I could incorporate some motorbike time whilst out there. Prior visits to the Bay area, where I had chance to rent a Harley Davidson Dyna 103, a Road King 107 and Triumph Bonneville T100 were all very memorable. However, I have always wanted to visit Yosemite National Park, being renowned for it’s natural beauty. At ~200 miles inland, I’ve just never had longer enough to get there with time to appreciate it within a weekend bike rental.
For this upcoming trip I’ve arranged my outgoing flight 3 days earlier (and actually saving the company money to boot!) to fit in a rough itinerary of:
Day 1 – collect bike in San Fran and ride 200 miles to Yosemite
Day 2 – explore Yosemite, Tioga Pass and ride up to Lake Tahoe
Day 3 – back to San Fran via Sacramento to drop bike off
“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. ”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
Continuing my MT09 adventure down under in Brisbane, for my second day I followed a route loosely based on this Rent This Bike blog post, an epic loop heading North West of Brisbane around lake Wivenhoe, taking in Mount Glorious, then North West over to Kingaroy, through Bunya Mountain and then back via Cooyar, Crows Nest and Esk. A substantial ride to do in one day at around 535 km, that left me minimal time to stop and explore along the route, before riding back into Brisbane after dark due to the early autumn nights. Definitely get out on the road early or consider stopping the night half way for a more leisurely cruise.
So when my boss turned round and asked if I could join him on a sales trip to a prospective customer in Brisbane, I of course jumped at the opportunity. Sure, there was quite a lot of technical prep work setting up demo systems for presentations, the arduous sales meeting itself and the long flights (not business class sadly). But it did afford me chance to grab a couple of free days to rent a bike and explore some of Australia’s beautiful East coast. Being my first visit to Australia, I was keen to see as much of it as I could cram into my time there.
For motorcycle rental, a quick Google revealed Eagle Rider had a shop in Brisbane, certainly tempting having rented from them previously in Sam Francisco. However, I also found the smaller local firm Rent This Bike, with a good choice of bikes and very competitive pricing. They were also more flexible on return times, affording me two full days of riding. I only had a Friday and Saturday free time and EagleRider close at 3pm on Saturdays, whereas Rent This Bike were happy to accommodate pick up and drop offs from 7am to 7pm any day. Continue reading “Adventures Down Under, Rental MT09 in Brisbane, Part 1” »
I’m always interested in new biking adventures and off road riding is something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. To resolve this, I recently booked myself in at the Off The Kerb Trail Riding school down in Dorking, Surrey. Off The Kerb offer a newbie friendly introduction to off road trail riding, exploring local green lanes in the beautiful Surrey Hills on Fantic Moto 250E Case enduro bikes.
Toppling over in an embarrassing fashion is de rigueur when off road
The day comes in at just over £200 quid, including hire of all the kit you need: bike, boots, full armour, top, trousers, waterproof jacket, gloves, lid and not forgetting lunch. Certainly very handy for an off road newbie with none of the gear, and at a price on par with many other off road days elsewhere. Toppling over in an embarrassing fashion is de rigueur when off road, so doing that in the supplied full armour and less precious kit is definitely preferred.
“Think my tyres have gone off” – said Keith Code’s protagonist in Twist of the Wrist II, and every other biker with lost riding confidence trying to pin the blame on something tangible that’s easy to replace. Confidence is easily dented, whether from a tumble down the road, an arse clenching close call, to a change of bike, setup or yes tyres. Continue reading ““Think my tyres have gone off” and Dented Riding Confidence” »
A case of cold tyres, rushing around, late for work and too eager on the throttle. Literally the second left turn after leaving the house, trying to gas it to make a gap in the traffic and back wheel just span up, low sided and off the bike went sliding down the road. Gutted. Continue reading “Cold Tyres, Low-Side, First Scrape on the FZ6” »
Most of the articles that you will come across about getting ready for a long motorcycle ride tackle the kind of equipment that you need to make sure you don’t leave behind, but almost none of them will tell you what you have to do with your body before touring.
It takes a lot of physical stamina, as well as mental focus, to ride your bike for a whole day. It can’t even compare to spending several hours behind the wheel in a car. You get uncomfortable, sweaty, too hot or cold, and you always have to make sure you maintain the correct posture so that you can ride for even more hours. Furthermore, motorcycle riding requires more strength, mostly because you constantly have to manoeuvre it. Continue reading “How to Physically Prepare for a Long Motorcycle Ride” »
A couple of weeks ago I was out leading a ride with my local IAM group, snaking up through the Essex countryside to the Krazy Horse custom bike shop and cafe in Bury St Edmunds. The morning had started wet, but gradually the sun come out and dried up the roads well. It was a cracking ride, we all had a spot of lunch at Krazy Horse and a lovely ride back to Ongar, before all going our separate ways home. It was as I was riding a few miles from home that I came across a scene that all bikers dread. Continue reading “Biker Down” »
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London