Another Wednesday night, another London Biker meet up at Borough Market. Traditionally home to some of the best food produce, organic fruit, veggies, quality meat, game, hand-cooked meals and deserts. So, of course not to be outdone, Thamer arrives with a home-baked apple crumble strapped to the back of his Street Triple. And why not?!
A little quiet on attendance (bah! you other fair-weather bikers!), but we all had a good chin wag and tucked into some tasty pudding. But what culinary delights can others bring next week?
During my recent visit to Shrewsbury I had chance to catch up with two of my sister’s buddies who are also avid bikers. We had a nice leisurely Saturday afternoon ride out, with excellent sunny weather, quiet ish roads (compared to London anyway!) and a decent pub at our destination. I was joined by Blake, riding a heavily customised Harley 883 Sportster that sat barely a hairs breath off the road and Pete on a Honda Transalp adventure style bike. With me on the sports-tourer Fazer, we couldn’t have as far apart from one another in our styles of bike and riding posture.
I had a half day at work, motorcycle loaded up, 170 miles to cover, time away from kids, lovely dry weather and a pub dinner booked with family in 6 hours time. It doesn’t really get much better than this. It turned out to be great ride up to Shropshire, cross country through the Cotswolds, Worcester and South Shropshire. Here is how I got on.
I left work after lunch and immediately cut straight up across the city via Islington, Highbury etc along the A1, before hitting the North circular and then out of London on the A41. This first leg was a little slow going due to traffic, but later on the A41 was almost empty. A fast dual carriageway with big sweeping bends leading to Aylesbury, a nice easy ride through green countryside, but not the fun country bends I was looking for.
Aylesbury is a nice small town, but straight through I went continuing on the A41 to Bicester. The road was mostly single carriageway, but with occasionally stretches of dual carriageway. The scenery was pleasant, highlighted by passing the majestic Waddesdon Manor, but nothing compared to beyond Bicester as I entered the Cotswolds.
I picked up this kit a few months ago and have been using it every now and again to clean up and condition my leather motorcycle gear. It’s a pretty decent box of bottles covering, head to toe pretty much everything you need. You get leather cleaner, leather restorer, waterproofing wax, glove waterproofing and visor water repellent. Not a bad bundle for £20.
The glove waterproofing I used on my Gerbings XR12 gloves, as recommended in their care instructions and on my wifes Buffalo leather gloves. The bottle has a foam top sponge dispenser type thing, which lets you apply and rub the solution all over your gloves easily. Once dry, the solution is completely invisible, but the palms did feel a little slippery on my grips for a day or two. In the wet, it performed exactly as desired, no water leaks, dry hands – job done, big thumbs up.
Bike cleaned, serviced and laden with luggage, ready for my trip up North this afternoon. Spending a few days in Shrewsbury, Shropshire with family. I’d rather travel light, however I have a funeral to attend so need to pack a suit and shoes.
My plan is to avoid the usual motorways (M25, M1, M6, M54), as although quicker will get very monotonous and tiresome very quickly. I am going to take a more cross country route on A roads, with some interesting scenery and bends. The route is roughly A41, A44, A458 and will take me across the top of the Cotswalds and through the Vale of Evesham.
Stumbled across this excellent riding video that brought a smile to my face. For anyone who spends most of their time filtering through the city, this is for you.
Finally got round to giving the bike a damned good clean and polish. Tried to make good damage recently sustained in crash. It’s not too bad, but the belly pan and crash mushrooms look a right mess.
Still awaiting outcome from insurance, other party is contesting liability. Recently submitted by account of incident, photos and diagrams, but still playing the waiting game.
Dammit. Just broken the zip on my Hein Gericke jacket. This is the waterproof inside pocket. No idea what happened, just zipped it up, then found my keys falling out. Not good, expected better really, jacket is only 9 months old.
Might see if I can take back, however I’m not sure I still have the receipt. Not that you should need one for faulty goods. Otherwise I’ll shall gave to look into getting it repaired.
Yesterday I took my sister-in-law pillion on the bike, the first time she has ever been on a motorcycle. Kitted out in a mixture of my spare leathers and my wife’s gear, I gave her a lift back home to Islington.
Lovely sunny weather, just cleaned, polished the bike and a great day to ride out through the quiet-ish city streets. She was a little scared and apprehensive at first, but soon got the hang of it and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Was a great ride, except for when I mashed the gears trying to pull away in 2nd or 3rd, stalling lots and struggling to find first. Doh!