Categories
Riding

Fair Weather Biker / Weekend Warrior

What’s happened to me?!

When I first learnt to ride almost 10 years ago, it was primarily driven by the need to commute to London in a more efficient way. I needed to get to work and back faster and cheaper than train, tube and bus. Too many changes, too much walking to/from stations and tight childcare drop off/pick up deadlines simply meant public transport was no longer working for me.

London biking wasn’t necessarily enjoyable, but infinitely preferable to public transport

Over the years that followed, I became a hardened London biker, commuting in all weathers, all year round, carving my way through the traffic, idiotic drivers, suicidal cyclists and oblivious pedestrians. I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as enjoyable, but it was infinitely preferable to public transport and it certainly kept one alert and on the ball. Though, London weather was rarely ever too bad to contemplate riding in.

Like many, the COVID pandemic changed everything. The office commute stopped just like that and working from home became the new norm. My employer reducing office space, introducing flexible days and new hotdesking plans meant that even when lockdown restrictions eased, I was still only commuting into London just once or twice a week. The change of pace, and the additional time freed up in the day all added up to a better quality of life and something I was keen to take advantage of permanently and somewhere outside of East London suburbs. If you can work anywhere, you may as well work somewhere nice.

If you can work anywhere, you may as well work somewhere nice

Fast forward to today, I’m working from my dedicated home office in beautiful Scotland and only pop back down to the London office for a couple of days every couple of months via train. It’s 5.5hrs train vs ~9hrs on bike and tickets are a similar price to the petrol! This is all great, but the amount of biking I’m doing has dropped considerably. No more motorcycle commuting, just fun blasts through the Scottish mountains on free weekends when the weather is decent. A leisure ride in Scotland in torrential rain or snow is not something you want to do out of choice…

Yep, I’ve become that stereotype I used to mock, I’ve turned into a fair weather biker and a weekend warrior. Uh-oh!

Categories
Motorcycles

Triumph Street Twin – 6 Weeks / 1.5k Miles Later

I have wanted a Triumph since I was a teenager, which is a long time ago now. I used to knock about with some bikers who had old Bonnies and I have loved the aesthetic, the slim lines, the torquey twin-engine and its ability to negotiate those country twisty roads which we all love. The old Brit engineering with the oil-bearing frame and the total loss oil system? Not so much.

Triumph Street Twin
Currently, only night time riding whilst commuting in the lockdown

The Triumph Street Twin encapsulates the best of both worlds. It is a bike which captures what is so attractive about the older Bonnies, the tidy lines with the attractive tank that flows straight into the comfy seat, the neat twin engine with bags of torque which sits tidily underneath and that lovely thud as it runs. It does so with the reliability of a modern bike which I view as essential – it starts without complaint on cold and damp mornings, it is smooth and intuitive when ridden.

Categories
Riding

Advantages of an E-Bike vs a Motorcycle

Recently my news feed threw up some articles extolling the advantages of an e-bike and what struck me was how they were exactly the reasons we all love and ride motorcycles. Hardly newsworthy and of no surprise to bikers. The articles described how the electric motor assistance on an e-bike provides the following so-called advantages:Top 10 advantages of an e-bike

  1. Ability to cover longer ranges than a normal bicycle without getting worn out
  2. Avoid breaking a sweat and arriving at work in damp Lyrca
  3. Carry some luggage without the strain on pedalling
  4. Save money compared to public transport or car
  5. Stay fit by still pedalling some
  6. Get fresh air, enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy and stress-free
  7. Cut through traffic with ease with a small e-bike
  8. Discover and explore more out of town on days off

Yeah, everything us motorbikers have been taking advantage of for decades, except a motorcycle takes things much further. You can cover much longer distances, carry more luggage, carry a pillion, cut through city traffic with greater speed and explore way more on days off. So, what are the true benefits of electric bikes compared to a motorcycle? Why not just get a motorcycle instead? Read on to find out.

Categories
Motorcycles

End of the Season – Yeah Whatever!

It’s been a stonker of a summer, Britain was taken over by a huge heat wave followed by almost monsoon rains. Now Autumn is well and truly upon us, the leaves are falling and everyone is all talk of end of season for biking… What’s that all about then?!