17 January 2016

2016 - First Ride

When I moved the cars to get access to the garage, the temperature gauge in the Insignia showed 2 degrees centigrade. The Coke bottle filled with water by the garage was completely wet, no ice, so I decided to ride to the Meldrews monthly meeting.

This gave me the opportunity to wear my new Draggin Jeans Chinos.

When I say new, I bought them on eBay for £45, with all the tags, over a year ago but they were a bit tight. As they retail at £115 or more in UK I was happy with a bargain. First time for them today.

They are a little long in the leg without boots but once on the bike they are about right. The Kevlar is very comfortable and the fit is good. Maybe even room under them for thermals!!!

The ride up out of coastal Hythe can mean it getting colder and those Meldrews with BMW's announced that the temperature was down to 1.5C at the Blue and White.

Pepe doesn't have these luxuries and it's a case of looking at the road and the puddles. After so much rain there are lots of puddles and in the main they were water. At the highest part there were a couple of patches where the water thrown up by the cars had iced the verge and trees. Easily avoidable.

I passed a popular biker cafe in Sellinge called the Airpirt Cafe. Lympne Airport and WW2 airfield is long gone now mostly under an industrial park where Claire works, but the cafe keeps the name. Not a bike to be seen, but a few HD shirts visible through the window.

The last five or six miles on the A20 were relatively okay; a decent dry line to stick to.

The Blue and White has parking for maybe a dozen cars and the bikers get irked as the concrete frontage is usually covered in cars. Today two 4WD's.

I was the first bike to arrive and met fellow Meldrew, David, who had opted for the car as only 25 miles up the M20, it had snowed overnight.

Once we'd sat down with our breakfast the only two other bikers arrived. Both Meldrews. Ian and Cal.

After an hour of chatting the sky was darkening so we togged up and set off for home. It seemed colder but the puddles were still wet and the roads although damp were okay.

Pepe of course started first time after 18 days in the cold and damp. Ran perfectly.

What more can you ask for?

1 January 2016

Last ride of the year

Finally, cabin fever alleviated!

Fittingly. The last ride of the year was on the last day of the year. After taking Reggie out for a walk on the beach we had lunch and as the sun was still out so I togged up and set off.

I wore my new Aldi boots for the first time. I bought them in the summer but have stuck with my old Oxtar boots. They were alright. For only £29.95 I wasn't expecting too much. They have a waterproof lining.   The only minor problem was that on the left boot the gear change pad is a little uncomfortable. Maybe with thicker socks it will be better.

I had a ride along the coast to Folkestone and thought that maybe the Battle of Britain Memorial might be open and failing that, the Cliff Top Cafe would be for a warming break. Sadly both were closed so no picture with a Spitfire and no tea break!

On the Cliff road overlooking the sea, the wind got up with some very strong gusts. I decided to go home as the sun went down as it had turned cold.

On the M20 the wind was even stronger and holding Pepe in a straight line was getting harder. In the end I came off at Cheriton and came the back roads route home.

All in all it was shortish ride!

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