25 July 2016

Don't Ride Angry

Never ride angry. It leads to mistakes.

For some unknown reason people in England have this urge to travel. That's not a problem.

What is the problem is that no sooner has the final bell of the summer term/semester rung,  like lemmings they are in their cars and motorhomes  (RV) and heading on their summer holiday.

Why? Most kids won't be back in their classrooms until September 6th or even 7th!!

To coincide with this exodus, small 'e' as the waves don't part for them, after some terrorist activity in France (not to mention our vote to leave the European Union) the French boeufed up their ridiculously slap dash border control.

Traffic was queued back on the M20 for about 15 miles. Three lanes and then two.... The A2 into the port two lanes for about 7 miles.

Add to that both roads closed due to the inevitable accidents and a rare truck fire, and you have CHAOS.

People trapped for upto 14 hours.  It later turned out that for a few hours one single lone French douanier was the only one working.  At peak they had three booths out of seven working.

Now tell me that wasn't pipsqueek M. Le Président Hollande making a Brexit point!!

Where do I come in. Mr très angry.

Friday we missed a concert only 40 miles away as we couldn't get there due to the traffic and roads closed, see above, so that was £60/$80 up the swanee.

Saturday we were going with Pepe to a bike show and meet at Dover.

Roads blocked..we got as far as Folkestone (5 miles of the 14!!) And were blocked along with other bikes by a truck deliberately blocking the road. The temperature was about 80°F and little shade.

Another event missed. At least this one was just time and petrol wasted.

And as we got moving I made my mistake. I made a right turn into a one-way street. Luckily I was on the right kerb so the car coming was easily able to miss me. In fact it never got close. The passenger called me quite a few names. I shouted back to asked if he had ever fucked up? I rode off to more abuse.

My fault entirely.

So let there be a lesson in there somewhere.

The road is no longer one-way!!!

9 July 2016

Short Run

Just a short run today.  A week since we got back from the Somme and Pepe  needed a wash'n'brush up.

I togged up and with a plasttic bottle of cleaner  bungeed on the rack I headed for the jet wash.

The idea was to get the worst of the French crud off from under the engine, mudguards and if course the easy-corrode wheels that Triumph preferred to fit.

The wash machine has changed and takes £1 coins and you get three minutes. There are six options from jet to wax and rinsing.

In the end and £2 later it all looked good.  Ten minutes later I knew I had to do it by hand again when it was cold! At least the mud and crud was gone.

As it was sunny the wax rinse dried in streaks.   I had a ride to Tesco to fill up with their 3p a litre cheaper 95 unleaded, then a tour around Folkestone to check out the football ground for the next home game and then home along the coast drive.

It was some two hours later when I  went out with a  bucket and some Simoniz suds to clean the exhausts and the streaky bits.

Then after a mere 13 miles today,  Pepe went back to bed. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow.

3 July 2016

Saddlemen FTB3600

Profligate that I am I decided the used bag wasn't going to work properly as it is simply too soft and doesn't hold its shape.

Looked at a few Saddlemen options and with my refund from British Airways I bought a new bag.

The quality is instantly evident. It came from a UK Harley dealer and luckily isn't badged HD at all.

It had its first outing on the Somme trip and was perfect  it swallowed all our "duds" for the Ceremony and more.

The bright yellow waterproof cover came in handy in some terrible weather and no water got in. The cover is big enough to fit over the main bag and the top back. It looks a bit flimsy but worked well.

At £138 inc taxes and delivery it's not cheap but you'd gave to pay more for hard luggage and a rack to mount it.

The standard setup was the right size for my sissy bar pad and I used two other supplied straps to keep it tightly in place on the little rack, should it try to get off on its own!

The Rocket is so heavy and planted on the road it didn't cause any handling problems as it was probably at the 20lbs capacity and it us behind the rear axle.

I saw a couple of Harleys with no racks  with bags not too disimilar mounted the other way around, so the bag was on the back seat. I don't think that will work on the Rocket.

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