26 June 2017

AMRR 2017

Just a week to go until this year's Allied Memorial Remembrance Ride, I have managed to source a Royal British Legion car-poppy to install on Pepé.  I need to find a space for it now. I might put it on one of the screen brackets.


After missing the last two years due to the heart attack and the Somme 100 I am pleased to be able to attend again.  

It's usually a nice run up to Cambridge although to get there in good time it it mostly motorway plus the added hassle of the Dartford Crossing through the tunnel.

The local RBL Riders group in Kent are setting off a bit too early for me as they are leaving the A2 Services at 0845. I am not planing leaving home until 0900 and the RV is about 45 mins from home!

I might catch up with them on the road as I am not planning a stop once I have a full tank of fuel and they have a few meeting points along the way.

On the way up I'll see if I can get the 410 to work on the bike! I know where I am going but some assistance with fuel stops would be appreciated.

Photos from past runs.

Update: Found somewhere go put the large poppy.

22 June 2017

British Bike Night

Tonight Pepe and I had a ride up to the Wagon and Horses in Charing for the annual bike night. We had a good run up and back in fact. A chance to park on grass and a bit off off roading was enough for me!

A walk around the parking and grassy area.  I took a few photos and they can be seen here.

For once Pepe and the other Rockets weren't the biggest bike when the Boss Hoss V8 turned up.  Boy is it fugly.

More Pix!

20 June 2017

Ride to Work Week UK - 2

The ride home after work was every bit as bad as the way in. In reverse.

The ride down from sunny Islington via Hackney to sunny Darenth took over an hour but did include a fuel stop at Sainsbury's near the Millennium Dome.

I rolled onto the drive at home two hours after leaving work. This included a nice fast run on the motorway as well as the miles of bumper to bumper traffic basically from Dalston to Kidbrooke.  

On the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel I was filtering when the guy in the left lane decided to block me off. Result. My left bar end weight and his mirror interfaced. No damage to me but his mirror knocked back on its hinge. Oh dear. He was effing and blinding at me but maybe next time he'll not deliberately try to block off a filtering biker.  Somehow I think he'll be the same cretin for life.

So was it #commutehappy for me. Was it buggery!

On the road for the three hours fifty to cover 145 miles. Even with the drive to the station, hanging about a bit and then the train,  it is way quicker and in this time of jetstream induced high temperatures,  comfortable and air conditioned! !

Commuting is not for me any more.

Ride to Work Week UK

Pepé at work
Ride to Work Week UK

The idea behind this is to get people out of their cars and onto two-wheels,  It will reduce congestion, save on parking spaces and reduce pollution.

As my commuting into London days were over a few years ago, once I came to terms with having to sell an organ to pay for the train fares every month,  it was a bit of a shock to see what the every day motorcycle commuter has to contend with.  

Although saying that, the "ride" time is not much different to two years ago when I commuted on Döra the Explörer.

I made pretty good progress at first.   From home to the Darenth Interchange was just shy of 50 minutes. Google maps (below) has the time at 55 mins.  As this bit was pretty much free moving traffic that's no surprise. There was a little congestion where the cars were actually stationery on the M20 by Maidstone but I safely filtered through. Google maps is aimed at cars and not the more traffic slipping motorcycle.

At least the weather was kind.  Sunny but no too hot so I could wear my Joe Rocket mesh jacket.

Google Map of full journey

From the map we can see a few problems but this was made after I arrived at work. The two accidents marked towards the bottom right weren't there when I cruised through.

It's hard to see from this map the changes in colour to show traffic.  There are some roadworks and it seemed like they had coned off the entire left lane, but there was no sign that anyone had got off their arses to do any work. 

Fifty minutes to get to the Darenth Interchange.  Then another 50 minutes to get to work due to basically solid traffic requiring filtering (lane splitting) all the way from about a mile north-west of Darenth and through the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames.  This can be better seen from the second Google Map.

Only another 50  minutes for this section is a bit better than the car estimate.  The problem with this part is that the approach to the tunnel is three lanes but each lane is narrower. As the tunnel is only two lanes there is a massive tailback and far less room to filter as everyone has to squeeze together and a lane is lost.

And to get home?  That's about six hours in the future.  But I expect the same traffic and hassles.

18 June 2017

Meldrews Sunday

Another shortish ride out today. It was Meldrews Sunday and also father's day so we had a reduced turnout. Still there were four of us in a pretty deserted Blue and White café.

After a chat about their trips last weekend we went our own ways.  I headed back home via a loop across the downs on some roads that seemed new to me. Following signposts I must have ridden further than expected. 

With temperatures hovering about 28°C it was great to be wearing my Joe Rocket vented mesh jacket.

Stopped however. It was far too hot in Kevlar lined combats.

Still nice to be out and about on the bike. My next outing might very well be a ride to work day on Tuesday. Why Tuesday? It's the only day my boss won't be there!!!

11 June 2017

Gravel car-parking

Today's run out was a tale of two gravel strewn parking areas/lots.

We'd been out in the morning in the car to see the poppy art installation at Shoeburyness.  When I say "we" I mean Claire,  Reggie and me.

After lunch I hauled Pepé out of the garage and headed to the bank in Hythe to get some cash. Man can't live by credit card alone.

Then I thought of a great photo op. A tribute to British engineering. My Rocket and the WW2 fighter aircraft at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Ferne.


Turning off the paved roadway entrance onto three or even four inches of grey gravel chips is not to be laughed at. Maybe on a cycle but not on a 700lb heavyweight cruiser. Jesus that was scary as the bars went straight to left lock. Luckily I got a foot down!!!

I took a picture (and not the one I wanted) and left.  It's a great cause but that's my lot. I am never going back.

From there I went to the White Cliffs. The car park here is a little light gravel over a  hard surface like tarmac. Shitty getting in where you have to go up about six feet and hairpin into the lower parking. The other tiers are cinder or grass.

At least here to café was open. New outdoor seating and a good tasting tea....

In all I was only out a little over two hours but bid get to put some miles on the clock.

Deep gravel,  not deep joy.

Biker's Tea

6 June 2017


When you own a Rocket keeping a note on fuel consumption isn't really necessary. However, as an exercise I find it quite good to keep a record so I can see what is happening when I am out. A bit of fun. 

Oddly, the app that worked on the iPhone doesn't work on the Android, so after ages I found Fuelly. It shares with other users and I need to see if there are other Rockets on there.  So over the coming months I'll be able to track the consumption on trips.

4 June 2017

June run out

The last two weekends were crossed off as potential bike runs out as we were on holiday in France and in the car.

With such a log gap between rides I begin to feel guilty. Since I stopped commuting on two wheels I haven't even become a regular and fair weather rider.

So when I saw on facebook that some Meldrews were having a breakfast run to thr Blue and White I decided to go. 

Otherwise I was going for an aimless ride across the marsh.

Yesterday I found a bottle of cleaner in the garage I had forgotten I had. The petrol/gas tank was a little dirty. A few squirts of this magic no water needed elixir and a rub over with a microfibre cloth and it was super shiny.

So I hauled Pepé out of the garage and headed to the café. Egg sandwich for me.

After an hour of chat we went our separate ways. Mine was to Tesco to fill up after the ride to Wimbledon a month ago! Tesco to Tesco was 160.2 miles. I was dreading filling the tank but was surprised at at an average cruising speed of 75mph (cough cough) that I could only squeeze 16.9 litres into the tank.

I have also joined Fuelly and have the app on my phone. First fuel came out at 43.1mpg.

From there I went on a longer run home arriving back just before noon.

A good ride out but only about 30 miles added to the odometer.

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