Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Just do it.

As I anticipated, the weather predicted by the BBC weather man, was nothing like the weather man predicted for my ride down to the south coast and back yesterday. OK, it was dull, grey and cool in East Anglia like he said when I set off at 8am and it was still dull, dark and even cooler when I got home at 10.15pm, 390 miles later. But the thunder and lightning I was expecting didn't happen and at the halfway point spent with son, daughter and the grandchildren, it was too hot to stay out in their unshaded garden for long. It was heartening to see them all. I love them dearly as does Mrs Hogday, who couldn't come as she had to go to work to continue financing my indulgences. I'll make her a cup of tea when she gets in.

The new bike is a real mile mucher and is starting to fit me. I ache a bit today but a walk with the dawg soon fixed that. My helmet visor and leather jacket was spattered with flattened former flying objects. I averaged 58 mph on the way down and according to its clever trip computer I averaged 61mpg which, for a big, powerful motorcycle is pdg. The return journey started at 7pm which, on a Tuesday in the UK, tends to mean that the main roads are almost at their quietest, allowing me to maintain a legal top speed most of the way (including the 10% + a couple of mph) - Ok I was cruising at 76 for miles and miles (whistles a tune - a nervous reaction when fibbing a bit). The return 195 miles was completed in 3hrs 15 including a 10 minute fuel and empty stop. I don't watch the clock normally but its good to know what the big beast does. The mid range torque is massive and tweaking open the throttle at 70 in 6th results in a giant invisible hand shoving you forwards as if you'd dropped down two gears - whoosh, gone, just like that. I can really appreciate the LED gear indicator showing me a big number of the selected cog. On this bike, that is a very useful item. Engine braking is equally powerful.

I encountered the usual variety of dickwads with the majority being the premature exitulators, that's those that cut across from the outside lane, just ahead of your front wheel, then brake and wiggle across the hatchings as they try to squeeze themselves off at that exit ramp they should have prepared for about half a mile back. In equal first place were the `thumbs up the arse` disassociated passives cruising along at 55 like the dumb muts they are, in the middle and occasionally outside lane, and who are a major contribution to frustration and death threats. The M25 was actually a doddle.

Got a text from an old pal this morning telling me that an old friend and former colleague was out jogging last week when he collapsed and died. He was 61. I've been reading his blog with envy for what seems like an age. It's link is on the right or here: Gran Fuga. Dave and two mates motorcycled from the northern wastes of North America and then into and across South America. They got back in February. What a ride. The blog is worthy of your time, although it is really a diary with pics. I commend it to you as an example of what you can do if you have the motivation and can decide to devote the life-time to do it.

People say motorcycling is dangerous. Well it is, a bit, sometimes, if you let it. At least Dave did the ride and then conked out jogging. The real tragedy would have been conking out a month before he was due to start the ride. I'm still stunned and saddened at his passing.

Ride free Dave. I wish you dry roads and a following breeze old chum.


Quartermaster said...

Speeding? I'ma gonna tell yer mum, I is!

I know the temptation. The road to work (4 lane except for the last 2 miles) is nice and open and well designed for 75-80 mph, but the posted limit is 55. Go figger. They're supposed to set the speed limit at the 85th percentile, but I know for a fact they don't. If I do 70, the overwhelming majority still pass me. I don't stay ahead of the pack without doing at least 75. My Silverwing likes going much faster. I've opened the throttle and headed up to 85 with about a quarter of the range left. I figure if could do 115-120 mph. Not bad for a 583cc bike.

Your Beemer could leave me in the dust, but I'm not really interested in such speeds anymore. At 57 I may still be dumb, but I ain't stupid. My son evaded 5 Missouri State Troopers at speeds up 165 about 5 years ago. But he had a Rice Rocket and far more CCs than IQ. I told him so in those very words too. 70-75 ain't so bad and I actually like watching the white line segments flash by at that satisfying rate.

I really do wish we could you and your bike over here. We'd have a blast, I were retired too. Just think of all the people from "The Blog" we could have fun harassing, er, I mean, visiting.

Hogdayafternoon said...

I wasn't being that bad - our max limit is 70 but you need to be doing 85 to get a tug from the law these days. I wouldn't leave you when I ride as a team member. I get more pleasure from riding safe and progressive than any high speed manic stuff, seen too much of the end result of mashed up born again bikers ego tripping. I've been riding 43 years and have been lucky in the early stupid days. I always remember the thing the instructor told me as I was authorised to ride a police bike in the late `70's, "Seen any mad old bikers lately? No, because the old ones aren't mad and the mad ones aren't old".

Quartermaster said...

Much like "there are old Pilots, and there are bold Pilots, but there are no old, bold Pilots."

Any biker that has ridden awhile (since '76 here) has had his share of close scrapes. Kinda goes with the territory given the loose nuts behind steering wheels these days. But I see no reason to make my own risks beyond simply getting on the machine and having the temerity to actually engage with actual traffic.

I do like speed, however, just not as much as I used to.

If I win the lottery, I'll have to import you for cuppla weeks and we can go around and meet some of the blog denizens over here.

Justthisguy said...

Yikes! I m'self just turned 61 a couple of months ago. Yes, I am starting to feel a bit fragile and try to avoid things which run up the pulse rate. Last time I looked, I was 10. What happened?

Justthisguy said...

On the injustice of who gets speeding tickets and who doesn't, please see:

Lili is just your average autistic Australian housewife and Mommy.

I mentioned my one and only speeding ticket in a comment there.

Quartermaster said...

I've actually had two speeding tickets. Both back in the early 70s.

Justthisguy said...

Qm, you should warn your son about a novel medical problem, "Motorcyclist's Pneumo-Mediastinum."

It's what happens to you if you are riding a motorcycle near 200 miles/hour, and stick yer head above the windscreen with your mouth open. Apparently, the air blast blows hell out of important parts of you in your chest, ripping them loose from their moorings, so to speak.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Quartermaster: Two weeks is not enough for what I have in mind. Civil War sites, Cody museum, Oregon for the Spruce Goose......

JTG: Only ever been nabbed by a fixed camera, on New Years Eve afternoon on an empty road, 4 mph over the limit as I slowed, downhill. I wanted to burn down Parliament.

Justthisguy said...

Yep, Hog, that was the point I was trying to make in my comment to Lili's post. When I doubled the speed limit in Atlanta traffic, (I was twenty-something) I was putting myself and everybody around me at horrible risk of maiming and death, but was perfectly safe from getting a speeding citation.

When I exceeded the limit by a little bit on a lonely road, where it was perfectly safe to do so, I got a citation.

Hogdayafternoon said...

JTG: In those situations I think they call us, `low hanging fruit`. France is much, much worse, with speed enforcement cameras hidden in roadside furniture, bollards etc. Highway robbery that does precious little to save a life.

Buck said...

I'm late to the party but I have an excuse: I've been inter-tubes impaired for the last four or five days. No more, though.

The last time I got a speeding ticket on a bike was in the Isle of Man during TT week in 1982. The thing that REALLY pissed me off was I was passed by a guy "road testing" a Suzuki RG-500 GP bike not three minutes before the constable stepped out of the ditch and flagged me over. The guy on the RG HAD to be doing well over 125 mph; I was cited for 70-something in a 50 mph zone. Some people are "privileged," I guess.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Buck, that was a total pisser.