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Thursday, December 26, 2013

C90 Boxing Day Adventure 2013

With the weather set to be dry and sunny what better way to spend the day on my beloved C90 "Lucille ".

So up bright and early and loaded up in the dark, a heavy frost had kicked in and all the rain that had fallen over night had frozen onto the bike. However after a couple of kicks she spluttered into life!

First stop to top up fuel and check the oil was at Hythe Ferry. A quick coffee and off towards Southampton.

Managed to get through the city ok and picked up the A27 stopping at Fareham to thaw out! The sun not being high enough yet to warm anything.

Whilst at a garage buying a coffee I decided to buy a small map book. The old girl serving asked where I was heading so I said towards Eastbourne. Oh it's lovely down in Devon isn't it? she said! I think she was in a greater need of a map book than me!

Onwards through Havant and then the busy dual carriageway part of the A27 into Chichester.

Turning towards Bognor Regis a quick run to the coast and time for a brew and a picture.

From here I continued towards Worthing where once again I found the beach but it was packed with people from the road you can't even see the sea so I carried on and found a side street to have a brew and refuel.

My intentions were to carry on towards Brighton but the roads were boring so decided to turn and head for home.

With a full tank I didnt stop again till I got through Southampton and arrived at GoOutdoors.

As Santa had obviously forgotten me this year I thought I would pop in just to have a look incase there were any bargains to be had.

I also wanted to take a look at the remaining tents which they still have pitched outside to see which ones fared better during the recent storms.

I had a liking for the Vango Banshee 200. A 2 man tent with a 5000 hydrostatic head which basically means it's very good at keeping out the water!

The tent that looked the best after the storms just so happened to be the Banshee!

Inside I found that they were in the sale at £79.99 so along with a sleeping mat and some bungees I bought them. Thanks Santa!

Strapped onto the bike that is about it as far as camping gear is concerned!

The journey home was uneventful and I managed to clock up 154 miles today.

So another good days riding all though cold to start with was warm enough from lunch time onwards.

Where to next?

Till later........

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

C90 Christmas Day Adventure 2013

Up bright and early this morning, a quick check to see if Santa had been but no, missed me out this year!

Loaded bike with panniers and 2 x 5ltr fuel cans as I wasn't too sure how many garages would be open.

As it turned out I didn't need to worry at all!

On the road at 0700hrs and heading for Bournemouth.  First stop was Boscombe Pier the storms had brought tons of sand up onto the road. A quick photo and not being as organised as I should brimmed the tank with fuel.

Heading through Bournemouth then Poole with little traffic I was soon off towards Wareham where it decided to chuck it down with rain.

I had my new trousers on and a pair of waterproof trousers hoping that these combined would keep out the wet!

Through Wool and over the hills towards Weymouth where it got very dark and the heavens opened with hail. Bouncing off my helmet I nearly went deaf!

The roads were nearly an inch thick with it. Luckily a couple of cars had left tyre tracks so I followed those.

Did have a bit of a moment as stupidly I thought I would stop for a photo and pulled into a layby, onto virgin hail and I was all over the place. So cursing myself I pulled straight back onto the road and kept going.

Got to Weymouth and was in need of food and warmth. As everything was shut a beach shelter on the front had to do whilst I got my flask out and thawed out for 10 minutes.

I decided to ride round the old part of Weymouth. This is where I nearly lost the bike again! In the past the trains used to go along the road directly to the ferry terminal. However the rails are still embedded in the road and being wet are slippery! Needless to say I won't be riding round there ever again!

Out of town and over to Portland Bill lighthouse.  Very windy and a photo opportunity.

Stopped at a garage, brimmed the tank and after a pee back on the road and headed for Bridport and Westbay.

On the exposed parts it was very windy, but at least it had stopped raining.

Pulled into Westbay but it was blowing a gale so no chance of cooking my lunch, so bread rolls only for me!

As it was now 1200hrs I was in two minds wether to head for Lyme Regis or turn and head for home.

For once in my life I took the sensible option and headed for home. I wanted to do 200 plus miles today but I have nothing to prove and as the weather was bad thought it prudent to head home.

Lucille coped well with the hills as the road between Bridport and Dorchester is continually up and down.

Approaching Dorchester the sky turned black and once more it chucked it down.

I kept going finally stopping at the shell garage at Bere Regis. I was so glad they were open, complete with a costa coffee machine and hotdogs!

From here it was a dash to Ringwood,  down to Christchurch through New Milton and home.

149 miles completed.

Lessons learnt today,  take it steady in hail, don't try and ride over railway tracks embedded in the road as they are like ice and wear more layers of clothing!

Currently in bed still trying to warm up!

So all in all a great day out. Not what I thought I would be doing but that I guess is the beauty of being single!

Till later......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

C90 1st Modifications

Today I bolted to the leg shield a couple of bike water carriers costing £2.50 from Asda. Bargain!

I think I might get a couple more and bolt on the front to carry either more water or just containers for all those odds and ends like bungees and the like.

Christmas Day tomorrow and a day planned out on the bike complete with stove for brews and lamb steaks and as it's Christmas Lucille is now adorned with tinsel!

Till later......

Sunday, December 22, 2013

C90 Calshot Beach

My replacement trousers by Richa had arrived, so this morning I went to collect them from Rod at "The Bikeyard" Christchurch.

I must say it's refreshing to shop somewhere and be properly looked after!

A quick cuppa made by Rods Mrs was greatfully drunk and we also sorted out a pair of waterproof over trousers as well. So no more wet arse for me!

As the sun was shining I got home and fired Lucille up. I'm waiting for a cover to arrive so at the moment she is exposed to the elements!

Considering the amount of rain we have had the last few days 4 kicks as she fired up and ran sweetly.

I didn't get the chance to wear the over trousers as the sun was shining. Today was the first day I have ridden in the dry and what a great feeling that was.

I had planned to go a little further than I did but after a quick pat down I realised I had left my cash at home so with no brew kit on board either I headed out through Beaulieu towards Calshot and the sea.

A quick photo shoot and back towards Lepe beach heading back towards Lymington through the New Forest.

Only 35 miles but another lesson learnt - make sure you have cash on you!

Once again the only problem was at flat out she coughed a bit, eased back to 35 and she ran smooth so suspect not enough fuel getting through so could be a carb issue?

More recent purchases have been a carry rack which when modified will fit over the front wheel.

Two drinks bottle holders which will be bolted to the leg shields. One will hold spare oil the other for water.

Tyre levers - metal, and on Tuesday I will be buying a couple of inner tubes so if I do get a flat I can hopefully sort and be on my way again.

So it's all slowly slipping into place.

Just over 3 months to go!

Till later.......

Sunday, December 15, 2013

C90 Trip To Swanage

With the weather not looking good I wasn't too sure how far I would get today.

So loaded panniers with brew kit and some grub and set off with only a light bit of drizzle to slow me down.

Headed for Christchurch and to Rod at "The Bikeyard" as I have managed to loose my neck tube and wanted to get a replacement.

Glad I called in as Rod had read my previous post and was disturbed to hear that my trousers leaked! So replacements are now on order!

A massive thankyou to Rod for looking after me and his Mrs for making me a cup of tea!

Neck tube on and off I went going through Bournemouth and Poole which is when the heavens opened!  On to Wareham where it got worse and by the time I went past Corfe Castle I needed oars!

Pulling into Swanage I felt as if I was sat in a puddle! Standing up made the water run down my legs which was not a pleasant experience!

A bag of chips and a brew soon sorted me out and the rain had eased off so all was well.

Deciding to take the shorter route back and use the Sandbanks Ferry was a great idea. Only a £1 for the bike - brilliant!

Got back with only light rain but 30 minute's after getting home it poured down so real glad I took the ferry!

My hands stayed dry as this time I had my gloves inside my sleeves. Last time out the water ran down my sleeves and filled my gloves up!

Apart from leaky trousers which we know about my right foot got wet. Due to the water running down my leg into my boot.  Strange thing was my left foot was bone dry!

No problems with the bike apart from a 5 minute period where she spluttered momentarily. This was at maximum revs flat out doing 40mph in heavy rain. She did exactly the same thing on friday. I eased off and she sorted herself out and never had any other problems.

Total mileage today 72 miles.

So another good day out and with another day off tomorrow pondering where to go! The weather is supposed to be bad again - typical!

Till later......

Saturday, December 14, 2013

C90 1st Daylight Ride

With a day off I set off on Lucille heading towards Sturminster Dorset to collect my recently purchased panniers from my sister who kindly collected them for me.

The weather when I set off was a bit overcast but as I headed North it took a turn for the worse and was soon in heavy rain.

Lucille performed as I hoped she would and coped well with the few hills I had to negotiate.

Fitting the panniers was easy as they are just slung over the seat but I did notice a busted zip which certainly wasn't on the listing! So will see how I get on with them.

Off then to Gillingham Dorset to see my folks and it really started to chuck it down!

The only bit of me to get wet was my crutch! Not pleasant! I wasn't expecting this as I have full gortex riding gear!

The return trip was wet all the way and as I was going through Ringwood I got a rear puncture!

With no spare tube and it pouring with rain I called out the AA who came to my rescue!

Loaded on the truck I was dropped off with no fuss and although a tad soggy a good day was had.

So lessons learnt on my 103 mile journey?

1. Spare tubes and learn how to remove wheels.

2. Buy some waterproofs.

3. Always ensure you have a brew kit and grub.

4. Don't try and adjust mirror whilst riding and sneezing with vizor down!

So my first day out was interesting, now waiting for mobile tyre man to arrive to fix the puncture.

I probably could of done it myself but thought it worth the money to watch someone do it. Next time I'll know how to get the back wheel off!

Till later..

Sunday, December 8, 2013

CBT Passed

Today saw me pass my CBT test. It should of been yesterday but a last minute cancellation by the company put it back a day!

The course itself was run well by the instructor with plenty of practical advice, but to be honest as long as you don't fall off or drive into anything it's a done deal!

There was just myself and a 17 year old on the course,  who turned up with no safety gear at all. A hoody is hardly going to protect you.

It was a cold day but with my gear on I was roasting! Even when riding it was ok.

I used the companies bike a 50cc Sym which was good but heavy compared to my C90.

When I got home I then had to take my bike out for a quick spin! Well you have to don't you!

30 odd miles later I collect my curry and head home with a big grin!

Till later......

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Introducing Myself And Lucille!

Better late than never!

CBT Booked

My CBT or for those not in the know Compulsary Basic Training is now booked for next Saturday.

I'm using the companies twist and go scooter for the day so Sunday I'll be out on Lucille come rain or shine giving it a good work out.

I've got to get some miles under my belt so that on the day it's not too much of a shock to be doing several hundred day after day!

My list of spares and equipment seems to be getting longer by the day.

What do you take as spares? You can bet your life the one thing you don't take will be the one thing you need!

So far to be on the safe side I'm opting for oil, spark plugs, throttle and speedo cable, inner tubes and air filter. But do I take spare tyres?

If I rip open a tyre up in the Highlands I could easily loose a day and that is a day I don't really have. Guess I just answered my own question!

Bought a Highlander field stove that is running on a propane and butane mix cartridge. I was thinking of a dual fuel stove as the temperature up North could still cause me problems using just butane. But the cost of those stoves are a bit steep.

Just to let you all know the cost of this trip is being met by myself. All money raised will be going directly to "Help For Heroes" I reckon it's going to cost me around £1500 minimum. But what an experience it will be!

Till later.......