Monday 20 October 2014

I had it ALL!

What an absolutely amazing day that was! 225 miles in 8 and a half hours, 7 of which in the saddle, lovely places and a lot of ... well, everything, really.
8AM is not looking promising
Mud guards have the purpose in the name! Bang on time, 9AM, as predicted by the BBC, the rain stopped and I hit the road towards Great Yarmouth.

My Gear - Don't hit me!

Bike checked, fuelled and set,
she really behaves badly if the tyre pressure drops just a tad bit.

Given the 1 1/2 hour delay induced by the weather gods, I had decided to skip the first part of the scenic route via Framlingham and to hit Great Yarmouth on a known route with good roads, A14/A143, to get to the coastal route quickly and reliably.

I could have gone across to the A140 but this is as much as a nuisance as the A12. Thanks to missing front mudguard I was still riding in rain despite the clear sky above me. If you can't see a lot it's nice to be on a big wide road that you know. Little tip: avoid running over road kill, very messy!

Whichever way, I managed to find my way to and through Great Yarmouth without electronic helpers and ... really needed a loo! And see what I found in Horsey! Just at the roadside the loveliest little spot for a rest. Parking, loo, tea room, what else to ask for?

Big parking lot and toilets behind the boats!
Is that blue, or what?

Yes! I am a bit greedy :)

yet well deserved after 85 miles!
Refreshed and well fed I set off to Happisburg. I love lighthouses and this one is pretty. There I had the first glimpse of the see, but somehow couldn't be tickled to have a walk and a closer look. So I just took a few pictures and moved on.Roads had dried up, the ride started to be fun.

Almost threw my bike over, uneven ground and all of a sudden really strong wind - scary!

And off I went to Cromer via Bacton along the coast road. I did not expect Cromer to be so pretty and grand.One comes from the top of the hill and all of a sudden there is the most magnificent view, and nowhere to stop to take a picture, argh! I definitely will go back to Cromer some time to explore a bit more. So I just rode on towards Wells-next-the-Sea.

This entire stretch along the Norfolk coastline is absolutely beautiful but a huge challenge for me, really strong winds, tight bends, bad road surface and a lot of farm dirt. It is a really odd feeling if one nicely leans into a bend and then feels displaced by a good few inches due to a gust of wind.

Just had to stop for this idyll
Rather stiff and cold I arrived at my destination and gladly recognised it from this year's trip to a bike show. It is a lively place and having fish and chips is mandatory. Of course I obliged!

There you go!

Last leg along the coast line goes to Hunstanton.Goodness me that was breezy. Loads of bikers there, and yes there is a cliff, just being on it one doesn't really realise. So a quick coffee and a muffin as antidote to the savoury food earlier and then off home for another of couple of hours ride.

there are loads of kite servers out there, mad mad people

Hit Kings Lynn on the way home which is not really the prettiest of towns, bit confusing to ride around, too, but from there everything was plain sailing except the low sun, silly me forgot the shades. On that leg it came from the side through the trees creating strobe light. Got lucky with the cars, all driving well so I could just nicely swim home in the bulk.

There is proof of mileage...

... and dirt. Goodness me we both were filthy

And my bounty... feeling a bit queasy now
Fantastic day, absolutely proud and happy, and glad that I massively enjoyed riding solo. With that insight the sky is the limit.YaY!

Saturday 18 October 2014

Naughty Weather Gods!

Great! The rain is shifting into tomorrow morning apparently, including weather warning and all.

I do not intend to falter, but thought it might be a good idea to put my front mudguard on only to find that the bolts are a few mill too long, so hey ho, again, let's get dirty then!


So there you go, still will have to fuel the bike and check the tyres, but for the rest of it ready to go.

Have a lovely Sunday and wish me luck!

Friday 17 October 2014

Charging Up!

Ohhhh... getting excited now! It's the weekend and as promised yesterday I am preparing for a trip. Thus I shall dutifully report here what I am up to. You may have noticed that it is October and that I am talking about motorcycle trips, so you might be in for a lot of moaning.

For now the weather looks lovely, though, a bit breezy, yet with hope for some sunny spells. The thought that we might not have many more of those days made me decide to go out this Sunday.

Now! One might want to take into consideration that I only have my license since two years, that I changed bike twice, and that I don't have as many miles under my belt as I would wish, let alone country road miles and going solo. My baby is a customised, 1998, Yamaha Dragstar Custom, 650cc. I got her made by So-Low Choppers and got her in April this year. Her lifetime clicks stand on 21,113 of which only about 1.5k are my own. So, I might not present you with the World's Greatest Motorcycle Rides but hey ho, one has to start somewhere!

If you hear something quite loud, looking like this, it might just be me!
I have planned my route, and it will be tough. Google tells me that continuous driving in a car will need 6 hours and 26 minutes. Assume, that me riding a choppery kind of thing and getting lost a couple of times will rather need longer then less time. And of course one wants to enjoy the odd cappuccino, ice cream or whatever else the local culinary joy might be. I have a good 10 hours of proper daylight, the neighbours promised to attend to the cat should I for some reason not make it home, all I need to do now is to get my gear ready.

Well... I will have to come back to that one. Some of it is not really thought through yet, especially not for the cold season. So, on future rides I will try a few things and let you know how it goes. For now I am trying two things as accessories:

Firstly, a mophie, which is an extra battery pack for my iPhone. I recon if the phone has to get me out of trouble, to help me find my way on GoogleMaps, to track my route and to take photos, this is a smart thing to have.

Secondly, I will take my camcorder. I will look into the purchase of a proper bike-cam but for now the clunky thing has to do. Any suggestions on little mobile cameras and how to fix them to a bike without scratching the paintwork are very welcome!

Charging up!

Additionally I am very tempted to use an App that will track my route via GPS. I shall not use a SatNav.  Navies are a big NoNo! You can't strip a bike to the minimum and then put weird stuff on. But for the sake of reporting, and a bit of smugness in case the trip goes well against all odds, it would be nice to know where I was. I am going to give EasyTrails GPS Lite a shot. No idea how it works and how quickly it will drain my juice pack, though.

I recon it makes sense to pack waterproofs, so a backpack it will have to be. Shame actually, there is nothing nicer than to ride really light. However, given that I have to carry that thing anyway, I might just pack a bit of luncheon to keep the cost down. And who knows I might stumble across something nice to buy on my way :)

So that's it for now, tomorrow I shall reveal my route before I will attend to a good night sleep!